Campus coronavirus roundup, 10.26.20: Numbers spike at NIC, decrease at several other schools

While Idaho’s coronavirus case numbers are increasing at record rates, outbreaks appear to be easing off on many of the state’s college campuses.

The on-campus decreases even occurred in some of the state’s coronavirus hotspots — such as Madison and Twin Falls counties. And in Moscow, an outbreak on the University of Idaho’s Greek row continues to show signs of abating.

Here’s the weekly campus roundup:

Increasing rapidly (100 percent or more)

North Idaho College. Sixteen students and six staff members have self-reported a positive test since Oct. 18, up from six students and three employees the previous week. Since July, 60 students and employees have reported a positive test.


Boise State University. A slight increase: 55 new cases reported Friday, up from 54 cases the previous week. Thirty-eight cases involved students who live off campus, 15 involved students living on campus, and two cases involved employees. In another ongoing trend, demand for isolation beds continued to decrease; 16 of Boise State’s 153 isolation beds were occupied, down from 22 the previous week.

College of Eastern Idaho. Seven students and two employees self-reported cases last week, up from eight total cases reported the previous week. Since Aug. 24, the college has reported a total of 36 cases involving students and employees.


Lewis-Clark State College. Some mixed trends: 50 confirmed cases and 11 active cases reported Friday, compared to 39 total cases and 18 active cases on Oct. 15. Forty-four of the confirmed cases involve students. Lewis-Clark reported one student in isolation, compared to five students the previous week.

College of Western Idaho. Last week, CWI reported two cases involving a coronavirus-positive individual on campus. Eight people have self-reported coronavirus cases to CWI in the past week, bringing the monthly total to 22.


University of Idaho. For the second straight week, case numbers dropped significantly. For a seven-day period ending Oct. 16, the U of I reported 43 cases, compared to 74 positive cases the preceding week. Eleven students were in isolation last week, and one Greek chapter remained in quarantine.

“What we are doing is working. What you are doing is working,” President C. Scott Green and interim Provost Torrey Lawrence said in an Oct. 19 memo to the campus community. “Your diligence is what has gotten us this far, and for that we are grateful. We have five weeks until Thanksgiving Break.”

Idaho State University. A second consecutive week of decreased case numbers: 61 probable and confirmed cases for a seven-day period ending Tuesday, down from 68 the previous week. Fifty of the week’s new cases involve students, and 57 occurred on the Pocatello campus. The university is investigating a case cluster in campus housing, involving two known cases.

BYU-Idaho. While case numbers continue to climb rapidly in Madison County, the campus numbers eased off a bit. On Sunday, BYU-Idaho reported 109 active student cases and five active employee cases, down from 119 active student cases and 10 active employee cases on Oct. 18.

College of Southern Idaho. A decrease in campus cases, despite rapid increases in Twin Falls County. Twenty-five cases in a seven-day period ending Thursday, down from 29 cases the previous week. Twenty of the new cases involved students and all but one occurred on CSI’s main campus in Twin Falls.

The College of Idaho. Seven new positive tests reported in the past week, down from 12 cases the previous week. As of Friday, C of I has reported 48 positive COVID-19 tests for the semester. One person is in campus isolation housing and 10 people are isolating off-campus.

Northwest Nazarene University. Six cases for a seven-day period ending Friday, five involving students. A decrease from 12 cases reported the preceding week. Meanwhile, the number of students and employees under stay-at-home directives decreased as well; 77 students and employees were in isolation Thursday, compared to 109 a week earlier.

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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