Indiana Daily Student

UPDATE DEC. 16: IU’s latest COVID-19 dashboard update reports Bloomington campuses second lowest positivity rate of the year

<p>Signs direct students where to go for mitigation testing Thursday outside of Franklin Hall. The decision to put testing in Presidents Hallwas made without the knowledge of the dean of The Media School, James Shanahan.</p>

Signs direct students where to go for mitigation testing Thursday outside of Franklin Hall. The decision to put testing in Presidents Hallwas made without the knowledge of the dean of The Media School, James Shanahan.

This story will be updated weekly to reflect IU dashboard updates. The latest update was Dec. 16.

IU reported its second lowest COVID-19 mitigation testing positivity rate of the semester at 0.68%, albeit conducting fewer tests with fewer students living in Bloomington during the intersession.

This data covers testing from Dec. 6-12. 

The lowest weekly rate was 0.64% — last week’s total. 

This week’s positivity rate is a minor increase, although fewer tests were conducted compared to last week. There were 50 new positive tests — there were 52 positives last week — and 7,279 negative results. 

Live-in greek-life students had a 0.8% positivity rate out of 123 tests. That is a drop from 1.4% the week prior. Live-out greek life students had a 0.44% positivity rate from 459 tests, decreasing from 1.3% the week prior. 

Dorm residents had a 0.1% positivity rate in last week’s testing of 844 students — which would make up nearly the entirety of students living in dorms over intersession. That is a decrease from 0.5% the week before. 

Off-campus students had a 0.8% positivity rate, decreasing from 0.9% the week before. There were 4,279 off-campus students tested last week. 

The overall positivity rate for the year is now 2% — 2,561 positive tests, 126,354 negatives tests. 

Also included in this update are the first results from IU’s new voluntary asymptomatic program. Those tests are being offered on the Bloomington, Indianapolis and South Bend campuses. Of 1,414 total students faculty and staff tested across all three campuses, 2.1% tested positive for COVID-19. 

Symptomatic testing positivity rates decreased to 25.42% from 28.57% the week prior. Last week had 15 positive symptomatic tests and 44 negative tests. 

Ashton Center was at 0.3% use last week, a slight increase from 0.2% the week prior. 

IU’s calculated prevalence rate — which refers to the percent of people in a given population who are infected — is 1% for the Bloomington campus. That is a very slight increase from last week’s update, posting a rate of 0.9%.

This current week is finals week for IU students and is the final week of mitigation testing for 2020, with IU taking the weeks of Dec. 20 and Dec. 27 off for the holidays. It appears mitigation testing will resume on Jan. 4. Symptomatic testing will still be available over those two weeks. 

IU has not yet publicly released information for on-arrival testing plans in the spring, but it is expected to look like it did in the fall. The Medical Response Team has said it plans to have testing when students come back to campus and wants students to get rid of their exemptions if they return before intersession ends. 

Dec. 9

IU updated its COVID-19 dashboard Wednesday with the first week of mitigation testing after classes moved fully online and reported a 0.64% positivity rate for a little over 8,000 tests in Bloomington. 

There were 52 positives and 8,031 negatives for those tested on the Bloomington campus last week. 

This is a decrease from the 1.74% positivity rate recorded over the week of Nov. 8 — the last week of mitigation testing after a week off for on-departure testing the week before Thanksgiving break and no surveillance testing done over the break itself. 

The dashboard reported 7,613 total faculty members were tested across all IU campuses, the largest week of staff and faculty testing by a large margin. Of that group, 47 were positive. With many students home and IU’s own labs fully operational now, there were far more tests available to staff and faculty than in previous weeks. 

“That freed up a fair amount of testing,” Dr. Aaron Carroll, IU’s director of mitigation testing, said in his webinar Wednesday. 

Only 4,016 total students were tested last week in Bloomington, the fewest total number of tests in an individual week this semester. Many students stayed at home after Thanksgiving and filled out a testing exemption. 

