7/17/20 Covid-19 Testing

Students returning to campus will be required to complete at-home saliva tests before the semester begins. 

Less than a month away from the beginning of the semester, students are reporting problems requesting their free at-home saliva tests.

Some say their credit has disappeared after technical difficulties and the website crashing.

Purdue announced its partnership with Vault Health, a company that usually focuses on providing treatment options to men with low testosterone levels, on July 17. A press release states that Vault Health now offers a medically supervised saliva testing process for COVID-19, the “first FDA (Emergency Use Authorized) solution of its kind.”

Students are supposed to receive emails with links to register for their free tests on a first-to-campus, first-serve basis from protectpurdue@purdue.edu, another University press release states. Within two weeks of coming to campus, students are expected to receive their testing kit, complete the saliva test at home under the watch of a Vault Health practitioner via a video call and send off their sample for testing and processing to a lab at Rutgers University, Purdue’s second partner.

This process has been complicated by technical problems, however, as some students have taken to Reddit and Facebook to share their experiences trying to use Vault Health’s website.

Some Reddit users described Vault Health’s website as slow and prone to crashing, sometimes leading to their credit disappearing before they can finish ordering a test.

Without the credit, ordering an individual test through Vault Health’s website costs $150.

Concerned students having trouble ordering kits through Vault’s website can contact the Purdue COVID-19 Information Center, Purdue spokesperson Jim Bush said, at 765-496-INFO (4636) or toll-free at 833-571-1043.

Vault Health isn’t the only testing option available for students though. Negative test results from other labs, like local hospitals, state testing centers or other locations, can be sent to the Protect Purdue Health Center in lieu of the Vault Health test.

Purdue has also established a partnership, available starting Aug. 1, with CVS Health, according to Purdue’s human resources website. By scheduling an appointment through the pharmacy’s MinuteClinic and using a student’s Purdue ID, test results will be submitted automatically to the PPHC.

Other testing options are also allowable, though labs like local hospitals and other pharmacies will not have their results automatically sent to Purdue. Those negative test results should be directed toward pphctesting@121.health, according to Purdue’s website, and will be kept confidential.

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