Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Last Updated: Aug. 14, 2020
This page is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered to be providing medical or legal advice. In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.
Most Recent Updates
COVID-19 Test Reporting
U of I will report weekly the number of tests performed through our testing protocols and the result of those, as well as any test results from other labs, if reported to us by the individual. This number does not reflect the number of swabs done. This is not necessarily inclusive of all positive cases in people associated with U of I and may not match the official reporting of Idaho Public Health. This number also does not include the nine positive cases in Athletics prior to the university-wide testing.
Friday, Aug. 7 – Thursday, Aug. 13
Total Tests Received: 2,553
Total Positive Tests: 34
Percent of Positives to Total: 1.33%
U of I Well Prepared for Fall Start-Up
The University of Idaho will deliver excellent in-person education beginning Aug. 24. It will look a bit different, of course, and will require flexibility and agility by each of us. We are in uncharted territory with COVID-19, and we need to do everything we can to prevent spread and to have an immediate response should spread of the virus take place in our community.
We each have an obligation to make our university as safe as possible. Some steps taken to prepare for as safe of a return as possible:
- Acknowledgment of the Healthy Vandal Pledge.
- Mandatory face coverings
- Development of our own analysis lab to decrease time of test results
- Mandatory testing for students, at no cost to the student
- Strongly encouraging free testing for faculty and staff
- Surveillance Testing
- Contact tracing
- On-campus facilities for quarantine and isolation
- Installation of thermal scanners in high-traffic areas
- Triple Zoom capable classrooms
- PPE kits for all faculty, staff and students
- Installation of plexiglass for face-to-face interactions
- Increased frequency of classroom cleaning
- Disinfectant and hand sanitizer in every classroom
- Healthy Vandals campaign, to educate and normalize new protocols
All Moscow-based students engaging in in-class learning are required to have a negative COVID-19 test. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to participate in testing. All tests administered by U of I in collaboration with Gritman Medical Center are free of charge to the individual.
Time slots are available for first come, first serve sign-up by students and university employees through the online schedule program, which also includes a short questionnaire. Faculty and staff are encouraged to be tested in early August as we will be holding Aug. 13-21 for students only. The following dates are available:
- Aug. 6-7: Students, Faculty and Staff
- Aug. 10-12: Students, Faculty and Staff
- Aug. 13-21: Students Only
- Aug. 24-26: Faculty and Staff Only
Please bring a photo ID and the QR Code from the online sign-up to your testing appointment.
Those who test negative will receive an email within approximately 24-48 hours after the analysis is complete. Those who test positive will receive a phone call from a Gritman Medical Center physician. Gritman Medical Center — our testing partner — will also send those tested a link to complete the setup of Gritman’s Patient Portal. Finishing patient portal setup is not required to receive test results.
Questions regarding testing, PPE or other COVID-19-related start-up needs should be sent to email@example.com.
Return to In-Person Delivery
We have an obligation to our students, our working families and our state to deliver on the excellent education U of I is known for. We have worked tirelessly this summer to implement a comprehensive and lengthy list of protocols, procedures and policies to help us make our university as safe as possible. Many of these efforts — including establishing our own COVID-19 testing lab — are unique to most universities. All this planning results in confidence that we can open to in-person delivery this fall.
WSU has good reasons for wanting to go online. We have worked hard to prepare our campus beyond what other campuses are doing. Testing, thermal scanning, face coverings and more will help us receive our students and be as prepared as possible.
This is not our goal. But, should factors indicate that we should move to online/remote delivery only — with guidance from Idaho Public Health, Gritman Medical Center and others — we would certainly do so, swiftly and efficiently.
No one factor is likely to result in a change in our delivery method. We continue to monitor many factors and recommendations of experts as we make decisions about U of I’s COVID-19 response. These factors include:
- Government restrictions or directives (national, state, region and city)
- Idaho Public Health recommendations
- Gritman Medical Center recommendations
- Isolation space utilization and capacity
- Local hospitalization rate and hospital capacity
- Positive case numbers and analysis within Latah County
- Positive case numbers and analysis within the U of I community
- Infection modeling created by U of I faculty
- Wastewater testing analysis by U of I faculty
- All Moscow-based students must be tested before participating in in-person classes.
- All residence hall students must be tested.
- All Moscow-based faculty and staff are encouraged to be tested.
- Faculty, staff and students at other locations should follow the guidance of their CEO or location executive.
Yes, the test is free for students, faculty and staff.
Time slots are available for first-come, first-served sign-up by students and university employees through the online schedule program, which also includes a short questionnaire. Faculty and staff are encouraged to be tested in early August as we will be reserving Aug. 13-21 for students only. The following dates are available:
Please bring a photo ID and the QR Code from the online sign-up to your testing appointment.
If you are wanting an additional COVID-19 test after the initial fall test, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The test is a TaqPath test on ThermoFisher equipment. It is a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) and specifically looks for RNA from COVID-19.
Negative test results will be received via email. Positive test results will be relayed by a health care provider from Gritman Medical Center. All results from tests taken after Aug. 10 should be received within 48 hours.
Faculty and staff should isolate at home and consult a healthcare provider and your supervisor.
All students should file a VandalCARE report.
On-campus students will be contacted by a university representative to plan for relocation to an isolation space.
Off-campus students should file another VandalCARE report if any assistance is needed.
Public Health’s protocol is to notify anyone who had high-risk contact with a positive case. Typically, this means indoor contact of more than 15 minutes with neither person wearing a face covering. That may vary depending on the situation.
We have three lab machines used for testing. The university owned two — they were recalibrated for this purpose — and the university purchased a third. All are investments in our research and help us continue on our goal of reaching R1 research status while helping keep our campus safer during the pandemic.
We can test 1,000 people per day.
We are covering the cost with university dollars.
$1-$2 million for testing, equipment and labor has been invested to keep our campus as safe as possible.
We will do additional random testing throughout the semester to assess trends and to contribute to the data used by those modeling the possible movement of COVID-19.
Our primary concerns are our students and employees. At this time, testing is not available to anyone outside the university.
U of I is restricting all travel, foreign and domestic. Any university-related travel must be approved by your supervisor and relevant vice president. Travelers should not rely on approvals given before travel restrictions went into effect.
U of I and the State of Idaho are not asking individuals to quarantine or self-isolate on arrival when traveling from afar. The information from the CDC, while sometime more stringent, is guidance, not a requirement. If you are concerned about your health, you should seek advice from your healthcare provider.
U of I is not sponsoring any international travel at this time.
The first step is to look into the possibility of having your flight changed or refunded. Many airlines are offering flexibility. If your airline is not flexible, you will need to work with the finance team in your area to process a reimbursement. This may require higher level approval in your area as funding needs come from departmental budgets. All departments have been asked to track such expenses as COVID-19 related expenses.
Custodians have increased the frequency of wipe-downs on commonly used surfaces. Environmental Health and Safety is assisting custodians to provide more resources in high-traffic areas. Departments across campus are working together to use commercial equipment designed to clean large, heavily used spaces.
Custodians on the Moscow campus are using cleaners from the EPA-recommended cleaner list. Other U of I locations have received this list to guide them.
Offices and lab spaces should be cleaned regularly by those using them. Custodial staff is focusing on high-traffic, public areas, including classrooms and gathering spaces.
OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF) and CDC recommendations are used as we assist other units in maintaining a healthy work environment for those that cannot work from home and must still work on campus.