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College students call for increased COVID-19 testing before leaving campus for home

Students want to see exit testing done on campus
Butler COVID tests
Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 18:16:33-05

INDIANAPOLIS — As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the state, there is a concern that college students heading home for Thanksgiving and the end of the semester could spread it to their families.

Some college students we spoke with said they are worried about being an asymptomatic carrier and they don’t plan on heading home without a COVID-19 test first.

On Butler University’s Campus, students are calling on school leaders to provide “exit testing.”

“I just want to make sure that I'm safe to other people… I'm in the age group where I'm not really worried about getting it myself, but I don't want other people who I live around like my family members to get it from me,” said Madison Pius, a student at Butler University.

“I have family members who work in a hospital and I just think it would be nice to know that you are definitely negative before you go home,” said Anna Kemper, another Butler student.

A spokesperson for Butler said they are continuing their symptomatic and asymptomatic testing through the end of the fall semester, but there are no plans for specific “exit testing.”

“We already got tested coming in, so it would be nice to get it on the way home,” said Pius.

Students even created a petition to send to university leaders.

"There's a petition going around basically to say that you do want exit testing, so I know I've signed it and it's been circulated around campus,” said Kemper.

The petition mentions that other schools are providing “exit testing."

One of them is Indiana University. Next week they will stop mitigation testing and convert to “departure testing.”

Leaders at IU say the departure test will not be required, but it is recommended for all students, faculty and staff.

“We left a good amount of capacity available so we could do that testing, hopefully get results back reasonably quickly, and allow people to know exactly what is going on before the semester ends,” said Dr. Aaron Carroll, director of testing at IU.

A spokesperson for Butler University said, “Butler is aware of the petition. To date, we have administered more than 8,500 COVID-19 tests, and we are increasing the testing of students through the end of the semester.”