WEST LAFAYETTE — Purdue University will require and pay for all West Lafayette campus-bound students to be tested for COVID-19 before moving into residence halls and attending classes this fall.
The program will be led by Dr. Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer at the Protect Purdue Health Center (PPHC), and was developed in consultation with the Protect Purdue Medical Advisory Team.
Dr. Ramirez is an internist and clinical assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine-West Lafayette. Under his direction, the PPHC is the university’s virtual health center launched designed to coordinate COVID-related case management on campus.
Through its Protect Purdue initiative, undergraduate, graduate and professional program students will be provided instructions and assistance on how and when to get tested for COVID-19, beginning in early August before traveling to campus.
Student test results will be sent to the Protect Purdue Health Center. Those testing positive should not travel to West Lafayette or visit campus for any reason until they isolate for 14 days and are medically-cleared to return by the PPHC.
Failure to complete a COVID-19 test and have those results filed with the Protect Purdue Health Center prior to arrival will affect a student’s ability to move into a residence hall or begin in-person classes when they resume Aug. 24.
Academic support will be available through virtual consultations with staff specializing in student success to help undergraduate students navigate their continued academic progress if they must isolate because of COVID-19.
For students already on campus or arriving for various early-start programs throughout July, the university and the PPHC are developing plans to rapidly sample and test individuals through a combination of resources provided by on-campus, local and outside partners.
The university will cover costs of all student testing. Purdue is expecting a potentially record number of freshmen this fall, with a student body of more than 40,000.
“Our comprehensive Protect Purdue Plan affords us the unique flexibility and adaptability to respond to rising COVID-19 cases across parts of the country and help protect our Purdue community in real time,” Ramirez said.
All undergraduate, graduate and professional program students living on campus this fall will be required to get tested for COVID-19 and have a negative test result on file with the PPHC prior to moving into a residence hall in August.
Students living off campus also will be required to get tested for COVID-19 and have negative test results on file with the PPHC prior to participating in on-campus programs and in-person classes.
Faculty and staff are not required to be tested for COVID-19 at this time, provided they are not sick, experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, and have not been exposed to someone who has tested positive for it.
As the semester progresses, the Protect Purdue Health Center will provide ongoing case management, which will include monitoring and testing of both symptomatic individuals and close contacts who might have been exposed to positive individuals.
Protocols for testing and contact tracing have been developed in accordance with the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indiana State Department of Health.