Purdue University has announced a program to allow students to test themselves at home for COVID-19. The university has entered into an agreement with Rutgers University and Vault Health to test students with a medically-supervised saliva screening in their homes.
The test is the first FDA EUA-sanctioned solution and is currently being used by the National Hockey League, PGA Tour and Major League Soccer.
Purdue undergraduate, graduate and professional program students will be taught how to order and receive the tests, which will be performed in a secure video visit supervised by a practitioner from Vault Health. Students who have agreed to take classes on campus this fall will receive an email outlining their return and instructing them how to register for the testing program.
University leaders say the tests should be completed no sooner than 14 days before traveling to campus. Test results are expected to be returned via email to the student within 48-72 hours after the kit is received by Vault Health. Students testing positive will be instructed on what to do by the Protect Purdue Health Center.
“Our very first goal is to reduce to as close to zero as possible the number of people who come to our community with the virus,” said Dr. Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer at the Protect Purdue Health Center. “Even at a very low percentage of positive cases, this will enable us to intercept a substantial number of people who have the virus before they ever arrive in West Lafayette. This approach also allows us to start the academic year by knowing what our baseline of infection is for students coming back to campus in the event we need to adapt, a hallmark of the Protect Purdue plan.”