IU Bloomington students to be tested before move-in

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WEHT) – Indiana University students will move back to campus Sunday and officials are making plans to ensure a safe process. Incoming students will be tested for COVID-19 before they move in. 

The university has also implemented new guidelines it hopes will prevent the spread of COVID-19 with just days until move in.

Testing will be required for on campus students before they enter their dorms. Officials say they will be taking matters seriously and testing is no joke.

“We know who is enrolled and showed up to do the testing, so the levers we can bring to bear are first of all turning on and off card access on campus if people don’t comply,” said Professor of pediatrics Dr. Aaron Carroll, who is IU’s director of surveillance and mitigation for the COVID-19 pandemic. “We can go further depending on how strict we want to get (including) disenrolling people in classes or school.” 

University leaders say many changes have been completed over the summer. 

“We have made many modifications to the campus,” said IU Vice President Kirk White. “‘Dedensifying’ is the kind of the term we have used, but it’s all about the best ways to maintain the health and safety of the students faculty and staff.”

Move in days will be spread out over two weeks with a cap of 1,500 students moving in per day. Housing leaders say it will take everyone to do their part to prevent and possibly slow the spread of the virus. 

“There is no way in the world we can enforce 24 hours a day every single possible moment in time and space,” said Lukas Leftwich, executive director of residential programs and services at IU Bloomington.  “We need students to be partners in this, we are not just going to focus on the punitive measures alone, Kirk has pointed out some of those measures and we do work with student conduct, but our hope is not to be in a punitive state, our hope is that we as hoosiers are working together in a partnership so we can all collectively enjoy the Bloomington campus experience in the fall.”

Students will need to sign a student commitment form which requires students to wear a facemask when social distancing is difficult to maintain. University officials say they don’t have room for anyone trying to break the rules.

“We expect them to abide by that and if they are not comfortable abiding by those regulations then they shouldn’t come to campus this Fall. It’s plain and simple,” said White. Students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving break and courses will move online. Several other universities have adopted similar policies.

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(This story was originally published on Aug. 7, 2020)

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