Indiana Daily Student

UPDATE JAN. 20: IU’s COVID-19 mitigation positivity rate among lowest recorded as students return

This story will be updated weekly to reflect IU dashboard updates. The lastest update was Jan. 20.

IU reported a 0.39% positivity rate — 35 positive results out of 9,064 tests — for the Bloomington campus in Wednesday’s dashboard update for COVID-19 mitigation testing for the week of Jan. 10-16. This week has the second lowest positivity rate on the Bloomington campus since IU began mitigation testing in August.

The lowest rate for the Bloomington campus came the week of Dec. 13 — when IU conducted its smallest total of tests because few students were in town with Christmas the following week. 

However, the overall mitigation testing positivity rate for all of IU’s campuses last week was the lowest IU has reported since mitigation testing started.

[Related: See our coronavirus coverage here]

IU also conducted its most mitigation tests in a single-week last week, with nearly 18,000 mitigation tests conducted. IU conducted over 200,000 total mitigation tests across all campuses. 

As more students returned to campus this semester, IU conducted about 2,300 more tests last week than the first week of January. The mitigation testing positivity rate decreased last week from the week of Jan. 3. 

Off-campus residents make up a majority of testing because they arrive in Bloomington in larger numbers in early January. Of 5,178 off-campus, non-greek affiliated students tested, 0.5% were positive. That is a decrease from 1.2% the week before. 

Most students who live on campus have structured arrival dates beginning later in January.

[Related: IU-Bloomington finalizing plans to be COVID-19 vaccine distribution site]

Live-in greek-life students had a 1% positivity rate of 104 tests. Live-out greek-life students had a 0.4% positivity rate out of 903 tests, down from 1.1% the week prior. No data was reported in last week’s dashboard update for live-in greek-life students. 

Dorm residents had a 1% positivity rate from 519 tests. There are not any students isolating or quarantining in Ashton Residence Center as of Wednesday’s update.

Of 5,021 faculty and staff members tested across all campuses, only 0.3% were positive. Of 1,315 voluntary asymptomatic tests across all campuses, 1.4% were positive.

Jan. 13

IU resumed COVID-19 mitigation the week of Jan. 3 and reported a 0.86% positivity rate — 58 positive results out of 6,745 mitigation tests. The dashboard update, the first of 2021, covers testing data from Jan. 3-9.

IU-Bloomington had a 28.95% symptomatic testing positivity rate.

Related: [Read our COVID-19 coverage here]

Live-in greek-life students were not selected for mitigation testing last week. This is because few, if any, have returned to Bloomington as most houses are scheduled to have students arrive later in January. 

Live-out greek-life students had a 0.9% positivity rate in 355 tests. All other off-campus students had a 1.2% positivity rate in 3,597 tests.

Dorm residents had a 0.5% positivity rate in 431 tests.

Related: [IU to test all students weekly for COVID-19, those in dorms to be tested twice weekly]

Staff and faculty across all campuses returned a 0.7% positivity rate out of 4,894 tests.

Voluntary asymptomatic testing of students, faculty and staff across all campuses had a 1.5% positivity rate out of 3,974 tests. Neither of those numbers is part of the overall mitigation testing data.

The testing data reported in this dashboard update brought the Bloomington campus to a calculated prevalence rate — the percentage of people currently infected with a disease — to 0.8%.

Ashton Center is currently empty. Since IU began reporting Ashton’s capacity data in September, this is the first time the dorm has been empty after a week of mitigation testing.  There are fewer students in town because of winter break, but Ashton had some students living there over Thanksgiving break, as well as early in winter break.

Much of the data from this update and the next month will be from on-arrival testing, which began on Jan. 3. But it does not appear IU will have a separate tally for on-arrival data like it did in the fall. IU listed results for on-arrival testing in its own category on the testing dashboard in August.

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