LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College administered more than 400 COVID-19 mid-nasal swab polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests during the last 10 days and had only two positive test outcomes, college administrators are reporting.
The PCR tests, which are considered among the highest standards in COVID-19 virus detection, were administered over three days in preparation for the spring 2021 semester. The tests were required for student-athletes, students living on campus, and students facing requirements to participate in clinicals or teaching internships. Free tests also were made available to any students, faculty and staff who wanted to be tested.
The first 104 tests were administered on Jan. 6 and last Friday close to 300 tests were administered as more students returned to campus for the start of the spring 2021 semester. Tests were also administered to 23 college employees.
In all, the college reported just two positive tests out of 413, for a positivity rate of only 0.48 percent.
“This is a testament to the exceptional commitment and care of our students, and to their sincere desire to continue face-to-face learning opportunities,” LC State President Cynthia Pemberton said. “I’m incredibly proud of our students and excited about this excellent start to spring semester.”
The college will continue to have a limited testing capacity on campus that will be managed by Nursing & Health Sciences faculty. These tests will be available for students who need a COVID-19 test as a condition of participating in an internship or clinical experience.
“Based on our successes in the fall, we feel confident that we can keep the campus safe this spring and will continue to advance our educational mission,” said LC State Vice President for Student Affairs Andy Hanson, who oversees the college’s COVID-19 Tactical Group.
With the testing success, LC State is moving forward with offering 62 percent of its classes during the spring semester face-to-face and another 14 percent with a live component either through hybrid structure or live remote options. Around 20 percent of its courses are fully online, which was also the case prior to COVID-19.
LC State managed in-person classes through the fall semester and kept its COVID-19 numbers moderate, while many colleges throughout the country went either all online or to a majority of classes online.