IU's Vice Provost for Student Affairs sent out an email today to members of the IU community regarding COVID-19 outbreaks in Greek houses.
(You can read the letter below.)
In continuing to support the health and safety of all IU Bloomington students, faculty and staff, this email is being sent to update you on the current trends in COVID-19 positive cases among Greek houses.
Increasingly alarming rate of positives in houses
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. The total number of positive cases by house, recent trends in positivity rates by house and quarantine status is available online.
With mitigation testing positivity rates in some houses now above 50 percent, IU's team of public health experts is extremely concerned that houses are seeing uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. This poses a significant risk not only to the nearly 2,600 students living in Greek and other communal housing organizations, but the other 42,000 IU Bloomington students, the campus' 12,000 faculty and staff, and the community at large.
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 the current spread of COVID-19. The university advises all students living in these environments to re-evaluate their current living situation.
Greek houses are owned and operated by their respective housing corporation, landlord or parent organization. This means IU Bloomington does not have authority to operate or manage these privately-owned residences. These entities were tasked with developing safe living plans, specifically quarantine and isolation plans. Unfortunately, many of these 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.
The university expects the national organizations and housing corporations to work directly with students and families to make decisions in their best interest about their living environment and safely find alternate arrangements as needed. Contact information for the national organizations and housing corporations is available online.
IU Bloomington's support of students
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.
This is not news anyone at the university wanted to hear only two weeks into the fall semester. Emotions are high and tempers can be short. It is expected, however, that all members of the IU community will be kind and respectful in interactions with others.
More information as well as FAQ is available online.