A look at spring semester: COVID-19 updates for IUPUI students

With the start of the spring semester and the return to campus, here's a quick glance at all the things you need to know about how this semester will work.

a hand placing a mitigation test into the containerView print quality image
Check out IU's covid.iu.edu site for additional information and FAQs related to COVID-19. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

How does on-arrival testing work?

IUPUI students returning from the intersession or new students moving into their on-campus residence can schedule their return to housing and on-arrival test for Feb. 1 through 6. Details on where to go for on-arrival testing will be included in your confirmation.

If you have on-arrival testing, arrival scheduling or general return-to-housing questions, review the housing FAQs.

What about mitigation testing?

Mitigation testing continues for everyone on and around the IUPUI campus, and your participation has never been more important.

The testing site has moved from the Tower Garage to Campus Center 450.

This semester, all students living in residence halls will be tested twice a week. All other students can expect to be tested more frequently than in the fall.

Because of the high number of COVID-19 cases in the state of Indiana, as well as the presence of new and more infectious variants of the virus, mitigation testing is key to limiting the spread of COVID-19 on our campus.

"The cooperation of our student body with mitigation testing is critical to Indiana University understanding the continual spread of COVID-19," IUPUI Dean of Students Jason Spratt said. "We need our students to continue the great work they have done with mitigation compliance as we start to test even greater numbers this spring.

"All students are responsible for complying with mitigation testing, or completing the exemption process, because lack of compliance with mitigation can ultimately result in the university holding students accountable for noncompliance as outlined in the STU-02 policy."

Voluntary asymptomatic testing is also an option for those who are not called for mitigation testing that week and don't have symptoms of COVID-19.

How do I track IUPUI's COVID-19 data?

IUPUI's dashboard shares results from the COVID-19 testing the university has implemented to help keep students, faculty and staff safe by monitoring the spread of the virus on all campuses.

A new version of the dashboard, launching Feb. 3, includes new and expanded testing results as well as a more data-forward design. It will continue to be updated every Wednesday.

When will I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Each state makes the decision on who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. You might be eligible in one state and able to receive the vaccine, but not in another state. IU has no say in which groups are made eligible.

But even after you get vaccinated, there are unknowns that scientists are working to find answers to, such as whether a vaccinated person can still transmit the virus to others.

Because of those unanswered questions, as well as the fact that there are new, more-contagious strains of the virus, you will still do the following:

  • Participate in mitigation testing.
  • Quarantine if you're a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
  • Wear a mask, practice physical distancing and wash your hands often.
  • Work to keep your circle small and not participate in high-risk activities.

Still have questions? Check out the university's COVID-19 vaccine FAQ.

If you have additional questions or concerns about the safety of the vaccine, check out this "Ask the Expert" story by Dr. Lana Dbeibo, director of vaccine initiatives for IU's COVID-19 Medical Response Team and an assistant professor of infectious diseases in the IU School of Medicine.

Wait, there's no spring break?

Never fear! IUPUI officials have granted two official wellness days this semester to provide you with much-needed breaks to rest and/or catch up on classwork: Tuesday, Feb. 23, and Wednesday, March 24.