State of emergency lifted for Iowa's public universities, meaning full classrooms in fall


HR King
May 29, 2001
The state of emergency for Iowa's public universities that had been in place for 14 months is no more, meaning in-person learning will return to 2019 levels this fall.

Iowa Board of Regents President Mike Richards cited the wide availability of highly effective vaccines against COVID-19, declining positivity and hospitalization rates and revised guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a statement Thursday lifting the pandemic state of emergency.

It had been in effect since March 18, 2020,

The end of the state of emergency reveals much about how the summer and fall will look on the campuses of Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa, as well as the Iowa School for the Deaf and Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, according to Richards' statement.

Effective immediately, masks are optional for faculty, staff, students and campus visitors, though unvaccinated people are still strongly encouraged to wear face coverings on campus. Masks are also still required on campus buses, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, veterinary medicine facilities, research laboratories and any other health-care operation.

Classrooms and other campus spaces will now operate at full, pre-pandemic capacity. Physical distancing will not be required of faculty, staff, students or visitors, although unvaccinated people are strongly encouraged to continue the practice when possible.

Starting July 1, all faculty and staff will be required to return to campus "to the extent their traditional (pre-pandemic) employment responsibilities require."

University presidents and Regents schools' superintendents will be authorized to approve remote or hybrid work arrangements "in circumstances when there is a legitimate business rationale that serves the best interests of the institution" or as may otherwise be permitted or required by law or established institutional policy.

This fall, institutions are required to return to offering the same level of in-person classes and educational experiences as before the pandemic, though hybrid and distance learning can continued to be explored in consultation with the Regents' office.

Institutions will also be expected in the fall semester to "resume traditional student life activities and opportunities."

All members of campus communities are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but outside University of Iowa Healthcare, institutions will not be able to require that students, faculty or staff get vaccinated or provide evidence of having been vaccinated.



HR Legend
Gold Member
Feb 17, 2004
Our college has announced a return to normal on classroom headcount but not yet announced a policy on masks. Masks will be required for the summer semester.
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