[Vision2020] Coronavirus COVID-19 inside University of Idaho dormitories

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Wed Apr 1 19:53:34 PDT 2020

I received the following message with a time stamp of about a half an hour ago (6:59 PM).

Vandal Alert: An 18-year-old student who moved out of the residence halls Sunday confirmed positive with COVID-19 today in Canyon County. He was on campus last week. The student is experiencing mild symptoms and is recovering at home. University staff is contacting those who may have been exposed on campus and preparing to isolate affected students. We strongly encourage students on campus who may have been exposed to remain to protect themselves and others and for all students to follow social distancing guidelines. Staff members working in the area are also being notified.

So, I conclude that the COVID-19 virus is, and has been inside University of Idaho dormitories for some weeks now.  Unfortunately, we learn of the student's illness only after being exported back home, and undergoing testing at the remote residence location.

Why is the University not offering on-campus, in-dormitory testing for all residents?  Yes, yes, I hear that health matters are private concerns, and testing kits and evaluation services are in short supply, but it's time to step up with practical policy actions to mitigate virus spread inside the close quarters of on-campus life for those who are residents here.  University buildings are closed and faculty have dispersed to their residences, yet some students are left in close proximity without readily available testing.  Testing facilities should be made available as soon as possible.  After all, the Red Cross people have done weekly blood drawings inside the Teaching Learning Center building for months with no disruption of other services.  If these Vandal Vampires, as I refer to them, can do their business with such quiet efficiency, so should the availability of virus testing be easy and effective.


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