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Penn State To Host Fall Semester Town Hall July 30

Penn State will host yet another town hall this summer to provide updates on the fall semester and its plans to combat the coronavirus on campus, the university announced Monday.

Led by President Eric Barron, the town hall will begin at 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 30. The event will be streamed virtually and later archived for repeat viewings.

Much like its predecessor, the town hall will provide updates on Penn State’s plan to test students for the coroanvirus, campus safety protocols, data sharing, and students’ return to campus.

Barron will be joined by a number of administrators, including Provost Nick Jones, College of Medicine Dean Dr. Kevin Black, Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims, and Vice President for Human Resources Lorraine Goffe.

So far, Penn State hasn’t laid out concrete plans for testing students. It previously stated it planned on testing symptomatic individuals, using contact-tracing to identify asymptomatic individuals who may be affected, and isolating affected individuals in select Eastview Terrace buildings this fall. However, many details remain sparse.

“The University has been solidifying various critical elements to support our Back to State plan, and we look forward to updating our undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff, across all of our campuses and communities on our preparations and plans for the upcoming semester,” Barron said in a release.

Penn State has, however, released specific guidelines for on-campus safety protocols. It’ll require all students, faculty, and staff to wear face masks in classrooms, around campus, and in offices this fall. The university also plans to prevent “large gatherings” on campus.

To date, Penn State has purchased more than two million face masks to be distributed across the Commonwealth. It also procured hand sanitizer stations and face shields to meet “specific needs” across the university.

Although Penn State still plans to return to campus in August, the university has reiterated it’s prepared to revert to remote learning if needed as the coronavirus pandemic appears to worsen. So far, notable universities including Rutgers, USC, and Harvard have already opted to move online.

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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 with distinction 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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