Students will return to the Bloomington IU campus on Monday, August 22 – Officials address Covid concerns

BLOOMINGTON – As thousands of students return to the Bloomington Indiana University campus to begin classes on Monday, August 22 for the fall semester classes.

IU officials are preparing for another school year of navigating COVID, according to Dr. Aaron Carroll, IU’s chief medical officer. He is optimistic the upcoming fall semester to be close to “normal” considering the global pandemic.  

IU is still requiring COVID vaccinations for students and staff but is no longer performing weekly tests. Instead, the university will make free testing accessible at three locations on the campus.

Drop-off COVID-19 testing allows you to collect your saliva sample at your convenience in any location and then drop it off on campus when it works for you. Drop-off testing can be used for both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing.

Learn how to use drop-off testing:

  1. Getting your test kit
  2. Registering your test kit
  3. Using your test kit
  4. Dropping off your test kit
  5. Viewing your results

Getting your test kit

  1. Pick up a test kit on campus. Test kits are available on campus and you may pick up as many as 2 test kits at a time.
    • IU Bloomington:
      • Indiana Memorial Union (circle drive breezeway)
      • McNutt center building
      • Student Health Center, door #1
        • 7 days/week, 24 hrs.
      • Residence hall students can request a kit through the askRPS form (select Other, then choose “I’d like to request a COVID-19 test kit” from the drop-down menu).
      • Students living in Greek houses can request a kit from their COVID Coordinator.
    • IUPUI:
      • Asymptomatic test kits (available when buildings are open):
        • Campus Center (first-floor southwest / Vermont St. parking garage entrance)
        • University Library main entrance
        • Education and Social Work Building, Room 1125
        • University Tower lobby
      • Symptomatic test kits: Coleman Hall, east entrance (1140 W. Michigan St.); kits are in a basket on top of the collection box.

Registering your test kit

  1. Scan QR code. Using the camera on your smartphone, scan the QR code on the test kit to get instructions for associating your test kits with your IU account.
  2. Go to the testing page. Go to the drop-off testing page for your campus and follow the instructions to pair your test kit number with your IU account.
  3. Pair the test kit number with your IU account. If you’re using a mobile phone: click the blue “Take photo” button. Place your test kit on a dark surface. Using the camera, take a photo of the barcode located on the back of your test kit. Ensure the image of the barcode is clear and press “Use Photo.”You can also enter the unique 10-digit code located on the back of your test kit (ex. SE00000000). If you’re using a computer: Enter the unique 10-digit code located on the back of your test kit (ex. SE00000000). Confirm your account by making sure your name is in the upper right corner of the screen.
  4. Write your username on the kit. Write your IU username on the test kit bag label. Please print legibly. Your test kit(s) are now associated with your name and ID and ready to use!

Using your test kit

  1. No eating/drinking for 30 minutes. Do not eat, drink, chew gum, vape, etc. in the 30 minutes before giving your sample.
  2. Spit in the vial. Take the top off the vial and fill with saliva to the 2 ml mark. Make sure there are no bubbles and that the saliva is at the 2ml mark. If there are bubbles or not enough saliva, your test will not be able to be analyzed and you’ll get an inconclusive result.
  3. Put the lid back on. Twist the lid back onto the top of the vial tightly.
  4. Clean the vial. Wipe off the vial with the alcohol wipe in your test kit bag.
  5. Put the vial in the bag. Verify the number on the vial is the same as the number on the bag. Put the vial into the bag and seal the bag. It’s important to understand that any results will be associated with your name and ID and shared with IU and the state of Indiana for public health reporting purposes. Do not submit another individual’s sample under your name.

Dropping off your test kit

  1. Return your test kit to campus. Drop off your test kit within 48 hours of collecting your saliva sample.
  2. For symptomatic testing…Drop your test kit off only in the designated symptomatic container.
    • IU Bloomington:
      • Student Health Center, door 1 (600 N. Eagleson Ave.)
        • Last pick-up is 12 p.m. Mon. – Fri.
      • Lower level of the East parking garage (150 N. Eagleson Ave.)
        • Last pick-up is 12 p.m. Mon. – Fri.
      • 800 N. Indiana Ave.
        • Last pick-up is 12 p.m. Mon. – Fri.
    • IUPUI: Outside Campus Health at Coleman Hall, east entrance (1140 W. Michigan St.). Tests picked up Mon. – Thurs. There is no pick-up Fri. – Sun.
  3. For asymptomatic testing…
    • IU Bloomington: 800 N. Indiana Ave.
      • Last pick-up is 12 p.m. Mon. – Fri.
    • IUPUI: 
      • Education and Social Work Building, Room 1125 (902 W. New York St.)
      • Campus Center (southwest / Vermont St. parking garage entrance)
      • University Library main entrance
      • University Tower lobby
        • Pick-up times for all locations Mon. – Thurs. 12 p.m.

Viewing your results

You’ll be notified via your IU email when your results are available. This is usually 36-72 hours after your sample was picked up from the collection site.

You can also view the results page in the testing system at any time to see your results.

vaccinations for students and staff but will no longer perform weekly testing. Instead, the university is trying to make testing as accessible and omnipresent as possible: there will be three locations on campus providing free COVID tests (including a 24/7 operation and the Student Health Center), and the university will stock vending machines around campus with free rapid antigen tests.  

Students and staff are encouraged to stay home if they feel sick.

Students will still need to go through a pre-approval process to hold events; however, Carroll said there won’t be limits on event sizes – the pre-approval process is to keep track of what events are happening where in case of an outbreak.  

If an on-campus student tests positive for COVID, they will still need to leave their residence for the university’s “isolation housing,” where meals will be provided for five days. That lines up with isolation guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Dr. Carroll, the university’s policies could change and become stricter if new COVID variants prove to be more dangerous. 

Monkey Pox

Dr. Carroll said university officials were also discussing the best ways to handle cases of monkeypox if found on campus. 

There are 77 confirmed cases in Indiana, but there is none in Monroe County. 

The university’s monkeypox response will adapt to changes in federal and state policy. Currently, the only way to test for the virus is with a doctor. 

If someone tests positive for monkeypox, the university will work with that person and the State Department of Health to identify close contacts and provide the appropriate post-exposure treatment. 

The isolation time for monkeypox is much longer than COVID – from two to four weeks. Dr. Carroll said the university will ask students to return home to isolate themselves if possible.