Campus coronavirus roundup, 12.7.20: After the break, a mixed bag

Coming out of Thanksgiving break, Idaho’s campus coronavirus numbers are a mixed bag.

Not surprisingly, three of Idaho’s public four-year institutions reported sharp decreases in case numbers, as the schools finish the fall semester online.

But at Boise State University, case numbers climbed after the Thanksgiving holiday — even with students working online. But even those numbers are mixed. Boise State reported 76 new cases last week. For the final three weeks of face-to-face instruction, that number averaged 104 cases per week.

Here’s this week’s campus roundup. 

Increasing rapidly (more than 100 percent) 

North Idaho College. Twenty-four students and seven employees self-reported a positive test for the week ending Saturday, compared to 10 self-reported cases during holiday week. Since July, 194 students and employees have reported a positive test. 

Increasing

Boise State University. Coming out of the break, Boise State reported 76 cases for the week ending Thursday, up from 49 cases the previous week.

However, test positivity rates dropped to 2.2 percent, compared to 3.4 percent the previous week.

Thirty-nine new cases involved students living off campus, 10 cases involved students living on campus and 27 involved employees.

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

College of Southern Idaho. Thirteen cases for the week ending Thursday, up from eight cases the preceding week. Ten of the new cases involved students; 11 were tied to CSI’s Twin Falls campus.

College of Eastern Idaho. Ten self-reported student cases and seven staff cases last week, compared to 10 cases reported from Nov. 14 to 27. Since Aug. 24, the college has reported a total of 131 cases involving students and employees.

BYU-Idaho. A slight increase: BYU-Idaho Sunday reported 45 active student cases and seven active employee cases, compared to a total of 50 active cases on Nov. 29.

Northwest Nazarene University. Ten new cases last week, six involving students living on campus. NNU reported six new cases during Thanksgiving week. In all, NNU is reporting 11 active cases, and 77 students and employees under stay-at-home directives.

Decreasing

University of Idaho. A sharp decrease: The U of I reported 22 cases for the seven-day period ending Nov. 27, down from 60 cases the preceding week.

However, the positive test rate remained at 5.5 percent. U of I officials downplayed the relatively high rate. The week’s sample included symptomatic and close contact testing, and students or employees who sought out tests because they thought they might have been exposed to the virus.

Idaho State University. Here as well, a sharp decrease: ISU reported only 25 probable and confirmed cases for a seven-day period ending Tuesday, compared to 61 cases the previous week. Nineteen of the new cases involve students, and 23 occurred on the Pocatello campus.

ISU identified only one case cluster for the week: two cases in the College of Arts and Letters.

Lewis-Clark State College. Only three active cases reported Friday, compared to 16 cases the previous week. The college has reported 136 confirmed cases since Aug. 24. No students were in isolation last week.

Flat

The College of Idaho. Two new positive tests reported Friday, unchanged from the previous week. No students were in isolation on campus, and one person was in isolation off campus. C of I has reported 81 positive COVID-19 tests for the semester.

On Nov. 20, co-presidents Doug Brigham and Jim Everett said C of I will continue online and hybrid instruction for spring semester. Students will not be required to live on campus.

College of Western Idaho. No report.

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

 

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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