Of the 68 live-in greek-life students tested last week, 1.5% were positive. The dashboard also reported a 1.3% positivity rate from the 233 live-out greek-life students tested. Nearly 3,000 off-campus students were tested with a positivity rate of 0.9% and 0.5% of the 766 residence hall students tested positive in last week’s testing. 

This was the largest week of mitigation testing with roughly 14,000 total tests despite many students still being at home. This is also a product of IU’s labs running in their full capacity. Carroll said in his webinar this increased testing rate will continue this week and next week — the final weeks of mitigation testing in 2020 — and pick up at these same levels in January when mitigation testing resumes. 

When classes begin in person again in February, Carroll said to anticipate “massive” amounts of testing. 

IU’s calculated prevalence rate — which refers to the percent of people in a given population who are infected — is 0.9% for the Bloomington campus. That is a decrease from the last prevalence rate update on Nov. 18. 

Some of the regional campuses — notably IU East, IU Kokomo and IU Southeast — saw large increases in positivity rates during last weeks testing, correlating with positivity rates continuing to rise in Indiana. 

Some residents remain in Ashton Center in isolation or quarantine. The residence hall has a 0.2% utilization rate. 

The Bloomington campus had a 28.57% symptomatic testing positivity rate, which remains fairly steady with what the school has reported for nearly the last month. There were 38 positive symptomatic tests last week and 95 negatives. 

Correction: This article previously incorrectly stated the prevalence rate increased in Bloomington in the Dec. 9 update when it in fact decreased.

Nov. 26

IU updated its COVID-19 dashboard Wednesday with data from last week’s on-departure testing. The school reported a 2.4% positivity rate for all students, faculty and staff on the Bloomington campus. 

Mitigation testing was paused last week to allow for on-departure testing instead. IU recommended all students sign up for a free test before going home for Thanksgiving. 

The dashboard reports 14,149 total students, faculty and staff from the Bloomington campus signed up for a test. That makes up less than half of IU’s total student population. 

Live-in greek-life students had a 6.3% positivity rate out of 622 tests. Live-out greek-life students had a 4.8% positivity rate out of 1,639 tests. Dorm and other residence hall residents had a 1.5% positivity rate out of 3,931 tests and off-campus residents had a 2.3% positivity rate out of 6,357 tests.  

The on-departure testing marks the most tests IU has conducted in an individual week. Though IU medical leaders like Aaron Carroll, IU’s director of mitigation testing, anticipates testing on this higher scale to be the new normal for mitigation testing in the spring semester. 

Mitigation testing will continue during IU’s fully-online period. However, students not returning to campus after Thanksgiving can file an exemption from being selected for testing. 

Nov.18

IU-Bloomington reported another week of increasing positivity rates, correlating with skyrocketing case increases across Indiana, in its final COVID-19 dashboard update before Thanksgiving break. 

IU reports a 1.72% positivity rate and 156 new cases in last week’s testing — the week of Nov. 8-14 — which was the final week of mitigation testing before Thanksgiving. 

The largest increases in positivity rates came from students in greek life. Live-in greek-affiliated students saw their weekly positivity rate jump to 5.9% from 3.4% the week prior, and live-out greek-affiliated students saw their positivity rate increase to 3.9% from 1.2% the week before. 

Those rates are starting to approach levels similar to when many houses were directed to quarantine earlier in the year, but only one house currently is quarantining — Beta Sigma Psi. Beta Sigma Psi is on its second quarantine of the semester. IU reported in previous updates that many cases in greek life could be traced back to Halloween parties, and this update still includes data from the 14 days after Halloween. 

Delta Upsilon was shut down for holding a large Halloween party. Sigma Pi was placed on cease and desist shortly after Halloween for COVID-19 policy violations. Sigma Chi was also placed on cease and desist after Halloween, but it’s not clear the fraternity’s violation was related to the pandemic. 

All other off-campus residents saw increasing rates as well, up to 1.7% from 0.6% the week before. Positivity rates in dorms remained the same, at 1.4%. 

