COVID-19 Testing by the Numbers
Protect Purdue Summary Report
COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing
Purdue created internal capabilities to rapidly assess, sample and test any student, faculty or staff member reporting COVID-19 symptoms and those identified through contact tracing.
- Purdue partnered with Vault Health/Rutgers, CVS Health and Biodesix to test all students before starting classes in the fall and spring semesters.
- Protocols relied heavily on tracking and responding to daily data for the ongoing surveillance testing plan of on-campus students and employees throughout the year.
- The Protect Purdue Health Center deployed a team of 35 contact tracers to assist all students, faculty and staff to quickly and effectively respond to cases of or exposure to the coronavirus.
- The Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab (ADDL) in the College of Veterinary Medicine gained rapid Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification in April 2020 to test human samples for SARS-CoV-2, giving Purdue the capacity to perform up to 2,000 COVID-19 PCR tests per day. To date, the lab has performed 200,000 of these tests.
- Data analytics including data points — such as Wi-Fi access-points, living, dining and classroom contacts — helped to rapidly identify “hot spots” across campus. This system was developed internally by Purdue’s Institutional Data Analytics + Assessment (IDA+A) unit.
- The Protect Purdue Health Center also provided COVID-19 testing and case management care for 6,296 spouses and dependents affiliated with the West Lafayette campus.
Protect Purdue testing protocols included testing symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals following federal guidelines with the goals of:
- Protecting the most vulnerable.
- Caring for symptomatic and sick individuals.
- Managing the spread of the virus.
The Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab (ADDL) in the College of Veterinary Medicine gained rapid Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification in April 2020 to test human samples for SARS-CoV-2, giving Purdue the capacity to perform up to 2,000 COVID-19 PCR tests per day.
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Positive Student Cases
Lived in congregate housing (fraternity, sorority, cooperative life housing)
Lived in University Residences
Lived off campus
Unique system developed to track severity of campus cases
The Protect Purdue Health Center, in consultation with the Medical Advisory Team, developed a severity index to monitor COVID-19 cases on campus and report that information daily on the public Protect Purdue dashboard.
Purdue leadership, which met daily to monitor the situation on campus, utilized this custom index as a tool in guiding campus operations, and it confirmed what medical experts already suspected: The effects of COVID-19 are less severe on young people, and severe cases — including those that lead to hospitalization — are incredibly rare among those 35 and younger, the age group that accounts for the vast majority of the Purdue community.
Of the 6,158 positive COVID-19 cases on campus during the 2020-21 academic year, 99% were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, and 88% of the cases were students.