The spread of COVID-19 throughout Idaho, and the rise of cases in our communities, is cause for concern. The number of confirmed cases, both on and off campus, are trending in the wrong direction. Our collective hard work over the last seven months to provide in-person courses has allowed us to operate as we have this Fall. However, due to the increase in cases in our communities, which has contributed to on-campus spread, we need to make adjustments.
While we have been able to address and mitigate many of the on-campus risks and spread, the activities and resource limitations of the external community is out of our control. The increase in our community now requires the University to make some on-campus operational changes.
Starting Monday, October 12, the following changes will be put into place. We are not changing operational levels and will remain in Level Yellow. Instead, out of an abundance of caution, we are adopting some enhanced safety guidelines for all campus locations. The Administrative Council and University Health Committee will continue to review the health metrics weekly and make future determinations and changes, as needed.
Campus Events and Activities
Only critical, mission-congruent events may be planned and held. Group size is limited to no more than ten individuals and requires a health exception form. The group size limit does not apply to academic classes and sanctioned intercollegiate athletics activities.
On-Campus Courses and Instruction Delivery
Any programs that have seen a spread of the virus through the “close contact” nature of the class have been notified and either isolated or quarantined. These have not spread to, nor been attributed to, our normal face-to-face courses. As such, no changes to course delivery, other than those specific programs who have already been notified, are needed at this time. All other instructional activities will remain as they are for now.
Absence from Courses or Student Employment
Students exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms should not attend classes or come to work on campus. The virus is particularly difficult to detect from a symptom standpoint. The important part is detecting something that is new or unusual for you. If you have any questions about your symptoms, call the COVID Hotline at (208) 282-2705, email firstname.lastname@example.org, contact University Health or your medical provider, and review the "What Do I Do If" brochure. Flexibility will be provided to any students who need to miss classes or on-campus work due to COVID-19.
I take the responsibility of the safety of you very seriously. Every member of our Bengal community must continue their vigilance in following the public health guidelines the University put in place. It takes all of us working together to slow the spread of the virus. I also know that one day we will move on from these uncertain times and come out of it on the other side a stronger institution.