BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — As Indiana University (IU) continues to battle the pandemic, the university is gearing up with additional on-campus testing labs.
“It’s my hope at that point that we can test students one to two times a week if we need to, and at that point, I hope they can catch more cases,” details Aaron Carroll IU’s Director of Mitigation Testing.
The school hopes to have the labs ready to go by mid-October. Two of the three spots would be located in Indy, with the third in Bloomington. The three spots would be capable of handling 5,000 thousand tests a day per location. At 15,000 tests a day, school officials believe they will be capable of having more tests per day than the state.
“That’s a good thing, but I would be so annoyed,” laughed IU freshman Bryan Nguyen when asked how he felt about more testing, “We actually just got back from contact tracing quarantine. My friend tested positive, and I tested negative two or three times.”
“I think that’s a good thing,” responded Layla Qureshi who was walking with Nguyen, “We have to sacrifice to be on campus.”
IU has been taking part in random testing across the campus. Both Nguyen and Qureshi have been a part of it.
“Pretty much everyone gets picked at least one time or another,” said both of them.
“I kind of feel tested out. I’m at my breaking point for testing,” added fellow freshman Samuel Gladney who has been randomly tested a lot over the past four weeks, “Three times in the past month.”
So far three Greek life houses have come off of quarantine, but 30 still remain in it. Carroll says contact tracing and universal testing have shown that dorm life is much safer than Greek life right now.
“There are dorms I’m testing universally and Greek houses I’m testing universally, and the positivity rates are very different. The transmission rates are very different,” explains Carroll, “It’s not like that in the dorms because it’s not like everyone in a floor, or in a building, is socializing with each other inside. It is just not the same type of living. Everyone in a Greek house wants to be with the people in that house.”
The next round of testing numbers at IU is expected to be released by the school Wednesday morning.