WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — Purdue University starting Monday will again require face masks for everyone indoors on campus, regardless of vaccination status, the university said Friday.
The policy update includes students, employees and visitors to campus.
The university said Tippecanoe County is among the areas of substantial transmission that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended to return to masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated people as part of an effort to slow the spread of the very contagious delta variant of COVID-19.
Purdue said Dr. Jeremy Adler, Tippecanoe County health officer, voiced support for the CDC recommendation as an important step to prevent illness and save lives, adding that “local hospitals are caring for increasing numbers of patients sick from COVID-19 and are beginning to be strained.”
Full statement from Purdue University:
Effective Monday, Aug. 2, face masks will again be required in all indoor spaces for everyone on the Purdue University campus, including students, employees and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
“We have a shared duty, part of the Protect Purdue Pledge, not only to preserve a manageable level of infection on campus so that we don’t have to suspend operations and interrupt our students’ education, but also to protect our surrounding community by doing everything we can to lessen the stress on local health care infrastructure, especially hospital capacity,” said Dr. Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer of the Protect Purdue Health Center.
On Tuesday, July 27, the CDC added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission, which includes Tippecanoe County. Dr. Jeremy Adler, Tippecanoe County health officer, voiced support for the CDC recommendation as an important step to prevent illness and save lives, adding that “local hospitals are caring for increasing numbers of patients sick from COVID-19 and are beginning to be strained.”
Full Protect Purdue masking protocols are available online. Violations of these protocols will be considered violations of the Protect Purdue Pledge and will be subject to disciplinary action.
“Like everyone, we hope the worst of the pandemic is behind us, but our approach must continue to adapt to changing dynamics, just as we’re seeing cities, corporations and other institutions do in recent days,” Ramirez said. “We will continue to monitor very closely local and campus case numbers, vaccine rates, and severity for any indications of concern and will revisit this policy frequently for necessary modifications. In the meantime, vaccines continue to be our best tool in the fight against COVID-19. Everyone who is able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is strongly encouraged to do so as soon as possible.”