Campus coronavirus roundup, 3.29.21: Mixed numbers, and plans for May and fall

With Idaho colleges and universities planning for in-person graduation ceremonies, or an emphasis on face-to-face instruction in the fall — this week’s campus coronavirus numbers were a mixed bag.

Case numbers again increased on the Brigham Young University-Idaho campus, as Eastern Idaho remained the state’s coronavirus hotspot.

Boise State University and Idaho State University reported the highest case numbers in the state — although Boise State’s numbers showed some signs of improvement.

Here is this week’s campus coronavirus case roundup.

Increasing

BYU-Idaho. In one of the state’s coronavirus hotspots, an uptick in cases. On Sunday, BYU-Idaho reported 22 active cases involving students, up from a total of 16 active cases on March 21.

College of Eastern Idaho. Six new cases last week, four involving students and two involving employees. CEI reported a total of four cases the previous week. CEI has reported a total of 194 cases since August.

North Idaho College. Three cases last week, one involving a student and two involving employees. NIC reported one case the previous week. Since July, 305 students and employees have self-reported a positive test.

Decreasing

Boise State. Case numbers fell for the second consecutive week. Boise State reported 24 cases for the seven-day period ending Thursday, down from 43 the previous week. Fifteen cases involved students who live off campus, while nine involved resident students.

Other metrics improved as well. Only 1.0 percent of campus coronavirus tests came back positive, down from 2.6 percent the previous week. Eleven of 153 campus isolation beds were in use Friday, down from 16 the previous week.

University of Idaho. As the U of I closed for Spring Break, case numbers fell sharply.

The U of I reported 11 new cases for a seven-day period ending March 19, compared to 31 cases the preceding week.

Positive test rates also decreased, falling to 2.9 percent, down from 3.7 percent.

Classes resumed at the U of I on March 22.

Lewis-Clark State College. One active case reported Friday, involving a student. Lewis-Clark reported two cases the previous week. One student was in isolation housing.

Recently, Lewis-Clark said it expects to offer students a “full college experience” in the fall. “We’re proud of the quality in-person learning opportunities we’re able to provide this spring, but thanks to the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, we look forward to offering and enjoying the comprehensive experiences and interactions that make our institution so special this fall,” President Cynthia Pemberton said in a news release.

Northwest Nazarene University. No new cases last week, after NNU reported four cases the previous week. The university is tracking two active cases, and four people were under stay-at-home directives Saturday.

Last week, NNU said it plans to host in-person commencement ceremonies on May 8, on the Brandt Center lawn.

College of Western Idaho. No new cases this week, after reporting one new case the previous week. CWI has reported four cases in March.

Flat 

Idaho State. For the seven-day period ending Tuesday, ISU reported 24 new cases, unchanged from the previous week. Twenty-two of the new cases occurred on the main campus in Pocatello, and 18 involved students.

ISU was investigating two case clusters, both in off-campus housing.

The College of Idaho. One case reported last week, with one person isolating off campus. No change from the previous week. The C of I has reported 110 positive tests for the school year.

College of Southern Idaho. For the third consecutive week, CSI reported no new cases.

 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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