Campus messages


Current updates are posted on the COVID-19 website.

Oct. 5, 2020

COVID-19 total positive test results for Sept. 28-Oct. 4 (on-campus testing and self-reports): 54. For the third week, the positivity percentage remains below 5%. This is a credit to students, faculty and staff who continue to practice Cyclones Care strategies and a reason to remain vigilant. You can find more data on the COVID-19 Public Health Data website or access the weekly snapshot.

Sept. 30, 2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health has updated its guidance on when to quarantine. A campus letter was sent today to explain what the changes mean for Iowa State University. 

Sept. 28, 2020

Iowa State's public health team is using a new tool to improve case management and contact tracing. The goal is to efficiently collect information about potential contacts and provide more timely notifications. A campus letter was sent today with more information about the changes.

Sept. 28, 2020

Weekly and daily testing updates are now posted. Week of Sept. 21-27: Total positive test results (on-campus testing and self-reports): 68. The percentage of positive tests was 4.99%. For the past week, 399 individuals were in quarantine and 62 tested positive. You can find more data on the COVID-19 Public Health website or access the weekly snapshot.

Sept. 24, 2020

President Wintersteen and Athletics Director Jamie Pollard sent a letter announcing plans to allow a limited number of fans at the next home football game on Oct. 3. Face coverings are required and tailgating is not allowed. The letter includes a detailed mitigation plan for gameday.  

Sept. 21, 2020

Weekly and daily testing updates are now posted. For the week of Sept. 14-20: Total positive test results (on-campus testing and self-reports): 63. The percentage of positive test results was 4.60% – down from 7.81% the previous week. You can find more data on the COVID-19 Public Health website or access the weekly snapshot.

Sept. 16, 2020

Iowa State is extending the deadlines for withdrawals and tuition adjustments for the fall 2020 semester to help students who are facing hardships because of the COVID-19 pandemic. President Wintersteen sent a letter to students outlining the changes and new dates. The letter also includes links to resources to support students' academic success, health and wellness.  

Sept. 14, 2020

Test results for the week of Sept. 7-13 are now posted on the COVID-19 Public Health Data website. Of the 1,204 tests conducted on campus, 95 people (91 students, 4 staff) tested positive, and 17 people (15 students, 2 staff) self-reported positive results. The website also includes campus isolation and quarantine data.

Sept. 14, 2020

In a letter to the campus community, President Wendy Wintersteen announced that spring classes will begin Jan. 25. The semester will end May 6, consistent with the current calendar. Classes will be held during spring break, originally scheduled for March 15-19. Courses will also continue to be offered in four delivery modes: face-to-face, online, hybrid, and arranged. Academic leaders also are planning a five-week, online winter session, beginning Dec. 14 and ending Jan. 21. Additional information, including class schedules and tuition rates, will be available in the coming weeks.

Sept. 9, 2020

Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Toyia Younger sent a message to students to encourage smart, responsible gatherings as ISU plays its first home football game Saturday. Students have an important role to play as a positive influence on their peers and classmates on what should— and what should not happen — this weekend.

Sept. 7, 2020

New weekly data are now posted on the university's COVID-19 Public Health Data Update website. Results for on-campus targeted testing are from Aug. 31-Sept. 6. Iowa State's targeted testing focuses on those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who were potentially exposed. 

Sept. 4, 2020

The fall 2020 undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies and college convocations will be held virtually. The ceremonies will be prerecorded and available for viewing at 10 a.m. CST on Saturday, Nov. 28. Similar to the spring 2020 ceremony, virtual commencement will include the conferring of degrees, a listing of graduates' individual names, and addresses from President Wendy Wintersteen and other speakers. Additional information will be posted at on the graduation and commencement website as it becomes available.

Aug. 31, 2020

In a message to campus, President Wendy Wintersteen shared a COVID-19 Public Health Data website that is being updated weekly with information about test results and isolation and quarantine cases and capacity. As a reminder, self-reporting positive results from other testing sites -- for example, the newly opened Test Iowa location in Ames -- also is critical to the contract tracing process.

Aug. 26, 2020

Iowa State posted a weekly update on COVID-19 test results. The data includes testing conducted at Thielen Student Health Center for students, faculty and staff who were symptomatic or exposed to someone who tested positive, as well as test results from the athletic department.  

Aug. 21, 2020

President Wendy Wintersteen sent a campus message detailing a new COVID-19 policy related to social gatherings. Effective immediately, students who do not follow health orders for gatherings, face covering and physical distancing will be subject to university discipline.

