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Indiana University ignores its own study that in-person classes aren’t spreading COVID-19

Positive rate is actually lower the more on-campus classes you have

When science doesn’t line up with the prevailing orthodoxy …

Indiana University found that students who have more in-person course hours were actually less likely to test positive for COVID-19, based on its researchers’ analysis of data from more than 7,000 students across IU campuses.

Strangely, the taxpayer-funded institution is not changing its plan to go fully online through January, despite its own evidence that students with less campus interaction have higher positive rates.

The campus already resembles a toxic cleanup site, with mandatory physical distancing, mask-wearing and “enhanced cleaning,” along with its classroom “safety protocols” and large-scale testing of asymptomatic individuals (i.e., highly unlikely to spread infections).

“This analysis gives us even more confidence that the safety measures IU put in place in order to resume in-person instruction … have been effective,” Lana Dbeibo, medical director of infection prevention at the School of Medicine, said in a university press release.

IU-Bloomington epidemiologist Molly Rosenberg said they found the opposite of a “dose-response” relationship, which would indicate classrooms were a high-risk transmission vector for the novel coronavirus:

Dbeibo said that for each in-person credit hour taken above zero, students were increasingly less likely to test positive for COVID-19 in the fall semester. For students taking one to three in-person credit hours, the proportion of the population who tested positive for COVID-19 over the semester was 8 percent. The lowest proportion of students testing positive for COVID-19 were those taking 13 to 15 in-person credit hours; only 2 percent of students in this group tested positive.

The press release, put out just before Thanksgiving, makes no attempt to explain why the university is ignoring its own study and continuing its online-only plan for more than two months after Thanksgiving.

It says students can take more online courses during a “new winter session” and then start spring semester Jan. 19 online before returning to campus in early February.

Read the release.

h/t Phil Kerpen

MORE: Ivy League epidemiologist says hard data don’t convey campus COVID crisis

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” He co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon at Seattle Pacific University.

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