COVID-19 Screening Program Adjustments
Idaho State University’s mandatory COVID-19 screening program will now only require one screening in the month of January for students, faculty, staff, and affiliates who have a regular on-campus presence.
Team, 

After much hard work and careful planning, we launched a comprehensive COVID-19 screening program with the goal to support in-person instruction and the continued health and safety of our entire campus community. The design and implementation of the screening program was based on public health best practices. And our ISU team executed it amazingly. Unfortunately, due to logistical challenges completely out of our control, we are now faced with a significant backlog of sample processing and a reduction in ongoing capacity with our contracted vendor. We now need to make some adjustments.

First, for all of this, I apologize. I also share in your frustration with these circumstances outside of our control.

Today, we are announcing the following changes to our University’s return-to-campus screening program:
  • Only one appointment will be required in the month of January, rather than two. 
  • All screening appointments will be cancelled on Friday, January 15, and Tuesday, January 19. This will allow the lab to catch up on a backlog of screening samples.
  • Scheduling availability will be added the week of January 25-29 to provide additional time for the campus community to complete their requirement for one screening. Appointments for these dates will be available for scheduling next week. 
Our program was initially designed with two required screening appointments to provide a robust and comprehensive snapshot of asymptomatic cases on our campus. However, our University Health Team has been involved in this decision to adjust our program to only one required appointment, and they support this change as still scientifically sound. They believe that reducing the required sampling appointments at this point does not undermine the positive benefits or integrity of our program. Further, ongoing screening will be conducted with targeted populations starting next month. While these changes are not ideal, the public health experts are confident in the ongoing efficacy of our adjusted program.

Lastly, I want to be clear. The goal of this program is not changing, nor is our commitment to the safety and well-being of our campus community. Based on recommendations from the medical community and best practices within higher education, we still believe that implementing a mandatory screening program is an important tool, along with our other precautions, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

No matter how carefully a project is planned, we all know that sometimes circumstances beyond our control force us to pivot. I believe we are doing so in the best way possible to ensure the program is successful, meaningful, and best supports the safety of our Bengal family.

In closing, I want to sincerely thank the thousands of students, faculty, staff, and campus affiliates who have already been screened as part of this program. Hundreds more have appointments scheduled in the coming days, and your support for Idaho State is commendable. 

––Kevin

Kevin Satterlee
President
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
  • For those who have already been screened and have received a positive or negative result, you are now fully compliant with the University’s mandatory screening requirement. If you had already scheduled a second screening appointment, you may cancel it now by logging into the online health portal
  • If you have not undergone a screening appointment in the month of January, you will need to log into the online health portal and schedule your appointment to be completed prior to Friday, January 29. 
  • If you are awaiting results, you will receive a notice when your results are ready for review in the patient portal.
  • If you have received notice of an inconclusive, invalid, or rejected test result, you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment and be screened again. You will need to log into the online health portal and schedule an appointment to be completed prior to Friday, January 29.
  • If you previously applied for an exemption or alternative method of compliance and are waiting for final approval, please note that it may still be in process. You will receive approval or denial as soon as possible. If your request was approved, no further action is required. Please check your email for updates.
  • In addition, the University will utilize an ongoing COVID-19 screening program for select populations of students, faculty, and staff with a physical presence on campus. Ongoing screenings will begin in February, and you will be contacted directly if your participation is required.
VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
To provide ongoing communication and answer questions related to the COVID-19 screening program, a virtual town hall has been scheduled. 

COVID-19 Screening Program Town Hall
Tuesday, January 19
3 p.m.

Passcode: 216106
Idaho State
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