CALDWELL, Idaho — For new and returning College of Idaho students, the start of the fall semester is less than one month away. The campus in Caldwell plans to begin with in-person learning and hopes surging delta variant cases won’t delay reopening plans.
“We are a residential community so the vast majority of our students not only take classes on campus, but they also live on campus 24/7. They eat in our cafeteria, reside in our residence halls, and because of that, [there's a] high density of people on campus constantly over course of the semester. We want to make sure they are safe as possible as can be,” said David Douglas, the College of Idaho Provost and Dean of Faculty.
The campus encourages teachers, staff, and students to get vaccinated. Students who opt-out can get approval for an exemption for religious or medical reasons, or they'll need to get tested for COVID-19 weekly and share results with the Wellness Center.
“There are fewer than two dozen students who have sought the exemption of one type or another and about dozen students have sought the weekly testing so it’s a relatively small proportion. We are about 1,100 students overall,” Douglas said.
Under the campus COVID-19 vaccination policy for Fall 2021, the college does offer an $89 COVID-19 PCR test to students for the weekly testing. It also recommends checking with health insurance providers.
Douglas said most faculty are vaccinated but they're still working to determine rates among students and will continue to monitor the pandemic and make changes to their policy as needed.
“We want to see the state come out of this pandemic with some momentum and success,” he said.