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The University of Idaho campus in Moscow

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The University of Idaho has announced that it's planning for all students to be tested for COVID-19 before the semester's Aug. 24 start and results of those tests will be available in 24 hours, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports. UI Director of Communications Jodi Walker said the school decided early it would need to manage its own tests if it wanted to conduct them in high enough volume to allow students to return for in-person instruction in the fall.

"By that I don't mean just the swabbing portion -- in collaboration with Gritman Medical Center, we have set up our own lab," Walker said. "We will be able to not only do the swabbing our students, faculty and staff need but we will be able to actually run those tests to shorten the timeframe between testing and results."

Walker said every student returning to the UI's Moscow campus will be required to undergo a nasopharyngeal swab capable of identifying stray particles of coronavirus RNA before they may attend class in person or live in a residence hall, writes Daily News reporter Scott Jackson.

In an email sent to UI faculty and staff Tuesday, UI President Scott Green reiterated the school's commitment to returning to in-person instruction in the face of nearby Washington State University's decision to conduct the fall semester online.

"This is only possible because we have made truly incredible progress working with healthcare experts and our partners at Gritman Medical Center to design specific safety protocols," the message said. "We continue to implement a uniquely robust set of safety measures -- including required testing of all students -- to provide effective learning and work environments and a campus that is as safe as possible for students, faculty and staff."

The Daily News' full story is online here (subscription required).

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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