BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– Of the nearly 30,000 IU students tested for the coronavirus this month, the administration says about 300 have tested positive.
That means approximately 99% of IU students do not have coronavirus. On Tuesday, the administration said it’s tested about 89% of its 40,000 students on the Bloomington, Indianapolis, South Bend, and New Albany campuses.
They say of the 32,002 tests processed so far, 0.91% came back positive, which was not a surprise to them. IU administrators say they expected about a 1% positivity rate.
“All of the actions we have taken during the global pandemic — including the development and rapid deployment of one of higher education’s most robust, comprehensive and efficient testing and screening programs for COVID-19 — have been geared toward the single purpose of keeping the IU community as safe and healthy as possible,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. “With the solid public health, medical, and safety infrastructure we already have in place, we are ensuring our campuses and communities are safe — and, confronted by one of the most difficult challenges IU has ever faced, we are setting big goals. This virus exists everywhere, and our campuses are no exception, but we are determined for it to be safer to be part of the IU community than it is to not be part of our community.”
Students who tested positive are being quarantined. McRobbie says they have either returned home with their families to isolate, are isolating off-campus, or have been isolated in housing reserved for that purpose.
Starting this week, IU is transitioning to continual mitigation testing of IU students, faculty and staff, who will be randomly chosen throughout the year to be tested. That testing involves a saliva test.
“We’re confident that the round-the-clock mitigation testing that we are now initiating — which too few organizations our size have the ability or willingness to manage — along with symptomatic testing and robust contact tracing and isolation, gives us the best chance to keep us all together on our campuses,” said Dr. Aaron E. Carroll, IU’s director of surveillance and mitigation for the COVID-19 pandemic and a professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine.