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Is IU Testing Keeping Monroe County in the Yellow?

A graphic showing the IU coronavirus coverage logo.

IU is currently utilizing 11.6% of its quarantine housing. (Matt Rasnic, WFIU/WTIU News)

Monroe County is one of only five of Indiana’s 92 counties to remain in the Indiana State Department of Health’s yellow classification in COVID-19 cases.

On Tuesday, 17 counties across the state had avoided an orange classification — the ISDH’s second most severe COVID-19 classification. But on Wednesday, the ISDH reported a record-high 5,156 new positive cases, 31 deaths, 78 orange counties and 9 red counties.

ISDH’s metric system averages a seven-day positivity rate score and a weekly cases per 100,000 residents score to determine an overall weekly score classified as blue, yellow, orange or red with increasing intensity.

The state has a seven-day positivity rate of 10.3% after administering 3.3 million tests. It also has a record-high 2,544 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

In Monroe County, 249 weekly cases per 100,000 residents earns an orange classification, but when averaged with a blue classification for keeping its seven-day positivity rate beneath 5%, the county remains yellow.

READ MORE: Monroe County Health: Mask Normalization, Communication Key To Fighting COVID

On Wednesday, Monroe County reported 26 new positive cases and a seven-day positivity rate of 4.7%. The county death toll remained at 42, and the ISDH reported a total of 141,613 tests administered.

Indiana University’s updated COVID-19 dashboard showed results from a total of 10,862 mitigation tests and 304 symptomatic tests conducted between Nov. 1 and Nov. 7. Preliminary data from ISDH shows Monroe County conducted at least 11,345 tests during that time, but the majority seems to have come from IU testing.

Mass testing on IU’s campus has returned an overwhelming quantity of negative results. That may explain Monroe County’s low seven-day positivity rate that keeps the county in the yellow.

Of IU’s 10,862 mitigation tests, 1.45% returned positive, while 25.33% of the university’s 304 symptomatic tests yielded positive results.

On-campus positivity rates increased with Greek houses seeing a jump from 1.4% to 3.6% and residence halls jumping from 0.9% to 1.4%. Off-campus Greek-affiliated students saw their positivity rate drop from 1.1% to 0.9%, and the positivity rate for all other off-campus students dropped from 1.2% to 0.6%.

IU is currently utilizing 11.6% of its quarantine housing.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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