Purdue University will require all students to be tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to move into residence halls and attend classes on the West Lafayette campus this fall. The university says it will cover the costs of all student testing and it is working on plans to pay for and administer the tests.
“We are committed to facilitating the testing of our students who span the nation and the globe before they return to the residence halls, classrooms and West Lafayette community this August by way of our Protect Purdue Health Center,” said Dr. Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer at the Protect Purdue Health Center. “Through these preventative and proactive measures, we take another important step to protect the student body, our faculty, staff, overall campus and members of the local community — particularly the most vulnerable — amid concerning national trends.”
Beginning in early August, the university says undergraduate, graduate and professional program students will soon be provided testing instructions and assistance.
Student test results will be sent to the Protect Purdue Health Center, and Purdue says those testing positive should not travel campus for any reason until they isolate for 14 days and are medically-cleared to return.
Purdue says failure to complete a COVID-19 test and have results filed with the health center prior to arrival will affect access to residence halls and in-person classes.
For students already on campus or arriving for early-start programs, the university says it is developing plans to sample and test individuals with resources provided by on-campus, local and outside partners.
The university says students living off campus also will also be required to be tested and have negative test results on file prior to participating in an on-campus program or attending their first in-person class.
Purdue says faculty and staff are not required to be tested 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 COVID-19.
As the semester progresses, Purdue says the health center will provide ongoing case management, which will include monitoring and testing of both symptomatic individuals as well as close contacts.
Purdue says the program, led by Ramirez, was created with the Protect Purdue Medical Advisory Team.
Under Ramirez’ leadership, the university says the PPHC virtual health center was launched last week to manage the workflow of COVID-19 related case management on campus.