Symptomatic positivity rates increased from 21.34% in the last update to 26.6% last week. Ashton Center's occupancy remained roughly the same, but decreased from 11.6% of capacity to 11.1% of capacity. IU is not requiring students in Ashton to remain in Ashton over Thanksgiving break. Students are able to isolate at home if they so choose. 

Bloomington’s prevalence rate of the pandemic on campus increased to 1.5% from 0.8% in last week’s update. 

IU is conducting voluntary on-departure testing this week in place of mitigation testing. The dashboard reports students are still able to sign up for an on-departure test if they have not already. 

Mitigation testing will return the week after Thanksgiving, where Aaron Carroll, IU’s director of mitigation testing, plans to increase how often the students who return to Bloomington will be tested. Students who will not be coming back to campus from the period of Nov. 20 through Jan. 1 are able to apply for an exemption so they are not selected for mitigation testing while gone. 

Nov. 11

IU reported a third straight week of increasing positivity rates in Bloomington in its Nov. 11 COVID-19 dashboard update. 

The weekly positivity rate rose to 1.41% last week from 0.92% the week prior. That is the largest increase in positivity rates since the Aug. 30 dashboard update — which was IU’s worst week of the semester with a positivity rate of over 7%. 

This update’s testing data includes results from Nov. 1 through Nov. 7. That is the week after Halloween where many large parties were held and the second week after large gatherings at Memorial Stadium and Kirkwood Avenue celebrating IU’s win over Penn State. 

IU’s contact tracers reported Halloween parties, tailgates and weddings to be consistent responses in events people who tested positive attended according to the dashboard. 

Additionally, the increasing positivity rates coincide with the worst week Indiana has had since the start of the pandemic. Since Nov. 4, Indiana has had six days with over 4,000 new coronavirus cases reported. It had never reached anywhere close to 4,000 new cases in a day beforehand. The state set new records for single-day case increases for four consecutive days last week. 

The dashboard reports a 3.6% positivity rate among live-in greek-life students, which is up from 1.4% the week prior. Live-out greek students had a 0.9% positivity rate compared to 1.1% the week prior. Dorm residents had a 1.4% positivity rate compared to 0.9% the week prior and all other off-campus students had a 0.6% positivity rate compared to 1.2% the week prior. 

Only one greek house is currently quarantined — Beta Sigma Psi — though it is that house’s second quarantine. 

The parties have, however, led to multiple greek houses receiving cease and desist orders. 

Symptomatic testing positivity rates remained roughly the same at a little over 20%. IU’s quarantine and isolation facility usage increased from 7% to 11.6% of capacity. 

This week is the final week of mitigation testing before Thanksgiving. IU will pause its mitigation testing next week for on-departure testing and will not have testing the week of Thanksgiving. Students can sign up for on-departure testing here. Mitigation testing will resume the week after Thanksgiving. Students who do not return to Bloomington after the holiday might be selected for mitigation testing, but IU said they will be able to get an exemption since they are not in town. 

Nov. 4

The weekly mitigation and symptomatic testing dashboard update for IU’s campuses shows cases have increased slightly. The data in the update is for testing done the week of October 25 - 31. 

The mitigation testing positivity rate of COVID-19 for all IU campuses increased from .8% to 1%. 

Of 1,646 tests of IU-Bloomington students living off campus, the positive rate was a .3% increase, from .9% to 1.2%. The positivity rate also increased .3% among students living on campus going from .6% to .9% among the 5,906 students tested. The positivity rate in IU greek housing mitigation testing decreased to 1.5% compared to 2.2% the week prior. 

There were also three positive cases identified among staff of all campuses out of 820 members tested.

Symptomatic testing positivity rates across all campuses saw a large increase from 15.7% reported last week to 20.2% reported this week.

IU-Bloomington’s isolation and quarantine housing is at 7% utilization, a slight increase from last week’s 5.2%. 

