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Spring 2021 Pre-Arrival COVID-19 Testing for Purdue Students

All undergraduate students in the spring 2021 residential option, as well as all West Lafayette-bound graduate and professional program students, are required to be tested for COVID-19 and be cleared for campus access by the Protect Purdue Health Center before the start of the spring semester. The testing process varies for students depending on a variety of factors — please review the following information carefully to ensure you follow the appropriate steps to be cleared for campus access in January.

Testing process questionnaire

Answer a series of questions in the box below to determine which procedures you must follow for return-to-campus testing. Full details are also listed below.

Testing process details

Jump to information for:

If you will be living off-campus during the spring semester

  • You will be tested on campus by the Protect Purdue Health Center when you arrive in West Lafayette prior to beginning any on-campus programming and/or classes.
  • Testing will be conducted Jan. 9-22 from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily on campus. There is no cost for this test. 
  • You must make an appointment to be tested in advance of arriving on campus. If you will be living off-campus in the spring, you will receive an email with instructions on how to schedule an appointment.
  • The test will be a rapid antigen test conducted by PPHC in partnership with Biodesix. You will receive your results within 30 minutes of completing the test. 
  • If you test positive via the rapid test, you will be retested by PPHC using a PCR test to confirm your positive result. PPHC will provide retesting instructions should you need to retest. 
  • If you test positive, you will be asked to isolate; campus isolation housing is available at no cost for any student who needs to utilize it.
  • Alternatively, you may choose to be tested by an outside provider within 14 days before arriving on campus. The test must be a PCR or antigen test (antibody tests will not be accepted). You are responsible for any costs incurred (Purdue will not reimburse). Please send a copy of your test results showing your name and the date of the test, and your PUID number, birthdate, phone number, Purdue email address, and expected return to campus date to the Protect Purdue Health Center at pphctesting@121.health in order to be cleared for campus access.


If you took a Vault Health test kit home with you this fall (Students who resided in University Residences or Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life housing during the fall semester)

  • You should complete the test via Zoom at covid.vlt.co following the instructions included in the kit within 14 days before returning to campus. For most students, this means you should complete your test no sooner than Jan. 5, 2021.
    • NOTE: You may also complete the test by visiting covidtest.vaulthealth.com (as printed in the instructions on your test kit) and clicking the link under “Testing on-site at your employer?”
  • Return your kit to the lab using the prepaid envelope included with your kit.
  • Your test results will be sent directly to you via email from Vault Health, generally within 48-72 hours after your sample kit arrives at the lab. A copy of your test result also will be sent to PPHC automatically.
  • Once you have completed your COVID-19 test, you should continue to follow rigorously the elements of the Protect Purdue Pledge — always wearing a face mask in public, maintaining a 6-foot distance from others, washing hands diligently and monitoring daily for symptoms. 
  • Those testing positive will receive guidance from PPHC and should not travel to West Lafayette or come to campus for any reason until they self-isolate for 10 days and are medically cleared by PPHC.
  • Please bring a copy of your test results with you to move-in, as you will be asked to show them as part of the check-in process.
  • If you have any questions about completing the telehealth visit, your Vault Health account or receiving your test results, please contact Vault Health customer service at purdue@vaulthealth.com or by phone at 212-880-5494. You can expect a response from Vault within 72 hours. 
  • Alternatively, you may choose to be tested by an outside provider within 14 days before arriving on campus. The test must be a PCR or antigen test (antibody tests will not be accepted). You are responsible for any costs incurred (Purdue will not reimburse). Please send a copy of your test results showing your name and the date of the test, and your PUID number, birthdate, phone number, Purdue email address, and expected return to campus date to the Protect Purdue Health Center at pphctesting@121.health in order to be cleared for campus access.