Aug. 14, 2020

Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard provided an update following the Big 12 President's decision regarding fall sports. Pollard's message includes details about face coverings, tailgating and options to limit capacity at Jack Trice Stadium. 

Aug.13, 2020

Iowa State is launching the Symptom Checker self-check to assess for symptoms of COVID-19. All students, faculty, and staff will need to complete the self-check every morning as a good health practice, even those who continue to work remotely. If you are symptom-free, you may go about your regular schedule of class, work, or other on-campus activities. If you report symptoms that indicate a potential COVID-19 infection, you should stay home, and you will be directed where to reach out for more information about treatment or testing. The first Symptom Checker self-check will go out the morning of Monday, Aug. 17. 

Aug. 11, 2020

Student face covering distribution: Iowa State students can pick up two free ISU face coverings on Thursday, Aug. 13, Friday, Aug. 14 and Monday, Aug. 17. Students cannot pick up extra face coverings for friends, roommates or others. Face coverings already have been distributed to students in on-campus and Greek housing, and to student-athletes.

Distribution is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at three outdoor tent locations:

  • Lied Recreation Center, southwest corner. Walk to Lied or park in Lot 100.
  • ISU Alumni Center, east side. Walk to the Alumni Center or park in Lot A-2.
  • Central campus, Sloss House Lawn, close to Curtiss Hall. Take CyRide, park in Memorial Union Ramp or walk to campus.

Work hours: Following university policy, regular working hours resume this week. Campus buildings and/or offices that must be open for fall semester should be staffed 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Some buildings that do not need to be accessed by students or the public may remain locked as staff continue to work remotely. If visitors need to access a locked office, please call ahead to make an appointment.

Aug. 7, 2020

Through Aug. 6, a total of 3,037 Iowa State University students moving into the residence halls and campus apartments have completed COVID-19 testing at Lied Recreation Center. Of that number 66 students, or 2.2%, tested positive, and 2,971 students, or 97.8%, tested negative.

Aug. 5, 2020

A message to campus from President Wintersteen highlighted ISU's revised cloth face covering policy

Aug. 4, 2020

President Wintersteen and Vice President for University Human Resources Kristi Darr sent a message to faculty and staff with information and guidance regarding flexible workplace options

July 31, 2020

A recording of Town Hall No. 4 for faculty and staff is available online. If you participated and your question wasn't answered, or you have other questions about fall plans, please email

July 29, 2020

President Wintersteen announced the creation of College/Unit specific Response Teams to assist faculty and staff with emerging issues as the fall semester gets underway, and the launch of a COVID-19 fall semester website with consolidated information about the university's plans.

July 23, 2020

In a message to the Iowa State community, President Wintersteen outlined the university's plans to prioritize health and safety, including testing, isolation and quarantine, contact tracing, face coverings, community expectations, and the Cyclones Care campaign.  

July 15, 2020

There is a new website specifically for students who have an increased risk for severe illness as defined by the Centers for Disease Control. Students and families with questions and concerns about returning to campus should visit this site as soon as they are able to understand how to receive additional consideration and support. Students need to submit a form as soon as they are able, but at the latest by Aug. 16, so colleges can assess the need for online sections of in-person courses. Advisers will work with students to help with course selection.

July 13, 2020

Iowa State’s Facilities Planning and Management unit has issued guidance on building ventilation systems, including outdoor air intake and air filtration, and permitting the use of personal filtration devices on campus.

July 9, 2020

Consistent with CDC guidance, Iowa State University students, faculty, and staff who have traveled outside of the United States should self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to the United States, and complete the quarantine period before engaging in any activity on campus. Risk management has developed guidance for completing that period of self-quarantine before returning to campus. 

July 8, 2020

In coordination with the fall planning teams, facilities planning and management has developed guidelines for preparing classrooms and teaching laboratories for 50% capacity. FPM will prepare general university classrooms. Colleges and departments are responsible for assessing and preparing their classrooms. Guidance is also available to maintain physical distancing in common areas, such as hallways, waiting areas and restrooms.   

July 2, 2020

President Wintersteen provided an update on plans to have campus ready for the fall semester by Aug. 3. Her message to the campus community also included information on COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff at Thielen Student Health Center, changes for domestic travel and new CDC guidance on those who are at higher risk for COVID-19. 

June 27, 2020

To maintain a healthy campus, it is critically important all members of the Iowa State community self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, and stay at home if you are not feeling well. Students, faculty, and staff should immediately self-report if they test positive for COVID-19.

