COVID-19 information for CALS faculty, staff, students

The below information is the most up-to-date and available at the time of distribution and includes college-specific guidelines. Please refer to the Iowa State University COVID-19 website frequently for updated information.

On this page:

CALS Response Team

For assistance reach out to the ISU Response Team helpline at 1-800-447-1985.

Face covering requirements

Cloth face coverings are required indoors in all university buildings, and outdoors in the presence of others.

The “Cyclones Care,” social responsibility campaign encourages compliance with COVID-19 mitigation strategies on campus and in the community. This includes signage and other materials and tactics. 

Spring 2021 plans

The spring semester, including final exams, will end May 6, 2021.

If COVID-19 cases remain in check, in-person spring graduation events will take place May 7-8. Stay tuned for further details.

Fall 2021 plans

We are planning to return in-person classes, labs, studios, residence, dining, student activities, and campus events to pre-pandemic levels. Read more in this letter from President Wendy Wintersteen.

COVID-19 testing for students, faculty, staff

On-campus testing in Johnny's at Hilton Coliseum

On-campus testing for the spring semester is available in Johnny's at Hilton Coliseum (east side). Students, faculty, and staff who have symptoms or had close contact with a positive case can schedule an appointment online at Thielen Student Health Center and must complete the pre-test questionnaire. Call 515-294-5801 to schedule an appointment, or make an online appointment.

Reporting positive COVID-19 test results

It is required that all students, faculty and staff self-report using this form and self-isolate once they receive a positive COVID-19 test result. Self-reporting is a safe and confidential process and will allow ISU’s Public Health Team to provide support to those who test positive.

Visit Iowa State's Personal Health webpage for additional information about quarantine, isolation and contact tracing guidance.

Travel and Study Abroad Updates

Questions regarding travel and international visitors can be directed to CALS Associate Dean David Acker,

All study abroad programs scheduled to depart before Aug. 1, 2021, have been canceled. Questions about Study Abroad can be directed to CALS Study Abroad Program Coordinator Jodi Cornell,

Campus Events

A set of recommendations for all university events hosted at Iowa State has been posted on the COVID-19 Response events and venues page. Questions may be directed to Kurt Beyer, Risk Management,

Wellness Resources

  • If You’re Struggling - Don’t hesitate. Check the Health and Wellness links under Campus Resources on the ISU COVID-19 safety page. A new set of FAQs has been added to the ISU COVID-19 site to help manage stress and mental health concerns, and personal finance issues. See the Employees section, under General Guidelines, FAQs GG13-GG15.
  • Free virtual counselingCOVID Recovery Iowa offers free virtual counseling and assistance for all Iowans affected by COVID‑19. The Iowa Department of Human Services is partnering with Abbe Center for Community Mental Health Inc., Heartland Family Service, ISU Extension and Outreach, Pathways Behavioral Sciences and the University of Iowa to provide recovery resources.

CALS Farms Remain Functional

CALS farms are functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic, as much as possible, and are conducting essential operations while practicing social distancing. Farm superintendents and managers are available to discuss needs and processes with all farm users. Farm facilities are open for essential operations to ISU staff - group activities (tours, field days, etc.) are suspended.

COVID policies posted: All ISU farms’ locations have posted COVID-19 protocols/precautions near the farm entrances and office entry doors. The primary goal of this guidance policy is the health and safety of our individual farm staff. This set of farms includes Ag 450, Iowa Crop Improvement Association, BioCentury Research Farm, Animal Science Farms, FEEL Lab and more.

Reach out before visiting: Before traveling to ISU Research Farms across the state, please contact the farm manager. Prior knowledge of your arrival will help transport items from campus, make you aware of COVID-19 protocols and facilitate planning and coordination.

COVID-19 protocols at ISU Research Farms

Extension and Outreach

Extension and Outreach has put together a COVID-19 resources webpage with information regarding families and personal finance, Farmers Markets, food industry and food safety resources and tips for farmers.

Updates from the Office of the Vice President for Extension and Outreach can be found here.

Research Information

Find the latest announcements and guidance related to research during COVID-19 on the Office of Vice President for Research website.

Those who supervise employees, including students, in research settings should review guidance on the Employee FAQ webpage

Questions specific to CALS research continuity should be directed to CALS Senior Associate Dean Joe Colletti,, or CALS Associate Dean Manager Mark Honeyman,

Students Involved in Research

All Iowa State employees who are able to work remotely, as determined by their supervisors, are to work remotely. This directive applies to all graduate students, post-docs and undergraduate student workers. All meetings that can be virtualized should be virtualized, even one-on-one meetings with colleagues having offices or laboratories in close proximity. These actions should be taken immediately and to the maximum extent possible. 

Graduate students and research assistants should obtain specific guidance from their principal investigators, advisers, major professors and/or program directors, departments and/or the Graduate College.

CALS graduate students may submit concerns to CALS Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs Ruth MacDonald,, or CALS Senior Associate Dean Joe Colletti,