WEST LAFAYETTE — Purdue University announced on Wednesday it will require all students to be tested for COVID-19 before fall semester begins in August.
Undergraduate, graduate and professional program students will receive instructions and assistance on how and when to get tested for the coronavirus in early August, according to a release about the Project Purdue initiative. The program will be led by Dr. Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer at the Project Purdue Health Center (PPHC).
Test results will be sent to the PPHC, and the university said anyone testing positive should not travel to West Lafayette or travel to campus until they isolate for 14 days are are medically cleared to return by the PPHC.
The university, which is expecting a record freshman class, will pay for all student testing.
Purdue said failure to complete a COVID-19 test and have results filed with the PPHC "will affect a student's ability to move into a residence hall or begin in-person classes when they resume on Aug. 24." Students who live off-campus will also be required to be tested for the coronavirus and have negative tests on file.
Faculty and staff will not be required to be tested for COVID-19, unless they are sick, experience any symptoms or have been exposed to someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Academic support will be available for students who have to isolate due to a positive COVID-19 test.
The university and the PPHC are developing plans to rapidly test students who are already on campus or are arriving early in July.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels wrote in a Washington Post column in May that failing to reopen campus for in-person classes during the pandemic would be "an unacceptable breach of duty" because he said the COVID-19 pandemic "poses a near-zero risk to young people."
Daniels added in the column it will be Purdue's challenge to protect the minority on campus who could be at serious risk to the illness.
Students on campus who have COVID-19 symptoms should call 765-496-4636 or 833-571-1043.