Positive test results must be reported by completing this form. Self-reporting is a safe, confidential process that allows ISU’s Public Health Team to provide support. Students, faculty and staff are required to self-report and self-isolate if they test positive. University leaders are also developing a broad list of mitigation strategies to limit the risk and spread of COVID-19. Read more about the response process in this campus message.

June 24, 2020

Face coverings and/or face shields will be required in classrooms, offices, and other areas where physical distancing is not possible, effective Wednesday, July 1. Faculty, staff, and students who test positive for COVID-19 should report that information to Thielen Student Health Center. More information is available in President Wintersteen's campus memo.  

June 17, 2020

A summary of academic decisions for the fall semester is available on the fall planning page. Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert shared the updates in a letter to academic affairs faculty and staff.

June 16, 2020

Reminder: Employees returning to campus will be expected to wear a cloth face covering whenever physical distancing is not possible. Employees needing a cloth face covering should notify their supervisors. Campus units (not individual employees) may reserve a supply (up to two face coverings per employee) through central stores, at no cost to the department or employees.

June 12, 2020

You can watch a recording of today's faculty and staff virtual Town Hall meeting here. If you participated in the Town Hall and your question wasn't answered, or you have other questions about fall decisions or the university's response to COVID-19, please email:

June 10, 2020

President Wintersteen has announced key decisions about the fall semester. Please check the COVID-19 Fall Planning page for more information.

May 29, 2020

Fall study abroad programs that were scheduled to depart before Dec. 1, 2020, have been canceled. Iowa State made this difficult decision as a result of continued global concerns with COVID-19 and to allow students ample time to defer their study abroad to another semester and register for fall classes on campus. The university will continue to monitor the global situation and will provide updates when decisions are made on study abroad programs scheduled after Dec. 1.

May 21, 2020

A COVID-19 Summer Planning page has been created for updates, information, tools, and guidance as the university begins a phased approach to increase operations. 

May 15, 2020

President Wintersteen sent a message to faculty and staff with updated information on the phased increase of operations over the summer. Phase one will be a planning phase. Select supervisors and a limited number of staff will return, on or after June 1, to develop plans for workspaces. Other faculty and staff who are working remotely will not return to their normal work locations on June 1. 

May 11, 2020

Guidance for summer hours has been updated to reflect the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

May 8, 2020

The Iowa State community was notified of the first lab-confirmed case involving a member of the campus community. The individual took the appropriate actions to self-identify and self-isolate. The individual shared they were not exposed on campus and were last on campus three weeks ago. 

President Wintersteen sent a message to faculty and staff regarding a phased approach to gearing up campus this summer. University Human Resources will provide guidance next week to colleges, departments, and units. 

May 4, 2020

recording of Town Hall No. 2 is available online. If your question was not answered during the Town Hall, please direct human resources questions to and all other questions to

May 1, 2020

President Wintersteen sent a message to students announcing available emergency funding through the federal CARES act, #CycloneStrong campaign, and Iowa State's participation in the University Innovation Alliance. Students can apply now and more information is available through the Office of Student Financial Aid

April 30, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds' order to ease restrictions in 77 Iowa counties, including Story County, does not provide specific guidance for public universities. 

ISU senior leaders and the emergency operations team are considering next steps that prioritize the health and safety of the Iowa State community. Additional guidance will be shared as soon as possible. Until then, please continue with the following: 

  • Employees who have been working remotely should continue to do so.
  • Employees are still permitted to go to their office while practicing social distancing to perform necessary job functions they can't do at home.
  • Practice social distancing and other infection mitigation strategies, including frequent handwashing.

Employees with any questions should contact their HR delivery team or email

April 28, 2020

In a message to campus, President Wintersteen announced the Executive Committee for Fall Planning chaired by John Lawrence, vice president for extension and outreach. The University's Guiding Principles for Fall Semester 2020 provide the framework for the committee to develop plans to resume teaching and research on campus this fall.

April 24, 2020

In a message to campus, President Wintersteen shared fall semester guidance from the Board of Regents, "We are planning on a full, normal operation for our universities for the fall 2020 semester." 

April 23, 2020

Clarification was issued regarding travel restrictions. This information has also been added to the FAQs that pertain to travel. 

Both Summer Session I (begins May 18) and Summer Session II (begins June 15) will be offered through virtual instruction only.

A grassroots social media campaign launched April 21 encourages all Iowa citizens to complete an online health assessment. The #TestIowaChallenge aims to "Crush the Curve" of the COVID-19 pandemic through better understanding of what's happening in the state. The online assessment, available on the TestIowa website, includes questions related to health risk, testing and exposure.

