COVID-19 Updates

University of Dubuque is closely monitoring and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is following guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and other national, state, and local agencies. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our UD family both on campus and at our LIFE sites.

View Moving Forward with Your Education, UD's Ongoing Response to COVID-19

  • University of Dubuque will continue with its regular academic calendar for spring 2021.
  • Spring 2021 classes will be offered in the same format as fall 2020 with in-person/synchronous and remote/synchronous attendance options that depend on students’ particular situations.
  • Main campus and LIFE sites are open; however, some buildings and offices may still have limited access with safety protocols in place. Please call ahead prior to visiting.
  • Face coverings are required in all campus buildings. If you are not wearing a face covering, you will be asked to leave the building.
  • All students are required to complete the COVID-19 Health Assessment (via DocuSign), which will be sent to their university email after January 1, 2021, before returning for spring semester.
  • Significant developments will be shared via email that are important to the safety and well-being of our campus community.
  • For COVID-19 questions, contact Amy Edmonds, coordinator of university safety and awareness, at 563.589.3642 or

Athletic Facility Protocols During NCAA Competitions
January 7, 2021

Dear University of Dubuque Community and Parents,

The Department of Athletics is committed to the safety our student-athletes, the campus community, and spectators as we welcome you in preparation for Spartan Athletics for the winter and spring seasons, beginning Sunday, January 9.

At this time, with guidance from the NCAA, American Rivers Conference, as well as health officials, UD has implemented the following health and safety protocols for spectators in the following facilities during athletic competitions. Note that these guidelines are subject to change at any time.

Stoltz Sports Center (Jon Davison Court)
Spectators will be limited to two people for each student-athlete, coach, or staff member. The spectator list is submitted by the teams competing only and spectators will need to check in at the entrance to confirm names on the pass list. Seating will be designated. All UD athletic facilities are closed to the general public and if your name is not on the pass list, you will not be allowed to stay for the competition. During basketball doubleheaders, Stoltz Sports Center will be cleared after the first game for cleaning before spectators will be allowed inside for the second contest.

Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center
Due to the volume of participants and lack of adequately spaced viewing areas, no spectators will be permitted at this time for any NCAA athletic events. 

Face coverings are required at all times while inside campus buildings and social distancing guidelines are required unless you are members of the same household. Anyone not following these guidelines will be asked to leave the facility.

Your patience and cooperation is greatly appreciated and we welcome you to Spartan Athletics!

Dan Runkle
Director of Athletics

Updated COVID-19 Quarantine Options
December 7, 2020

Dear University of Dubuque Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Iowa Department of Public Health have provided additional options to shorten the length of quarantine in some situations. Under the new options, quarantine may end:

  1. After 10 days without a COVID-19 test AND if the person has experienced NO symptoms during the 10-day period.
  2. After 7 days with a negative COVID-19 test conducted no earlier than Day 5 from the last exposure AND if the person has experienced NO symptoms during the 7-day period.

The best way to protect yourself and others is to stay home for 14 days if you think you’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.

To work through quarantine options, main campus students must contact the Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center at 563.589.3360 or and student-athletes must contact Erin Barsema, athletics health care administrator, at 563.589.3857 or Main campus faculty and staff must contact Julie MacTaggart at 563.589.3619 or Students, instructors, and staff at LIFE sites can find a list of who to contact here.

If you are following one of the additional quarantine options listed above, continue to watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure. If you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your health care provider and your UD contact, listed here.

Quarantine is used to keep people who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others.

Isolation is used to separate people infected with the COVID-19 virus from those who are not infected. CDC guidance continues to state that individuals should stay in isolation for 10 days since symptoms first appeared and be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.

We all play a role in helping to maintain our campus community’s health and well-being. Please remember to follow the UD Mantra: Practice common sense – good hygiene, social distancing, and wear a face covering for yourself and for others.

Also, continue to check your temperature and evaluate for signs or symptoms of COVID-19 daily before coming to campus or leaving your residence hall. If your temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher, stay home or in your residence hall. Consult your health care provider and contact the appropriate person on campus. Click here for a reminder on who to contact.

Visit for more information on UD’s response to the pandemic.

Thank you for your cooperation,

Office of Safety and Security
Smith Hall, First Floor


Campus COVID-19 Plan for Operation Update
November 5, 2020

Dear Members of the University of Dubuque Family, 

I trust that all of you continue to do well.  This has been a trying semester but, with patience, adaptability, and ample amounts of forgiveness, we are doing remarkably well.  I am proud of our University community and sincerely grateful for the efforts of our students, our faculty, our staff, and our administrative team.

Spring Semester Plans
University of Dubuque will continue with its regular academic calendar as we have since day one of this academic year.  I realize that many of you may have siblings, friends, or colleagues who belong to educational organizations that have elected to compress or change academic calendars and may even be wavering on their commitments for a face-to-face spring semester.  University of Dubuque does not fall into that camp.  Rather, we will continue to function using our COVID-19 operational protocols (including good hygiene, physical distancing, and wearing a face covering for yourself and for others) and our synchronous model of content delivery.  We believe that students learn best in a face-to-face environment and that our brains require healthy social interaction.  We will also continue our physical distancing protocols for classroom learning and it is our intention to be in a full face-to-face format again once it is safe to do so.

