BREAKING: Boise State COVID cases double in one week, setting all-time high

Photo by Claire Keener
Written by Blake Hunter and Fenix Dietz

Boise State’s campus COVID case numbers have more than doubled since last Friday. 

In the second week of the fall semester, the campus community has already set an all-time high of 127 cases in one week, topping last year’s high set in November. 

During the second week of the 2020 fall semester, there were a total of 32 cases on campus. This week’s count is nearly four times that number. 

The Public Health Office updated the campus COVID dashboard with the week’s case numbers for the week of Aug. 27 to Sept. 2 on Friday morning. 

The breakdown is as follows: nine faculty and staff cases, 42 residential student cases and 76 off campus student cases. 

There are a total of 39 occupied isolation beds for quarantining students, out of 90 available. The dashboard includes test results, which show that the campus community had an 8.4% positivity rate. 

The on-campus student resident count is the second highest of the pandemic behind the week of Oct. 1, 2020. The off-campus student resident count is also the second highest on record, behind the week of Nov. 19, 2020. 

The combined faculty and staff count is a slight increase over the last two weeks, but is far from its peaks last year.

The update comes two days after university administration sent a campus-wide email warning that, based on the current trajectory of cases on campus and in the local community, the university may be forced to implement “temporary rolling closures.”

The email, sent on Sept. 1, also stated that campus COVID numbers are “on track to outpace what [the university] experienced last year.” 

After the dashboard update on Sept. 3, the numbers now confirm that the campus community is, in fact, reaching far higher case numbers than this time last year.

The university recorded 48 cumulative cases across the first three dashboard updates in fall of 2020 That same timeframe this year recorded a cumulative 202 cases, totalling about four times the amount in fall 2020.

Officials from the Public Health Office informed The Arbiter that the office is unable to track campus community vaccination rates because the on-campus clinic is open to the public and they are unable to specify which patients are registered students. Additionally, not all vaccinated students received their vaccines on-campus. 

This year, Boise State required proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test from students residing on campus.

The Arbiter is currently seeking official numbers for how many students confirmed their vaccination status to the university upon move-in.

[Photo of disposable masks]
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter
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