April 10, 2020

Spring 2020 virtual commencement ceremonies for undergraduates, graduates, and Veterinary Medicine graduates will be hosted on, available on-demand beginning at 10 a.m. (central time) on Saturday, May 9, 2020. More information is available in President Wintersteen's message to spring graduates

April 8, 2020

In a message to faculty and staff, President Wintersteen announced the campus community should be prepared to continue with reduced campus operations into May and perhaps longer as conditions warrant. All university events are being canceled, postponed, or moved online through May 31. 

April 2, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic provides significant challenges and changes to our daily lives. But we should not feel powerless. Watch an encouraging message from our students and learn how you can help slow the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of our community. 

March 31, 2020

Initial temporary changes to employee leave policies were announced today. In accordance with the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act for COVID-19, eligible employees are being provided 80 additional hours of sick time off for COVID-19 related events. More policy changes and information are available in President Wintersteen's message and on the University Human Resources COVID-19 website.

March 30, 2020

University senior leaders today announced refunds for students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes refunds for housing, dining, parking and study abroad. Students will not receive a refund for tuition and mandatory fees. While the transition to virtual instruction represents a significant change for both students and faculty, the university is committed to offering a high-quality educational experience, and courses taught virtually count toward students’ degree programs. You can find more detail on the FAQ pages for students and parents/families and in President Wintersteen's campus message.

Virtual Town Hall: Technical difficulties interrupted this morning's virtual town hall for faculty and staff. Instead, senior leaders' recorded comments are available to watch online. Please send any Human Resources-specific questions to All other questions can be emailed to and we will work to provide you with answers as soon as possible.

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.

March 20, 2020

  • Study Abroad: Due to global uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, study abroad courses that start before Aug. 15, 2020, are canceled. Academic colleges will follow up with impacted students regarding these trips in the coming days.
  • Summer Term: Full Summer courses and the Summer Session I academic term, which begins Monday, May 18, will be offered through virtual instruction only. A decision on Summer Session II, which begins June 15, will be made later in the spring.
  • Research: To further promote the safety of Iowa State faculty, staff and students, the Office of the Vice President for Research has worked with the colleges to update many of the COVID-19 and Research FAQs on the VPR website and develop additional guidance for researchers. Please review and implement when planning and conducting research activities.
  • U-Bill: Finance charges will not be assessed on U-Bill balances due March 20. Email questions to

March 19, 2020

The residence hall move out process begins at 5 p.m. on March 20, and continues through noon on May 9. Move-out instructions to support social distancing, and criteria for students who need to stay is available on the Department of Residence website.

March 18, 2020

All courses will be moved to virtual instruction for the remainder of the spring semester, beginning Monday, March 23. All university events, activities, and exhibitions, on and off campus, will be 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.

More information about transition to virtual instruction and updates on university operations is available in the President's message.

March 17, 2020

Iowa State University is asking all divisions, colleges, departments and units to accommodate flexible work arrangements to maintain university operations while maximizing social distancing – a CDC mitigation strategy to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 cases.

Guidance for Supervisors and Employees is outlined in President Wintersteen's campus message. Please refer to the Employee FAQ for additional information. 

March 14, 2020

The Board of Regents has directed Iowa State University and the other Regents institutions to recall all faculty, staff and students who are out of the country. The university is working to communicate directly with faculty, staff, and students impacted by this decision. 

All university-related non-essential domestic travel is prohibited until further notice, effective immediately. This restriction applies to university-related interstate travel. Faculty, staff, and students are not to travel out of state for non-essential university business. Travel exception requests should be submitted to and must demonstrate that the travel is essential to the operation of Iowa State University; that no alternative method of convening is possible; and that the health and safety of Iowa State employees will be appropriately managed. 

Additional guidance is outlined in President Wintersteen's campus message

March 13, 2020

Events canceled, postponed or moved online

While the university remains open, we are putting practices in place to support social distancing. All Iowa State University events, activities, and exhibitions, on or off campus, must be canceled, postponed, or moved online, effective Monday, March 16, and continuing through Saturday, April 4, 2020. Third-party events held on campus must also be canceled, postponed, or moved online, effective Monday, March 16, and continuing through Saturday, April 4, 2020. This period could be extended if conditions warrant, and we encourage any group with an event scheduled after Saturday, April 4, to begin considering alternative plans. If you feel your event, activity, or exhibition should still be held in person, please contact and your request will be reviewed by senior leadership.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to reconsider coming to campus. 

