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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Last Updated: Oct. 19, 2020

Vandals Have It Covered

Fall 2020 Guidelines

This page is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered to be providing medical or legal advice. In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.

Questions regarding testing, PPE or other COVID-19-related start-up needs should be sent to

If you have concern about yourself or others, file a VandalCARE report or email

Most Recent Updates

COVID-19 Test Reporting

U of I will report the number of results received through our testing protocols for the Moscow-based university-wide testing. This is not necessarily inclusive of all positive cases in people associated with U of I. The numbers below are a snap shot update for the time period described, and are now reported using the Idaho Public Health guidelines, but may not match the official reporting of Idaho Public Health. In an effort to produce timely reporting, these numbers may include some people who were known to previously be positive and have already completed their required quarantine period and are no longer infectious. These people are not included in the public health reporting.

Idaho Public Health reporting is available on their website.

The U of I statistics below:

  • Include both U of I employees and students;
  • Do not reflect the number of swabs collected;
  • Do not represent total number of unique individuals who have been tested;
  • Do not reflect the number of infectious cases

Oct. 10 to Oct. 16 – Posted on Oct. 19

Total Tests Received: 2,757
Total Positive Tests: 43
Percent of Positives to Total: 1.56%

This was the second week of the university retest of all Moscow-based students attending in-person classes and we continue to see a decline in positives and spread. The average positive percentage rate of the most recent 5,256 students tested is 2.2%.

The university currently has 2.50% of positives in total results received since the start of testing in early August. The number of active positives to total population changes daily and continues to be low in the 1.0%-1.5% range. This does not include the positive cases in Athletics prior to the start of the university-wide testing. The next update will be posted Oct. 26.

Oct. 3 to Oct. 9 – Posted on Oct. 12

Total Tests Received: 2,499
Total Positive Tests: 74
Percent of Positives to Total: 2.96%

This week the university initiated a re-test of all Moscow based students attending in person classes. There were positives in students living on and off campus. The highest concentration of positives were in the on campus Greek live-in population; however, there was a significant improvement over the past two weeks.

Sept. 26 to Oct. 2 – Posted on Oct. 4

Total Tests Received: 1,389
Total Positive Tests: 116
Percent of Positives to Total: 8.35%

These results are a mix of Greek specific testing and general surveillance of the entire U of I community. The live-in Greek chapters continue to be the primary source of the positives and 4X more infected than other students living on campus. There is little to no infection across the off campus students and employees.

Sept. 19 to Sept. 25 – Posted on Sept. 28

Total Tests Received: 561
Total Positive Tests: 67
Percent of Positives to Total: 11.94%

Targeted surveillance testing of close contacts to known clusters of positives was completed this week. Positives were primarily found in live-in members of Greek chapters. In addition to the targeted surveillance testing, we will conduct a large random surveillance testing next week with a broader cross-section of our population, including employees, to better understand the positive rate of the overall U of I community.

Sept. 12 to Sept. 18 – Posted on Sept. 21

Total Tests Received: 531
Total Positive Tests: 25
Percent of Positives to Total: 4.71%

Surveillance testing was primarily done this week focused on those who traveled over Labor Day weekend. Positives found in residence halls, sororities, off campus and employees.

Sept. 5 to Sept. 11 – Posted on Sept. 14

Total Tests Received: 744
Total Positive Tests: 12
Percent of Positives to Total: 1.61%

Initial screening of late arriving students, retesting of quarantined students and surveillance testing was primarily done this week. There was a small cluster of positives in a residence hall. 

Aug. 29 to Sept. 4 – Posted on Sept. 8

Total Tests Received: 205
Total Positive Tests: 4
Percent of Positives to Total: 1.95%

The percent of positives has increased as we have transitioned from initial screening to surveillance testing and testing of students who have been under official quarantine by Public Health for at least six days.

Aug. 22 to Aug. 28 – Posted on Aug. 31

Total Tests Received: 2,321
Total Positive Tests: 24
Percent of Positives to Total: 1.03%

Aug. 14 to Aug. 21 – Posted on Aug. 24

Total Tests Received: 2,860
Total Positive Tests: 25
Percent of Positives to Total Results Received: 0.87%

Initial Results to Aug. 13 – Posted on Aug. 14

Total Tests Received: 2,371
Total Positive Tests: 34
Percent of Positives to Total: 1.43%

What Do I Do?

  • Don’t panic.
  • Their diagnosis is protected information. You cannot share this information. This includes supervisors sharing with staff and instructors sharing with a class and students sharing with each other.
  • You will be contacted by Public Health if you are considered a close contact. Public Health identifies a close contact as being within six feet for more than 15 minutes without a mask.
  • If you are not contacted by Public Health, you should continue your regular routine.

COVID-19 is not immediately detectable. The incubation period is a minimum of six days. Testing prior to six days after potential exposure may not provide accurate results. After potential exposure, you should limit your regular activities and, when you need to go out, use proper safety precautions, including a face covering, social distancing and proper hand washing.

You should quarantine as much as possible while waiting for results. If you must go out, wear a face covering, social distance and wash your hands regularly.

Learn more about who should quarantine.

No. Close contact is determined by Public Health and they will be contacted anyone considered as such. Public Health identifies a close contact as being within six feet for more than 15 minutes without a mask.

This depends on your situation.

  • If you are symptomatic, please call your healthcare provider or the Vandal Health Clinic at 208-885-6693 schedule an appointment at the drive-thru site at Gritman’s Martin Wellness Center.
  • If you have traveled outside Moscow, email to schedule a test at the Rec Center.
  • If you have received an email about surveillance testing, schedule a test at the Rec Center.

