University of Idaho president issues memo to on-campus students, faculty ahead of fall semester

Posted at 1:30 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 16:13:35-04

MOSCOW, Idaho — University of Idaho President Scott Green sent a memo to Moscow-based students, faculty and staff ahead of the start of the semester Monday. Green said in the note that everyone would be tested before participating in in-person classes. The university is also encouraging faculty and staff who have traveled outside of Moscow to test, but it is not mandatory.

As of Tuesday morning, U of I received results back on 3,694 tests, and the positive tests are at 0.97 percent, according to the memo. Most of the employees and students who test positive do not live on campus and are self-isolating in their homes. Five students live on campus and are receiving care in the on-campus isolation facility.

1,000 samples are still being processed, and 3,000 are scheduled to be swabbed over the next week. The University of Idaho has a lab in partnership with Gritman Medical Center and tests samples as they come in from the swabbing site.

"For our campus to remain open, we all need to take responsibility by showing our leadership, taking action when poor decisions are being made, and looking out for the health of our fellow Vandals and those in our community," said Green in the memo. "To be clear, if we fail, we will close the campus and students will be sent home."

As part of the "Healthy Vandal Pledge," students and employees will be required to wear face coverings on campus. Green said in the memo that students and employees should avoid gatherings where social distancing cannot be practiced, especially where face coverings are not worn. Students are asked to contact the Moscow Police Department if they see large gatherings held without face coverings.

"We have a saying at our university, Keep Calm and Vandal On. In the face of adversity and anxiety, our team remained steady and focused on preparing our campus at a detailed level for the fall," said Green. "We have worked tirelessly this summer to prepare for you, and I am proud of how our staff has responded. There are few, if any, universities that have done more to reasonably protect their communities. We are focused on you and doing all we can to ensure that, like those before us, we execute on our mission to provide the best learning environment possible. Now it is up to you, the next generation of Vandals, to help us remain open."