Frequently Asked Questions


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General FAQ

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings as a mitigation practice. Recent studies have shown COVID-19 can be spread by people who don’t show symptoms. Requiring a face covering helps minimize exposure to infection and spread of the illness. This helps protect the health of students, faculty and staff – and the entire Ames community. Wearing a face covering helps protect those around you and their face coverings help protect you. Please review ISU's complete face covering policy.

Cloth face coverings are available for purchase at the ISU Bookstore, located in the Memorial Union. Individually wrapped disposable face masks are available in vending machines across campus, and in the five markets operated by ISU Dining:

  • Memorial Union
  • Hawthorn
  • West Side
  • South Side
  • East Side

University departments may purchase cloth face coverings, disposable masks, and face shields from Central Stores.

University sponsored visitors to campus who are traveling from within the United States are permitted if the visit is preapproved by the supervisor of the unit or department that is sponsoring the University visit. University sponsored international visitors are not permitted.

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.

Financial: ISU Extension and Outreach’s family finance program specialists are providing one-on-one free, confidential financial conversations. Iowans can connect with a family finance specialist by phone or email. Financial educators are available to talk about options for revising a budget, prioritizing bills, paying down debt and connecting Iowans with community resources to stretch reduced incomes. If you have questions, call Extension and Outreach's toll-free Iowa Concern Hotline at 800-447-1985 for a referral or contact the family finance specialist for your county.

Legal: Individuals also can call the COVID-19 Legal Information Hotline at 800-332-0419. It was developed in partnership with Iowa Legal Aid, the Iowa State Bar Association and the Polk County Volunteer Lawyer Project. The hotline can assist Iowans with business and compliance issues, eviction, denial of unemployment benefits, employment issues and other personal legal concerns. You will be asked to leave a message and someone will return your call.

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.

All close contacts will be notified by the Department of Public Health or a member of the ISU Public Health Case Management team. Public health officials rely on a case investigation process to determine close contacts. If you have not been notified, you are most likely a proximate contact only (less than 15 consecutive minutes and more than six feet).

We are asking every member of the ISU campus community to wear a mask, stay six feet away from others, wash your hands frequently, and stay home if you are sick. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should avoid contact with others for 10 days after your last contact with an infected individual, check your temperature at least daily, watch for symptoms of COVID-19, and, if possible, stay away from people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. Follow up promptly with your medical provider or Thielen Student Health Center 515-294-5801 if any symptoms develop. If you feel you need to be tested, you can complete the Iowa State University Pre-Testing Questionnaire.

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.

Cleaning Information

  1. Direct all requests for service as follows:
    • Campus (Facilities Planning and Management): 515-294-5100
    • Department of Residence: 515-294-3322 during business hours or contact Community Advisor On Duty (CAOD) after business hours
  2. Do not contact your building custodian.

Iowa State University has a long, successful history of working safely with infectious and biohazardous materials. Concerns regarding the coronavirus and disease (COVID-19), have afforded a basic review of effective cleaning and disinfection procedures in the laboratory setting. The ISU Biosafety Manual is a key campus resource for the safe use of biohazardous materials and provides useful guidance on cleaning and disinfection procedures in the laboratory environment. More information is available in a document outlining cleaning and disinfection procedures for COVID-19 in laboratory settings.

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. Appropriate cleaning products are available through ISU Central Stores.

In general:

  • Common areas, including corridors, atriums, stairwells, and elevators will be fully cleaned once a week. Frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, drinking fountains, stairwell railings and elevator buttons will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected every day.
  • Instructional spaces, including classrooms, auditoriums, teaching laboratories, open laboratories, and seminar rooms will be cleaned and disinfected every day.
  • High-use areas in the Parks Library will be cleaned and disinfected twice each day.

Yes. Cleaning information is available in a document outlining cleaning and disinfection procedures for all employees—personal and shared use areas.

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

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

Always follow the manufacturers guidelines for cleaning electronic equipment to avoid potential damage and to not void the warranty. When possible, power off or unplug equipment or accessories to be cleaned. Sanitize the equipment using a disinfectant wipe or a soft linen-free cloth dipped in isopropyl alcohol, do not spray any liquid directly on electronics. Clean the contact areas and be careful not to soak the item you are cleaning to avoid permanent damage. If available use disposable gloves while cleaning equipment and always use proper hand-washing techniques after cleaning.