Boise State University will hold all classes online Friday, as part of an exercise to prepare for a possible Idaho coronavirus outbreak.
“It is both prudent and vital for the university to prepare for this and other unexpected events that could force us to change our day-to-day operations for extended periods of time,” Boise State said in a statement late Tuesday afternoon.
The news comes as colleges and universities throughout the nation have either closed classes or moved classes online, in response to a growing number of cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19.
“More than 40 universities in areas already affected by COVID-19 have moved courses online for an extended period of time to help prevent the spread of the virus,” Boise State said in its statement. “Our faculty have been working with technology and digital course delivery experts to prepare for this, and this day of practice will help identify any additional steps, training and preparation that needs to take place in the event that the university has to suspend in-person courses and public events.”
Representatives of state government and other Idaho universities will observe Friday’s exercise.
The World Health Organization reports more than 113,000 cases of coronavirus worldwide, and more than 4,000 coronavirus deaths. The Centers of Disease Control reports 647 coronavirus cases and 25 coronavirus deaths in the United States.
Idaho has reported no cases of coronavirus. The state Department of Health and Welfare says it has tested 51 Idahoans for the virus.
Last week, Boise State placed four newly arrived international students in 14-day self-isolation. The students had cleared a health screening after their arrival in Seattle.