By: Tori Wilson
Mitigation testing for COVID-19 has been in effect at IU South Bend since the fall 2020 semester, and now IU South Bend has reached a 0% positivity rate.
Several things have helped keep rates so low including moving to mostly virtual classes in the fall, remaining completely online from Nov. 20 to Feb. 8 during peak flu season, requiring masks on campus and installing hand sanitizer stations throughout each building.
Having this 0% positivity rate means that no students, faculty or staff have tested positive in any given week. Having these mitigation tests weekly also helps keep COVID-19 more under control.
Since July 2020, positive COVID-19 test results from students is 239 and from faculty and staff is 41. Since the semester has started though, positive results have remained at a minimum.
As campus transitions to an in-person semester in fall 2021, mitigation testing and mask requirements are still going to be in place.
“We’re hopeful many in the IU community will be fully vaccinated by then and that the risk of spreading the virus will be much lower than it is today,” said Paige Risser, the head of mitigation testing.
The procedures that could still be in place for the fall 2021 semester are dependent on how many students, faculty and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 2021.
As more people get vaccinated, procedures will likely lighten. If someone is fully vaccinated but comes into contact with someone with COVID-19, they will have to report this to the university, but they will not have to quarantine. If someone is not fully vaccinated IU is requiring that the person remain quarantined for at least 10 days.
“We expect some of our current health and safety guidelines will stay in place, so it may not look exactly like fall 2019 but we are optimistic that the coming fall semester will be much more typical than fall 2020,” said Risser.