It’s officially been three years since the COVID-19 pandemic began overtaking the world. While COVID may never be truly gone, many people have finally started to feel a sense of normalcy.
This new normal recently led to Boise State University cutting back on COVID-19 testing services due to a decreased demand.
“We have reduced hours to meet existing campus and community COVID testing needs,” Clinical Programs Director Stephanie Hudon wrote in an email to The Arbiter. “Even with our reduced hours, we have not run out of testing appointments on any day so far.”
Data from Boise State’s Public Health Dashboard shows that over 1,000 tests were administered each week for much of the fall 2021 semester. In fall 2022, however, there was only one week all semester where more than 100 tests were administered.
This reduced demand meant that the testing center at Boise State had to let go of nine employees. Most of these employees, however, were able to find positions elsewhere on campus, according to Hudon.
The cut back on COVID-19 testing has no impact on the vaccines available at the Boise State Vaccination Clinic. The clinic is still offering COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, as well as MPV and influenza vaccines, all of which are offered free of charge to members of the campus community regardless of insurance status.
“There is a new COVID virus subvariant called XBB.1.5 which is highly transmissible (and) Idaho is seeing very high flu activity,” Hudon wrote. “Thus, this would be a good time to get the new bivalent booster and flu vaccine if you haven’t yet.”
As the prevalence of COVID-19 continues to lessen, campus community members are still encouraged to be vigilant of their health and get tested if they are feeling sick.
For those still wanting to get tested for COVID-19 or the flu on campus, the new testing center hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. While appointments are required for testing, there is typically same-day availability. Appointments can be made online on the Public Health response page.