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Boise State, University of Idaho adjust mask policies following CDC guidance update

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Posted at 11:12 AM, Mar 02, 2022

UPDATE: Face masks are now optional across the Boise State campus, including in instructional spaces.

Masks are required in University Health and Counseling Services as well as at the COVID Testing Center, COVID Vaccination Clinic, Lab and isolation hall. Anyone who is exposed or tests positive must continue to wear a face covering, according to an email from the university.

Original:

Both Boise State and the University of Idaho adjusted face mask policies following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

Boise State will make mask wearing optional in all university administrative, athletic and other event spaces as well as in common areas. Masks are also optional for those in the Albertsons Library, Rec Center, the Student Union Building and other campus buildings and residence halls, according to an email from the university. Masks will continue to be required in instructional spaces, areas where food is prepared, on campus transportation and in other specific locations.

The university reported last week the testing positivity rate was 0% with just seven new cases reported off campus, which "signifies a dramatically reduced presence of COVID within our campus community."

Last week, our positivity rate was 0% and only 7 new cases were reported by individuals who tested off-campus. This trend signifies a dramatically reduced presence of COVID within our campus community.
Boise State Dean of Students email

The University of Idaho dropped its mask mandate on campus effective March 1, according to a report by The Argonaut. Masks are no longer required in labs, meeting rooms, hallways or other areas. Instructors can still require masks in their classrooms.

The CDC guidance loosened indoor mask requirements based on specific locations and several metrics including hospitalizations, local hospitalization capacity and new COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 numbers in Idaho have declined, but in a media briefing Tuesday, IDHW Director Dave Jeppesen said the pandemic is not over despite improving metrics.

"Unfortunately, the pandemic is not over," Jeppesen said. "We are entering a new phase, causing a need for all of us to adjust yet again."