Plans underway to protect the most vulnerable Purdue populations of serious illness from COVID-19

With the goal of protecting the Purdue community from exposure to COVID-19, the Protect Purdue implementation team has announced the plan for identifying those who are most vulnerable to serious illness and the process for making accommodations to provide a safe working environment. Purdue’s Board of Trustees endorsed this component of the Protect Purdue plan at its meeting on May 26.

Initiation of the assessment 

The process, designed to be simple, responsive and respectful of faculty and staff healthcare privacy, is initiated by a faculty or staff member who believes they are medically vulnerable to serious illness and needs additional assistance on campus. Faculty and staff who are working remotely or have everything they need to protect them on campus are not required initiate an assessment.

The assessment process

Each individual will be asked to self-assess their vulnerability category based on a list of known medical factors that if not well-controlled can lead to serious illness in an individual who contracts the COVID-19 virus (see chart).

Vulnerability Chart

Human Resources has created a secure Intake Form that will allow employees to assess and self-identify their known risk level based on current CDC guidelines and reviewed and approved by Purdue’s medical advisory team and experts.

As the science of COVID19 continues to evolve, the Medical Advisory Team will regularly update these guidelines and the University will keep the campus community informed of these changes as quickly and clearly as possible.

Individuals need not disclose their specific medical factors; they will merely identify themselves on a 1 to 5 scale, with “1” signifying the most medically vulnerable.

Adjustments and accommodations

Once employees have initiated the process, Human Resources will contact them to discuss their workplace, work assignments and potential adjustments to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Some examples of workplace adjustments include:  

  • Remote work.
  • Alternative work schedules.
  • Specifically fitted personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Physical alterations to work station, office, or classroom environment.

The University recognizes that these adjustments might not be sufficient for all individuals. In those cases in which a particular individual needs more, Human Resources will work with the individual to obtain medical information and engage in a full interactive process under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This process will help the individual, HR and the employing department identify workplace accommodations, which could include a period of leave from work or job reassignment.

The goal of the adjustment and accommodation process is to enable faculty and staff to work as safely as possible.

See the FAQs for more details.