Inside Purdue Fort Wayne Special Edition, 4/8/20
April 8, 2020 5:45 PM
From: Inside Purdue Fort Wayne
To: Students, Faculty, and Staff
Current Procedures for Employees and Students Testing Positive for COVID-19
Purdue Fort Wayne has been notified of the procedures in place after a patient tests positive for COVID-19 in our area. The Allen County Department of Health says that upon a positive test, an investigator from the health department will contact the individual to discuss any high-risk contacts they may have had while they were infectious. Those contacts will then be notified of a potential exposure and provided additional guidance, as needed. Health department tracing includes asking about the type of contact had with others, and the length of those contacts, in order to assess risk levels.
Additionally, all positive tests are reported by the local health department or the laboratory that processed the test to the Indiana State Department of Health, which then reports to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Keep in mind that as access to rapid testing in our community grows, it’s possible that individuals may learn of a positive test before it’s reported to the health department. To protect personal and confidential health information, please exercise caution in sharing test results broadly, such as in social media and email.
What the Purdue Fort Wayne Community Needs to Know about COVID-19 Exposure Risk
The prevalence of COVID-19 in our community shouldn’t be underestimated. The Allen County Department of Health advises that anyone who ventures into public for any essential reason needs to expect that they will be exposed to COVID-19. You should practice self-observation, watch for symptoms, adhere to stay-at-home orders, and refrain from venturing out if you’re sick.
Please note that in-depth investigations by the Allen County Department of Health will be waning as the total number of cases continues to grow, and only those who are identified as high-risk contacts will be notified.
Purdue Fort Wayne implemented steps to help slow the spread of the virus several weeks ago, and we plan to continue until the risk of exposure has been greatly minimized. You’re urged to do the same.
CDC Guidance on Cloth Face Masks
Purdue Fort Wayne is not currently requiring employees to wear masks, but the Allen County Department of Health is strongly recommending the community use cloth facial coverings in public, as is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has released new guidance on how masks may help slow the spread of COVID-19 in certain situations. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social-distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as at grocery stores and pharmacies.
The CDC has also issued how-to instructions for creating, wearing, and sanitizing cloth masks. Please keep in mind that these coverings don’t replace social-distancing and stay-at-home directives. Faculty and staff are permitted to provide their own cloth masks and wear them at work as long as CDC recommendations for making, wearing, and cleaning the masks are carefully followed.
As a reminder, please avoid seeking out surgical masks and N95 respirators for everyday use. These are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
Reminder Regarding Flushable Wipes
It’s important to know that virtually all wipes marketed as “flushable” are terrible for plumbing. While these products may eventually beak down, that process doesn’t occur fast enough to prevent clogs, backups, and the potential for significant damage to pipes and property.
Purdue Fort Wayne understands that you want to take extra precautions during this pandemic, and flushable wipes can be an effective tool to use for personal hygiene and to combat germs—just make sure to throw them in the garbage when you’re done. Please do not flush these products.
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Inside PFW Special Edition provides communication updates for all students, faculty, and staff on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It serves as a supplement to the university’s official coronavirus website, which will always contain a full repository of the most up-to-date information regarding this event.
Inside PFW Special Edition is published by the Office of Communications and Marketing and will be published on an as-needed basis throughout the duration of the COVID-19 response.
Visit the coronavirus COVID-19 website for campus messages, frequently asked questions, student resources, and information for faculty and staff.
Emergency Relief Funds for Students
A relief fund has been established to help students cover unforeseen living expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students in need are encouraged to initiate an eligibility review process by sending an email to the vice chancellor of student affairs at email@example.com.
Donations to the COVID-19 Student Relief Fund may be also made online at pfw.edu/give-now.Give Now
Online Support for Students
Looking for help with technology as your courses are moved online? Take a look at the following resources below:
Online Support for Faculty and Staff
Find resources to help you manage your courses as the university transitions to online work. Get to know the following resources:
- Faculty and Staff Working Remotely FAQ
- Information for moving your courses online
- Information Technology Services Help Desk
General information about community health and communicable disease may be found by visiting these websites:
- Allen County Department of Health
- Indiana State Department of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Purdue University has established a website with information and guidance applicable to the Purdue West Lafayette campus unless otherwise noted: