Penn State Locks Buildings, Closes Libraries & Computer Labs In Response To Coronavirus

Following Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s order Thursday to temporarily close all non-life-sustaining business to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones issued a new set of general guidelines for students, faculty, and staff.

The first guideline of Jones’ three-pronged message urged everyone who can work from home to do so immediately and completely until otherwise noted. He noted that this is, unfortunately, not a possibility for everyone and that people should follow the guidance of their supervisors on how best to do so.

Next, Jones announced Penn State is switching its buildings to “locked status,” which makes on-campus facilities accessible only to employees who have access and need to be there.

“Penn State can never truly ‘close,’ and the governor’s order recognizes many exceptions that apply to the University’s operations,” Jones wrote. “We continue to deliver educational and other mission-critical services that necessitate maintaining critical campus operations, from supporting our students, to maintaining vital research and lab work, to care for animals and other important needs at our campuses and in communities across the commonwealth.”

Last, Penn State will close its libraries and computer labs. Jones encourages students with unmet technology needs to contact Penn State IT at (814)-865-HELP (read: 4357) or email the department for individual arrangements. Library services, including “Ask A Librarian” hotlines and online databases, will remain available. More information about Penn State Libraries’ updated policies can be found here.

“These measures are vitally important to help maintain the health and well-being of our full community, and we know we can rely on our community to implement them successfully,” Jones wrote. “We are here to support you. Together, we will get through these trying times. We appreciate all that you are doing to accomplish that goal.”

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 proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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