BYU-Idaho warns students over intentionally contracting COVID-19 to sell plasma

Posted at 11:12 AM, Oct 14, 2020

REXBURG, Idaho — Officials at BYU-Idaho are warning students about intentionally contracting COVID-19 in order to sell their plasma.

In a news release issued Monday, the school says it is "deeply troubled" over reports that university students may be exposing themselves to the virus in order to contract it and sell the plasma that contains COVID-19 antibodies.

"The university condemns this behavior and is actively seeking evidence of any such conduct among our student body," the statement read. "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."

Despite the warning, there has been no confirmation that any BYU-Idaho student has intentionally exposed themselves to COVID-19.

"We have been made aware of this information but at this point, it is only just rumors," said Mimi Taylor of Eastern Idaho Public Health. "We obviously do not support this type of behavior as it poses a risk to public health." reported earlier in October that plasma centers in the Rexburg area were offering more cash for those who have the COVID-19 antibody.

The school also said it is monitoring rising COVID-19 trends in Idaho and Madison County. Should cases rise, the university may move to fully-online learning.

"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," the statement continued.

This story was originally published by staff at KSTU.