Campus coronavirus roundup, 3.22.21: A surprising decrease in cases at BYU-Idaho

Coronavirus numbers remained more or less flat on most Idaho campuses — with one notable and encouraging exception.

Case numbers fell significantly on the Brigham Young University-Idaho campus. That’s surprising, in light of news from last week: The New York Times identified the Rexburg area as a national COVID-19 hotspot.

Here is this week’s campus coronavirus case roundup.


University of Idaho. As the U of I headed into Spring Break, case numbers increased slightly.

The U of I reported 31 new cases for the week ending March 12, compared to 28 cases the preceding week.

Positive test rates dropped slightly, to 3.7 percent. The positive rate was 3.8 percent the preceding week.

Classes resume at the U of I Monday, but students must get a coronavirus test as they return to campus.

Idaho State University. For the seven-day period ending Tuesday, ISU reported 24 new cases, up from 20 cases the previous week. Twenty-one of the cases occurred on the main campus in Pocatello, and 16 cases involve students.

ISU was investigating four case clusters, two in athletics, one on the Idaho Falls campus and a fourth in the School of Performing Arts.

Northwest Nazarene University. Four new cases last week — two involving resident students, one involving a non-resident student and a fourth involving an employee. NNU reported one new case the previous week. The university is tracking six active cases, and 20 people were under stay-at-home directives Friday.

College of Western Idaho. CWI reported one new case, after two weeks without cases. CWI has reported four cases in March.


Boise State University. Boise State reported 43 campus cases for the seven-day period ending Thursday, down from 47 the previous week. Twenty-eight cases involved students who live off campus, 13 involved students living on campus, and two cases involved faculty or staff.

While case numbers reversed two weeks of increases, other metrics crept upward.

Boise State said 2.6 percent of campus coronavirus tests came back positive, up from 2.3 percent the previous week. Sixteen of 153 campus isolation beds were in use Friday, up from 10 the previous week.

BYU-Idaho. On Sunday, BYU-Idaho reported 14 active cases involving students and two active cases involving an employee. On March 14, BYU-Idaho reported a total of 28 active cases.

College of Eastern Idaho. Four new cases last week, one involving a student and three involving employees. CEI reported a total of 12 cases the previous week. CEI has reported a total of 188 cases since August.

Lewis-Clark State College. Two active cases reported Friday, down from three cases the previous week. One of the new cases involves a student, and the other involves an employee. One student was in isolation housing.

North Idaho College. One case last week, involving an employee. NIC reported two cases the previous week. Since July, 302 students and employees have self-reported a positive test.


The College of Idaho. One case reported last week, with one person isolating off campus. The C of I has reported 109 positive tests for the school year.

College of Southern Idaho. No new cases reported for the seven-day period ending Thursday, the second successive week without a case.

 Check Kevin Richert’s blog each Friday for a weekly roundup of statewide coronavirus trends.


Kevin Richert

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 "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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