IU increases testing as it welcomes students to campus for spring semester

After completing more than 130,000 COVID-19 mitigation tests since the academic year started in August, Indiana University is ramping up its testing operation as it welcomes students back for the in-person portion of the spring semester. IU President Michael A. McRobbie stopped by Garrett Fieldhouse Jan. 30, the first day of on-arrival testing for students returning to the Bloomington campus.

From left: Aaron Carroll, director of mitigation testing for IU's Medical Response Team; IU President Michael A. McRobbie; and Doug Booher, executive director of university events, visit on-arrival testing at IU Bloomington's Garrett Fieldhouse on Jan. 30. Photo by Eric Rudd, Indiana University
Jack Brown, a senior at IU studying Management, works part time as a prepper in the testing area during the first day of on-arrival testing for the Spring 2021 semester. Photo by Chris Howell, Indiana University
President McRobbie talks to Avery Hughes, a senior at IU Bloomington, during on-arrival testing at Garrett Fieldhouse. Hughes is one of about 250 students helping with IU's testing operation.    Photo by Eric Rudd, Indiana University
Students living in on-campus housing and moving in between Jan. 30 and Feb. 7 will undergo special, on-arrival testing at Garrett Fieldhouse. Photo by Eric Rudd, Indiana University

IU has set a goal of conducting 50,000 mitigation tests each week for the spring, where specific groups of faculty, staff and students undergo testing. This means people will be selected for testing more often than they were during the fall semester. The university processes most of the tests in its Pandemic Response Laboratories, located in Bloomington and at the IU School of Medicine on the IUPUI campus (watch McRobbie discuss the labs' impact).

Running one of the most robust, successful university testing programs in the country has required the expertise of faculty and staff across disciplines and campuses. Students also play an important role, with about 250 working at on-campus testing sites. 

IU will also soon help bolster the state's effort to vaccinate Hoosiers against COVID-19. IU Bloomington is working with county and local government officials to finalize its plans to open a public vaccination site on campus where it will administer free COVID-19 vaccinations in accordance with the state's eligibility requirements.