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Thousands of Purdue students return to campus after testing negative for COVID-19

Purdue University students are back on campus to start to the Spring 2021 Semester. Every student was required to test negative for COVID-19 before returning.

Posted: Jan 20, 2021 12:16 PM
Updated: Jan 20, 2021 12:26 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The 2021 Spring Semester is underway at Purdue University. All students were required to test negative for COVID-19 before returning to campus.

As News 18 previously reported, students were not required to return to campus after Thanksgiving Break. The students finished the Fall 2020 Semester virtually.

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Purdue University provided an at-home COVID-19 saliva test for students living on campus to take before arriving for the Spring Semester.

Purdue Freshman, Jenna Tapper, said COVID-19 testing has become the new normal.

"The testing went smoothly for me," said Tapper. "This was actually my third time getting tested because we had randomly testing on campus as well."

The students were required to take their saliva test online.

"You log-in to your account and enter a waiting room through Zoom where a nurse practitioner will see you," said Tapper. "They'll ask you to remove the vial you get from the casing and spit into it until it reaches the fill line and then I had to seal it up and put it in the shipping bag."

Purdue University President, Mitch Daniels, says the at-home COVID-19 test was not sent home with every student enrolled at Purdue. They were only given to students who live on campus.

"Particularly those in congregate housing, so that's sororities, fraternities, co-ops, and our university residents halls," said Daniels.

All students were required to test negative for COVID-19. However, the testing process for students living off-campus was not the same for those living on campus.

"Just to be clear every student including the off-campus residents will have to show a negative test," said Daniels. "It's just that they'll have to come get it as they find their way back to town."

Daniels says it was up to the students living off-campus where they wanted to get tested.

"Some chose to do it where they lived or maybe at their own doctor's office," said Daniels.

That's what Purdue student Amous Goh decided to do.

"I went to CVS and got one done real quick," said Goh.

Daniels said no matter where students chose to get tested, the Protect Purdue Health Center is always an option.

"I hope we've been successful in making it (testing) convenient to everyone," said Daniels. 

Daniels said if students decided to get tested at the Protect Purdue Health Center, the cost would be taken care of.

"We want to be there to help with the cost in every case we can," said Daniels.

Goh said he knew the Protect Purdue Health Center was an option for testing, but he already scheduled his appointment with CVS.

"This semester they did offer for me to take it at Purdue," said Goh. "It's just that I have already scheduled another test before they sent me that email."

Daniels said the University did not require a pre-test for faculty and staff. However, the Protect Purdue Health Center is always an option.

"The protect Purdue health center is open all the time," said Daniels "Anyone can come in for a voluntary test and if they have symptoms we urge them to come in right away."

Daniels said random surveillance testing will continue for the Spring Semester.

"That means sampling a healthy percentage of students, faculty, and staff on an on-going basis," said Daniels.

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