While Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, is allowing students to decide whether to get vaccinated against COVID-19, those who choose not to get the shot ''will need to make their own arrangements'' to complete work outside of the classroom, university President Mitch Daniels said Wednesday in a televised interview.
''Those who choose not to be vaccinated will need to make their own arrangements as they would in any other year with any other disease to, first of all, stay out of class, stay away from infecting others, and they'll have to do their best to keep up with their studies,'' Daniels, who is also a former Indiana governor, said in an interview on CNN. ''No special arrangements will be made for them.''
Daniels said the university is promoting the vaccines ''in every way they can'' and that the experience there makes the school confident in their efficacy, ''more than controlled clinical trials that may only involve a few thousand'' people.
Earlier this month, the school announced that it would be ready to go back to pre-pandemic density and activities when the fall semester begins, with ''little to no'' use of masks.
Currently, students and staff do not have to use masks outside or in non-instructional areas, but they still must wear them in classrooms, although the school said this guidance could change by fall.
Students must also agree to the ''Protect Purdue Pledge'' to follow the school's regulations regarding the virus or face disciplinary action, according to the university.
Daniels said unvaccinated students who could infect others should stay out of classrooms, just as they would ''in any other year, with any other disease.''
Although the president said that ''no special arrangements would be made'' for those students, the school's website seems to contradict that statement.
''For now, we anticipate that virtually all academic and classroom policies will return to pre-COVID-19 standards for the fall semester, including regulations on class attendance,'' the website reads. ''Per our pre-COVID policy, students will be expected to attend class and inform the instructor if absent due to illness. Instructors should try to accommodate students by excusing the student or allowing the student to make up work, when possible. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are not guaranteed remote access to all course activities, materials, and assignments or support from academic case managers.''
The school saw approximately 6,200 positive cases of COVID from August 2020 through May of this year, with only 28 serious cases, representing just 0.056% of the entire body of 45,869 full-time students.
Daniels has served as president of the university since 2013 after winning two terms as governor.
Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today's toughest challenges. It is ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, according to the university.
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