CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus in Iowa, live updates for May 23: UI institutes pilot program for phased-in return to campus

Signs are seen for vehicles entering the Kirkwood Community College Test Iowa coronavirus testing site in Cedar Rapids o
Signs are seen for vehicles entering the Kirkwood Community College Test Iowa coronavirus testing site in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, May 14, 2020. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

 

11;19 a.m. 26 additional deaths reported for coronavirus

Iowa marked a total of 444 deaths attributed to COVID-19, according to a state website Saturday morning.

9:47 A.M.: UI INSTITUTES PILOT PROGRAM FOR RETURN TO CAMPUS

University of Iowa announced plans to institute a pilot program, involving research and the Athletics Department that will test health and safety protocols as part of a phased-in return to campus.

According to Saturday’s UI news release, he first phase will begin May 26 with the Carver College of Medicine’s return. Health and safety guidelines have been established for a return to modified daily operations. The next steps, including timeline, are being developed and will be announced later.

Iowa Athletics, specifically football and both men’s and women’s basketball programs, will be among the first groups back to campus. Select coaches and staff are expected to return June 1. A portion of football players, who opt to participate in voluntary workouts, can return as early as June 8. Members of the basketball teams can start to return June 15.

All student athletes will have to pass a formal clearance process to return for voluntary practices. Procedures will follow will follow NCAA, Big Ten and campus best practices, while being supervised by UI Health Care staff.

In an attempt to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, the athletics department will adopt measures to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus as it finalizes guidelines.

Student athletes and staff will use protective equipment and hygiene, including face covers, face shields, hand-washing and hand sanitizing. Public spaces will be configured to support social distancing. Occupancy will be limited in buildings and spaces. Transportation, purchasing, package delivery and custodial services are among the operations to be revised to minimize Covid-19 exposure.

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Purchasing will provide support and advice for obtaining protective equipment, cleaning supplies and physical barriers to help decrease the spread of the disease.

The goal of the pilot program is to operationalize health and safety measures in specific settings and the implementation of best practices on a bigger scale.

During this phase, supervisors will notify Athletics Department and College of Medicine employees when to return, but there is no specific date for a campuswide return of university staff, who are currently working remotely. Administrators will instruct staff on re-establishing daily operations on campus.

FINAL CAMP EUFORIA POSTPONED TO 2021

This year was expected to be the final year of Camp Euforia, bringing the 17-year music and community festival to a close. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the three-day celebration set for July 16-18 in Lone Tree has been postponed until July 2021.

Anyone who has purchased tickets can request a refund or opt to transfer it into a donation by visiting Eventbrite.

Full details are available at the Camp Euforia website.

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Support our coverage

Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate. Your contribution will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

All donations are tax-deductible.