Frequently Asked Questions



General FAQ

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.

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in places where social/physical distancing is difficult to maintain. 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 your face covering helps protect those around you. Their face coverings help protect you.

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.

Iowa State follows protocols established by the Iowa Department of Public Health for isolation and treatment of the patient, and to the extent possible, will identify anyone who had contact with the patient and may need to self-isolate.

The university notified Iowa State students, faculty and staff following the first confirmed case in May. A campus message will not be sent for every confirmed COVID-19 case among the Iowa State community. Confirmed cases are reported on

ISU is in daily contact with our partners at Mary Greeley Medical Center and the Iowa Department of Public Health. For confirmed cases 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.

A message was sent to the campus community following the first confirmed case in May. Notifications will not be sent for every confirmed case. If you are sick stay home and take the appropriate actions to self-identify and self-isolate.

International Business travel

In accordance with Board of Regents policy, all foreign travel by faculty, staff, and students for university purposes is prohibited, regardless of whether the travel would have been funded by the university or other sources.

The Board of Regents is extending the 30-day international travel ban by 7 days each Monday until conditions improve.

Domestic Business travel

Travel within Iowa and the U.S. for university business is allowed, but must be pre-approved by the employee’s direct supervisor. Travelers should follow CDC guidance. Approval should be granted if in the supervisor’s view the travel is appropriate pursuant to the guidance below and other university policy. The request and approval should be documented and can be done through e-mail.  

The university strongly recommends decisions are made to minimize travel, consistent with our goal of taking reasonable actions to reduce transmission risk. Some factors to consider when evaluating 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/physical distancing (e.g. sitting at least six feet apart). 

Travelers are encouraged to review travel restrictions they may encounter upon arrival at their destination. Please check the state and territorial health department websites for the latest information. 

Personal travel

There are no university rules restricting travel by faculty, staff, and students for personal reasons. It is important to note that, aside from incidental university business such as checking email and making phone calls, university business may not be conducted while traveling out of state or internationally for personal reasons. Faculty, staff, and students who travel out of state or internationally should be aware that they may have isolation or other restrictions imposed by other states or countries that could restrict or delay some aspects of their travel and/or their return to Iowa.

We strongly urge you to use extreme caution and judgment for personal travel. Please check the state and territorial health department websites for the latest information. 

Health and safety for all

Faculty, staff, and students who travel out-of-state or internationally for any reason are subject to the same guidelines regarding working on campus as all others. 

Faculty, Staff, and students who travel internationally may be subject to mandatory isolation orders based upon CDC guidelines and should email before returning to campus. 

No general university isolation order is in place for employees who have traveled domestically out of state. Faculty, staff, and students who travel out of state are subject to the same guidelines regarding working on campus as all others. Faculty, staff, and students who are sick or who are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 should alert their supervisors, and should not report to campus. Likewise, those who believe that they have been exposed to COVID-19, but are not symptomatic, should contact their supervisor and should not come to campus until they are cleared to do so by the university.  

While the university remains open, events and gatherings on campus have been canceled, postponed, or moved online through at least May 31.

University sponsored visits of individuals to campus are permitted only for essential university business and require advanced approval by the appropriate Senior Vice President or University President. Submit requests to Requests must demonstrate that the individual’s visit to campus is essential to university operations; that no alternative method of convening is possible; and the health and safety of Iowa State employees and the visitor will be appropriately managed.

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 through May 31 have been canceled or moved online. Spring commencement ceremonies for undergraduates, graduate students, and veterinary medicine students will be virtual events

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/physical distancing (e.g. sitting at least six feet apart).

Visitors are strongly encouraged to reconsider coming to campus. 


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

  1. Direct all requests for service as follows:
    • Campus: 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), has 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.

Yes. CDC has a webpage with recommendations on cleaning. Following CDC recommendations will also help 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

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.