HR & Employee Health
Modified on 9/13/2023 at 09:28am

Resources, guidance, and policies for faculty and staff on what to do if you feel sick and wellness and prevention.

This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services. All information is meant for use by health care workers and not the general public. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. No physician-patient relationship is created by this web site or its use. Neither the University of Iowa nor its employees, nor any contributor to this web site, makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided herein or to its use.

Employee health - COVID-19 questions

If you are concerned about symptoms:
Updated on 09/19/2023 at 1:19 pm

If employees are concerned about having symptoms of COVID-19, they can use the MyChart self-checker to schedule a COVID-19 test. Employees will answer a set of questions to find testing options and locations.

COVID-19 symptoms may include:

  • Fever of 100.0 F or greater
  • New/worsening sore throat
  • New/worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • New/worsening congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste and/or smell
  • New/worsening GI symptoms

See below for what to do if you are exposed to COVID-19 or feel unwell.

What is a high-risk exposure?
Updated on 09/11/2023 at 3:31 pm

High-risk exposure criteria

At work, high-risk exposure is: 

  • When an employee at work is within 6 feet of a lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive person and exposed for 15 minutes or more (cumulative minutes over the course of 24 consecutive hours) AND: 
    • The employee is not wearing a respirator or face mask (regardless of PPE worn by the infected person) 
      • OR 
    • The COVID-19 positive person is not wearing a mask AND the employee is not wearing both a face mask and eye protection. 

Exposure criteria at work 

Exposure  PPE used 
Employee who had high-risk close contact with a patient, visitor, or health care worker with confirmed COVID-19 
  • Employee not wearing a respirator or facemask. 
  • Employee not wearing eye protection if the source person is not wearing a face mask (cloth or medical grade). 
  • Employee not wearing all recommended PPE (i.e., gown, gloves, eye protection, respirator) while performing an aerosol-generating procedure. 

Outside of work, high-risk exposure is: 

  • When an employee is exposed for 15 minutes or more and within 6 feet of a lab confirmed COVID-19 positive person (regardless of mask use) 

Exposure criteria in the community 

Exposure for employees who had high-risk contact with a person with laboratory confirmed COVID-19  Comments 
Household   It is considered a high-risk exposure if COVID-19 positive household member is unable to isolate at home (including use of a shared bathroom).
Community  It is considered a high-risk exposure if longer than 15 minutes within 6 feet, regardless of mask wearing. 


What to do if you had high-risk exposure at work or outside of work
Updated on 09/25/2023 at 5:33 pm

Note: Guidelines are updated frequently to remain up to date with current guidance. For questions about employee exposure guidelines, please call the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631.

Guidance for employees with a high-risk exposure

Employees—regardless of vaccination status—who experience a high-risk exposure to a person with lab-confirmed COVID-19 do not need to be placed on work restrictions

  • Consider testing if you become symptomatic, even if symptoms are minor (e.g., stuffy nose)
    • If you don’t have symptoms but want to test, CDC recommends testing at least 5 full days after last exposure. Last exposure is day 0.
  • Use the MyChart Self-Checker for guidance on testing
  • Wear a mask for ten days after exposure to a COVID-positive person
  • Do not report to work when ill or if testing positive for COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever of 100.0 F or greater
  • New/worsening sore throat
  • New/worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • New/worsening congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste and/or smell
  • New/worsening GI symptoms
If you are tested for COVID-19:
Updated on 09/19/2023 at 1:19 pm
  • Please notify your supervisor or HR representative.
  • Stay home and isolate from others in your household until you have your test results.
If you tested positive for COVID-19:
Updated on 09/19/2023 at 1:19 pm
  • Please notify your supervisor or HR representative.
  • Stay home and isolate from others in your household.
  • Stay in isolation for five days after you first developed symptoms or five days after a positive test if you were asymptomatic. For example, if your test was performed after three days of symptoms, you would count the days preceding the test as part of your isolation period, and you would need to isolate for another two days.
  • You can return to work on day six, wearing a medical-grade (i.e., non-cloth) mask at all times when around others, for the next five days, if you meet all the following criteria:
    • At least five days since the start of symptoms (or the date of a positive test, if asymptomatic).
    • No fever for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medications.
    • Asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic with resolving symptoms. Mild symptoms include:
      • Scratchy throat
      • Resolving cough
      • Mild headache
  • If you have more severe symptoms (e.g., fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, moderate to severe headache, muscle aches, chills, gastrointestinal upset), you need to stay out of work until those symptoms are resolved/improving.
  • Please contact UEHC (319-356-3631, option 3) with any questions or concerns.
If you tested negative for COVID-19:
Updated on 09/12/2023 at 10:48 am
  • If you were tested because you have symptoms that might have been COVID-19 and your test was negative, you may return to work once you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine AND you have no other new respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath).
  • If you are symptomatic and test negative on a home antigen test, this could be a false negative. A test performed in one of UI Health Care’s clinics is a PCR-based test and is more reliable. If you are unsure of your test result, it is recommended that you test with a PCR-based test or repeat testing 48 hours later.
Will I find out if any of my coworkers have tested positive for COVID-19?
Updated on 09/11/2023 at 3:31 pm