Overall to date, IU-Bloomington has had 2,139 positive test results out of 91,525 for an overall positivity rate of 2.3%. For symptomatic testing, IU-Bloomington has had 876 positive test results since August 1 out of 2,765 tests. That is an overall positivity rate of 31.7%. 

The dashboard briefing said IU health experts do find the rising number of cases throughout the state concerning.

“Just a few outbreaks can exponentially increase the number of cases among the IU community,” the briefing posted on the dashboard said.

Oct. 28

IU-Bloomington reported an increase in its weekly positivity rate in its Wednesday’s COVID-19 dashboard update. In this update, the Bloomington campus recorded its 2,000th positive mitigation test. 

This testing data includes the week of Oct. 18 to Oct. 24. 

The weekly Bloomington positivity rate increased to 0.84% last week from 0.7% the week prior. Bloomington’s prevalence rate — referring to a weekly calculated proportion of the student population with COVID-19 —  increased as well, going up to 1.1% last week from 0.6% the week prior. 

Live-in greek students had a weekly positivity rate increase from 1.5% to 2% and non-greek affiliated off campus students had weekly positivity rates increase from 0.8% to 0.9% 

Residence hall residents and live-out greek students both saw declines in weekly positivity rates. Residence halls dropped from 1.1% to 0.6% and live-out greek students dropped from 2.3% to 2.1%. 

The Bloomington campus now has a total of 2,055 positive mitigation tests out of 82,278 total tests. That equates to a 2.5% positivity rate. 

Symptomatic testing data remained largely similar to last week’s update. Bloomington had 28 positive symptomatic tests and a positivity rate of 19.86% last week. That is a difference of less than 1% compared to last week’s update and makes for the smallest change in weekly symptomatic testing rate since IU started collecting this data the week of Aug. 2.

Quarantine and isolation facilities in Bloomington are at 5.2% of capacity, compared to 6.4% the week prior.  

IU’s testing data in this update correspond with the state’s worst week of single-day case increases since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of Indiana’s three highest single-day case increases occurred during this week including a record 2,825 new cases on Oct. 21. 

This data does not include potential information on if there was any COVID-19 spread from last Saturday’s celebrations following IU’s win over Penn State. That will be in next week’s dashboard update. 

The dashboard did note having a small group as “other celebratory occasions arise.” 

Oct. 21

After a slight increase in mitigation testing positivity rates in last week’s update, IU reported a decrease in the Bloomington campus’ rate in Wednesday’s update, the lowest single-week rate of the school year.

Wednesday’s update covered testing over the week of Oct. 11 to Oct. 17. The Bloomington campus’ data showed a 0.7% positivity rate in last week’s mitigation testing. This is the first week Bloomington has had a rate below 1%. 

That 0.7% rate is made up of 64 positive tests and 9,904 negatives. 

The overall mitigation testing positivity rate is now 2.7%. There are 1,983 positive mitigation tests out of 73,825 tests taken. 

Live-in greek students, dorm residents and non-greek affiliated off-campus students all saw decreases in their mitigation testing positivity rate. There was also an increase of total tests administered to dorm residents and live-in greek students. 

Live-out greek students, however, had positivity rates increase slightly from 2.5% the week prior to 2.7% last week. Live-out greek students are the only group with a positivity rate above 2% and have consistently had the highest positivity rate out of the four main groups IU looks at after the initial wave among live-in greek students began to decrease. 

The symptomatic testing positivity rate increased slightly to 28.3% last week in Bloomington, but there were 53 tests requested — 15 positives, 38 negatives. That is the fewest number of requested symptomatic tests since the week of Aug. 2. 

UPDATE, 4:48 p.m., Oct. 21: IU released additional symptomatic testing data, citing a technical issue in this morning's release. The addition includes over 100 new symptomatic test results. There are now 34 reported positive tests and 143 negatives. That brings the week's postivity rate to 19.21% which is a slight decrease from the week prior.

Symptomatic tests are not assigned by the school for students to take like mitigation testing. Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 go through an online screening before an IU Health nurse gives the student an appointment to be tested. 

