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Off-campus housing near Purdue sees COVID-19 clusters

A cluster of 11 cases was found at Grant Street Station on Sept. 11. In July, clusters of 13 cases at The Cottages and 12 cases at Fuse were also discovered.

Posted: Sep 22, 2020 3:55 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 4:38 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Anthony Patterson moved into the The Cottages on Lindberg in West Lafayette about a week ago. But he didn't realize that the off-campus housing complex was one of three near Purdue University to see COVID-19 clusters.

"I feel pretty safe," he says. "I'm out wearing my face mask, so I'm protecting myself."

As News 18 previously reported, a cluster of 11 cases was found at Grant Street Station on Sept. 11. In July, clusters of 13 cases at The Cottages and 12 cases at Fuse were also discovered.

"Most of the apartment complexes in the area have been taking steps to keep those areas as safe as possible," says Tippecanoe County Health Officer Jeremy Adler.

Common areas such as gyms and pools were closed in all three buildings after the clusters were discovered. Property managers also ramped up cleaning regimes and placed signs to remind residents of safety precautions. In the case of Grant Street station, it's unclear when some of those common areas will reopen.

"Those were handled in the same way, with a temporary closing of common areas, increased cleaning and disinfecting," Adler says. 

Khala Hochstedler, an administrator at the Tippecanoe County Health Department, says students living off-campus can quarantine in their rooms or in Purdue's isolation housing.

"We don't handle their case investigations because they are students, and so we have been coordinating with Protect Purdue, but I can't answer if any of them have been moved," she says. 

A Purdue spokesperson wasn't available to comment for this story.

But Purdue's COVID-19 website says the university can make arrangements to isolate students living off campus. That information was updated Sept. 11, the same day signs were posted at the entrance of Grant Street Station informing residents of the cluster.

Patterson says that cleaning and sanitizing has been ramped up where he lives.

"There are hand sanitizer dispensers, and I do see a lot of people, when I go into the clubhouse every morning, I do see people always cleaning it," he says.

The property managers at The Cottages didn't respond to WLFI's requests for comment. 

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