Pre-Arrival COVID-19 Testing for Purdue Students

All West Lafayette-bound Purdue students were required to be tested for COVID-19 before moving into residence halls and attending classes in August 2020.

Purdue partnered with Vault Health to offer free at-home COVID-19 test kits to a majority of students prior to their campus arrival. Students who received an email from Purdue with instructions on ordering a test kit can follow the steps below to complete the test and get results in 48-72 hours.

NOTE: If you haven’t received the Purdue email with instructions on ordering a Vault Health at-home testing kit, but will be on-campus for classes this fall, you should plan to pursue an alternate testing option.

Check Purdue email for "Remote COVID-19 Testing" instructions.

Step 1.

Check Purdue email for “Remote COVID-19 Testing” instructions.

Click on email’s personalized Vault Health link to request testing kit.

Step 2.

Click on email’s personalized Vault Health link to request testing kit.

When kit arrives, complete on-demand telehealth visit via Zoom. Instructions are included with your kit. Test is performed through secure video visit supervised by Vault Health practitioner.

Step 3.

When kit arrives, complete on-demand telehealth visit via Zoom. Instructions are included with your kit. Test is performed through secure video visit supervised by Vault Health practitioner.

Return completed test via UPS, using included prepaid shipping label.

Step 4.

Return completed test via UPS, using included prepaid shipping label.

Your test results will be sent to you directly via a Vault Health email.

Step 5.

Your test results will be sent to you directly via a Vault Health email. A copy will also be shared with the Protect Purdue Health Center automatically.

Completed tests must be returned to THE lab 14 days or less before campus arrival.

Frequently Asked Questions

Vault Health/Rutgers Testing Partnership | Alternate COVID-19 Testing Options | Undergraduate and International Students | Graduate and Professional Students | Protect Purdue Health Center | Compliance | Faculty and Staff

Vault Health/Rutgers Testing Partnership

  • All eligible students have received an email with instructions on ordering a test kit. 

    If you haven’t received the Purdue email with instructions on ordering a Vault Health at-home testing kit, but will be on-campus for classes this fall, you have two main options to be tested for COVID-19:

    1. If you are in the West Lafayette area, the easiest option for you may be to be tested on-campus at Turf Recreation Exercise Center (TREC). The hours are 8 a.m – 4:30 p.m. Aug. 14 – 23. Students do not need an appointment, but should bring their PUID. TREC is located at 1252 Third Street, west of the Burke Aquatic Center.
    2. Receive a COVID-19 test from a local provider and submit the results and your PUID number to the Protect Purdue Health Center at pphctesting@121.health. Be sure the results indicate your name and the date of the test. You should retain a copy/screenshot of your results for your records.

    Additional details are available here: https://www.purdue.edu/hr/COVID-19/pphc/testtrace.php.

  • What is the type of test offered by Vault Health/Rutgers through this partnership?

    The Vault Health COVID-19 test is used to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The test is performed using the “gold standard” PCR-based testing. The saliva sample method has been shown to be very sensitive and specific and conform highly to nasal swabs.    

    The COVID-19 test detects virus on the day the sample was submitted. As such, this test in known as a “point in time” test. An individual can still become infected following a negative test result. It is important that students — in the 14 days following their Vault Health test — take extra care and precaution to minimize contact with others. View this as the beginning of your commitment to the Protect Purdue Pledge and its call to protect yourself, to protect others and to protect the Purdue Community. 

  • What is the reliability of Vault Health/Rutgers COVID-19 saliva test compared with the more common nasal pharyngeal (NP) swab?

    Saliva sampling offered by Vault Health/Rutgers is considered an accurate way of taking a patient sample for COVID-19. A recent study by Yale University researchers, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, showed 98% concordance to matched NP swabs and to be highly sensitive and specific. In addition, the Rutgers test is the only authorized solution of its kind for tests conducted in the United States and is currently used by many national companies, as well as sports leagues such as the National Hockey League, the PGA Tour and Major League Soccer. 

