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Mitigation testing

To help keep our campuses as safe as possible during the pandemic, IU is conducting ongoing, required COVID-19 testing of thousands of students, faculty, and staff every week.

Mitigation testing is essential to IU's ability to safely offer in-person education because it is the only way we can identify and isolate asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 before they spread the virus to others.

Mitigation testing also helps our campus leaders and public health experts get a clearer picture of how the virus may be spreading -- including early detection of potential "COVID clusters" -- so they can take quick action to reduce risks and protect the IU community.

You'll be notified via email if you're chosen for mitigation testing

Check your inbox early and often. If you're selected for testing, you will receive an email instructing you to schedule a mitigation test that week.

Your prompt response to your testing selection is important. However, please be wary of email and phishing scams attempting to trick you into sharing personal information, buying into a scam, or clicking on malicious links or files. IU will never ask you for money or your Social Security Number to schedule mitigation testing.

The mitigation testing selection email looks like this:

Email with subject line that says you’ve been selected for covid-19 mitigation testing.

The process if you're selected

The mitigation testing selection process is not completely random. We oversample groups that appear to be at higher risk for exposure to COVID-19 because of past results, but most populations are sampled in proportion to their size. During mitigation testing, we expect many students will be tested often, even weekly.

If you're selected for mitigation testing, you must schedule your test that week. Follow the instructions in your selection email to schedule a 30-minute appointment for testing on the IU campus of your choice. This will be a saliva test with results back in two to five days.

After you schedule your mitigation test, you will receive a confirmation email with details about when and where your test will be.

You should not eat, drink, smoke, vape, or chew gum for 30 minutes prior to your test.

Do not come to the mitigation testing site if you:

  • tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
  • are currently in quarantine as a close contact.
  • are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

If you are experiencing symptoms, make a virtual screening appointment via the IU Health Virtual Screening Clinic as soon as possible.

Exemptions from mitigation testing

If selected for mitigation testing, you are generally required to participate unless you meet a very narrow set of exemption criteria.

To be exempt from a certain week of mitigation testing, you must submit an exemption request form, which will be included as a link in the emails sent to those selected for testing.

To qualify for an exemption from mitigation testing, you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • You work remotely and/or you are currently enrolled in ONLY online, distance-learning courses.
  • You have not been to an IU campus or an IU campus facility within the past 14 days.
  • You do not plan to visit an IU campus or an IU campus facility in the next 14 days.
  • You have not met or been in close physical contact with any IU faculty, staff, or student who does not live with you in the past 14 days, and you do not plan to for the next 14 days.

OR

  • You tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, are currently in quarantine as a close contact, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms, make a virtual screening appointment via the IU Health Virtual Screening Clinic as soon as possible.

OR

  • You certify that you are a health care educator (physician, nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or allied health practitioner) teaching in a clinical setting. You further certify that you do not regularly teach in a classroom setting.

If you have specific circumstances that you believe should qualify for an exemption from mitigation testing, you will be able to submit a detailed request via the exemption request form that will be reviewed by the IU Medical Response Team.

Exemptions are only valid for a specific week of mitigation testing; if you are selected again, you will need to submit another exemption request form.

Mitigation testing is mandatory

The success of mitigation testing depends on our ability to test large portions of the IU community. Participation is therefore required, with limited exemptions.

Students, faculty, or staff who are selected for mitigation testing but fail to take their COVID-19 test may be subject to disciplinary actions, up to removal from campus or being placed on administrative leave without pay. Further details are provided to students in the Student Commitment Form and to faculty and staff in the Community Responsibility Acknowledgement.

Questions? We have answers to frequently asked questions about mitigation testing.