As a reminder, here are some operational protocols designed to keep our campus safer and to demonstrate our care and respect for the more vulnerable members of our University family:

  • UD Mantra No. 1: Practice common sense - good hygiene, physical distancing, and wear a face covering for yourself and for others.
  • Face Coverings: Required in classrooms and lab spaces. Also wear face coverings in all buildings including residence halls. Generally, the campus community is doing an excellent job wearing face coverings.
  • Temperature Checks: Continue to check your temperature daily before coming to campus or leaving your residence hall for the day. If your temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher, stay home or in your residence hall.
  • Fitness Facilities: Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center’s fitness facilities are only open for use by UD faculty, staff, and students with strict precautions including wearing a face covering and practicing physical distancing.
  • LIFE sites: Our team is managing our sites in Dubuque, Iowa; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Tempe, Arizona; and Meridian, Idaho. We are grateful to provide an opportunity for working adults to return to complete their degrees.
  • UD Mantra No. 2: Adaptability, Patience, and Forgiveness.

COVID-19 Testing
The University will continue to offer weekly COVID-19 testing for UD faculty, staff, and students every Monday on campus as well as COVID-19 testing for students Tuesday through Friday at the Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center. I am convinced that the good efforts of our students, faculty, and staff in following our COVID-19 operational protocols is one of the reasons we have been able to contain our positive infection rate to between 1.5% to 3%. I realize that extended periods of isolation (positive cases) and quarantine (those who’ve been exposed to positive cases) creates its own set of challenges. Know that we are doing everything we can to accommodate each of you and, please, do not be hesitant to reach out if you have needs that are not being met. Because of each of your efforts, the University and each of its LIFE sites are one of the safest spaces in our respective communities.

On another front, thanks to the Student Government Association, the Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center was able to administer 100 flu shots to our students. We strongly recommend for those who haven’t received flu shots this year to consider getting one through their health care provider or Hartig Drug in Dubuque. It is our intention to have more flu shots available for students next year. We have also filled out the necessary paperwork to be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when that becomes available.

Health Reminders
Since opening in September, the Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center has provided assistance for over 500 students in the areas of physical and brain health treatment. As we enter flu season, I encourage each of you to monitor your health and, as this pandemic continues, I especially want to remind you to monitor your brain health. Extended periods of isolation, combined with the uncertainty created by this pandemic, a contentious election, and general weariness can trigger challenges with anxiety, depression, and other brain health conditions. Please understand that you are not in this alone, and reach out to the Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center at 563.589.3360 or for support.

University Reminders
We estimate that 100 to 150 students will remain on campus through the Thanksgiving Recess. Though housing costs and meals during this timeframe are not covered in room and board fees, the University is making plans to accommodate all students who remain on campus - at no additional cost. My expectation is that each resident will continue to follow our COVID-19 operational protocols. It’s also our intention to find a way to provide a traditional Thanksgiving celebration.

As a reminder, Thanksgiving Recess is Monday, November 23, through Friday, November 27, with the University and its LIFE sites closed November 25 to November 27. The Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center will remain accessible for students in need of services and can be reached at 563.589.3360. Food service will also be available during the recess.

Several of our students will be celebrating mid-year Commencements. The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Commencement will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, December 11, in Blades Chapel. The December 2020 Commencement Ceremonies for our undergraduate and graduate students will be held at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Thursday, December 17, in John and Alice Butler Hall. Graduates will be notified of their designated ceremony via an email from Tickets are required to attend these celebrations. Physical distancing and face coverings are required for everyone in attendance at these celebrations.

Campus Projects
We were so fortunate to be able to dedicate the new Peter and Susan Smith Welcome Center and the Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center on a beautiful October day. Both additions to our campus continue to be busy and active. 

The installation of Opus 97 (John and Alice Butler Pipe Organ) continues in Butler Hall. The new organ will be premiered during our December 2020 Commencement Ceremonies, which will be streamed live at and

The newly renovated Alumni Common, formerly known as the Quad, is nearing completion and looks absolutely beautiful. Additionally, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial is being expanded and, when completed, will host the Vietnam Memorial as well as the names of subsequent alumni who have given their lives in service to our country.

Final Thoughts
I was privileged to have been invited to lead the worship service at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dubuque on All Saints Day, Sunday, November 1. My sermon was grounded in a very strange passage of scripture from the Book of Revelation which, as some of you know, is full of wild, apocalyptic language and imagery. The passage I focused on also features a great, diverse multitude “…that no one can count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages.”  This great gathering is comprised of those that have come through what Revelation refers to as the great Tribulation (or Ordeal) and, historically, may refer to those individuals that suffered at the hands of Nero and six other emperors to Domitian and, by extension, all of those who have since suffered. 

One of the things that fascinated me about this passage was the author’s emphasis on the magnificent diversity of God’s created humanity - from every nation and all tribes and peoples and languages. Sometimes we forget that fact; that is, God is the creator of the beautiful complexity that is humanity. But there was another feature that struck me about this passage. That is, the universality of suffering perpetrated upon humankind. In other words, brutality does not discriminate.

We in our country have come through our own tribulation. Christians are not being crucified alongside the roads leading to Rome, but there is suffering, pain, and even hopelessness that is part of everyday existence for our brother and sister citizens. Some citizens are suffering from extreme isolation and loneliness. Others are suffering with poverty and extremely dim prospects for a healthy future. Some endure unimaginable indignities or suffer from being ostracized for their faith, relationships, or commitments. Sometimes, especially in times like these, it’s incumbent upon each of us to set aside our politics, our differences, and our opinions and ask this question: What does love require us to do in this situation?

It is my sincere hope and prayer that, at the University of Dubuque, this question is considered as we study economics, history, sociology, theology, aviation, human anatomy, political science, and more for, indeed, love requires us to do. Sometimes that doing requires sacrifice on our parts, and other times it might be as profound as holding the hand of a dying person. And still other times love may require just listening, and not responding with an opinion. But in all cases it seems, we can’t go wrong if we remember to love and to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly - with God.” 

Wishing you an early Happy Thanksgiving,

Rev. Jeffrey F. Bullock, PhD
President of the University