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New Action Group Evaluating Status Of ‘Large Gatherings’ At Penn State Due To Coronavirus

Update, 5:10 p.m.: Shortly after the university released a statement allowing event organizers to decide the best course of action for upcoming events, the Schreyer Honors College canceled Connect, its annual networking and career day on March 28, Dean Peggy Johnson announced in an email to Scholars. Connect is one of the first major events on campus to be canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Original story: As Penn State continues to monitor the current coronavirus outbreak, the university has created an action group that will review the schedule of on-campus events, according to a press release.

The action group consists of high-ranking members of Penn State’s university administration and Intercollegiate Athletics along with “faculty experts.” This group will be tasked with evaluating if on-campus events should proceed and how they should proceed in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to a release, all events ranging from “academic symposia to student-led conferences to the annual Blue-White Game” will be reviewed by the new action group. At the time of publication, no on-campus events have been canceled because of the coronavirus.

Right now, the action group is allowing event organizers to decide the best course of action for upcoming events, but that can change based on how the coronavirus outbreak evolves in the coming weeks and months.

The university is urging those event organizers to firmly decide whether or not to hold their events “well in advance” of their dates with the understanding that university requirements may change. If events proceed as scheduled. organizers are also being urged to remind attendees of certain precautions taken in response to the coronavirus, which you can read below:

  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds — especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

Organizers have also been asked to provide coronavirus prevention supplies — including sinks with soap, hand sanitizer, disposable tissues, and disposable facemasks — and to identify possible spaces to isolate in the event that someone at the event falls ill.

On Monday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said that there are now seven presumed positive cases of coronavirus in the state. Five of those cases are located in Montgomery County, and the other two are in Delaware and Wayne Counties.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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