IU East had a large increase in positivity rates jumping from 2.4% the week prior to 4.5% last week. The dashboard claims there is no detection of spread in classrooms, just as what has been reported during Bloomington’s early spike. 

As a whole, the prevalence rate across all of IU's campuses increased from 0.9% the week prior to 1.2% last week. Though in Bloomington, that rate decreased from 0.8% to 0.6%.

Today, IU announced it has begun operating its labs. That will allow the school to test every student once a week, and do so at a lower cost. This will also decrease the time to get results on mitigation testing.

Having those labs open will decrease IU’s total testing costs even as it conducts more tests. IU also needs the labs open to have the on-departure testing it plans for, since it is unclear how many students will request a test that week — Nov. 15 to Nov. 21 — right before going home for Thanksgiving. 

Oct. 14

After four consecutive weeks of decreases in COVID-19 positivity rates, IU reported an increase in both mitigation and symptomatic testing positivity rates in Wednesday’s dashboard update. Even though it increased, the mitigation positivity rate over last week’s testing was still the second lowest weekly rate. 

Testing included in this update was conducted from Oct. 4-10. 

In Bloomington alone, the mitigation testing positivity rate increased from 1.05% the week prior to 1.1% last week. There are 98 reported new cases in Bloomington, which is a slight decrease from the week prior, although IU did again conduct fewer total tests. 

IU conducted fewer than 9,000 tests last week in Bloomington, which marks a fourth straight week of fewer total tests and the biggest decrease in number of tests per week during that stretch. 

Broken down by group, live-in greek students had a 1.4% positivity rate last week, which is down from 1.5%. Dorm residents had a 1.1% positivity rate, which is down from 1.5%. Greek students living out of the house had a 2.5% positivity rate, down from 3.5%. All other off campus students had a 0.8% rate, which is up from 0.5% the week prior. 

Symptomatic testing positivity rates jumped from 16.45% to 21.05% last week. 

The prevalence rate in Bloomington increased to 0.8% from 0.7% the week prior. The isolation and quarantine facilities — meaning Ashton — increased to 11.1% of capacity from 7.6% the week prior. 

The increasing positivity rates correlates with Indiana moving into stage 5 earlier this month and the record spike in new cases that have come over the last week. Oct. 9 was Indiana’s single-day record for new cases, with nearly 2,000. The state is currently averaging a little over 1,600 new cases per day, which is the highest average it has ever had. 

Monroe County itself passed the 3,000 case milestone over the weekend. 

IU reports that the increasing cases are manageable — and this is something IU leaders said in previous webinars they expected once colder weather began to arrive. IU wrote in the dashboard it is not easing any of its own restrictions to this point as the state enters stage 5. 

IU reported on the dashboard it will be increasing testing this week due to the rise in rates. IU has always said it would test students weekly once its labs open in mid-October. The labs, however, are not yet open. 

IU also included links in the dashboard for students, faculty and staff to sign up for required flu shots and additionally reports that anyone experiencing flu symptoms is required to isolate until it is confirmed that person does not have COVID-19. 

Oct. 7

For a fourth straight week, IU reports a decrease in new cases as well as COVID-19 mitigation and symptomatic positivity rates. 

This Wednesday’s dashboard update covers testing conducted over the week of Sept. 27 through Oct. 3. The school continues to report it is not seeing any indications for COVID-19 spread in classrooms. Dr. Aaron Carroll, IU’s director of mitigation testing, said that is a main reason why IU has never had a shut down similar to what other in-state schools like Butler University and University of Notre Dame have had. 

IU-Bloomington had a 1.08% mitigation testing positivity rate last week. That is down from 1.44% the week prior. That brought the overall positivity rate in Bloomington to 3.3%. Across all campuses, IU had a mitigation testing positivity rate of below 1% in a given week for the first time. 

There were 103 new cases reported in Bloomington over the last week. That brings the total number of positive tests found by mitigation testing to 1,823. That is the smallest increase in total positive tests IU has had in a single week. 

