To our Team and the entire Bengal Community,
Yesterday I wrote that our University would be fully transparent in our efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. I know this is a difficult time for many in the Bengal community. I share your concerns during this difficult time, and your well-being has always been on the forefront of my mind.
A few minutes ago, we received approval from state public health officials to advise you that Idaho’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, announced by Governor Brad Little yesterday, was a student attending the Meridian campus. I do not share this information to cause alarm, but instead, to show that our University is proactively working with state and local public health officials to protect our University community. Please know that we are in active contact with state and local public health officials and are following their guidance in this situation.
Out of an abundance of caution, our University took action Friday morning to close our Meridian campus for cleaning. The closure and cleaning decision was made before we had confirmation of the COVID-19 case. The student is currently in self isolation, last attended the campus on Tuesday, March 10th, and contact with others in our community was limited. All potentially impacted individuals who had contact with the student have already been notified and are being monitored. Central District Health (CDH) is contacting those faculty, staff, and students who had closest contact with the student to provide further guidance. If you are not contacted by CDH or our University Health Center, then there is no reason for you to have elevated concern. CDH has advised us that this is not an illness that is spread through brief, casual contact. As you know, we have taken other actions regarding an extended spring break and the move to distance delivery to protect our faculty, students, and staff and slow the transmission of COVID-19. All classes will resume using distance-learning based options on March 30.
Please know we are working to actively address this situation. I ask all Bengals to be supportive of their classmates and colleagues as we navigate this difficult time together. Support each other and we will move forward as a team.