Campus coronavirus roundup, 3.8.21: Cases rise sharply at U of I

Coronavirus cases rose sharply after the long Presidents Day weekend and a snow closure on the University of Idaho’s Moscow campus.

“While the increase is significant, we believe it is isolated to a few Greek chapters, two of which are now in quarantine, and on-campus apartments,” President C. Scott Green and Provost Torrey Lawrence wrote in a memo to the campus community last week. “It also reminds us we need to maintain our focus.”

U of I new case numbers far exceed any other college or university in the state.

Here is this week’s campus coronavirus case roundup.

Increasing

U of I. For the week ending Feb. 26, the U of I reported 61 new cases, a sharp increase from only four cases the preceding week.

Positive test rates increased to 7.6 percent, up from 1.3 percent. But total tests also increased sharply; the U of I ran 802 tests during this seven-day period, up from 311 tests the preceding week.

The uptick in numbers comes just a week before spring break on the U of I campus. The U of I will offer testing for students leaving for break. When break ends on March 22, all students will be required to get a coronavirus test before returning to face-to-face classes.

Boise State University. Numbers ticked upward across the board.

Boise State reported 29 cases for the seven-day period ending Thursday, up from 20 the previous week. Eighteen cases involved students who live off campus, six involved students living on campus, and five cases involved faculty or staff.

Meanwhile, 1.7 percent of campus coronavirus tests came back positive, up from 1.2 percent the previous week.

Six of Boise State’s 153 isolation beds were in use Friday. No beds were in use the previous week.

College of Southern Idaho. Two student cases reported for the seven-day period ending Thursday, after two successive weeks without new cases.

Lewis-Clark State College. One active case reported Monday; Lewis-Clark is reporting no active cases a week ago.

Decreasing

Brigham Young University-Idaho. On Sunday, BYU-Idaho reported 27 active cases involving students and an active case involving an employee. On Feb. 28, BYU-Idaho reported a total of 36 active cases.

Idaho State University. After three weeks of increases, case numbers fell significantly. ISU reported 20 cases for a seven-day period ending Tuesday, down from 37 cases the previous week. All the cases occurred on the main campus in Pocatello, and 14 cases involve students.

ISU was investigating three case clusters. The largest involved six cases within a campus residence.

Northwest Nazarene University. NNU reported three new cases last week, all involving non-resident students. That’s a decrease from seven cases the previous week. The university is tracking five active cases, and 19 people were under stay-at-home directives Friday.

North Idaho College. Two employees self-reported a positive test last week. The previous week, six students self-reported a positive test result. Since July, 299 students and employees have reported a positive test.

College of Western Idaho. CWI reported no new cases last week, after three cases the previous week.

Flat

College of Eastern Idaho. Two cases reported this week, one involving a student, the other involving an employee. CEI reported two cases the previous week, and has reported a total of 172 cases since August.

Other

The College of Idaho. One case reported over the past two weeks, with one person in isolation off-campus. The C of I has reported 107 positive tests for the school year.

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

 

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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