Broken down by groups, live-in greek students had a 1.6% positivity rate last week out of 773 tests. Off-campus greek affiliated students had a 3.4% positivity rate out of 235 tests. Dorm residents had a 1.2% positivity rate out of 6,297 tests. All other off-campus students had a 0.5% positivity rate out of 1,846 tests. 

All of those rates are decreased compared to the week prior.

Symptomatic testing declined as well, with a 16.45% positivity rate last week. That’s down from just over 19% the week prior. This is a fourth straight week of decline in symptomatic testing positivity rates and total positive tests. There have been 739 recorded positives in Bloomington from symptomatic testing and a 35.4% positivity rate since Aug. 1. 

The dashboard reports since Aug. 24, IU has tested 4,968 faculty and staff with only 11 total positives across all campuses. Faculty and staff had no positive results over the last week. 

The COVID-19 prevalence rate for all of IU is 0.4% and in Bloomington is 0.7%. 

Isolation and quarantine facility utilization was roughly cut in half to 7.6%, down from 14% the week prior in Bloomington. Those facilities refer to the Ashton dorm which houses only on-campus residents — but not greek live-in students — who are either sick with COVID-19 or quarantined there as a close contact of someone who did test positive. 

While IU’s new cases and positivity rates declined, IU-Bloomington also administered fewer total tests for a third straight week. IU’s lowest total week of testing was the week of Sept. 6, during which there were fewer than 8,000 tests. That came the week after IU’s highest week of positivity rates. 

The total number of tests went back above 10,000 the next week, the week of Sept. 13. However, that total has declined every week since. 

As of last week’s dashboard update, IU continues to plan for its on-campus labs to open by mid-October. When those labs open, IU plans to have around 15,000 tests per day and every student tested at least one-to-two times per week. However, IU still has not given an official date of when those labs will open and when that increased testing will actually begin. 

As greek house quarantines end and many live-in residents move out of the homes, the total number of greek students tested continues to decline as the highest rate. Through the first few weeks of classes, that was the group where IU heavily weighted testing. This past week, 1,008 total tests were given to greek students including those both living in the house and those living out. That is the fewest number of tests in a given week to greek life affiliated students. 

Among greek houses, there were over 800 positive cases, and all of those students will not be selected for mitigation testing for 90 days after their positive result, according to IU’s policy. 

IU did not provide a reason for the small decline in total tests.

As of Oct. 7, only six greek houses remain in quarantine. Two of those are Alpha Epsilon Pi — which was ordered to close and given a cease and desist order — and Sigma Phi Epsilon which was also given a cease and desist order. 

As greek house positivity rates continue to decline, that large focus of testing has shifted to the dorms. 

Sept. 30

IU’s COVID-19 dashboard reported a decrease in new cases and positivity rates for the third consecutive week in its Wednesday update. 

This week’s update included data from Sept. 20-26. 

The overall mitigation testing positivity rate across all IU campuses was 1.3% last week. In Bloomington alone, that rate was 1.43%. Both are decreases compared to what the previous update reported.

The highest single-week positivity rate in Bloomington was 7.26%, which was reported in the Aug. 30 dashboard update. Total new cases and positivity rates have decreased every week since. 

IU reported 152 new cases in Bloomington from mitigation testing last week, down from 215 the week prior. That brings the total number of positives in mitigation testing to 1,719. There have been 46,000 mitigation tests conducted in Bloomington, according to the dashboard. 

The dashboard also reports a 1.8% positivity rate last week among communal housing residents, which includes greek houses. That is a decrease from 3.1% the week prior. However, 824 tests were administered to communal housing residents, which is a decline compared to the heavier testing IU had previously conducted in that section of students. 

That decline in total tests coincides with many greek students choosing to move out of the house over anxieties of a potential second quarantine, according to a source. Only nine houses remain on quarantine. 

Additionally, some houses have had large numbers of students leave to comply with Monroe County’s policies on total capacity in communal living, which is capped at 75%. 