Alternate COVID-19 Testing Options

  • What are my options to be tested for COVID-19 other than through Vault Health? (Added August 14)

    f you haven’t received the Purdue email with instructions on ordering a Vault Health at-home testing kit, but will be on-campus for classes this fall, you have two main options to be tested for COVID-19:

    1. If you are in the West Lafayette area, the easiest option for you may be to be tested on-campus at Turf Recreation Exercise Center (TREC). The hours are 8 a.m – 4:30 p.m. Aug. 14 – 23. Students do not need an appointment, but should bring their PUID. TREC is located at 1252 Third Street, west of the Burke Aquatic Center.
    2. Receive a COVID-19 test from a local provider and submit the results and your PUID number to the Protect Purdue Health Center at pphctesting@121.health. Be sure the results indicate your name and the date of the test. You should retain a copy/screenshot of your results for your records.

    Additional details are available here: https://www.purdue.edu/hr/COVID-19/pphc/testtrace.php.

Undergraduate and International Students

  • If you haven’t received the Purdue email with instructions on ordering a Vault Health at-home testing kit, but will be on-campus for classes this fall, you have two main options to be tested for COVID-19:

    1. If you are in the West Lafayette area, the easiest option for you may be to be tested on-campus at Turf Recreation Exercise Center (TREC). The hours are 8 a.m – 4:30 p.m. Aug. 14 – 23. Students do not need an appointment, but should bring their PUID. TREC is located at 1252 Third Street, west of the Burke Aquatic Center.
    2. Receive a COVID-19 test from a local provider and submit the results and your PUID number to the Protect Purdue Health Center at pphctesting@121.health. Be sure the results indicate your name and the date of the test. You should retain a copy/screenshot of your results for your records.

    Additional details are available here: https://www.purdue.edu/hr/COVID-19/pphc/testtrace.php.

  • Do I need to send a copy of my test results to Purdue? (Added August 10)

    If you complete the COVID-19 test through the Vault Health partnership using the unique link sent to you by Purdue, a copy of your results will automatically be sent to the Protect Purdue Health Center. You do not need to send them in. You should retain a copy or screenshot of your results for your records.

    If you are tested by another means, you should send a copy or screenshot of your results to pphctesting@121.health

  • What’s the first step a student should take if they test positive?

    Understand that you should stay home and not come to campus for any reason until you have isolated for 10 days after the test resulted. Those testing positive also will receive guidance from the Protect Purdue Health Center and a nurse case manager who will monitor you regularly during your isolation period. You should not travel to West Lafayette until you are medically cleared by the PPHC. 

    If you have any further questions, contact the PPHC by calling 765-496-INFO (4636) or toll-free at 833-571-1043 and pressing “1”. Academic support also will be available through virtual consultations with staff specializing in student success to help undergraduate students navigate their continued academic progress if they must isolate because of COVID-19.

  • Will I need to be tested again even if I had tested negative for COVID-19 earlier this summer or this month? (Updated July 29)

    Students who were tested by Purdue as part of a summer program (such as Early Start or Summer Start), do not need to be retested for COVID-19. 

    Students who were tested through another means not associated with Purdue more than 14 days before traveling to campus will need to be retested. You will receive an email from Purdue explaining how to access an at-home testing kits offered through our Vault Health partnership. That email will be sent to you as your time to return to campus approaches, outlining the necessary steps to complete our testing process through Vault Health.

  • What happens if COVID-19 test result is inconclusive?

    While an inconclusive test result is not very common, we will request you be retested. Remember: before you will be allowed to move into a residence hall, participate in an on-campus activity or begin classes, you must have a negative COVID-19 test result on file with the PPHC that was completed no sooner than 14 days before you traveled to Purdue to participate in on-campus activities. If you receive an inconclusive test result, please contact the PPHC by calling 765-494-INFO (4636) or toll-free at 833-571-1043 and pressing option “1.”

  • Do students who choose the online learning option have to take to COVID-19 test offered for free by the University through Vault Health?

    Those students who selected the fully online option for the fall semester will not be asked to be tested.

  • What is Purdue’s COVID-19 testing plan for students coming to West Lafayette from international destinations?

