CORONAVIRUS

University of Iowa disciplines dozens of students for violating COVID-19 guidelines

The Pentacrest on the campus of the University of Iowa including the Old Capitol Building (center), Macbride Hall (top l
The Pentacrest on the campus of the University of Iowa including the Old Capitol Building (center), Macbride Hall (top left), Jessup Hall (bottom left), Schaeffer Hall (top right), and MacLean Hall (bottom right) in an aerial photograph. (The Gazette/file photo)

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa has received scores of complaints about students violating COVID-19 guidelines, and dozens have been reprimanded or warned that subsequent violations could result in more serious sanctions, including suspension.

So far this semester, which started Aug. 24, the UI Office of Student Accountability has received 109 reports of “failure to social distance”; 106 reports of “failure to wear a face covering”; 35 reports of guest policy violations; and six reports of students failing to comply with quarantine and isolation mandates.

Not all of those students have been found in violation, with many cases still under review.

Among the 109 social-distance complaints, 12 students have been disciplined; three have been warned; 29 have been cleared; and 65 remain under review.

Of the 106 face-covering reports, 12 students have been disciplined; two have been warned; 64 have been cleared; and 28 are pending review.

Three of the 35 students accused of violating guest-policy expectations have been disciplined; one has been warned; 12 have been cleared; and 19 are pending review.

And of the six accused of failing to isolate or quarantine, two have been disciplined; one has been warned; one was cleared; and two complaints remain under review.

News of the discipline comes after students last month were seen partying at bars without masks and with little social distancing — and as the university tops 1,700 self-reported student COVID-19 cases, among the most reported by U.S. college and universities.

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The UI on Friday added another 111 student virus cases, after reporting 52 more on Wednesday and 174 on Monday. The campus also reported another two new employee cases, bringing that total to 23 since Aug. 18. The student-employee combined total is now 1,755.

Iowa State, which only updates its campus COVID-19 numbers once a week, on Monday was reporting 325 new cases among students, faculty and staff, bringing its total since Aug. 1 to 1,475, including the 175 it identified through mandatory move-in testing.

The University of Northern Iowa, which is not breaking down its numbers by students and employees, on Friday reported another 17 positive cases identified through testing at its Student Health Center, bringing that campus’ total to 132.

All three of Iowa’s public universities are weighing a slate of metrics in deciding whether to move classes online, including how much space they have in their residence halls for students who need to isolate or quarantine.

The UI on Friday was reporting 48 students are in self-isolation in its residence halls; three residence hall students are in quarantine.

Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

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