Purdue students test positive for COVID-19, university's plans for testing

Three Purdue students are staying in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. The university shares plans on testing students before arriving on campus.

Posted: Jul 20, 2020 6:52 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Three Purdue students are staying in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

More than 500 students are currently on campus for the university's Early Start and Summer Start Programs. All students were required to take a COVID-19 saliva test during check-in.

Students were tested on July 9th and 10th. The results came back within 48 hours.

Those who tested positive were immediately relocated to the university's Protect Purdue Health Center. Dr. Esteban Ramirez, the center's chief medical officer is confident in the university's COVID-19 response plan.

"I think it's very promising," said Ramirez. "No one thinks that we're going to keep the campus infection free but what we do know is we can manage it as best as possible and if we can lessen the amount of exposure and infection, that's the way to manage something like this."

None of the COVID-19 positive students were showing symptoms. Those students will be able to go back to living in dorms after a ten-day waiting period.

The university will continue a similar testing program for students heading to campus this fall. Purdue is partnering with Rutgers University and Vault Health to provide testing.

Students will register to take their COVID-19 test through Vault Health. Days later, they'll receive the test kit in the mail, and after that, the saliva samples will be sent to Rutgers Biologics Lab.

Students and the university will receive results within 48 to 72 hours. Dr. Ramirez said university leaders are depending on this early testing to help slow the spread on campus.

"Let's say you're at home in another state and you realize, 'oh I'm positive, I can stay home.' And then when you're done doing your quarantine time or your isolation time, boom, you can go ahead and come back to campus that way the exposure risk is much smaller," said Ramirez.

University doctors are encouraging students to take the test two to three weeks before coming to campus. Results will be available 48 to 72 hours after testing.

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