Purdue announced in June that it would be providing space for students traveling to campus from out of the country to self-quarantine for a two-week period before the semester begins for an $800 fee.
A junior in the College of Science from India, who said he preferred to remain anonymous, completed his two weeks on Friday and described what it was like to stay in the Purdue quarantine housing.
“It’s basically honor code, like with the Protect Purdue pledge,” he said, explaining that students are told not to leave their buildings but aren’t constantly monitored to ensure they stay inside the apartments during the quarantine time.
Purdue Spokesperson Tim Doty said the Protect Purdue Health Center works with students coming to campus “to determine the best self-quarantine location and steps going forward.”
Doty said rules and instructions for quarantine housing are provided to students by the PPHC, but he did not give further details on the instructions themselves.
The student said to reserve his spot in Purdue Village, he emailed the PPHC and explained that he was an international student with a University housing contract for the fall. Students must either have an active University Residences housing contract or test positive for the virus in order to use the quarantine housing, he said.
He said he was connected with a case manager through the PPHC, who contacted him to confirm both his check-in and check-out of the apartment. The student was emailed a move-in and checkout date, as well as an apartment number prior to his arrival.
The apartment came furnished with linens, sheets, blankets and towels for the quarantined student, and he said all three of his meals were delivered at once each day around 11:30 a.m.
The student said he was asked about dietary restrictions before his arrival on campus.
“I don’t eat meat, so I told them that,” he said. “They accommodated that pretty well.”
He said he was provided the vegetarian meal option offered through Purdue Dining’s four-line system that’s in place for Summer and Early Start students.
“It was sufficient in amount,” he said of the food, but lacking in variety, which he attributed to the dining courts not yet operating at full capacity as they will be in the fall.
“I had a friend deliver me some groceries just in case,” he said, but the student wound up not needing the extra provisions.
He said this was the closest he came to physical interaction with anyone during his time in quarantine.
“I saw a few people moving in while I was there,” he said, but spent the majority of his time in an apartment to himself for the two-week period.
In order to check out, the student said he had to go to the PPHC testing site at Purdue West a day before his quarantine was up, where he received a nasal swab test for COVID-19.
“A negative result is a vital part of the check-out process,” he said.
He received his negative result the next day, and then was able to go to First Street Towers to exchange his key to the Purdue Village apartment for a key to his room this fall.
“Honestly, it wasn’t that bad,” he said of the two weeks. “I was calling my friends and my parents whenever I had time and I was busy with work as well.”
While it’s not ideal, the student said, “it has to be done to keep people safe.”