Boise State University is committed to doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff, which is why on Friday, March 13, the campus will engage in an exercise to help prepare for any emergency, including natural disaster, extreme weather, and — on the advisement of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the Central District Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control — for the potential arrival of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
There are no confirmed cases of the virus in Idaho today, and state public health leaders say the individual risk remains low.
However, it is both prudent and vital for the university to prepare for this and other unexpected events that could force us to change our day-to-day operations for extended periods of time.
More than 40 universities in areas already affected by COVID-19 have moved courses online for an extended period of time to help prevent the spread of the virus. Boise State faculty have been working with technology and digital course delivery experts to prepare for this, and this day of practice will help identify any additional steps, training and preparation that needs to take place in the event that the university has to suspend in-person courses and public events.
In addition, all university divisions and departments are being asked to discuss the effective protocols and challenges of maintaining essential operations over an extended period of disruption. More than 3,000 students live on campus and their health, safety and food delivery remain vital even on days when weather or another event keeps most employees and visitors from campus.
Boise State leadership is working with the state government and other Idaho universities — representatives of which will come to Boise State University on Friday for this exercise — to develop stronger and more effective statewide preparation for large-scale emergencies.
The university’s goals in this effort are to care for the communities that depend on us and to ensure that everyone has the tools to successfully navigate any significant challenges the university faces. All up-to-date campus information on the coronavirus can be viewed at go.boisestate.edu/coronavirus-response.