To protect the privacy of our employees, we will not directly inform fellow employees when a member of their team has tested positive for COVID-19. In these cases, employees are also patients, so in order to follow HIPAA regulations, managers should not share test results of one of their employees with other coworkers.

Managers should follow their usual practices for informing other employees when a coworker is out: Some variation of, “They are home today,” is all that needs to be said, whether they are home from COVID-19, a migraine, or the flu.

Information about what constitutes a high-risk exposure is available on The Loop.

Employees experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness should use the MyChart self-checker to determine next steps, including COVID-19 testing. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should inform your supervisor of your need to remain out of the workplace until you have recovered.

1910.134 App D – (Mandatory) Information for Employees Using Respirators When not Required Under Standard. | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (

COVID-19: Employee leave

If I become infected with COVID-19 am I entitled to protected leave under FMLA?

It depends, but typically no. The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for eligible employees with a serious health condition. A “serious health condition” is defined as an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves “inpatient care . . . or continuing treatment by a health care provider.” Many individuals who contract COVID-19 suffer mild symptoms and will therefore not likely be covered by the FMLA, as this would not rise to the level of a “serious health condition.” However, individualized assessment of the circumstances surrounding each case will be performed.

May I use FMLA to care for a family member that contracts COVID-19?

Similar to situations with employees who contract COVID-19 themselves, and as discussed above, whether an employee can use FMLA to care for a parent, child or spouse if that person has a serious health condition will depend in part on the severity of the person’s illness and their treatment plan.

Does Worker's Comp apply to COVID-19?

If an employee believes that in the course of their work they have been exposed to COVID-19, the employee should complete a First Report of Injury for the exposure. If they are unable to file themselves, their supervisor or designee can file on their behalf. The First Report of Injury is located on the UI Self Service portal under Benefits & Wellness, Worker’s Compensation, First Report of Injury. The departmental HR representative will also be able to assist.

Mental health resources

UI Employee Assistance Program

The UI Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers confidential counseling, information, and referral by licensed mental health professionals. The program serves faculty, staff, and their families. To schedule an appointment, please call 319-335-2085 or email More information is available on their website.


The COPE Team can provide emotional support to staff who have had a work-related experience that might challenge their capacity to cope. The team consists of chaplains, social workers, psychiatric nurses, physicians, nurse ethicists, and representatives from the Employee Assistance Program. You can contact COPE at or page 7080, or visit the COPE Team SharePoint site.

Blind Spots Reporting System

Blind Spots Reporting System

The Blind Spots Reporting System allows faculty and staff to voice their concerns, issues, or day-to-day irritants.

After the report is filed, a CMO team member will manage the tickets: assigning them to someone on senior leadership, tracking them, and ensuring the end user receives updates or any conclusions from the system’s email in a timely manner.


Guide to working remotely
Updated on 04/13/2020 at 8:00 am

How do I access The Point and other systems from home?

Health Care Information Systems has a variety of remote access solutions available to UI Health Care faculty and staff. The appropriate solution for you depends on what systems you need access to. This document is meant to help you identify the right solution for your needs and provide guidance how to request access to that solution.

The solutions offered for remote access are in order of preference and ease of deployment.

