Purdue University announced today (Aug. 12) that more than 99% of students who have been tested thus far before their arrival for Purdue University’s Fall 2020 semester have tested negative for COVID-19. Of the 15,444 results received, 133 have tested positive for COVID-19, for a 0.86% positive rate. Close to 40,000 students are expected to be tested before the semester begins Aug. 24.
As part of the Protect Purdue Plan, all Purdue students are required to have a negative COVID-19 test before arrival on campus for the fall semester, or if recently tested positive, have documentation from the Protect Purdue Health Center that they have completed a 10-day isolation after the test (asymptomatic) or 10 days after symptom onset before arriving on campus.
“Even at this very low percentage of positive cases, we have been able to intercept those students who have the virus before they arrived in West Lafayette, helping address positive cases before they join our ecosystem,” said Dr. Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer for the Protect Purdue Health Center. “As we get closer to the start of classes, we will continue to receive and report results and will continue to remind students of the testing requirement. It is critical that students follow the components of the Protect Purdue Pledge to ensure they stay COVID-free before their arrival and throughout the semester for the safety of our community.”
First-year students at Purdue will begin arriving Friday (Aug. 14) for Boiler Gold Rush orientation programs. Classes at Purdue begin Aug. 24.
Purdue will update pre-arrival test results on Aug. 19. A dashboard of the current campus status is being developed and will be posted publicly on the Protect Purdue website beginning Aug. 24.
To implement the “test all” program, Purdue entered into an innovative partnership with Vault Health and Rutgers University and provided the needed funding for test kits to be sent to the homes of all students who will be taking on-campus classes this fall. Students complete their test via a telehealth session and receive their results within 48-72 hours. Rutgers’ RUCDR Infinite Biology lab uses the first FDA-authorized, saliva-based qPCR test for SARS-CoV-2.
Students who test positive receive guidance from the Protect Purdue Health Center, which operates 24/7 with nurse case managers assigned to answer calls and work with students, faculty and staff. These students are instructed not to travel to West Lafayette or come to campus for any reason until they have self-isolated for 10 days and are medically cleared by the PPHC.