Answers To 7 Key Questions About IU’s COVID-19 Testing Plans

(BLOOMINGTON) – To protect members of the Indiana University community and encourage a healthy start to the school year, IU has implemented COVID-19 testing protocols for several of its campuses.

Here are the answers to seven key questions about coronavirus testing at Indiana University this fall.

Who is required to be tested before coming to campus?

  •  IU Bloomington: Students living in residence halls, Greek houses or IU on-campus apartments.
  • IUPUI: Students living in residential housing or working in on-campus housing.
  • IU South Bend: Students living in residence halls.
  • IU Southeast: Students living in residence halls.

Students should complete their pre-arrival testing 10 days before their permanent move-in date (not the date they may arrive to simply drop off items). This timeframe was determined with the goal of reducing the risk of students being exposed between the time of testing and arrival to campus, and it allows students to make changes to travel plans if needed.

Students should provide the results of a diagnostic test, also known as a viral test. This type of test shows whether a person is actively infectious at the time of the test. Students who receive a positive result on their pre-arrival COVID-19 test should not come to campus and should follow the protocol for a positive COVID-19 test.

Students arriving from a location outside the U.S. do not need a pre-arrival test for COVID-19. These students will need to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival in the U.S. If a student develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during self-quarantine, they must obtain a COVID-19 test and follow the protocol for people exhibiting symptoms.

What if students can’t get tested before their move-in dates or don’t have their results back before moving in?

If a student has had a test but does not yet have results, they should bring a hard copy or digital verification of taking the test. If a student has made a good-faith effort to have a test before arriving on campus, but was unable to because of lack of tests in their area, etc., they should use the results form to report that.

All IU students are asked to follow all of the CDC’s critical COVID-19 behavioral guidelines for at least 14 days before arriving on campus, including wearing a mask, physical distancing and avoiding large events.

Will all students be tested upon arrival?

All students living in on-campus housing at IU Bloomington, IUPUI, IU South Bend and IU Southeast will be tested as part of a new centralized check-in process. Students living off-campus at IU Bloomington will also be required to have a COVID-19 test before classes begin. More details will be shared soon.

The on-arrival test for those living in on-campus housing will be an antigen test, and samples will be taken from inside students’ nostrils. Students will learn whether their test is positive or negative within 30 minutes or less of their nose swab.

What happens if a student tests negative upon arrival?

A student who tests negative upon arrival will move through the rest of the check-in process and move into their residence hall. It’s important for students to know, however, that a negative test doesn’t mean they are not infected or at risk. It is possible that students with negative test results could still be infected but not show symptoms yet.

Because of this, it’s very important that students still engage in all of the behaviors that will keep them and others safe throughout the semester, including but not limited to wearing a mask when inside and around others; maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet from others; and washing their hands regularly.

What happens if a student tests positive upon arrival?

A student who tests positive will not be able to move in, but they will still have options. Students who would be living in on-campus housing can move into isolation housing on campus or may choose to go home and isolate. Details on isolation housing will vary by campus.

In both situations, students will be able to attend classes online.

Are faculty and staff required to get tested before returning to campus?

No, but they will be asked to participate in surveillance testing throughout the semester.

Will students be able to get tested throughout the semester?

Through an agreement with Indiana University Health, IU students, faculty and staff will have access to a comprehensive series of services related to the screening, testing and management of COVID-19.

As part of the agreement, all IU students, faculty and staff at any IU campus or facility who have symptoms of COVID-19 will be able to use virtual visits, as well as local clinics where samples can be collected for virus testing if needed.

Information by MARAH YANKEY at News at IU