Indiana University has reported its first increase of COVID-19 testing positivity rates in more than a month. University experts attribute the rise to an increase in the number of cases statewide, and it could be a sign of things to come.

“It’s definitely a concern,” said Lana Dbeibo, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the IU School of Medicine, “the uptick and potentially another surge here coming up.”

IU’s rates are still relatively low, but it’s impossible to completely separate all students, faculty and staff from what’s happening in the rest of the state.

Across all IU campuses, the mitigation positivity rate was 1.08% out of 10,943 tests for the week starting Oct. 4. That’s up from 0.91% the week prior, but it’s still the second lowest rate since IU started mitigation testing the week of Aug. 23.

What’s more concerning are the rates at the state level. Indiana’s seven-day average for positive cases has been trending upward, from a low of 767 on Sept. 9 to 1,601 on Oct. 12, according to the state’s online COVID-19 testing dashboard on Wednesday. Over that same time period, the total number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals increased from 833 to 1,288.
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