Citrix Remote Access

All UI Health Care faculty and staff already have access to a core set of systems via Citrix Remote Access. At a minimum, the following systems are available to you:

Adobe Acrobat 2017 Calculator Mail Control panel Google Chrome Internet Explorer
Network Drives (H:, S:, etc.) Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft Word Microsoft Outlook Safety Incident Reporting Electronic Death Certification ELMS Remote
ELMS Remote Scheduling ICON Micromedex – New My Compliance Tableau – New
TempTrak The Point UIHC SmartWeb UpToDate Voalte Messenger

You may have other systems available to you based on your role. For example, faculty and staff with access to Epic in the hospital automatically have access to Epic via Citrix Remote Access.

Citrix Remote Access is the preferred method for accessing UI Health Care systems. It provides a secure connection to our systems and does not require any special hardware on your end. However, not all systems can be accessed by Citrix Remote Access. The easiest thing to do is to review what applications are available to you and determine if this meets your needs.

How do I use Citrix Remote Access?

If you have a HealthCareID, you already have access. Citrix Remote Access can be accessed by your UI Health Care computer with an Internet connection and a web browser by visiting

See our handout on Citrix Remote Access for more information.

What are the limitations of Citrix Remote Access?

Citrix Remote Access is easily deployed and HCIS is well positioned to support your use of it. However, if you require access to systems and applications not currently available through Citrix Remote Access, an alternative solution may be more appropriate.

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) via Citrix

If you have tools on your UI Health Care workstation that are not available through Citrix Remote Access, you may be a candidate for RDP via Citrix. This solution allows you to connect to your workstation on your desk from a computer with an Internet connection. It relies on the same technology as Citrix Remote Access but requires you know your workstation ID (aka M number). However, you must be specially granted access to this solution.

How do I use RDP via Citrix?

Accessing RDP via Citrix is the same as Citrix Remote Access as it relies on the same infrastructure. You will need to make sure your workstation in UIHC is powered on and logged in.

See our handout on Use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) via Citrix for more information.

What are the limitations of RDP via Citrix?

As noted above, you are actually connecting to your UI Health Care workstation on your desk from another computer. This assumes you have a dedicated workstation and are not using a shared workstation. This could require you to come on site to your desk in the event of the PC powering off or if the system hangs. In the event this occurs, any specialized systems you access through RDP via Citrix would not be available until you come back to your desk. Applications available through Citrix Remote Access will continue to be available.

Given the architecture of this solution, not all applications will perform like they do when running locally due to bandwidth limitations between the hospital and your home computer. Items such as video and image quality may be degraded and not appropriate for clinical decision making.

How do I request access to RDP via Citrix

Requests for RDP via Citrix will be reviewed and validated for appropriateness.

See our handout on Request RDP Access via Citrix for more information.

It will be mandatory that you provide a justifiable reason for requesting RDP via Citrix to services that are unable to be provided via Citrix.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

If Citrix Remote Access and RDP Via Citrix do not meet your work requirements for your workstation managed by UI Health Care, you can be provided Virtual Private Network (VPN) software for your workstation. The VPN software makes your computer function as though it is on the UI Health Care network. This allows you to continue to connect to network drives and other applications you may need access to.

How do I use VPN

Please see our handout on Use VPN for Remote Access for more information.

What are the limitations of a VPN?

The VPN client can only be installed on a Windows or Mac computer managed by HCIS. For the protection of the institution, university security policy only allows the software to be installed on university equipment. Additionally, access via the VPN is not protected by multi-factor authentication (e.g. Duo) which provides additional security to other remote access methods. Lastly, specialized systems may require the creation of specialized VPN profiles by HCIS. Creation and testing of these profiles may be time consuming and may result in delayed access to these services.

How do I request a VPN?

Requests for VPNs will be reviewed and validated for appropriateness. Please contact the HCIS Help Desk at 319-356-0001 or email a request to with “VPN Request” in the subject line.

It will be mandatory that you provide a justifiable reason for requesting VPN access to services that are unable to be provided via Citrix or RDP via Citrix.

Installing Skype for Business

Skype for Business is a communication tool that allows our interactions to be more collaborative, engaging, and accessible from anywhere.

