BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – With mitigation testing for COVID-19 indicating an alarming increase in positivity rates among students living in fraternity and sorority housing, Indiana University is advising students living in these environments to re-evaluate whether this is where they want to continue living.
Due to the nature of communal living (Greek housing), in which there is a high density of residents, shared bathrooms, and a number of common living, sleeping and dining spaces, viruses like COVID-19 easily spread. Greek houses at IU Bloomington are seeing this type of spread at quickly increasing rates.
Mitigation testing positivity rates in some houses are now above 50 percent. As such, IU’s team of public health experts is extremely concerned that Greek houses are seeing uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. This poses a significant risk to the nearly 2,600 students currently living in Greek or other communal housing organizations, as well as to the other 42,000 IU Bloomington students, the campus’s 12,000 faculty and staff, and the surrounding community.
IU Bloomington and its public health experts believe that many of these communal living environments (Greek houses) are not safe given the pandemic conditions and current spread of COVID-19.
Greek houses are owned and operated by their respective housing corporations. As such, IU Bloomington does not have authority to operate or manage these privately owned residences. These entities were tasked with developing plans for safe living, quarantine and isolation, but many of those plans are proving to be ineffective in adequately providing for the health and safety of the students living in the houses. At minimum, all organizations must follow the regulations from the Monroe County Health Department for communal living facilities.
IU expects national Greek organizations and housing corporations to work directly with their students and families to make decisions in their best interest about their living environment and safely find alternate arrangements as needed.
IU Bloomington will support students living in these communal housing environments to ensure they can continue on their academic journey. Students’ health and safety is the university’s top priority.
Complete information about IU’s COVID-19 efforts are on the university’s fall2020.iu.edu site.