Surveillance Testing Plan

Purdue’s ongoing surveillance testing program includes random testing for on-campus students and a combination of random and weekly testing for certain on-campus employees, with the goal of testing approximately 10% of the campus each week.

Note: Random student surveillance testing for the fall 2020 semester concluded Nov. 13. Random employee surveillance testing for the fall 2020 semester concluded Nov. 20. Critical employee testing continues weekly.

Elements of the plan include:

  • Required random testing throughout the semester of all undergraduate, graduate and professional program students.
  • Required weekly testing of all on-campus employees in categories designated as critical to the continuity of core university operations, such as police, fire, medical, utility operators, and others.
    • Required pre-employment testing of all new on-campus employees or contractors in these designated categories.
  • Required random testing throughout the semester of all other employees who are working 100% of their time on-campus.
  • Continued open testing for faculty, staff and students with or without symptoms at no cost.
  • Utilization of contact tracers and a proximity monitoring system to identify potential outbreaks and hot spots to guide additional testing on an as-needed basis.

All who need to be tested through the ongoing surveillance program will be notified by email, will be given specific instructions for where they can be tested and how long they have to comply. Sampling will be done via a saliva-based method.

Being identified for random surveillance testing does not mean that an individual has been exposed to the virus or is suspected of being positive. Rather, the individual has been chosen at random for the test, a proven strategy for monitoring the health of the community.

Surveillance Testing FAQ

If you are an employee, please email If you are a student, please email Limited exceptions will be made.

If you are on both sampling lists, you may be randomly selected for either one or both. 

Staff will monitor for physical distancing during surveillance testing. There are also floor markings to indicate safe distancing.

Both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing are conducted by PPHC, but in different areas of the building

The process is designed to be as efficient as possible. The surveillance testing sampling strategy is intended to spread volume across days and time blocks to allow for an efficient process.

No, you should complete the surveillance testing using the instructions included in your email. If you are absolutely unable to do so, please email (employees) or (students). Limited exceptions will be made.

Results from PPHC testing are available 24-48 hours after the test. You may email with any questions.

Those tested by PPHC will receive their results by phone if positive. If you do not receive a phone call after 48 hours, you can safely assume your test was negative; you may email to confirm. You may also receive an email with your negative test results (sample email).

You will be contacted by a nurse case manager from the Protect Purdue Health Center. You will be required to self-isolate and not attend classes, report to work or participate in any other public activity. A nurse case manager will help you coordinate the self-isolation process. After you have completed the self-isolation period PPHC will provide you with the documentation necessary to return to campus activity. 


If you are an employee, please email If you are a student, please email Limited exceptions will be made. In general, those located in Tippecanoe county are required to participate if selected.  

If a student is not compliant with the requests in the surveillance notification email, a referral is made to the Office of the Dean of Students for follow-up according to the Student Code of Conduct expectations. 

If an employee is not compliant, they are subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

If you are an employee, please email If you are a student, please email

If you are an employee, please email If you are a student, please email

Tests by PPHC are primarily saliva-based. In addition to being highly accurate and reducing discomfort for the patient, saliva-based sampling is also safer for both the patient and the healthcare workers administering the test compared to Nasal or Nasal Pharyngeal swabs, as nasal swabs require both parties to stand in close proximity and can cause a gag or sneeze reflex, which increases the risk of exposure for both.

Additionally, saliva-based sampling allows a greater number of patients tests to be monitored at once — a single healthcare worker can simultaneously monitor eight patients collecting a saliva sample, whereas only one patient can be monitored and swabbed at a time with the nasal swab method. 

Nasal swabs are also available for use when needed, at the discretion of Protect Purdue Health Center staff. All tests conducted by PPHC are PCR viral tests.

Please enter the gymnasiums directly from the outside (i.e., do not enter from the Co-Rec main doors). Outside signage will provide guidance to the appropriate exterior doors. This map shows where to enter the building, and these pictures show the entrances to use if you are symptomatic or asymptomatic.

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