Beginning Wednesday, July 28, face masks are required to be worn on campus at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM), regardless of an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status.
This mandate aligns with new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The updated guidance, issued by the agency on July 27, recommends that fully vaccinated individuals begin wearing masks indoors again in places with high COVID-19 transmission rates. Central District Health has designated Ada County as a substantial transmission area.
Recent internal polls completed by the College show that ICOM’s newest Class of 2025 has a 92.5% rate of vaccination, and the returning Class of 2024 has a 93.9% vaccination rate. Additionally, more than 90% of employees are fully vaccinated.
ICOM does not mandate the vaccine, but it is highly encouraged and unvaccinated students may not be able to complete their medical training and meet graduation requirements, since the majority of the College’s clinical partners require the vaccine for third- and fourth-year clinical rotations.
“ICOM’s high rate of vaccination, along with the relative youth and health of the student body as compared to the general public, does confer a large degree of protection to our internal community, even in the face of the much more contagious delta variant,” said Dr. Thomas J. Mohr, ICOM Dean and Chief Academic Officer. “We will continue to do our best to balance the risks that still exist due to the continued pandemic with the need to move forward in providing the best educational training to our student doctors.”
ICOM encourages students, faculty and staff to remain diligent with sanitization and personal hygiene, and to remain off campus if experiencing symptoms concerning for COVID.