Help Us Maintain In-Person Learning
Dear Bengals,

It has been great to see all the positive energy and activity on our campuses the past three weeks. We have had a terrific start to the semester, and I want to keep that momentum going. In order to continue the semester with the benefits of in-person classes and a full schedule of activities, we need to be extra attentive to following all public health precautions.

We are already seeing the number of positive COVID-19 cases at our University outpacing where we were one year ago. The COVID-19 situation on our campuses is compounded by the State of Idaho’s recent announcement that the health care system is near, and in many locations over, capacity. Projections suggest that the rate of positive cases will continue to increase through the fall, and our health care facilities are not able to sustain this demand.
If campus infection rates continue to increase, our University may face a temporary shift to remote operations. This would mean changing course delivery from face-to-face instruction to distance-based formats. It would also mean a temporary suspension of some in-person campus events and gatherings.
What happens next is largely within our campus community's control, and we are asking every Bengal to do their part to support and sustain in-person learning. While I am pleased to see compliance to our indoor mask requirement, our University has decided to make a temporary adjustment.
Effective Monday, September 20, the University will implement a mandatory face covering requirement at outdoor events of more than 150 individuals where physical distancing is not feasible. This requirement is in addition to our current indoor face covering requirement for all individuals. This decision will be reviewed weekly.
Vaccinations also need to increase within our campus community. The Delta variant of COVID-19 is significantly more contagious than earlier variants and vaccinations remain the safest and most effective way to prevent serious illness or death. Walk-in vaccination appointments are readily available on our campuses and in the community.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or think you may have been exposed, please complete the self-report form and stay home. A member of the University Health Committee will reach out to you with additional instructions. Continue to wear a face covering when indoors and encourage others to do the same. It takes all of us to limit the spread of COVID-19, and our collective efforts will ensure those who are seriously ill have access to care when they need it.

Our University continues to regularly monitor the COVID-19 situation on our campuses, and we will make operational adjustments as needed. We are committed to maintaining an environment where you can safely receive your education.

––Kevin

Kevin Satterlee
President
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