Spring 2022 return to campus
Over the past two years, Boilermakers have pulled together like never before. Because of your steady commitment to Protect Purdue, we’ve been able to keep our campus safe and open.
The Protect Purdue team, in conjunction with our Medical Advisory Team, continues to meet regularly and agrees that we will return to in-person instruction next week as planned.
88% of Boilermakers on the West Lafayette campus have chosen to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and compliance with required surveillance testing throughout the fall semester was high. Boilermakers have also demonstrated a steadfast commitment to wearing masks indoors, staying home when sick, and utilizing the Protect Purdue Health Center (PPHC). So far, these actions have led to extraordinarily low levels of COVID-19 transmission traced to campus activities. The latest evidence also suggests that the Omicron variant, now the dominant strain, generally causes milder symptoms and cases, with vaccinations and boosters appearing highly protective against serious illness.
We turn our attention to rebuilding our “campus bubble” during the coming weeks as we return from across the country and around the world. In the fall, we had hoped and expected to reduce some safety requirements early this semester, but the emergence of the Omicron variant has forced us to delay any such easing, at least for a while. Rather, we all need to renew our commitment to the Protect Purdue Pledge as it reads, “As part of the Purdue community, I will continue to take responsibility for my own health and protect others, as well as our campus community, by helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other infections.”
COVID-19 protocols in place throughout the fall semester will remain in effect with some additional considerations:
- Face masks are required in all indoor spaces for everyone on the Purdue University campus, regardless of vaccination status.
- All Boilermakers should consider purchasing higher quality face masks (N95, KN95) for enhanced protection, especially in the beginning of the semester.
- Routine surveillance testing for those who have currently chosen not to get vaccinated and submit proper documentation resumed on January 3 for employees and will resume on January 10 for students.
- If you are ill or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, whether you are vaccinated or not, it is critical that you continue to follow the Protect Purdue Pledge: stay home and away from others, contact PPHC right away, and follow additional instructions.
- If you test positive using an at-home COVID-19 test, you should follow the same steps: stay home and away from others, contact PPHC right away, and follow additional instructions.
- All students should have a personal plan for proper isolation or quarantine should it be necessary and on-campus accommodations not be available.
- Students directed to quarantine or isolate by PPHC will receive an academic case manager and an absence notification will be sent to their instructors.
- Instructors are expected to implement course attendance policies and absence accommodation practices that support students’ ability to follow Protect Purdue guidance and are consistent with the university’s academic regulations.
- All travel, event, and visitor guidelines remain in effect.
- Anyone hosting an international delegation of 3 or more individuals is required to discuss the visit in advance with Mike Brzezinski, dean, International Programs.
- We encourage anyone traveling, or hosting events or visitors, to be diligent in following Protect Purdue guidance and minimize activities involving food during these first few weeks of the semester.
- Continue to watch for Protect Purdue direction regarding isolation and quarantine protocols, which will soon be updated, consistent with the latest medical guidance.
Particularly for our students living in University Residences, it is important to reiterate: do not travel to campus if you currently have COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms. Rather, stay home, contact PPHC right away, and follow additional instructions. With flu cases on the rise nationally, continued Protect Purdue efforts will limit the spread of other illnesses as well.
We continue to encourage all Boilermakers to receive the vaccine and subsequent booster when eligible. If you have not received the COVID-19 vaccine and are eligible to do so, you are encouraged to do so today. Purdue’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic is open 7am – 4pm Monday through Friday and is located on the northwest side of the Co-Rec. Walk-up vaccinations are available during clinic hours.
If you are vaccinated and it has been at least two months since you received the J&J vaccine or at least six months since you received the second dose of any other approved vaccine, you are encouraged to schedule a booster today. This additional dose will provide you and the Purdue community with enhanced protection. Visit the Protect Purdue website or click here to schedule a booster appointment online. All who have received the booster should upload proper documentation at vaccine.purdue.edu.
Since early 2020, our decisions have been based on the best medical and scientific guidance available, including that of our own team of leaders and experts, our external Medical Advisory Committee and our partners at the Tippecanoe County Health Department and the Indiana Department of Health. As the pandemic becomes endemic, the number of positive cases by itself becomes a less informative indicator of the health of our campus and our ability to protect Purdue. That said, we will continue to consider, evaluate and modify our approach based on many factors including positive cases, case severity, availability of and our ability to deliver campus resources, and community trends.
As we look ahead, we again do so with less certainty than anyone would prefer, but with reassurance that Boilermakers want to be on campus and have demonstrated a willingness to do what is necessary to operate safely and without interruption.
Happy New Year, welcome back, and thank you in advance for doing your part, through common sense and the Protect Purdue Pledge, to protect yourself, others, and our Purdue community.
The Protect Purdue Implementation Team