PNW Coronavirus Preparation Update

March 3, 2020

Dear members of the Purdue community,

No objective surpasses in priority the health and safety of the campus community. As you all are aware, people and institutions around the world are working to address and respond to the evolving nature and implications of COVID-19, the disease caused by a coronavirus. In every way, we at Purdue are doing the same.

It is our hope that we are preparing for many eventualities that will never occur. But, we are discussing, planning and taking all necessary actions to protect the safety of our faculty, staff, students and visitors against possible threats, likely or unlikely.

It is important to note that currently there are zero incidents of COVID-19 at Purdue or in Indiana. We know that may change at any time, and to that end, we will address this problem in layers, which we describe below.

First: Precaution

As we have previously communicated, Purdue has suspended university-sponsored travel to countries listed by the CDC with level 2 or level 3 travel advisories for coronavirus, including study abroad trips to those countries during spring break and summer. Those countries currently are China, Iran, South Korea, Italy and Japan. Additional decisions will be made if and when these levels change for other countries.

Effective immediately, we will not extend invitations to or host visitors from those countries at our Purdue West Lafayette, Purdue Northwest or Purdue Fort Wayne campuses or at our research parks. Faculty, staff or others who were expecting to host campus visitors may wish to check in with George Kacenga, Executive Director of Global Engagement at

Second: Containment

Should this virus appear on campus or should there be a potential of the problem on or near campus, we have identified steps for assessment and containment, including identification of spaces for quarantine and best practices for attending to those who are in quarantine and those with whom they have interacted.

Third: Continuity.

It is very unlikely that the problem will progress to the point of needing to impose ‘social distancing’ and pause face-to-face instruction as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus. However, faculty and staff should begin to consider working with the Office of Instructional Technology through Purdue learning management systems (Blackboard and Brightspace) or other means, on how they would deliver classes and continue communications with students to keep their educational programs on track.

In addition, all units on campus should consider their own continuity plans and remind the units and staff of emergency planning procedures that are already in place, including identification of essential personnel and essential operations. Assistance with emergency preparedness can be found at Purdue’s emergency planning website at

In order to help keep everyone up-to-date, today we launched a website that will include the latest guidance and information for the campus community, including links to key resources, answers to our most frequently asked questions, and contact information for additional information and direction, This site will be updated frequently and your questions and suggestions are welcome.

We thank each and every one of you for your continued assistance in keeping our campus community safe and healthy.


Thomas L. Keon, Chancellor