Campus coronavirus cases creep upward, positive case rates stay low

Coronavirus case numbers increased last week on several of Idaho’s largest college and university campuses.

But several schools reported positive test rates well below the statewide average of 11.4 percent. Last week, for example, Lewis-Clark State College reported only two positive results out of 413 tests, a positivity rate of less than 0.5 percent.

“This is a testament to the exceptional commitment and care of our students, and to their sincere desire to continue face-to-face learning opportunities,” Lewis-Clark President Cynthia Pemberton said.

Here’s this week’s campus coronavirus case roundup.


Boise State University. Numbers increased across all metrics.

The university tallied 75 campus cases for the seven-day period ending Thursday, up from 45 cases the previous week. Fifty-one cases involved students who live off campus, 16 involved students living on campus and six cases involved faculty and staff.

In all, 2.2 percent of campus coronavirus tests came back positive, up from 1.3 percent the previous week.

Fifteen of Boise State’s 153 isolation beds were occupied, up from eight the previous week.

Face-to-face instruction resumed at Boise State last week, after an opening week of online classes.

Idaho State University. Seventy-one cases for a seven-day period ending Tuesday, up from 44 cases the previous week. In all, 56 cases involve students, and 59 occurred on the Pocatello campus. ISU was investigating five case clusters: two connected to off-campus households, two within the athletics department, and a fifth in the College of Technology.

University of Idaho. The U of I reported 61 positive test results for the week ending Jan. 15, up from 32 positive test results the previous week.

The university’s positive test rate remained at 1.8 percent. Mass testing is continuing, as spring classes begin on campus.

Lewis-Clark State College. Seven cases were active as of Friday, up from four cases the previous week. Five of the active cases involve students on the Lewiston campus, two involve faculty or staff. One student was in isolation.

College of Eastern Idaho. Four cases reported last week, two involving students and two involving employees or staff. CEI reported one case the previous week, and has reported a total of 156 cases since August.

College of Southern Idaho. Case numbers increased but remain far below fall case numbers. CSI reported three cases for the week ending Thursday, up from two cases the previous week. All three cases involve students on the Twin Falls campus.


BYU-Idaho. As of Sunday, BYU-Idaho reported 24 active student cases and two active cases involving an employee, down from a total of 72 active cases on Jan. 17.

North Idaho College. Eight students and one employee self-reported a positive test last week, compared to 14 self-reported cases the previous week. Since July, 271 students and employees have reported a positive test.

Northwest Nazarene University. Four cases reported last week, down from eight cases the previous week. Three of the four cases involve students; the fourth involves an employee. NNU is tracking eight active cases.

The College of Idaho. Three new positive tests reported last week, compared to eight cases reported from Dec. 21 through Jan. 17. One person is in campus isolation housing. For the school year, C of I has reported 95 positive test results.


College of Western Idaho. CWI reports six positive cases so far this month.

Check Kevin Richert’s blog each Friday for a weekly roundup of statewide coronavirus trends.

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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