The University of Idaho has moved most of its in-person homecoming events online, following a spike of COVID-19 cases in its on-campus Greek organizations.
UI’s homecoming will officially begin with a virtual kickoff Sunday afternoon. The university announced Monday eight Greek organizations have been quarantined after targeted testing identified numerous infections among those living in on-campus fraternities and sororities.
Following the announcement, the university said it was moving most homecoming events online, including a scavenger hunt and a virtual trivia night sponsored by La Casa Lopez. Philanthropic functions, including a blood drive, a food drive and a virtual 5k, will continue as scheduled.
UI Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Kristi Overfelt said major events that have been completely canceled include the annual homecoming parade as well as a serpentine and bonfire event.
“We’re just trying to maintain as much tradition as we can (but) we can’t control what’s happening right now with the virus,” Overfelt said. “We’re just trying to respect the current situation and do what we can to keep the tradition and homecoming alive.”
As of Tuesday there have been 475 cases of COVID-19 reported in Latah County and 1,312 cases in Whitman County.
Five new cases were reported in Latah County Tuesday: one person younger than 12 years old and three women and one man between the ages of 18 and 29.
Whitman County reported three new cases Tuesday. New cases include one woman and two men between the ages of 20 and 39.
All are stable and self-isolating.
One person who was hospitalized in Whitman County has been discharged.
There have been no deaths related to COVID-19 in either Latah or Whitman counties.