See our handout on Installing Skype for Business to learn how to install and configure Microsoft Skype for Business.

Remote working documentation available from the ESC Self Service Portal
Updated on 04/22/2020 at 8:43 am

Technical documentation to support remote/off-site working is now available from the HCIS Help Desk, ESC Self Service Portal. This web site is available from any location, on or off the UI Health Care network, and will prompt for your HealthCare credentials to access the information. The documents provided are to assist in connecting to Citrix, Skype, and Outlook to support daily work as well as assistance in supporting mobile devices and other applications. The ESC Self Service Portal and documentation can be viewed using the following instructions:

  1. Open an internet browser and go to:
  2. Select “Login” from the upper right corner.
  3. Enter your HealthCareID and password.
  4. Select the “Knowledge” link from the upper menu.
  5. This will provide a list of the Most Popular Knowledge articles and a location to use for keyword searching of all articles. 
  6. Once in the article, you have an option to like the article, add a comment about the particular article or share the article with others via email.
How to use Skype Enterprise Voice to call patients and colleagues on your computer or cell phone

Skype Enterprise Voice enables healthcare employees to perform the following types of outbound calling from their computer/laptop:

·         Local (to the greater Iowa City area)

·         Long distance (with a valid long-distance access code)

·         5-digits to another UI extension

·         Skype peer-to-peer call

The recipient of the call will see the generic hospital number of (319) 338-2111. This is the number many patients have come to recognize as an incoming call from UI Health Care.

Users will not be able to receive external inbound calls on the enterprise voice solution.

Skype Enterprise Voice mobile is also available for outbound calling. View directions below on how to download and use the latest app on your phone. 

View directions for use on computer (pages 1-3) and/or phone

Reset your password without calling the Help Desk

Password troubles? You can reset it yourself without calling the Help Desk. Just visit, anytime, anywhere.

Top 10 data security considerations when working remotely

The following points are to help you make sure confidential data is protected when you are working from a remote location, such as home.

  1. Remember that you have a responsibility to protect the confidentiality of all data that you use and have access to. For patient data, HIPAA guidelines apply to data being access from UIHC or remotely. It is critically important that confidentiality and security of data be maintained.
  2. If you are using work-provided computer at home—work computers are intended for business and may not be shared with others, including family members. Be sure to notify the Help Desk if you suspect updates to your work computer are not getting applied, or if you have any other cybersecurity concerns.
  3. Do not use unsecured, public wifi (such as in restaurants, coffee shops, etc.) unless you are using a secure VPN or Citrix session. When using home wifi, make sure your home wifi is secured with a strong password (greater than 10 characters, mixed upper and lower case, numeric and symbols) and strong encryption. For the encryption type, use WPA2. There are different types of WPA2, all are fine. Make sure you keep your home wi-fi software up to date, even if you are simply using your home computer to check your UIHC email.
  4. Be very careful when clicking links—even more careful than when working onsite at UIHC or UIowa. Be aware of URLs and website addresses when accessing sites on the internet. Do not visit sites you wouldn’t browse during the normal course of your work.  We have specific protection mechanisms in place within the UIHC environment to protect against “known bad” sites—those protections don’t extend to your home network.  Use more caution when working from home or when connecting to UIHC network.
  5. Make sure patient and sensitive data is only being stored only on approved storage locations.
  6. When you are not using your computer, disconnect it from the network and/or shut it down. This prevents attacks and data loss, as well as unauthorized access by people who may share your space when working from home.
  7. Do not use random thumb drives. Loading thumb drives with viruses or other malware is a common problem. If you have a thumb drive but don’t know where it came from, DO NOT use it.
  8. Protect remote devices against theft. Don’t leave a laptop or cell phone in your car, even if the car is locked the devices should not be accessible.  Keep laptops secured at all times.
  9. Use the PUSH feature when using DUO 2-factor for authentication. Using the telephone call feature costs UIHC “telephony credits” which UIHC pays for in a metered fashion. The PUSH costs UIHC nothing additional.
  10. Review messages being sent in email to ensure that you are sending to the correct recipient.  Working on a laptop, keyboards might not respond the same way as your desktop keyboard.

Additional information can be found at:

For questions, please contact the Information Security and Policy Office at UI Information Security Office (