Members of two Greek houses have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in isolation as of Tuesday, organization administration confirmed earlier this week.
Delta Delta Delta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon have enacted house-wide quarantines, according to Brandy Darrow, director of marketing and creative for Tri Delta and Wayne McIntyre, president of the SAE executive board.
Other organizations have reportedly been in quarantine as well, but organization presidents have not responded to The Exponent for comment as of Tuesday afternoon.
McIntyre said SAE began its quarantine on Friday, after one member living in the house tested positive for the virus and another who recently visited the house was a “probable positive.”
In the days following, he said the house has had “maybe two to three additional positives” out of the about 65 members living in the house.
McIntyre said the fraternity held a videoconference on Friday with Brandon Cutler, director of fraternity, sorority and cooperative life and David Broecker, leader of the Protect Purdue Implementation Team.
The house was provided with an assigned point of contact within the Protect Purdue Health Center for any questions, McIntyre added, and has been in frequent contact with the University since Friday.
“We will not be providing details on individual results or cases given the confidential nature of the information,” said Purdue spokesperson Tim Doty when asked for comment on Monday.
While the house had converted one of its “large party areas” into a quarantine space, any member of SAE who tested positive was moved to separate isolation spaces provided by the University, McIntyre said, regardless of whether they lived in the house. The rest of the members were required to quarantine within the house.
“They can’t leave the boundaries of the property,” McIntyre said, “from Friday until probably next Friday two weeks from now.”
No visitors are allowed at SAE at this time, McIntyre said. Its biweekly cleaning staff will not come in during the quarantine and its culinary team will operate in an isolated area of the house: entering through a separate door and pre-packaging all meals to avoid in-person interaction with members.
Within the house, he said members are required to follow distancing guidelines and wear masks everywhere besides their own rooms.
“We are working closely with the University and local health authorities to take all necessary steps to isolate and quarantine as directed,” said Karen Hughes White, chief executive officer of Tri Delta.
White said the health and safety of the members of Tri Delta, Purdue and the West Lafayette community is the organization's top priority during this time.
“What I told Purdue is, ‘We’re going to cooperate in every way that we know how, with what you tell us that you want us to do, period,’” McIntyre said.
“And frankly, we want to be a role model for other housing units on campus because, I don’t want to sound like a naysayer, but Mr. COVID didn’t go away. He’s hanging out.”