BYU-Idaho: Students intentionally self-exposing to COVID may face expulsion

BYU-Idaho campus. Photo: byui.edu

REXBURG, Idaho, Oct. 13, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — BYU-Idaho is warning students that anyone who intentionally exposes themselves to COVID-19 in hopes of getting the virus, surviving, and being paid for resulting antibodies, could be expelled from the university.

“BYU-Idaho is deeply troubled by accounts of individuals who have intentionally exposed themselves or others to COVID-19, with the hope of getting the disease and being paid for plasma that contains COVID-19 antibodies,” a statement from the university says.

“The university condemns this behavior and is actively seeking evidence of any such conduct among our student body. Students who are determined to have intentionally exposed themselves or others to the virus will be immediately suspended from the university and may be permanently dismissed.

“The contraction and spread of COVID-19 is not a light matter. Reckless disregard for health and safety will inevitably lead to additional illness and loss of life in our community.”

The BYU-Idaho statement referred to a previous warning, that “if recent trends in Idaho and Madison County continue, the university may be forced to move to a fully-remote instruction model.”

Adding to a deadly global pandemic in hopes of making some money is not acceptable, the statement says.

“We urge all members of the campus community to act respectfully and responsibly by observing all public health and university protocols and placing the well-being of others above personal benefit or convenience.

“BYU-Idaho recognizes that, for many in our campus community, the physical, emotional, and financial strain of this pandemic is very real. If students are struggling, BYU-Idaho stands ready to help. There is never a need to resort to behavior that endangers health or safety in order to make ends meet.”

BYU-Idaho students seeking to learn about available financial, academic, health, and other resources are asked to contact Student Well-Being at 208-496-9200 or [email protected]

The statement says students who have been exposed to an infected person or who suspect they have coronavirus should:

  • Obtain a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms
  • Self-isolate for 14 days, even if you do not develop symptoms and your test result comes back negative
  • Coordinate with your supervisor to minimize the impact on your work responsibilities and on your colleagues.

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