New voluntary asymptomatic COVID-19 testing offered at IUPUI, IU Bloomington

EDITOR'S NOTE: (updated Dec. 10, 2020) IU South Bend will add a limited number of voluntary testing slots each week starting Dec. 14. To schedule a test for the week of Dec. 14, sign up after 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11.

EDITOR'S NOTE: (updated Jan. 6, 2021) Voluntary asymptomatic testing slots are now available each week at IU Northwest and IU Southeast. Sign up after 2 p.m. Friday to schedule a test for the following week.

IU students, faculty and staff now have the option to schedule a free asymptomatic COVID-19 test on the IUPUI or IU Bloomington campus.

Each week during the intersession (Nov. 30 - Feb. 7), a limited number of voluntary testing slots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis on both campuses. Appointments are required for these saliva-based tests, which are offered at the same on-campus sites where mitigation testing is conducted.

An IU testing site worker watches as a man submits his saliva sample for COVID-19 testingView print quality image
Voluntary asymptomatic testing is offered at the same on-campus sites where mitigation testing is conducted. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

You should NOT schedule a voluntary test if you:

  • Have symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, muscle or body aches, or new loss of taste or smell.
  • Have been selected for required mitigation testing that week.
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
  • Are currently in quarantine as a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

Asymptomatic testing is an important part of COVID-19 mitigation efforts because, according to a study by the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, more than 40 percent of individuals infected with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms.

Dr. Aaron Carroll, director of mitigation testing for the IU COVID-19 Medical Response Team and a professor of pediatrics in the IU School of Medicine, said IU students, faculty and staff may want to take advantage of this new asymptomatic testing option if they:

  • Haven't been selected for IU mitigation testing before.
  • Know they might be seeing people they haven't been around in some time and want an added layer of protection.
  • Live in an environment where there is a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 and think more regular testing is warranted.

"It's important to note that a negative COVID-19 test result is only a snapshot of your health at that specific moment in time; it does not mean you won't test positive in the following days or weeks," Carroll said. "We hope members of the IU community will use this new testing option as an added layer of protection against the spread of COVID-19, combined with wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, and maintaining 6 feet of distance between themselves and others."

Voluntary asymptomatic testing is made available in part by the increased testing capacity IU has gained by operating its own COVID-19 testing labs in Indianapolis and Bloomington.

Schedule a test

You can sign up for a voluntary test starting on the Friday before each week of testing. Scheduling opens after 2 p.m. Friday at IUPUI and after 6 p.m. Friday at IU Bloomington.