Campus coronavirus update: 9.28.20

EDITOR’S NOTE: Starting today, Idaho Education News will publish a weekly roundup of coronavirus case numbers on Idaho college campuses. Check Kevin Richert’s blog each Friday for a weekly roundup of statewide coronavirus trends.

Coronavirus case numbers are increasing on the state’s largest public and private college campuses.

And BYU-Idaho officials are warning of a possible campus shutdown.

Here are the state’s campus coronavirus trends, as reported by Idaho’s 11 public and private colleges and universities:

Increasing sharply (100 percent or greater)

BYU-Idaho. In a campuswide memo Friday, university officials urged students to follow Eastern Idaho Public Health guidelines, including a mask requirement.

“If EIPH guidelines are not followed and the current trend continues, it may require a reclosure of campus, which would impact all of us in difficult and unfortunate ways,” the memo said. “This may include moving courses to only remote and online instruction, challenges in meeting housing contracts, strain on the local community, and the difficult emotional toll of continued separation and/or isolation.”

Saturday’s count included 56 active cases involving students and 11 cases involving employees. On Sept. 21, BYU-Idaho reported 21 active cases involving students and employees. Madison County’s case numbers increased by 47 percent last week.

University of Idaho. Twenty-five new cases for a seven-day period ending Sept. 18, up from 12 positive cases the preceding week. The cases involved students living on and off campus, sorority members and employees, and appeared connected with Labor Day weekend travel.

The problems have apparently not subsided since Sept. 18. Some Greek houses are on lockdown due to the increase in cases, the U of I Argonaut reported Friday.

Northwest Nazarene University. Case numbers doubled on the Nampa campus, although the overall numbers remain low. NNU reported four student cases for the seven-day period ending Sunday, up from two the previous week. Fifty-two students and employees were under stay-at-home directives Friday, up from nine a week earlier.


Boise State University. Eighty-five new cases reported Friday, up from 77 cases the previous week. The majority of cases, 60 in all, involved off-campus students. Forty-four of the university’s 115 isolation beds were occupied, up from 42 the previous week.

Idaho State University. Twenty-six probable or confirmed cases for a seven-day period ending Sept. 22, up from 15 the previous week. ISU tied two cases to a cluster in campus housing, and in all, 22 of the cases involved students.

College of Southern Idaho. Ten cases in a seven-day period ending Thursday, up from six cases the previous period. Eight of the 10 cases involved students. 

College of Eastern Idaho. The college reported three potential exposures on campus last week, up from two incidents the preceding week.


North Idaho College. Two students have self-reported a positive test result since Sept. 20, unchanged from the previous week.

Other reports

Lewis-Clark State College. Eight cases and four active cases reported as of Friday, all involving students on the Lewiston campus. One student is in isolation.

College of Western Idaho. Four reports of coronavirus-positive individuals on campus since the Aug. 24 start of the school year. The latest incident occurred on Sept. 14, and involved a person who spent time at the Willow C Building and Academic Building on the Nampa campus.

The College of Idaho. As of Friday, 29 positive test results and 57 negative test results. One person is in campus isolation housing, and the other 28 cases are deemed recovered.


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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