University Of Idaho, With In-Person Classes, Reports COVID-19 Cases, But Not Like In Nearby Pullman

WATCH

 

The University of Idaho is in its second week of classes – a mix of in-person and online. 

On Monday, Aug. 31, the Moscow-based school reported 24 COVID-19 cases. That’s from over 2,300 recent tests on students and staff. Unlike in nearby Pullman across the border, Moscow has not seen a huge spike in cases. Washington State University is responding to a recent surge – more than 300 cases in Pullman in the past 10 days.

Journalist Alexis Van Horn covers the University of Idaho for the UI’s student newspaper, The Argonaut. She says administrators don’t have a publicly announced bar of what might cause them to stop in-person classes this semester, as some other colleges have done.

“There’s no exact metric. They’re saying that they’re monitoring many different factors, including positive test results. But they haven’t said if we hit X number of positives or X number of deaths then we will close. They haven’t said anything like that,” Van Horn said recently on NWPB’s Uniquely NW News program.

The school will go to a fully online model for the rest of the fall semester after the Thanksgiving break.

Van Horn and her colleague at The Argonaut, Brianna Finnegan, were speaking on NWPB’s Uniquely NW News. Watch the full segment above. See past episodes and subscribe on NWPB’s YouTube channel.

Related Stories:

The Moscow School District decided earlier in March to close schools after its spring break, after Idaho Gov. Brad Little declined a statewide closure. CREDIT: Architect21c at the English Wikipedia / GFDL gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html

Analysis: Idaho Lands Ahead Of The National Curve In The School Reopening Debate

Plenty of factors have brought Idaho’s larger districts closer to reopening. But none are unique to Idaho. Seventy-six percent of respondents said they wanted to see K-12 students back in the classroom, at least part-time, according to a statewide Boise State University survey released last month. For Republican respondents and parents of K-12 kids, those numbers skewed even higher — 86 percent and 80 percent, respectively. Continue Reading Analysis: Idaho Lands Ahead Of The National Curve In The School Reopening Debate

Paraeducators Jerilie Biery, left, and Nadia Ulyanchuk, right, administer required health check-ins with students before school starts at Chief Moses Middle School on Jan. 11, 2020. CREDIT: Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut

With Vaccine Questions Looming, Washington Schools Struggle With Reopening

News reports and social media feeds have been crowded lately with demands by teachers in Seattle and elsewhere around the state and the country to be vaccinated before they step from behind the computer screen and back into the classroom. Vaccine availability is something not even the governor can guarantee, but teachers are in one of the groups in line for vaccination in Washington state after the current groups — health care workers and everyone 65 and older. Continue Reading With Vaccine Questions Looming, Washington Schools Struggle With Reopening

Elementary school teacher Sariah Pearson contracted COVID-19, suffering a fever and other symptoms for close to six weeks. CREDIT: Kirk Siegler/NPR

Rural Idaho District Under Pressure To Stay Open, But School Board Refuses To Mandate Masks

Case numbers have shot up lately in rural America, which skews older and tends to have huge inequality gaps in health care. But there’s still resistance in places such as Bruneau, Idaho, which has a population of 500. Here, there’s also a pervasive sense in the community that kids need to be physically in classrooms for their education and well-being yet stiff opposition to rules intended to slow the spread such as mask-wearing. The school board declined to require masks be worn indoors by students and staff. Continue Reading Rural Idaho District Under Pressure To Stay Open, But School Board Refuses To Mandate Masks