Greek students living out of the houses had a 5.3% positivity rate last week of 263 tests, which is a slight increase from 4.9% the week prior. 

All other off-campus students had a 0.8% positivity rate last week. Dorm residents — which received the largest percentage of the total tests last week — had a 1.5% positivity rate, which is down from 2.2% the week prior. 

IU also reported a 0.3% positivity rate among staff and faculty last week. 

Symptomatic positivity rates had another sharp decrease, with a 19.67% positivity rate in Bloomington last week. That’s down from 28.35% the week prior and 41.65% the week before that. 

IU Bloomington’s quarantine and isolation facilities are at 14% capacity. That is after the capacity remained at 21% for the two previous weeks. 

IU calculated a 0.9% COVID-19 prevalence rate in Bloomington, which is a decrease from last week’s dashboard update, too. 

According to the weekly briefing on the dashboard, students should expect an increase in mitigation testing with flu season and colder weather. Dr. Aaron Carroll, IU’s director of mitigation testing, has said for over a month he plans to test every student 1-2 times per week once IU’s own labs open, which is expected to happen mid-October.

Sept. 23

For the second straight week, IU’s COVID-19 dashboard reported a decrease in overall positivity rate in both mitigation and symptomatic testing as well as the total new cases. 

IU had a 1.88% positivity rate in mitigation testing across all campuses last week, down from 3.6% the week prior. In Bloomington alone, the positivity decreased by over half compared to the week prior — from 4.61% to 2.2%. 

The positivity rate among greek students living in the homes dropped to 3.3% last week from 14.6% the week before according to the dashboard. That rate has dropped all the way from roughly 25% in the Sept. 8 update. 

This coincides with nearly 20 greek houses coming off quarantine

Students in residence halls returned a decrease in positivity rates, down to 2.2% last week. Greek residents living out of the houses had a 5% positivity rate, a slight decrease as well. 

All other off-campus students in Bloomington had a 1.8% positivity rate, which is  a drop from 2.9% the week prior. 

That brings the overall positivity rate in Bloomington down to 4.4%, and the overall positivity rate across all campuses down to 3.7%. IU-Bloomington has conducted over 35,000 mitigation tests.

In mitigation testing, the Bloomington campus reported 215 new cases through mitigation testing, which is a decrease from the 447 new cases reported in the last update. IU-Bloomington has reported 1,567 total positive cases in mitigation testing since Aug. 24. 

Symptomatic testing positivity rates in Bloomington decreased to 28.14% over the last week compared to 41.41% the week prior. The overall symptomatic testing positivity rate is 38.4% in Bloomington. 

IU reported one positive test across 943 staff and faculty tests last week. 

The quarantine and isolation facilities in Bloomington remain at 21% capacity. 

The COVID-19 prevalence rate in Bloomington decreased from 2.4% to 1.6%. The data reports that same rate to be 0.8% for the overall IU population, according to the dashboard.  

The decrease in positivity rates and new cases has IU medical leaders like Dr. Aaron Carroll and Dr. Cole Beeler, IU’s directors of mitigation testing and symptomatic testing respectively, feeling cautiously optimistic about the semester and overall academic year. 

Carroll has consistently said in weekly webinars he has not seen any indication of spread coming from a classroom setting. 

IU still plans to increase testing with new labs in Indiana opening up in October. That will decrease the response time compared to current mitigation tests, which are sent to Vault labs in New Jersey. Eventually, Carroll said IU intends to test every student at least one-to-two times every week. 

Sept. 16

The overall positivity rate for all students in Bloomington — including those in greek houses — decreased in Wednesday’s COVID-19 dashboard update. 

Data in this week’s update comes from testing conducted between Sept. 5 and Sept. 11. 

Over the course of that week, IU reported 447 total new cases in Bloomington over last week, which is a decrease in the total of new cases from the week prior. That cumulative total of positive mitigation tests is 1,352. 

Only 30 other positive tests have been reported from IU campuses outside Bloomington.  

