Coronavirus case spike prompts Boise State closure

 

Responding to several recent coronavirus cases on campus, Boise State University will shut down its facilities through Sunday.

Employees, vendors and contractors will not be allowed on campus during the shutdown — whether they have tested positive or negative for coronavirus. The lone exceptions are university security and housing administrative staffers who support students still living on campus.

“The temporary closure will help mitigate the further spread of the virus by and between members of the university community, and ensure that facilities are appropriately disinfected,” Boise State said in a news release Monday evening.

Coronavirus cases have increased sharply in Ada County in recent days, prompting Central District Health to order a shutdown of large gatherings and bars in the county. Over the past 48 hours, Boise State received reports of eight positive or probable coronavirus cases involving people who have been on campus over the past week. The university and/or Central District Health are notifying people who were in close contact with these eight people who have tested positive.

The shutdown also affects voluntary football workouts, the Idaho Statesman reported Monday.

The news release — and a similar statement to university staff, from Boise State chief of staff Alicia Estey — spells out a transition plan beyond this week’s shutdown.

Employees who need to return to campus the week of June 29 will be tested beforehand. Most employees who are working from home will continue to do so until the week of July 6.

University officials say their goal is to reopen campus for fall classes, scheduled to begin on Aug. 24.

“Our commitment to our students’ education requires that we reduce the spread of the virus and keep our community healthy, so we can return and remain on campus for fall term,” Estey wrote. “Together we can achieve the outcome we all want — a safe and flourishing campus.”

 

 

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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