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Penn State Prepared To Revert To Remote Learning If Necessary

As the coronavirus pandemic seemingly continues to worsen across the country, Penn State is prepared to move the fall semester online if necessary, the university said when answering a frequently asked question this weekend.

“The University is concerned by the current trends and continuously monitoring state and national disease data and following guidance from state and local health officials,” Penn State wrote. “Based on that guidance, and in consultation with faculty experts in epidemiology, medicine and public health, the University is prepared to adjust its approach as necessary, including the possibility that Penn State would need to shift the semester to a fully remote learning environment once again.”

Additionally, Penn State said it remains committed to following all public health guidelines to mitigate potential virus spread. It also cautioned that “lax behavior” could undo progress it’s made toward reopening its campuses across Pennsylvania.

Some notable universities around the country have already announced plans to move online after initially intending to bring students onto their campuses. USC and Harvard made headlines by announcing their decisions to primarily implement remote learning, the latter of which drew criticism for saying it wouldn’t lower tuition rates. To date, Rutgers is the only Big Ten university that’s reverted to remote learning.

Earlier this summer, Penn State said it would continue evaluating course deliveries and hoped to finalize them by July 15. So far, many students have reported some or all of their classes were moved online, prompting students to kickstart petitions requesting lowered tuition for virtual courses.

Penn State’s response follows what some are calling a “second wave” of coronavirus cases across the country. Last week, states like Florida and California reported an average of more than 8,000 and 7,000 cases per day, respectively, according to NPR. Pennsylvania, however, reported an average of 649 cases per day last week.

Centre County has seen a small uptick in reported cases lately. Since the pandemic began, the county has reported 228 positive cases and eight deaths as of Monday evening.

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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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