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Idaho State launches mandatory COVID-19 screening program

December 21, 2020

POCATELLO – Idaho State University will implement a mandatory COVID-19 screening program at the start of the spring semester for all students, faculty, and staff with a physical on-campus presence. The COVID-19 screening involves a non-invasive, saliva-based sample. The sample will be self collected as part of the screening process. 


Idaho State’s return-to-campus screening program is focused on tracking asymptomatic individuals in the campus community. The University will also continue to track and test symptomatic individuals in the campus community for COVID-19.

“We are doing everything we can to support the health and safety of our campus community,” said President Kevin Satterlee. “This screening program is another tool intended to complement the public health guidelines we established earlier this year, which include physical distancing, face-covering requirements, and increased sanitization practices. This program will support our continued ability to provide on-campus, in-person instruction for our students.”

The screening program does not replace the University’s on-campus requirement for a face covering or other public health guidelines, including physical distancing and frequent handwashing.

On-campus screening locations will be established in Pocatello, Idaho Falls, and Meridian, with both walk-up and drive-through options. Other arrangements will be made for screening faculty, staff, and students in Twin Falls and Anchorage, Alaska. The entire screening process should take less than five minutes, and results are expected to be returned in 24-48 hours.

Since this is screening for asymptomatic cases, participants do not need to receive a negative result before continuing with their on-campus activities, including attending classes. If results are positive, the University COVID-19 Health Team will provide further instructions for self-isolation, contact tracing, and any follow-up medical care.

There will be no cost to the campus community to participate in the screening program. Idaho State’s screening program also extends to University contractors and affiliates who have regular on-campus presence or on-campus contact with faculty, staff, or students. Also, campus visitors who plan to use indoor facilities will need to participate in the screening program. 

In addition to the return-to-campus program, Idaho State will also implement ongoing screening for select populations of students, faculty, and staff with a physical presence on campus. The ongoing screenings will continue through the spring semester.

Faculty and staff who are working remotely and will not have physical interaction with other members of the campus community do not need to be screened. The University will continue to encourage telework where possible during the spring semester.



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