We also strongly encourage all university meetings to be moved online (e.g., Webex, Skype, or webinar), but we recognize that some small in-person meetings are necessary to support the university’s daily operations and response to the COVID-19 outbreak. These meetings should be limited to essential university business and include a minimal number of in-person attendees who can practice social distancing (e.g. sitting at least six feet apart). If other attendees are needed, they should join by phone.

All Recognized Student Organization events and meetings scheduled through April 4 must be canceled, postponed, or moved online. 

Stay connected in spite of social distancing

We understand this situation is causing concern, stress, and anxiety. While we practice social distancing, it is more important than ever that we promote other ways of connection and expressions of care and support. Please be sure to reach out and make those important verbal or written connections in place of physical contact, and continue to reject stigmas associated with this pandemic. If you are in need of additional support, please reach out to any of our campus resources

March 12, 2020

Iowa State is restricting all university-sponsored travel to Europe following the CDC’s Level 3 travel health notice. Consistent with previous travel decisions, study abroad students, faculty and staff should return to the U.S. Because the situation is rapidly changing, Iowa State is strongly recommending all study abroad students, including countries not designated CDC Level 3, suspend their study abroad programs and return to the U.S.  

The Employee FAQ has been updated with additional guidance regarding Telework/Remote Work, Student Employees, Graduate Assistants, and Hiring during the university online instruction period (March 23-April 3). Additional information is also provided in the FAQ on topics such as Employee Health Care, Child Care, and FMLA. 

Domestic travel by Recognized Student Organizations (student-led travel) is suspended until April 4. Other university-sponsored student domestic travel will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and should be reviewed by applicable university departmental leadership.

The university has developed guidance on whether to cancel or modify large events.

March 11, 2020

Iowa State University is moving all classes online beginning Monday, March 23, and continuing through April 3, 2020. The university will reassess the situation during the week of March 30, and may extend online instruction if conditions warrant. Please review President Wintersteen's announcement and refer to the FAQs for more information for students and employees. A video recording of the March 11 media update is available.

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and college online learning offices are available to assist instructors with migrating their class online. Resources also are available on the CELT website.

In an email sent to students living on campus, the Department of Residence clarified that housing and dining will remain open and provide services to on-campus residents who need to stay. Detailed information about those services and the process to stay on campus will be sent to those students.

We are working with event sponsors and organizers to evaluate large events scheduled to take place on campus from March 23 to April 3. Changes, such as cancellations, postponements and closures, are being posted as they are received.

March 10, 2020

The Board of Regents released a statement asking all the Regents institutions to move as quickly as possible toward delivering instruction online, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Iowa State University has been planning and preparing for this contingency with our emergency management leaders and working groups, and we will share more information soon.

The Board of Regents also announced today it will be extending the 30-day international travel ban by seven days each Monday, effective March 9, until conditions improve. The travel ban initially took effect March 5 and applies to university-sponsored international travel for students, faculty, and staff.

March 9, 2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting five additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of eight cases in Iowa. Seven cases are in Johnson County and one in Pottawattamie County. There are no reported cases of COVID-19 on Iowa State’s campus, in Ames, or Story County. IDPH recommends following simple daily precautions to prevent the spread of all respiratory illness including washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when ill.

March 8, 2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health announced three presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Iowa. All three cases are in Johnson County. There are no reported cases of COVID-19 on Iowa State’s campus. 

March 5, 2020

The Board of Regents has directed Iowa State and the other Regents institutions to suspend all university-sponsored international travel for 30 days, effective immediately. Please note this could be extended as conditions change. Students, faculty and staff who are currently out of the country on university-sponsored travel will be recalled if a Level 3 travel health notice is issued for that country by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At this point, those countries include China, South Korea and Italy. Information about what is considered “university-sponsored international travel” is available in the University Policy Library.

March 4, 2020

Iowa State is suspending spring break programs in Africa, Asia and Europe, effective immediately. This suspension impacts approximately 95 students who have not yet departed for their programs. Students have been notified of the university's decision, which is based on ongoing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State, and the Iowa Department of Public Health, as well as the potential for widespread disruption in travel for individuals visiting countries in these regions.

A video recording of the March 4 media update is available. Participants include Shaun Jamieson, international risk analyst in the Office of Risk Management; Erin Baldwin, assistant vice president for student health and wellness; and Frank Peters, director of the Study Abroad Center.

Feb. 29, 2020

In response to a Level 3 travel health notice issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the university is prohibiting all travel to Italy. We have notified students currently studying abroad in Italy and are making arrangements for their return to the U.S. Please see the study abroad section below for information related to academic credit, financial aid, etc. Employee travel is also restricted. University-sponsored travel to China and South Korea is also prohibited.