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 on Friday afternoons instructing you to schedule a mitigation test for the following week. Reminder emails are sent throughout the week if you still haven't scheduled a test or requested an exemption.
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.
For those selected once a week or less often, the mitigation testing selection email looks like the image below. (Starting Feb. 8, IU Bloomington and IUPUI students living on campus or in a Greek house will be asked to complete two mitigation tests each week, or request an exemption. Their selection emails will look similar, but with some differences.)
The process if you're selected
The mitigation testing selection process is not completely random. We test a representative samle of our overall population and oversample groups that appear to be at higher risk for exposure to COVID-19 because of past results. During mitigation testing, we expect many students, faculty and staff will be tested often -- even weekly or twice a week, depending on which group you fall into.
If you're selected for mitigation testing, you must schedule your test(s) during the week you are selected. Follow the instructions in your selection email to schedule a 15-minute appointment for testing on the IU campus of your choice. This will be a saliva (PCR) test with results back in two to five days. (You can learn more about the different types of COVID-19 tests in our FAQ)
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:
- are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
- tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
- are currently in quarantine as a close contact.
If you are experiencing symptoms, make a virtual screening appointment via the IU Health Virtual Screening Clinic as soon as possible.
If selected for mitigation testing, you are generally required to participate unless you meet a narrow set of exemption criteria. You still need to get tested even if you’ve recently tested negative, received an exemption for a past week, or are vaccinated for COVID-19.
You can apply for two types of mitigation testing exemptions:
- Exemptions from a certain week of testing for which you are selected.
- Exemptions from all testing weeks for the rest of the academic year (until the end of spring semester 2021).
To be exempt from mitigation testing, you must submit an exemption request form, which will be included in the emails sent to those selected for testing.
To qualify for an exemption from a specific week of testing, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- You are currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
- You are currently in quarantine as a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
- You have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
- You are not available during the week you were selected for mitigation testing, i.e. vacation, travel, or PTO.
- You are not feeling well for a reason other than suspected COVID-19, such as recovering from surgery, flu, strep throat, etc.
- You are regularly tested for COVID-19 by IU in a different capacity, including as part of living in IU quarantine housing or being a member of an athletic team.
- There are no available mitigation testing appointments on your campus that work for you. (Remember to schedule your mitigation test early in the week so you do not run into this issue.)
Please note that weekly 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 for the new week.
To qualify for an exemption for the rest of the academic year, you must meet one of the following criteria*:
- You do not live near an IU campus, and you do not come to campus or use any campus facilities.
- You live near an IU campus, but you do not interact in person with other IU students, faculty, or staff.
- You are a health care educator teaching in a clinical setting, and you do not teach in a classroom setting.
- You are regularly tested for COVID-19 (at least once per week) by your employer.
- You take a prescribed medication that limits your saliva production.
*If your circumstances change and you no longer meet criteria to qualify for a permanent exemption, it is your responsibility to report this change to IU by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your specific circumstances do not meet the criteria above but you believe your situation should qualify for a testing exemption, you will be able to submit a detailed request via the same form as the weekly and academic year exemption requests. Your request will be reviewed by the IU Medical Response Team.
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.
We have answers to frequently asked questions about mitigation testing. If you need additional information, please call 812-855-4848 at IU Bloomington and 833-920-2254 at IUPUI and the regional campuses.