Weekly COVID-19 Update: October 1

Safely maintaining an in-person education for our students is our number one priority. Earlier this week, I asked our leadership team to carefully review all upcoming on-campus activities to determine what may need to be amended to maintain in-person learning. We must ensure that we meet our role in community engagement in a way that does not jeopardize the core mission of instruction. The comprehensive review is close to wrapping up, and the University will share amended operational guidance next week.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in our communities continues to increase beyond anything we have previously seen. Positive cases were also reported on each of our campuses. I have previously made this statement, but it is important to emphasize again. COVID-19 has primarily become a disease of the unvaccinated. To keep our campus, our colleagues, and our entire community safe, it is imperative that we all get a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is readily available.

  • Idaho State will remain at Level White on all campuses. However, our leadership team is considering operational amendments that may be implemented next week. Any updates will be directly emailed to all employees.

  • Higher education employees who received the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago are now eligible for the booster. 

  • On Monday, October 4, our on-campus COVID-19 Screening Program will increase capacity to randomly test faculty, staff, and students with an on-campus presence. The Screening Program will send a weekly email to 1,000 randomly selected individuals to set up a mandatory screening appointment. If selected, you are required to participate unless you meet one of the valid exemptions. Individuals who are fully vaccinated will be exempted from the screening requirement. The University will continue to regularly screen all students in on-campus housing and our student-athletes.

  • Contact tracing is an important part of Idaho State’s response to the pandemic. If a member of the University Health Committee contacts you, I expect you to follow their instructions and guidance. It is also absolutely critical that you use the University's Self Report Form if you have COVID-19 symptoms, exposure, or a confirmed case. Mitigation strategies help us maintain in-person instruction.

  • Our on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinics continue to provide daily, walk-in vaccinations. To date, about 3,300 students have taken advantage of our Vaccination Incentive Program. The federally funded incentives will continue through the end of the semester. Again, higher vaccination rates remain the most effective key to our future.

  • Our own University health experts have put together this myth-buster guide regarding vaccines. They have read the scientific literature and reviewed the data on vaccines. The educational information is available on our vaccine website and was shared with students this week.

  • Our mandatory face covering requirement indoors and at outdoor events of more than 150 individuals, where physical distancing is not feasible, remains in place. This requirement may be updated with our operational adjustments next week.
Additional guidance and operational updates will be shared next week.


Kevin Satterlee
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