Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

This site will provide regular updates and information related to COVID-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus. Updates on confirmed cases are provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health. Members of the campus community will be impacted, and we are preparing for this development. Please see FAQ below for details.

The university's team of senior leaders, emergency management experts and working groups are in constant discussions and considering the best interests of our students, faculty and staff. We deeply appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to address this rapidly evolving situation. Please reach out and show care and support to each other and continue to reject stigmas associated with this pandemic. 


March 26, 2020

Employee Leave: The Board of Regents announced last week that it has permitted the university to make temporary changes to leave policies to support employees during the COVID-19 emergency.  Supervisors should not interpret and implement the Board's announcement on their own. University Human Resources is working to develop recommended processes for changes to Iowa State’s employee leave policies that also incorporate newly issued state and federal guidance. Due to the complexities of this issue, President Wintersteen and her leadership team are still considering the changes and information will not be ready this week. UHR will share details on March 31. Until then, the university’s current policies and procedures on employee leave remain in effect.

From President Wintersteen: A message of hope and gratitude to Iowa State faculty and staff

March 22, 2020

In accordance with Governor Reynolds' announcement about self-isolation, any member of the Iowa State community returning from Spring Break vacation or other travel outside of Iowa is directed to follow this guidance: 

  • Stay home for 14 days after returning from travel outside of Iowa.
  • Do not come to work for this 14-day period. Contact your supervisor to discuss your options.
  • If you have returned from travel outside of Iowa and your job requires you to come to campus, you can request an exception to the 14-day self-isolation by emailing More information is provided in President Wintersteen's campus message


Previous updates

View all previous updates (beginning Feb. 29, 2020).


General FAQ

More FAQs: Students | Employees | Parents and families


Yes. If you need assistance, the IT Solution Center is available, but due to precautions taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Parks Library location is closed. You are still able to report a problem by completing an incident form online, sending an email ( or leaving a voicemail (515-294-4000). You can complete a password reset without assistance using Okta.

If you need immediate assistance or have a critical issue, please leave a detailed voicemail with your Net-ID and phone number. You will receive an email confirmation that a ticket has been created. IT Solution Center representatives will get back to you as quickly as possible.

There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Iowa State students, faculty and staff, but the university is preparing for when that happens. Iowa State will work with our local partners and follow protocols established by the Iowa Department of Public Health to quarantine the patient, and identify anyone who had contact with the patient and may need to self-isolate. Recognizing that there will be cases on campus, it is important for everyone to help prevent the spread of illness by washing hands frequently, staying home when ill and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue.

ISU is in daily contact with our partners at Mary Greeley Medical Center and the Iowa Department of Public Health. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at ISU or within Story County, the university will follow IDPH and CDC protocol for isolation and treatment of the patient, as well as notifying anyone who had contact with the patient.

The university will strive to keep the campus community informed to the fullest extent permitted by state and federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

All university-related non-essential domestic travel is prohibited until further notice. Faculty, staff, and students are not to travel out of state for non-essential university business. Sumbit travel exception requests to Requests must demonstrate that travel is essential to university operations; that no alternative method of convening is possible; and the health and safety of Iowa State employees will be appropriately managed. At this time, we are not recalling faculty, staff, and students who are currently on university-related domestic travel.

Travel within the state of Iowa can continue. That said, the university strongly recommends decisions are made to reduce in-state travel, consistent with our goal of taking reasonable actions to reduce transmission risk. Some factors to consider when evaluating in-state travel include: whether the activity is necessary to enable a student to remain on-track for degree completion; whether the activity could be postponed, moved online, or done by phone; the number of attendees and whether the attendees can practice social distancing (e.g. sitting at least six feet apart); and whether the activity supports a critical issue or need in an Iowa community.

For personal travel within the U.S., we strongly urge you to use extreme caution and judgment. Please check the state and territorial health department websites for the latest information. Cases of COVID-19 have been reported in all states, and many areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase your risk of exposure if there are other travelers with COVID-19. There are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel and when returning from travel.

All university-sponsored international travel remains suspended for students, faculty, and staff. The Board of Regents will be extending the 30-day travel ban by 7 days each Monday until conditions improve.

The Board of Regents directed Regents institutions to recall all faculty, staff and students who are out of the country.

The U.S. Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory: Do Not Travel, advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel. For more information please check the U.S. Department of State website and contact the International Students and Scholars Office with any questions about international visitors. 


If visas have already been issued or applications filed as of March 11, proceeding is permitted, but travel should not begin within the current Board of Regents international travel restrictions (the restriction is now updated every 7 days, so be sure to check the current status). For new visa applications, the start date should be after the end of the current Board of Regents international travel restriction.

All university events, activities, and exhibitions, on and off campus have been canceled or moved online for the remainder of the spring semester (through May 9). Spring commencement ceremonies for undergraduates, graduate students, and veterinary medicine students are canceled. 

All university meetings must be moved online. If an in-person meeting is essential to support daily operations, it must include no more than 10 people who are practicing social distancing (e.g. sitting at least six feet apart).

Visitors are strongly encouraged to reconsider coming to campus. 


Governor Reynolds has announced that anyone who has traveled recently outside of Iowa is strongly encouraged to self-isolate for 14 days to support ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

We direct any member of the Iowa State community returning from Spring Break vacation or other travel to follow this guidance:

  • Stay home for 14 days after returning from travel outside of Iowa.
  • Do not come to work for this 14-day period. Contact your supervisor to discuss your options, which may include:
    • Telework/remote work to the extent that your job allows.
    • The university is reviewing the federal and state programs related to leave and anticipate further guidance within the week. The employee should take available leave, and as we activate new program(s), the employee’s leave balance may be corrected if necessary.

While you are self-isolating, please do the following:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. If you have symptoms, call ahead before going to your doctor’s office or the emergency room. 
  • Keep your distance from others – stay a minimum of 6 feet apart.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

If you have returned from travel outside of Iowa and your job requires you to come to campus, you can request an exception to the 14-day self-isolation by emailing with the following information:

  • Name and phone number
  • Dates of travel
  • Location of travel including any airports traveled through
  • Any known contacts with a confirmed case
  • Reason for requesting exception

If you do not have email access, you can call 515-294-4428 with the above information.

The university also encourages students and employees who may have anxiety or depression regarding how they are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to seek mental health services through Student Counseling Services or the Thielen Student Health Center.

Practice good infection control strategies, including:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with tissues when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after use.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to avoid spreading germs.
  • Improve your immune system by getting enough rest (eight hours is ideal), exercising regularly, and eating healthy.
  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Instead of contact such as handshakes, give a wave to avoid spreading germs.

Cyclone Health also has helpful information and additional resources for taking care of your behavioral health during the outbreak.

It is important to obtain credible information from experts including the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), and public health agencies, and ensure you are only sharing credible resources. Outbreaks can cause fear and anxiety and we encourage our campus community to be supportive and speak out against negative and stigmatizing behaviorCampus resources are also available for support.

Cleaning Information

Custodial Services has limited capacity to provide additional cleaning services, and requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Call 515-294-5100 or submit a service request online at

No. While novel is capable of causing illness, presently there is no evidence that COVID-19 is any more persistent than an ordinary “enveloped” virus. Standard cleaning products used during the cold and flu season are believed to be sufficient.

Yes. CDC has a webpage with recommendations on cleaning. Following CDC recommendations will also help control other viral infections such as seasonal flu.