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Spring Semester COVID Updates

Physically distanced classroom

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 for assistance.

COVID Vaccine

Coronavirus illustration

As you are likely aware, 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. Thereafter, individuals over age 65 and those with underlying health conditions will be vaccinated. Though additional prioritization decisions are still being made, our hope is that by late spring or early summer, all members of our community will have ready access to the vaccine. For additional information about the vaccine, please visit the coronavirus Idaho website.

Spring Semester Protocols

Because the vaccination distribution and administration process will take time, members of our campus community should expect spring semester to look very similar to the current semester. Departments should follow fall reintegration plans and 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. It is my hope that as the semester progresses, we will be able to roll back some of these restrictions, but this will depend on community infection rates and vaccination uptake.

Spring Semester Return to Campus COVID Testing

The university is requiring residence hall students as well faculty and staff who plan to work on campus spring semester to be tested for COVID after winter break. The COVID Testing Center will close December 22 and reopen January 4 for spring semester testing. General testing requirements are outlined below:

Residence hall students, faculty and staff, and Rec Center patrons who are on campus between December 24 and January 3 and planning to return to campus on January 4 or 5 should be tested on either day and again on January 12 or 13.

Residence hall students, faculty and staff, and Rec Center patrons who return to campus on or after January 6 need only test once within 72 hours of their return to campus.

  • Asymptomatic individuals who are awaiting test results may go about their normal campus activities while observing public health protocols.
  • Residential students traveling out of the area for break are strongly encouraged to get a PCR test no more than 72 hours prior to commencing travel back to Boise. PCR test results from a non-university provider should be emailed to Anyone who tests positive prior to traveling should delay travel plans until their isolation period is complete.
  • Individuals who have had a positive PCR test within the last 90 days will not need to be re-tested.
  • All other students 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

The university will continue to employ surveillance testing strategies to identify and isolate asymptomatic individuals infected with COVID. The university plans to use wastewater testing to supplement and target PCR surveillance testing. Additional information will be provided directly to individuals who will participate 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 asymptomatic individuals with close contacts must quarantine from 14 to 10, and in some cases 7 days. For additional information, please visit the health guidelines web page.

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

From an email sent on December 21, 2020 by Alicia Estey, Chief of Staff and Vice President for Compliance, Legal, Public Health, and Audit