Weekly COVID-19 Update: September 24
Team,

Before I provide this week’s COVID-19 update, I want to say thank you. So many of you have stepped up in unprecedented ways to help us maintain in-person learning, and your efforts are truly commendable. Our primary focus always has been, and continues to be, safely delivering on our mission of education. I greatly appreciate your hard work and support of our students and their success.
SITUATIONAL UPDATE
COVID-19 cases at Idaho State are unfortunately in line with what we saw one year ago. Positive cases remain flat compared to last week, which was up over previous weeks.

  • Idaho State will remain at Level White on all campuses next week.

  • The University has hired additional contact tracers to keep up with our on-campus mitigation strategies. 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. Mitigation strategies help us maintain in-person instruction. 

  • On Monday, October 4, our on-campus COVID-19 Screening Program will increase capacity to randomly test members of the campus community. These efforts will help us to discover positive asymptomatic cases that have the potential to spread in our campus community. The screening requirement extends to all students and employees with an on-campus presence. Individuals who are fully vaccinated will be able to opt out of the screening requirement. More information will be shared about the screening requirement next week.

  • Our on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinics continue to provide daily, walk-in vaccinations. Please continue to encourage your students and colleagues to get vaccinated. To date, more than 3,200 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 mandatory face covering requirement indoors and at outdoor events of more than 150 individuals, where physical distancing is not feasible, remains in place. If you are joining us tomorrow at the Homecoming parade or tailgate, please note that face coverings are required and appreciated when you are unable to physically distance yourself from others. Masks are required inside Holt Arena and Reed Gym for all individuals. 

  • I also want to address a rumor that is widely circulating on campus about our University moving to distance-based instruction. We have not made a decision to move our courses online, including after Thanksgiving. I am hearing numerous concerns from students who are worried about their classes changing to online platforms. We are committed to doing everything we can to continue to safely offer in-person instruction. If it becomes necessary to temporarily change operational levels, our plan would be to do it for a short-term period to cause the least amount of interruption. Again, no decision has been made to do so as of yet, and we will continue to monitor the public health metrics and situations on all of our campuses.

  • Finally, we have received a wide range of feedback on these matters. Please know that every time I receive such feedback, it is meaningful and important. I know that many in our community have deep concerns, feelings, and opinions related to the decisions we make. I want to let you know that I take none of this lightly and that safely carrying out our mission is our goal.
I will continue to send this weekly email for the rest of the semester.

––Kevin

Kevin Satterlee
President
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