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Spring Semester COVID Updates

Thanks in large part to your efforts, Boise State’s COVID positivity rates for this semester were consistently well below county and state rates, at times by a factor of ten. I am incredibly grateful for your commitment to doing what was necessary to keep our campus open and safe.

As we look ahead to spring term, I want to provide you with updates on a number of COVID-related issues. If you have questions that aren’t answered below, please contact

COVID Vaccine
The first COVID vaccine shipment arrived in Idaho last week. Healthcare workers, residents of long term care facilities, and essential workers will be among the first to have access to the vaccine, followed by individuals over age 65 and those with underlying health conditions. Though additional prioritization decisions are still being made, our hope is that all members of our community will have ready access to the vaccine by late spring or early summer. For additional information about the vaccine, please visit Idaho’s COVID-19 vaccine page.

Spring Semester Protocols
Physical distancing and facial covering requirements will remain in place, as will limitations on gathering sizes, enhanced cleaning procedures, and other public health protocols.

Spring Semester COVID Testing
Students who live on campus will be required to be tested for COVID after winter break. The COVID Testing Center will close December 22 and reopen January 4. General testing requirements are outlined below:

Rec Center visitors and students who live or work on campus during winter break (Dec. 24 – Jan. 3) need to test on January 4 or 5, and again on January 12 or 13.

Rec Center visitors and students who return to live or work on campus on or after January 6 need to test once within 72 hours of their return to campus.

  • If you’re asymptomatic, you can go about your normal campus activities, observing public health protocols, while waiting for your test results.

If you’re traveling out of the area, please get a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test no more than 72 hours before traveling back to Boise. PCR test results from a non-university provider should be emailed to If you test positive before traveling, you must finish your isolation before coming back to campus.

If you’ve had a positive PCR test within the last 90 days, you won’t need to be re-tested. A copy of a positive test result should be emailed to

Students who don’t live or work on campus may elect to be tested, but are not required to test unless they develop COVID symptoms. There are no copays associated with testing at the Boise State COVID Testing Center for any member of the campus community.

For additional information and to register for a testing appointment, please visit the COVID Testing Center page.

Spring Semester Surveillance Testing
We’ll continue to use surveillance testing strategies to identify and isolate asymptomatic individuals infected with COVID. The university hopes to use wastewater testing to complement our surveillance testing strategies. We’ll provide more information to anyone participating in surveillance testing after the first of the year.

New Quarantine Guidelines
The CDC recently updated its quarantine guidelines to reduce the number of days to quarantine from 14 to 10, and in some cases 7. For additional information, please visit our COVID-19 FAQ page.

If you have questions about specific building reopenings (such as the Albertsons Library, or the Rec Center), please contact those departments directly.

Finally, although there is much to be optimistic about, local infection rates remain alarmingly high. Please take good care over break and continue to follow local public health guidelines.

With best wishes,

Alicia Estey
Chief of Staff
Vice President for Compliance, Legal, Public Health and Audit