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Penn State Orders 14-Day Self-Quarantine, Other Requirements For Students, Employees Returning From Europe

Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones announced new travel guidelines for students and employees through a mass email Thursday night.

Jones began by noting that continental Europe was elevated to a “Level 3” (Avoid Nonessential Travel) travel designation by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday, March 11. After the United States announced a travel ban from Europe (excluding the United Kingdom) for 30 days starting on Friday, March 14, Penn State canceled study abroad programs in most European countries.

“Regarding personal travel, the University urges all students, faculty and staff who are traveling internationally to consider returning home as soon as possible, to stay advised of ongoing travel recommendations from the CDC, and to continue to make the best decisions for your personal health and well-being,” Jones wrote.

Jones continued by announcing Penn State is requiring a 14-day self-quarantine period for travelers returning from Europe before returning to campus — the same mandate for travelers returning from other CDC “Level 3” countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, and Italy.

The quarantine period aligns with Penn State’s temporary remote learning period, which will stretch from March 16 to April 3. At this time, the university plans on resuming in-person classes on April 6 at the earliest.

University Health Services included some tips for a home self-quarantine, which include:

  • Staying home except to get medical care
  • Separating yourself from other people and animals at home
  • Wearing a facemask around other people and animals
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing and washing your hands afterward
  • Washing your hands thoroughly and often
  • Avoiding sharing personal household items
  • Cleaning frequently used surfaces each day
  • Monitoring your symptoms and calling your health care provider before seeking in-person care

“The health and well-being of Penn State students, faculty, staff and visitors is the University’s highest priority,” Jones wrote. “These actions are being taken to protect the health of the Penn State community and to assist in preventing the spread of coronavirus on and near our campuses.”

If Penn State students or employees spent time abroad in the past 14 days and feel sick, they are recommended to take their temperature, seek medical advice, and avoid contact and travel with others.

You can stay up to date on Penn State’s response to the virus by visiting its dedicated website. Additionally, more health tips and precautionary measures for combating the virus can be found here.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a junior majoring in journalism and is Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza. He loves Seinfeld, is really into video games, and would wipe the floor with you in Halo. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ for bad sports takes or email him at [email protected]

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