BYU-Idaho "deeply troubled" by reports of students intentionally contracting COVID-19 to sell plasma with antibodies

Posted at 6:47 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 10:35:10-04

REXBURG, Idaho — Reports of students at BYU-Idaho intentionally exposing themselves to COVID-19 in order to contract the virus and ultimately sell their plasma with antibodies "deeply troubling," the university says in a news release.

A news release from the univeristy says it "condemns this behavior" and is looking for evidence of the behavior among the student body. Anyone who is determined to have intentionally exposed themselves or others to the virus will be suspended from the university or permanently dismissed, according to the release.

"The contraction and spread of COVID-19 is not a light matter," according to the statement from the university. "Reckless disregard for health and safety will inevitably lead to additional illness and loss of life in our community. As BYU-Idaho previously cautioned, if recent trends in Idaho and Madison County continue, the university may be forced to move to a fully-remote instruction model. We urge all members of the campus community to act respectfully and responsibly by observing all public health and university protocols and placing the well-being of others above personal benefit or convenience."

BYU-Idaho warned students in September if case numbers on campus and in the community continue to climb, the university could go fully remote and close campus.

"If BYU-Idaho students refuse to comply with EIPH guidelines or take actions that put others at risk, campus privileges may be restricted," the memo sent to students and employees Sept. 25 said. "This could include not being able to attend class on campus, work on campus, or receive in-person campus services. It could also result in suspension and/or dismissal from the university."

According to the university's COVID-19 cases dashboard, there are currently 105 active student cases and 20 active employee cases. Madison County reports a total of 326 active coronavirus cases.