Purdue University Fort Wayne will not implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for spring semester, officials announced Thursday, deeming such a requirement unfeasible.
Also Thursday, Fort Wayne Community Schools revealed details about its evening COVID-19 testing for students and staff. The free service begins Monday at North Side, Northrop and South Side high schools.
Multiple factors contributed to Purdue Fort Wayne's unanimous vaccine decision, campus leaders said in a letter to students and employees. They said such a major, midyear policy change would be a disruption for students.
“The absence of a vaccine mandate does not change our commitment to the critical importance of being vaccinated,” the letter said. “Throughout this pandemic, we have strongly encouraged all members of our university community to get vaccinated.”
The decision was based on recommendations from the PFW Ready Committee and considered feedback from campus surveys and other forums, according to the letter.
It noted the campus's mitigation efforts have proven effective, particularly the mask mandate.
“We have had no outbreaks of the virus on campus,” the letter said, “and campus infection rates continue to decline.”
FWCS' coronavirus testing is primarily for quarantined students and staff so they can return after a seven-day quarantine instead of a 10-day quarantine, the district said.
To have the shorter quarantine period, individuals must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken on the fifth, sixth or seventh day after exposure, the district said. FWCS said results from any official testing site – no home tests – will be accepted.
The sites also will be open for students who call into school sick with possible COVID-19 symptoms, FWCS said.
Testing will be conducted on a walk-in basis.
FWCS testing sites
What: Fort Wayne Community Schools COVID-19 testing
When: 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday
Where: North Side High School, 475 E. State Blvd., enter Door 7; Northrop High School, 7001 Coldwater Road, Bruin Room, enter Door 3; South Side High School, 3601 S. Calhoun St., enter Door 2