Campus coronavirus roundup, 10.19.20: Classes return to normal at U of I

Classes are expected to return to normal at the University of Idaho this week, as university officials hope to curb a coronavirus outbreak centered on Greek row.

While case numbers did improve on the Moscow campus over the past week, numbers increased at nearly every other public and private college in the state. Student case numbers continued to increase at BYU-Idaho, amid reports that some students might have actively sought to contract the virus, in hopes of selling plasma containing coronavirus antibodies.

Here’s the campus roundup for this week:

Increasing

Boise State University. A slight increase: 54 new cases reported Friday, compared to 53 cases the previous week. Forty cases involved students who live off campus, 12 involved students living on campus, and two cases involved employees. Demand for isolation beds continued to decrease; 22 of the university’s 153 isolation beds were occupied, down from 32 the previous week.

Lewis-Clark State College. Cases continued to increase: 39 confirmed cases and 18 active cases reported Thursday, up from 22 total cases and 12 active cases on Oct. 8. Fifty-five of 59 current cases involve students, and five students are in isolation.

BYU-Idaho. Another week of rising case numbers within the student body. On Sunday BYU-Idaho reported 119 active student cases and 10 active employee cases. BYU-Idaho reported 77 active student cases and 18 active employee cases on Oct. 7. In Madison County, home to BYU-Idaho, cases increased by 46 percent for the week ending Friday, the state’s sharpest increase.

College of Western Idaho. CWI reported one incident last week involving a coronavirus-positive individual on campus. The incident at the Ada County campus Pintail Building occurred on Oct. 2. Eleven people have self-reported coronavirus cases to CWI in the past week, bringing the monthly total to 14.

The College of Idaho. Twelve new positive cases reported in the past week, bringing the semester total to 41. Five people are in campus isolation housing and seven people are in off-campus isolation housing.

College of Eastern Idaho. Six students and two employees self-reported cases last week, up from five cases reported the previous week. Since Aug. 24, the college has reported 22 cases involving students and seven cases involving employees.

North Idaho College. Six students and three employees have self-reported a positive test result since Oct. 11. NIC received eight similar reports the previous week. Since July, 33 students and five employees have reported a positive test.

Northwest Nazarene University. Twelve cases for a seven-day period ending Friday, 11 involving students. An increase from 10 cases reported the preceding week. Meanwhile, 109 students and employees were under stay-at-home directives Thursday, an increase from 79 a week earlier.

Decreasing

University of Idaho. For a seven-day period ending Oct. 9, the U of I reported 74 cases, a significant drop-off from 116 positive cases the preceding week. “The highest concentration of positives were in the on-campus Greek live-in population; however, there was a significant improvement over the past two weeks,” the university said last week.

After allowing faculty to move classes online during the recent outbreak, all classes will return to original “modalities” Monday. For example, classes that started in a face-to-face format in August will return to that model.

Idaho State University. A slight decrease: 68 probable and confirmed cases for a seven-day period ending Tuesday, down from 69 the previous week. Fifty-four of the new cases involve students, and 60 occurred on the Pocatello campus. ISU is investigating several clusters — in the College of Technology, the College of Health, the Early Learning Center in Idaho Falls and in athletics.

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

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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