Establish a comprehensive testing and contact tracing system

The ability to test and trace individuals who have been infected by COVID-19 is key to containing the spread of the virus.

  • We have created internal capabilities to rapidly assess, sample and test any student, faculty or staff member reporting COVID-19 symptoms and those identified through clinically relevant contact tracing. Testing protocols have been established in conjunction with CDC and ISDH guidelines.
  • Building on existing testing capabilities at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab (ADDL) in the College of Veterinary Medicine, which has been CLIA-certified to test human diseases, our protocols include testing symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals following CDC guidelines with the goals of:
    • Protecting the most vulnerable.
    • Caring for symptomatic and sick individuals.
    • Managing the spread of the virus.
  • Testing protocols included testing all residential students before they returned to campus for the Fall 2020 semester and surveillance testing of on-campus students and employees throughout the semester.
  • We have published a daily dashboard to openly report COVID-19 cases for the entire Purdue community.
  • Additionally, we have built a mechanism for actively and accurately tracing the contacts of those who test positive for the virus, through a combination of in-person interviews and technology.
  • Furthermore, Purdue will determine the most appropriate utilization of antibody (a/B) testing and its potential implementation on our campus.

Distribute wellness kits to every on-campus student

Each student registered for on-campus instruction this fall received a wellness kit with essential items for protecting and monitoring their health.

  • The wellness kits included: two Purdue-branded face masks, a face shield, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, a digital thermometer and other supplies.
  • Additionally, any faculty or staff member who wanted a kit was provided one free of charge.

Identify and set aside rooms for isolation and quarantine

All students who test positive for COVID-19, whether or not they show symptoms, will be required to isolate.

  • Purdue has set aside nearly 1,000 beds for isolation, with contingency plans in place should more space be needed.

Acquire and maintain critical equipment and supplies to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 on campus

Purdue will order, acquire and maintain at least a 90-day supply of critical equipment and supplies to protect the Purdue community and limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

  • These supplies will include face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.

Adopt an alternative 2020-21 academic calendar

Customary fall and holiday breaks were eliminated to allow on-campus instruction to conclude by Thanksgiving for Fall 2020.

  • The Labor Day holiday and October break have been eliminated from the Fall 2020 academic calendar to allow on-campus instruction to happen Aug. 24 to Nov. 24; the balance of the semester will be completed thereafter by remote means, including the final exam period.
  • Spring 2021 instruction will begin Tuesday, Jan. 19; to allow for this later start and to minimize mass travel to and from campus during the semester, the customary spring break period has been eliminated. In its place, three reading days have been added throughout the semester.

Conduct December commencement virtually

Consistent with Purdue’s suspension of all on-campus convocations during the fall semester, December 2020 commencement will be conducted virtually.

  • December commencement will be delivered virtually, in a manner consistent with the successful May and August 2020 ceremonies-on-demand.
  • If possible, a decision on the delivery of Spring 2021 commencement ceremonies will be shared by the end of the Fall 2020 semester (Dec. 5).

Establish the Protect Purdue Health Center (PPHC) to provide oversight and management of the integrated health monitoring and surveillance system for COVID-19.

The Protect Purdue Health Center has been established to provide a dedicated health center for students, faculty and staff to facilitate consistent case management for the health and well-being of the entire Purdue community with respect to the COVID-19 virus.

  • The PPHC will work with PUSH, the Center for Healthy Living and outside medical providers to manage the care and treatment of students, faculty and staff for COVID-19 related activities. PUSH and the Center for Healthy Living will continue to provide primary care services for non-COVID-19 health concerns.
  • The PPHC is staffed by a dedicated medical team of doctors, case managers and contact tracers working alongside our medical advisory and implementation teams.
  • Interfacing with state and local health authorities and healthcare providers, the PPHC will oversee the clinical care pathway: monitoring of symptoms, testing and tracing of clinically relevant contacts, isolation and quarantine decisions, and ultimately return to work or classroom activities.

Establish a protocol for on-campus housing to further protect the most vulnerable students

Students with health conditions that place them at greater vulnerability to severe illness due to COVID-19 will be offered living accommodations that reduce their risk of contracting the disease.

  • Accommodations include single-occupancy rooms and rooms in which fewer students share a bathroom.
  • Additionally, students who have already contracted and recovered from COVID-19 will be asked to self-identify, particularly prior to widespread COVID-19 vaccination, and may be paired as roommates with more vulnerable students.

Establish guidelines and protocols for safe student organization and group meetings

Recognizing that the broad and diverse nature of Purdue’s nearly 1,000 student organizations significantly contributes to the educational experience, we are committed to fostering an environment that supports their activities while prioritizing the health and safety of their members. To accomplish this we:

  • Developed an online workshop for student leaders on new practices, including how to incorporate the elements of the Protect Purdue Pledge and the Protect Purdue Plan into their leadership.
  • Developed guidelines for event planning that include social distancing protocols and other safe practices.
  • Supported the reformatting of activities to maximize safe practices, such as outdoor and virtual events.
  • Encouraged student leaders to create opportunities for Purdue students not on campus to engage with their fellow students.