    All Purdue undergraduate, graduate and professional program students planning to be in West Lafayette for on-campus instruction must test negative before coming to campus, whether they are arriving from another part of the United States or another country. 

    All students coming to campus from outside the United States should quarantine upon arrival until they can be tested for COVID-19, whether in connection with Purdue’s partnership with Vault Health or an authorized sampling and collection site. Please contact the Protect Purdue Health Center 24/7 by calling 765-496-INFO (4636) or toll-free at 833-571-1043 and pressing “1” to make testing arrangements.

  • I am coming to campus from an international location. How to I make self-quarantine arrangements? (Updated July 28)

    All students returning to campus from an international location are required to self-quarantine for 14-days before resuming any campus activities.

    At this time, all available quarantine space through Purdue has been reserved. Students are responsible for making their own arrangements for quarantine space off campus.

    Once you have determined where you will self-quarantine, please contact the Protect Purdue Health Center 24/7 at 765-496-INFO (4636) or toll-free at 833-571-1043 (press option “1”) to discuss your quarantine arrangements. You’ll be connected with a nurse case manager, who will give you exact instructions to follow during your quarantine period.

    The Protect Purdue Health Center will also help you make COVID-19 testing arrangements for during your quarantine period, and will be the entity that provides you with medical clearance to return to campus. 

  • If I am arriving from an international location and my 14-day self-quarantine overlaps with the start of classes, how will I take my courses? Will there be academic support available? (Added July 26)

    Academic support will be available if your self-quarantine period overlaps with the start of fall classes to help you navigate continued academic progress. Please email ODOS@purdue.edu to make arrangements.

Graduate and Professional Students

  • Will graduate students engaged in research on-campus or at Purdue off-campus sites need to be tested? (Updated August 14)

    All graduate students and professional students conducting research on campus or at Purdue off-campus sites will be tested, regardless of whether you are taking classes in-person or online; this includes students currently engaged in research activities and those who are already living off campus in West Lafayette or the surrounding community.

Protect Purdue Health Center

  • How many case managers will work for the Protect Purdue Health Center?
    • The PPHC is ramping up staffing of case managers, with a current plan for approximately 25 case managers. The PPHC is available 24/7 by calling 765-496-INFO (4636) or toll-free at 833-571-1043 and pressing “1”.

Compliance

  • What happens if a student is unwilling to participate in the University’s mandatory COVID-19 testing plan?

    Students will not be allowed to move in to University Residences or attend on-campus classes until a negative test result is on file with the Protect Purdue Health Center.

  • Will the number of positive COVID-19 cases from residence halls, research facilities and other buildings be reported and disclosed to the public?

    We will report cases for the entire Purdue community, not disclose information at the building or residence hall level. Contact tracing will be used to identify individuals who may need further evaluation by nurse case managers, following established CDC and Indiana State Department of Health protocols.

  • As the semester progresses, are there plans to conduct random testing on campus?

    We continue to evaluate the best testing and surveillance methodologies, including random testing on campus. The initial phase of Protect Purdue’s COVID-19 testing plan is focused on testing all students returning to campus prior to moving into residence halls, participating in campus activities or starting classes. 

    The Protect Purdue Health Center will conduct testing for COVID-19 symptomatic individuals based on the assessment of the case manager. 

Faculty and Staff

  • Is the Protect Purdue Health Center testing staff members? (Updated August 14)

    Faculty or staff who wish to be tested for COVID-19 may do so through the Protect Purdue Health Center.

    Faculty or staff who live in Indiana are not required to be tested for COVID-19 before the start of the semester on Aug. 24, as risk of exposure has remained low.

    Employees who have returned or will be returning to campus after July 31 from travel outside of Indiana due to vacation or other reasons are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 upon return to West Lafayette.

    Details on our plans for faculty and staff testing are available here

Vault Health/Rutgers Testing Partnership |Alternate COVID-19 Testing Options | Undergraduate and International Students | Graduate and Professional Students | Protect Purdue Health Center | Compliance | Faculty and Staff