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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Last Updated: July 7, 2020

Vandal Strong

This page is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered to be providing medical or legal advice. In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.

The world is dealing with the outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 70 locations internationally, including in the United States. As the virus continues to spread, the University of Idaho is monitoring the situation and is committed to the health and safety of Vandals statewide.


Most Recent Updates

U of I Gradually Open Throughout Summer

Leadership at the University of Idaho is working diligently to make returning to the workplace as safe as possible. We will gradually reopen the university throughout June and July.

Full Return Phase | Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 31

  • Face coverings are required in campus buildings and when social distancing cannot be maintained outdoors.
  • All employees report to work according to plans developed with supervisors, unless an HR-approved accommodation or flexplace agreement is in place.
  • Healthy Vandal Pledge: This electronic agreement within VandalWeb must be signed by all those returning to a regular work location. This document acknowledges the safety protocols in place at all university locations and your expected participation — to help keep our staff, faculty and students as healthy as possible.
  • A decision regarding work adjustments must not be made at the department level when medical information is a factor. These must be referred to HR for processing.
  • Supervisors are encouraged to develop alternate schedules to decrease in-person contact, but still accomplish unit responsibilities. Tactics can include:
  • All offices are expected to meet the needs of in-person responsibilities in addition to phone/remote inquiries.
  • Most buildings are open to the public.

Face Coverings

Face coverings are required inside all university buildings, with limited exceptions. Face coverings include cloth masks, bandannas, scarves or any other material that covers the nose and mouth. The exception to the requirement is in a private office, in a room by yourself, in supervised workout locations, or office spaces where sufficient social distancing is sustainable for work stations. Face coverings must also be worn outside when social distancing of at least six feet is not sustainable.

If you have concern about yourself or others, file a CARE report or email askjoe@uidaho.edu.

General Information

This current form of coronavirus is a respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath.

The understanding of COVID-19 is growing. Originally thought to have a direct connection to a fish and meat market in China, the virus appears to now be spread not only by direct contact but also through community spread – meaning unknown sources including human carriers who do not display symptoms.

Basic hygiene practices are the best way to avoid contracting the illness.

  • Wash your hands often, using soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay home when you are sick;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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We continue to work directly with Public Health-Idaho North Central District to asses risk and monitor the situation. U of I is also monitoring the situation statewide.

U of I has an Infectious Disease Response Team (IDRT) that has been expanded to prepare for possible COVID-19 spread to include not only representatives from a variety of university departments, but also city and county representatives. This team is monitoring the virus as well as planning a response should there be major impact to the university anywhere in the state.

To see a real-time update on COVID-19, see Johns Hopkins University’s tracker map.

The IDRT is monitoring all statewide locations as the state reopens. Several Vandals have been confirmed positive across the state, and one case has been confirmed directly on the Moscow campus. That person has fully recovered and the quarantine period has passed for those who may have been exposed.

U of I is communicating regularly with Gritman Medical Center. The hospital, in close coordination with Public Health, is well-trained and prepared to respond.

U of I has an Infectious Disease Response Protocol and a team that is monitoring the situation and is prepared to implement a response, if necessary. As always, the safety of students, guests, faculty and staff is a priority.

U of I is communicating regularly with all other public institutions in the state and the Idaho State Board of Education.

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Care

  • The Counseling and Testing Center is available at 208-885-6716 for students experiencing anxiety. Staff and faculty can find assistance through the free and confidential Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) resources.
  • VandalCARE provides an opportunity for you to notify the Dean of Students Office if you believe a campus community member is in distress or displaying concerning behavior. You can file a report of concern about someone you know or even for yourself.

If you’re sick, self-isolate. This means stay home and limit contact with others. If your medical symptoms become more than you can handle, or you’re starting to develop fever, cough and shortness of breath, call your primary care provider, the Vandal Health Clinic (208-885-6693) or the Gritman Medical Center COVID-19 Hotline and website with symptom checker information. For minor cold-like symptoms, medical attention is not needed. Call ahead before you visit a doctor’s office or emergency room. They will ask about your symptoms and help you determine next steps.

If you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, self-isolate in order to reduce the spread of the virus.

Only a healthcare provider can order the COVID-19 test. If your symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider for evaluation and information about how to be tested.

The University of Idaho has sick leave and other leave available to employees. Please work with your supervisor or contact Human Resources at 208-885-3697 or benefits@uidaho.edu. Students should contact the faculty member to arrange for absence and to make up any missed work.

Those with preexisting health conditions are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19. You should follow the CDC guidelines and contact your healthcare provider for guidance.

Yes. According to the CDC you should:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do not use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

To reduce your risk of infection from this and other illnesses, please follow, and encourage others to follow, basic protocols including:

  • Wash your hands often, using soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay home when you are sick;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

U of I will waive member cost-sharing for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing to employees and dependents covered on the U of I health plans. This includes copays, deductibles and coinsurance for plan participants for testing for coronavirus. (There may be other costs associated with the testing such as doctor visits, etc.)

SHIP, for those students insured this way, will provide diagnostic COVD-19 testing at approved location in accordance with CDC guidelines. UnitedHealthcare Student Resources (UHCSR), the claims administrator, can assist students with information relative to their benefits including access to virtual care options. The UHCSR customer service number is 1-800-767-0700. Coverage brochures, network provider lists and links to other resources are available at uidaho.edu/SHIP and uhcsr.com/uidaho.

Students who have private insurance should contact their provider to inquire about diagnostic benefits.

Travel

U of I is restricting all travel, foreign and domestic. Any university-related travel must be approved by your supervisor and relevant vice president. Travelers should not rely on approvals given before travel restrictions went into effect.

The U of I is following the CDC guidelines which advise returning travelers leaving an area with widespread, ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries) to stay home for 14 days and practice social distancing. The website also includes steps to monitor your health and guidance for seeking medical care.

Additionally, U of I requires that any student or employee returning from travel to a Level 2 or 3 CDC-identified country, stay home for 14 days and practices social distancing regardless of whether the travel is personal or university-affiliated. If campus is your current home, you are expected to self-isolate for 14 days upon your return.

U of I is not sponsoring any international travel at this time.

The first step is to look into the possibility of having your flight changed or refunded. Many airlines are offering flexibility. If your airline is not flexible, you will need to work with the finance team in your area to process a reimbursement. This may require higher level approval in your area as funding needs come from departmental budgets. All departments have been asked to track such expenses as COVID-19 related expenses.

Campus Cleanliness

Custodians have increased the frequency of wipe-downs on commonly used surfaces. Environmental Health and Safety is assisting custodians to provide more resources in high-traffic areas. Departments across campus are working together to use commercial equipment designed to clean large, heavily used spaces.

Custodians on the Moscow campus are using cleaners from the EPA-recommended cleaner list. Other U of I locations have received this list to guide them.

Offices and lab spaces should be cleaned regularly by those using them. Custodial staff is focusing on high-traffic, public areas, including classrooms and gathering spaces.

OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF) and CDC recommendations are used as we assist other units in maintaining a healthy work environment for those that cannot work from home and must still work on campus.

Vandal Health Clinic

Physical Address:

831 Ash Street
Moscow, ID 83843

Phone: 208-885-6693

Directions to Vandal Health Clinic