IU reported a 3.7% positivity rate across all campuses over the week of Sept. 5. That is down from the 6.2% positivity rate the week prior.

In Bloomington, greek house positivity rates over the last week dropped to 15.4% from 25.3%. Greek students living out of the houses returned a 10.9% positivity rate last week, decreasing from 14.1%.

Positivity rates for students living in dorms as well as those living off campus both had positivity rates below 3%, and both saw slight decreases in already low positivity rates from the week prior. 

This brings the overall positivity rate in Bloomington for all mitigation testing since Aug. 24 to 5.4%. That number was 5.5% in last week’s update. 

IU’s isolation and quarantine facilities are at 21% of capacity, down from 34% last week. A few greek houses have been taken off quarantine, however 30 still remain quarantined according to the school’s website. At one point, 33 greek houses were in quarantine. 

Symptomatic positivity rates dropped from just over 50% two weeks ago to 41.98% last week.

Additionally, IU reported a 0.3% positivity rate among staff and faculty. It also reported a 2.4% prevalence rate of COVID-19 in Bloomington.

There are still no reports of hospitalizations at this point. 

IU wrote in the dashboard it is “cautiously optimistic” of the week’s decrease in positivity rates. 

Sept. 8

IU’s total positive COVID-19 mitigation test results have more than tripled since last week’s total, according to the Tuesday dashboard update. 

The school reported 905 total cases —  a 631 case increase — in this week’s mitigation testing update. The overall positivity rate in Bloomington increased from 3.5% to 5.5%. The week of August 31 alone had a 7.26% positivity rate.

IU reported 1,370 total positive cases across mitigation and symptomatic cases including all campuses. Of those, 1,226 are from the Bloomington campus. 

At IU-Bloomington, 16,448 total mitigation tests have been administered over the first two weeks.

IU’s symptomatic test positivity rate increased to above 50% over the last week as well. The overall symptomatic positivity rate is 38.6% in Bloomington, equating to 341 positive tests.  

The dashboard additionally reports that 24.56% of the 1,421 live-in greek students who were tested over the last week returned positive. That is up from 8.1% over the first week of mitigation testing. 

Greek affiliated students living outside the houses produced a 13.7% positivity rate of 540 students tested. 

Dorm residents had a 3.64% positivity rate over the 4,201 students tested. Off campus residents had a 4.66% positivity rate of 1,395 students tested. 

More than 1,000 faculty and staff members were tested over the last week with a 0.48% positivity rate. 

IU has introduced a tracker of how full the quarantine and isolation facilities are, which can be found on its dashboard. The facilities in Bloomington are 34% full. Those spaces are only open to students living in residence halls. 

Aug. 31

IU’s public COVID-19 testing dashboard reported 274 positive cases out of 7,872 mitigation tests over the first week of classes in a Monday update. 

This equates to a 3.5% positivity rate. The dashboard notes this is not the entirety of the data, given that tests have a two to three day lag in response time.

Greek house residents had an 8.1% positivity rate. Students in residence halls had a 1.63% positivity rate. The university reports it will focus additional testing on dorms with high positivity rates and greek houses.

"The rate of positive results within greek houses is concerning," the dashboard reports. "The rate in our residence halls shows a slight uptick above on-arrival testing, although similar to what other universities with robust testing programs have seen."

The overall positivity rate across the entire IU system is 3.1%. Of 8,900 students tested, 277 were positive.

This is the school’s first release of mitigation testing numbers after IU initially released the dashboard Friday without this data. 

IU-Bloomington began randomly selecting students for mitigation testing with the start of classes. Those tests are being conducted at sites including Franklin Hall and Memorial Stadium.  

Last week, 11 greek houses have been forced to quarantine as a result of a rise in positive COVID-19 test numbers. The school did not release the testing numbers for those greek houses and the dashboard does not indicate how many of the 274 positive tests come from greek houses. 

The dashboard will be updated weekly with mitigation and diagnostic test information across all IU campuses

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