COVID-19 Safety Program

The University of Northern Iowa is responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, is highly infectious and can spread from person to person, including through aerosol transmission of particles produced when an infected person exhales, talks, vocalizes, sneezes or coughs. To help protect its employees, the University of Northern Iowa has implemented the multi-layered interventions outlined in this safety program.


All university employees are encouraged to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting people — especially those who are up to date — from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized and even dying.

To find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster employees can: search, text their ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233.


Isolation and Quarantine

All university employees are expected to follow quarantine and isolation guidance from the CDC or their personal healthcare provider. Employees should not report to campus or a university owned/leased worksite when they are sick or are in quarantine. Individuals who appear to have symptoms upon arrival to the workplace or who become sick during their time in the workplace should immediately be separated from other employees, students, and visitors, and sent home.

For information about leaves, employees can contact Human Resource Services.


Recording and Reporting

If an employee believes they contracted COVID-19 in the workplace, or through work activities, they should complete a First Report of Injury through Human Resource Services. EHS will ensure Iowa OSHA’s recording and reporting requirements are met.


Anxiety or Uncertainty

Employees may use their employee assistance program (EAP) benefits to help manage any anxiety or any uncertainty they are experiencing related to  COVID-19. To access EAP employees should call 1-855-784-2057. Additional information can be found on the HRS Supporting Services web page and from the CDC


Physical Distancing

Employees seeking information about the university’s ability to arrange alternate work schedules, job assignments, and teleworking should visit with HRS Workplace Accommodations Services. Employees who have a concern related to a medical condition should visit HRS Workplace Accommodations Services to initiate the interactive process in accordance with the ADA. 



The university will continue to provide masks to employees who request them at no cost. 

The university supports the voluntary use of respirators when not required if an employee has a safety concern. Employees seeking to voluntarily use a respirator should review the university’s COVID-19 Guide for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required. Free N-95 respirators for voluntary use can be found on the CDC’s page.


Hand Washing and Respiratory Etiquette

All university employees are encouraged to follow proper hand washing and respiratory etiquette to reduce the spread of infectious illnesses including COVID-19.


Cleaning and Disinfecting

Custodial teams will continue to regularly clean and disinfect university spaces. Employees should take responsibility to keep their personal workspace clean.


Ventilation Systems

The university will continue to provide adequate and well-maintained ventilation systems.


Education and Training

New employees are encouraged to complete UNI’s Slow the Spread Training which covers: 

  1. Basic facts about COVID-19, including how it is spread and the importance of physical distancing (including remote work), ventilation, vaccination, use of face coverings, and hand hygiene.
  2. Workplace policies and procedures implemented to protect workers from COVID-19 hazards.


Employee Concerns about COVID-19 Related Hazards

Employees with COVID-19 related concerns can speak with their supervisor, their respective safety committee, Joseph Rayzor (University Safety Officer, / 319-273-3189), or utilize UNI Ethics Point for confidential reporting. University policy prohibits acts of retaliation against an individual who reports workplace safety and health concerns at the University of Northern Iowa.


Other Applicable OSHA Standards & University Safety Programs

All of Iowa OSHA's standards and the university’s safety programs that apply to protecting workers from infection remain in place.

Reviewed by EHS 7/24/2023