Please continue to be a Healthy Vandal — wear your face covering, social distance and wash your hands.

Return to In-Person Delivery

It should be clear that we are spending millions of dollars to implement safety protocols on our campus, so if our decision to open was only money driven, we would not be spending money setting up a COVID-19 testing lab, procuring and operating thermal imaging equipment, providing personal protection equipment to every employee and student, and increased cleaning and sanitizing across campus. There is no question that going fully online would cost the university money and, therefore, jobs, but we will not hesitate to make the decision to go online if the data and the advise from our healthcare officials changes.

We have an obligation to our students, our working families and our state to deliver on the excellent education U of I is known for. We have worked tirelessly this summer to implement a comprehensive and lengthy list of protocols, procedures and policies to help us make our university as safe as possible. Many of these efforts — including establishing our own COVID-19 testing lab — are unique to most universities. All this planning results in confidence that we can open to in-person delivery this fall.

WSU has good reasons for wanting to go online. We have worked hard to prepare our campus beyond what other campuses are doing. Testing, thermal scanning, face coverings and more will help us receive our students and be as prepared as possible.

This is not our goal. But, should factors indicate that we should move to online/remote delivery only — with guidance from Idaho Public Health, Gritman Medical Center and others — we would certainly do so, swiftly and efficiently.

No one factor is likely to result in a change in our delivery method. We continue to monitor many factors and recommendations of experts as we make decisions about U of I’s COVID-19 response. These factors include:

  • Government restrictions or directives (national, state, region and city)
  • Idaho Public Health recommendations
  • Gritman Medical Center recommendations
  • Isolation space utilization and capacity
  • Local hospitalization rate and hospital capacity
  • Positive case numbers and analysis within Latah County
  • Positive case numbers and analysis within the U of I community
  • Infection modeling created by U of I faculty
  • Wastewater testing analysis by U of I faculty


  • All Moscow-based students must be tested before participating in in-person classes.
  • All residence hall students must be tested.
  • All Moscow-based faculty and staff are encouraged to be tested.
  • Faculty, staff and students at other locations should follow the guidance of their CEO or location executive.

Yes, the test is free for students, faculty and staff.

Testing is still available through the Gritman Wellness Center Drive Thru. If you are feeling symptoms please contact the Vandal Health Clinic at 208-885-6693 if you are a student, or your family doctor if you are an employee. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, encounter any issues, or have more questions contact

If you are wanting an additional COVID-19 test after the initial fall test, please contact

The test is a TaqPath test on ThermoFisher equipment. It is a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) and specifically looks for RNA from COVID-19.

Negative test results will be received via email. Positive test results will be relayed by a health care provider from Gritman Medical Center.

You will be contacted by Idaho Public Health to begin the contact tracing process.

Faculty and staff should isolate at home and consult a healthcare provider and your supervisor.

All students should file a VandalCARE report.

On-campus students will be contacted by a university representative to plan for relocation to an isolation space.

Off-campus students should isolate in your residence and file another VandalCARE report.

Public Health’s protocol is to notify anyone who had close contact with a positive case. Typically, this means indoor contact of more than 15 minutes with neither person wearing a face covering. That may vary depending on the situation.

We have three lab machines used for testing. The university owned two — they were recalibrated for this purpose — and the university purchased a third. All are investments in our research and help us continue on our goal of reaching R1 research status while helping keep our campus safer during the pandemic.

We can test 1,000 people per day.

We are covering the cost with university dollars.

$1-$2 million for testing, equipment and labor has been invested to keep our campus as safe as possible.

We will do additional random testing throughout the semester to assess trends and to contribute to the data used by those modeling the possible movement of COVID-19.

Our primary concerns are our students and employees. At this time, testing is not available to anyone outside the university.

Testing is not mandatory for faculty and staff, so no exemption is needed.

Students should contact the Dean of Students Office to begin the exemption process.


U of I is restricting all travel, foreign and domestic. Any university-related travel must be approved by your supervisor and relevant vice president. Travelers should not rely on approvals given before travel restrictions went into effect.

U of I and the State of Idaho are not asking individuals to quarantine or self-isolate on arrival when traveling from afar. The information from the CDC, while sometime more stringent, is guidance, not a requirement. If you are concerned about your health, you should seek advice from your healthcare provider.

U of I is not sponsoring any international travel at this time.

The first step is to look into the possibility of having your flight changed or refunded. Many airlines are offering flexibility. If your airline is not flexible, you will need to work with the finance team in your area to process a reimbursement. This may require higher level approval in your area as funding needs come from departmental budgets. All departments have been asked to track such expenses as COVID-19 related expenses.

Campus Cleanliness

Custodians have a primary focus on disinfection of high touch surfaces. Event staff is assisting custodians to provide more resources in high-use spaces. Additional staffing will support extra cleaning in high-use classrooms and in residential restrooms.

Custodians on the Moscow campus are using cleaners from the EPA-recommended cleaner list. Other U of I locations have received this list to guide them.

Offices and lab spaces should be cleaned regularly by those using them. Custodial staff is focusing on high-traffic, public areas, including classrooms and gathering spaces.

OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF) and CDC recommendations are used as we assist other units in maintaining a healthy work environment for those that cannot work from home and must still work on campus.

Vandal Health Clinic

Physical Address:

831 Ash Street
Moscow, ID 83843

Phone: 208-885-6693

Directions to Vandal Health Clinic