If you will be living in University Residences in the spring but were not on campus in the fall

  • You should have received an email with instructions on how to have a Vault Health at-home COVID-19 test kit mailed to you.
  • You should complete the test via Zoom at covid.vlt.co following the instructions included in the kit within 14 days before returning to campus. For most students, this means you should complete your test no sooner than Jan. 5, 2021.
    • NOTE: You may also complete the test by visiting covidtest.vaulthealth.com (as printed in the instructions on your test kit) and clicking the link under “Testing on-site at your employer?”
  • Return your kit to the lab using the prepaid envelope included with your kit.
  • Your test results will be sent directly to you via email from Vault Health, generally within 48-72 hours after your sample kit arrives at the lab. A copy of your test result also will be sent to PPHC automatically.
  • Once you have completed your COVID-19 test, you should continue to follow rigorously the elements of the Protect Purdue Pledge — always wearing a face mask in public, maintaining a 6-foot distance from others, washing hands diligently and monitoring daily for symptoms. 
  • Those testing positive will receive guidance from PPHC and should not travel to West Lafayette or come to campus for any reason until they self-isolate for 10 days and are medically cleared by PPHC.
  • Please bring a copy of your test results with you to move-in, as you will be asked to show them as part of the check-in process.
  • If you have any questions about completing the telehealth visit, your Vault Health account or receiving your test results, please contact Vault Health customer service at purdue@vaulthealth.com or by phone at 212-880-5494. You can expect a response from Vault within 72 hours. 
  • Alternatively, you may choose to be tested by an outside provider within 14 days before arriving on campus. The test must be a PCR or antigen test (antibody tests will not be accepted). You are responsible for any costs incurred (Purdue will not reimburse). Please send a copy of your test results showing your name and the date of the test, and your PUID number, birthdate, phone number, Purdue email address, and expected return to campus date to the Protect Purdue Health Center at pphctesting@121.health in order to be cleared for campus access.
Other Cleared for Campus requirements
  • Any student who was not on campus for the fall 2020 semester will also need to complete the following checklist items closer to the start of the spring semester if they are coming to campus:
    • Health and Safety Training and Protect Purdue Pledge adoption in Brightspace (pre-loaded into your account).
    • Update phone number and campus address in myPurdue for contact tracing purposes.


If you are coming to campus from outside the United States

  • You will be tested by PPHC as part of your required self-quarantine period. 
  • Self-quarantine and a COVID-19 test are required even if you have already received a COVID-19 vaccination in your home country.
  • Please carefully review this information on self-quarantine requirements and then contact the Protect Purdue Health Center at quarantine@121.health to confirm your quarantine and testing arrangements. 


If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19

  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 on or after Oct. 21, 2020 (e.g., within 90 days of start of classes on Jan. 19, 2021), you do NOT need to be tested again before the start of classes in January. Due to technical aspects of the COVID-19 PCR-based tests, the CDC has recommended that anyone that has tested positive for COVID-19 refrain from taking another test for 90 days from the first positive test. The reason for this recommendation is that an individual that have tested positive for the virus may for up to 90 days, continue to shed non-infectious genetic material from the virus that can cause a positive test result.  Thus, Purdue exempts from additional testing all those who have tested positive for COVID-19 for the recommended 90-day window.  
  • If your test was conducted by PPHC, you will be automatically cleared for campus access by the Protect Purdue Health Center. 
  • If you were tested for COVID-19 by an entity other than PPHC after Oct. 21, please send documentation of the positive result from a certified COVID-19 testing lab to pphctesting@121.health as soon as possible. Once PPHC has received proof of your positive test and you have cleared the mandatory 10-day isolation from date of test, you will be exempted from return-to-campus testing and the mandatory testing requirement should show “cleared” in MyPurdue.


If you will not be coming to campus for the spring semester

  • Students who opted into the fully online option for the spring semester are not required by Purdue to be tested for COVID-19. 
  • Students who are enrolled in the residential option but do not plan to be physically present on campus do need to be tested before the start of classes on Jan. 19. This includes students in co-op programs, residential students who are taking Distance Learning courses, students on student teaching rotations, etc. You may be tested on campus by the Protect Purdue Health Center or by a local testing provider (submit your results and PUID number to the Protect Purdue Health Center at pphctesting@121.health; you are responsible for any costs incurred). 

Questions?

Contact the Purdue COVID-19 Information Center at 765-496-INFO (4636) or toll free 1-833-571-1043.