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UPDATE: Micron worker, Boise State staff member test positive for coronavirus

Posted: 2:30 PM, Mar 20, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-20 18:13:20-04
Micron announces $3 billion expansion

BOISE, Idaho — This article was originally written by Chadd Cripe, Ximena Bustillo, Ruth Brown and John Sowell with the Idaho Statesman.

A Boise State University employee has tested positive for coronavirus, and so has a Boise employee of Micron Technology Inc., the university and the company said Friday.

The announcements came after the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Idaho more than doubled Thursday — including a new, unannounced case in Ada County.

Boise-based Central District Health updated its numbers Thursday evening to show four confirmed cases in Ada, up from the previous known total of three.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare on Thursday reported a dozen new cases in Blaine County, including one that won’t be included in the state’s total because the patient is a nonresident who has left Idaho. A shelter-in-place order is on the way for Blaine County, which leads the state with 16 cases (17 positive tests).

That gives Idaho an official total of 24 cases. Health and Welfare updates its statewide numbers once a day, so the new Ada case isn’t reflected there.

BOISE STATE WORKER ON CAMPUS LAST WEEK

Boise State alerted students, faculty and visitors to possible exposure to the employee, who was on campus a week ago.

“Individuals who visited the Administration Building or the Rec Center on Friday, March 13, 2020, may have come into contact with the individual who tested positive,” an email to students said. “Though the risk is low, if you experience symptoms of COVID-19, you should alert your health care provider that you may have been in contact with an infected individual.”

The Boise State University Recreation Center closed to students and the public on Tuesday until further notice.

This is the third confirmed coronavirus case specifically tied to a college campus. Earlier cases were connected to Idaho State University’s Meridian campus and Brigham Young University-Idaho.

MICRON EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE

“Micron confirms that a team member at one of its Boise sites has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19),” Micron spokeswoman Mayra Tostado said in an email.

The Micron worker had not entered a company building for more than 20 days and has self-isolated to prevent contact with others, Tostado said.

Last month, Micron began scanning employees and visitors to its Boise campus for high temperatures. A monitor shows red for anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher, and that person is not allowed to enter.

Micron is also requiring team members, contractors or suppliers to self-isolate and not access any Micron site for two weeks if they have traveled domestically or internationally, by air or sea, in the past 14 days.

“We continue to act out of an abundance of caution while maintaining continuity of our operations at our Boise sites,” Tostado said. “Our top priority is the health and safety of our team members, contractors and visitors.”

Micron has taken strong precautions globally, including suspending all business travel, establishing team separation protocols at its manufacturing sites and asking employees to work from home where possible, Tostado said.

Micron is the largest for-profit employer in the Treasure Valley, with more than 6,000 employees here. Its Federal Way campus, once a major chip-making plant, has evolved over the past 11 years into the company’s research and development hub, employing scientists and engineers from around the world. Micron employs about 34,000 people worldwide.

ADA COUNTY COURTHOUSE EVACUATION

Around 1 p.m. Friday, the Ada County courthouse was evacuated because of possible exposure to the coronavirus.

Ada County spokeswoman Elizabeth Duncan said the Ada County Board of Commissioners, the county clerk and the administrative judge agreed on the evacuation. Duncan said the county learned Friday that the spouse of an Ada County employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

She did not have immediate information on when the employee’s spouse tested positive, nor did she know the last time that employee was in the building.

Duncan said the courthouse has already been under restriction, so there were very few people in the building at the time.

The county does not have a date for when the courthouse may reopen, but they will move forward with the plan they had in place for sanitation of the building.

CATCH UP ON THE LATEST CORONAVIRUS NEWS

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