All IU undergraduate students will be selected for COVID-19 mitigation testing at least once a week in effort to reach a goal of 50,000 total tests each week across all IU campuses, in an article posted to the school’s website Monday.
In the fall semester, IU conducted between 8,000 and 14,000 mitigation tests every week across all campuses.
To reach 50,000 tests per week, those in communal living settings such as dorms or greek houses will be tested twice a week. IU’s website said those students will be tested once on Monday or Tuesday and once on Thursday or Friday.
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All other undergraduate students will be tested once every week, and 10,000 faculty and staff will be tested each week across all campuses.
The IU COVID-19 dashboard updated Wednesday and noted that increased testing will begin in February. The dashboard made it unclear if that increased testing will continue beyond February.
The increased testing plan will put IU closer to the testing numbers produced by the University of Illinois, which conducts among the largest university COVID-19 testing programs in the nation. Dr. Aaron Carroll, IU’s director of mitigation testing, consistently talked during the fall about working with Illinois and is hoping to have IU test on the same scale.
Throughout the fall, Illinois would often conduct more tests in a day than IU did in a week. Illinois has already conducted over one million COVID-19 tests compared to IU’s roughly 175,000 mitigation tests.
IU completed its own labs this winter, and those labs have lowered IU’s overall testing expenses for each test compared to the fall. That allows the school to increase its own testing capacity. In the fall — before the labs were completed — IU spent far more money as it sent all of its tests to Vault labs in New Jersey.
The IU Auditorium and Cramer Marching Hundred Hall — which are being used as sites for on-arrival testing — will continue to be used as mitigation testing sites this spring. The school also is trialing a drive-through mitigation testing option which will be trialed this week in Bloomington. That will be conducted at the East Parking Garage on the lower level.
This article was updated to reflect additonal information on drive-through testing posted on IU's COVID-19 dashboard.