Protect Purdue efforts proving effective a month into semester

Campus vaccination rate climbs to 85%, COVID-19 positivity rates remain low

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A month into the 2021-22 school year, Purdue University’s Protect Purdue efforts continue to be successful in helping keep the campus vibrant, healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Purdue has been as open, densely populated and operational as any campus even close to its size among U.S. universities since the pandemic. And this fall, Purdue welcomed its largest freshman class ever in driving enrollment to record levels, offering a fully in-person instructional experience and embracing a return to normal activities and events – all made possible through a collective commitment to masking and other safety protocols in compliance with the Protect Purdue Pledge.

Thanks to these efforts, the overall COVID-19 positivity rate thus far this fall is just 1.29% based on more than 30,000 tests administered on campus, according to the latest Protect Purdue COVID-19 Dashboard. In addition, 99% of those who test positive are either asymptomatic or have very mild, mild or moderate symptoms.

Nearly 47,000 members, or 85%, of the Purdue community of 55,430 have documented their status as fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as of Friday (Sept. 24), ranking among the top 2% most-vaccinated areas in Indiana. The overall vaccination rate is now 85% for students, 93% for faculty members and 81% for staff. Of students living in University Residences, the rate has reached 90%, and both those in congregate housing and living off campus sit at 82%.

“As the weather changes and we move more back indoors, our entire Boilermaker community must continue to pay attention to our role in protecting Purdue, each other and ourselves,” said Eric Barker, dean of the College of Pharmacy and leader of the Protect Purdue Health Monitoring and Surveillance team. “If we need to, we will adjust our Protect Purdue protocols. But for now, they are working. 

“We applaud the diligence and commitment of our students, faculty and staff in doing the many things – getting vaccinated or participating in surveillance testing, wearing masks where required – to ensure our Purdue campus remains open and continues in its mission of delivering a quality, in-person educational experience during this public health challenge.”

All incoming students were given the option to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and upload that documentation status to the Purdue vaccination portal or to participate in routine surveillance testing, which could be as frequently as weekly.

As of Sept. 23, of the 27 Purdue students who faced suspension for missing three surveillance testing appointments, 18 have agreed to work with the Office of the Dean of Students and its diversion program to formally restore their academic status. One student has left Purdue, and eight have been issued letters of suspension. The Office of the Dean of Students continues to work with those students to help them reach compliance and maintain their enrollment at Purdue. 

“What we’ve found is that most, in fact nearly all, of the students who are noncompliant have either been confused or made innocent mistakes,” said Katie Sermersheim, associate vice provost and dean of students. “We are working very closely to help them fulfill their obligations and remain in good status at the university.”

Testing is conducted by appointment through the Protect Purdue Health Center. Those students and employees required to complete a surveillance test have received an email with a link to schedule an appointment; others wishing to be tested can schedule an appointment with PPHC at 765-496-4636 (toll-free at 1-833-571-1043) or by email at

Hours for the COVID-19 testing campus site, located at the France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center (Co-Rec), are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9-11 a.m. on weekends. 

An on-campus vaccine clinic also is open at the Co-Rec from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. No reservation is needed to receive the FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine. Purdue faculty, staff, students, retirees, spouses and dependents ages 12 and up are eligible to be vaccinated on campus.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at