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How Iowa's major universities are reporting COVID-19 numbers

Iowa State University, University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa have data dashboards available on their websites.

IOWA, USA — As colleges and universities open up for the fall semester, Iowa's three public universities are keeping track of COVID-19 cases on their campuses.

Drake is also keeping a close eye on their case counts, but are not publicly reporting the numbers.

Here's a brief look at what Iowa State University, University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa are offering:

Iowa State University

ISU leaders said they'll provide weekly updates on COVID-19 on their campus. The Ames-based school has already shared data for the first week of classes. 

Administrators said during the first week of classes, which was Aug. 17-23, 957 students, faculty and staff were tested on campus with a total of 130 positive cases. That comes to a positivity rate of 13.6%.

Since Aug. 1, on-campus tests have produced 915 total positives—900 students and 15 staff—and 38,447 negative tests: 31,825 among students and 6,622 staff-wide.

Last week, ISU said students would have to follow new COVID-19 policies. In a campus-wide email, ISU President Wendy Wintersteen said all on-campus and off-campus student gatherings must comply with all health orders. 

This includes wearing appropriate face coverings and limiting the size of groups to ensure six-foot social distancing.

The university plans to report updates on COVID-19 here.

Meanwhile, a new TestIowa clinic will open at the ISU Research Park in Ames Monday. The Mary Greeley Medical Center manages the site, and it'll be a drive-through clinic, Ames leaders said.

The site will be open on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., officials said. The website to take an assessment is here.

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University of Iowa

At the University of Iowa,the school has a website providing regular updates on COVID-19 at its campus. 

The Iowa City-based school is publishing self-reported, positive coronavirus tests from students, faculty and staff. 

Since Aug. 18, 1,569 students and 20 employees have tested positive.

A single new employee case and 174 new student cases have been self-reported between Sept. 4 and 7.

In addition, the website highlights the number of residence hall students in quarantine and in self-isolation. Those numbers stand at 40 and 19, respectively. 

The university defined quarantine as "to keep someone who might have been  exposed  to COVID-19 away from others"

"Self-isolation is used to separate people with the virus, (those who are  symptomatic and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected," administrators said.

To check out more of the data from Iowa, click here.

Text TRACK to 515-457-1026 to stay up to date on COVID-19 in Iowa.

University of Northern Iowa

UNI administrators in Cedar Falls unveiled a new dashboard on COVID-19 results. 

They said the data comes from tests conducted at its student health center.

The dashboard will be updated Monday and Friday, leaders said.

UNI reported between Aug. 17-Aug 27, its student health center conducted 225 tests. Of those, 62 people tested positive and 163 tested negative.

Classes started at UNI on Aug. 17.

To visit UNI's COVID-19 dashboard, click here.

Drake University

According to Drake's COVID-19 website, they believe raw case numbers can create either a false sense of confidence or undue worry, and that context has a lot of weight in ever-changing situations like these.

Students are required to immediately report any potential exposure.  

"There are 132 students in quarantine – 43 on-campus and 89 off-campus," the school said in a Monday, Sept. 14 release. "This is a material increase over the number of students in quarantine last week due, in part, to new COVID-19 cases in two off-campus Greek houses."

Additional info released Monday:

  • There are no students in on-campus isolation 
  • One on-campus student has tested positive and is isolating off-campus 
  • Twelve off-campus students have tested positive or are presumed positive 
  • There are 132 students in quarantine; 43 on-campus and 89 off-campus 
  • One out of 129 students tested positive in the first cycle of random sample testing 

The university has its own contact tracing team, and any student that has been in close contact with COVID-positive individuals must quarantine for 14 days regardless of their own test result.

For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.

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