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University Health Services Updates Fall Guidelines, Coronavirus Testing Plans

Penn State’s University Health Services (UHS) has updated its fall semester precautions and guidelines, the health care provider announced Tuesday morning.

UHS made changes to how coronavirus testing is administered, how appointments are conducted and scheduled, who can enter its facilities, and more.

Safety Precautions

UHS has increased cleaning and safety measures inside the Student Health Center and is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, which includes:

  • Disinfecting surfaces frequently
  • Maintaining physical distance
  • Wearing gloves and masks
  • Disinfecting all rooms, regardless if the visit was COVID-19 related or not
  • Implementing additional cleaning in negative pressure rooms
  • Using hand sanitizer or washing hands prior to and after seeing each patient
  • Assessing employee temperatures before they enter the Student Health Center

Students with scheduled in-person appointments will only be allowed inside the Student Health Center, where they will then have their temperature taken and symptoms assessed. Wearing a mask is required.

UHS has also added a “negative pressure suite,” single-occupancy patient care rooms that use negative air pressure to prevent airborne infectious diseases from escaping the room. It will be designated for patients that require a higher level of care for the coronavirus.

The ambulance bay, which is being used to care for coronavirus patients, will be closed and will be for ambulance use only.

Scheduling

Students can schedule an appointment online or by calling (814)-863-0774. Patients will be assessed for coronavirus symptoms and will still be seen for routine appointments. Students will be assessed based on their concerns, symptoms, and visit type and can be seen via telemedicine services unless in-person services are needed.

Coronavirus Testing

Students can get tested for the coronavirus within UHS or use “testing boxes” located across the street at Eisenhower Parking Deck. Both testing options are appointment only.

The testing boxes are for students who have coronavirus concerns or mild coronavirus symptoms. According to Penn State, getting tested at a testing box, which is almost like a small booth, should take about 30 seconds. Students with more severe symptoms will be asked to get tested at the Student Health Center. Students will be isolated until test results are available and given further direction. Test results will be available by phone or myUHS secure messaging.

Positive cases will be reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which will then be reported to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The university is also creating a dashboard with coronavirus case information for the public, which is set to be released later this week.

UHS Pharmacy

The UHS Pharmacy will continue providing prescriptions via curbside pick-up for students, staff, faculty, and retirees. Eisenhower Parking Deck will have designated spots for curbside pickup and a phone number to call posted.

A UHS Pharmacy customer service representative will deliver the prescription to the vehicle. All prescription costs and copays will be billed to patients in the mail to avoid exchanging money or credit cards. Over-the-counter items can be added to orders.

The Pharmacy is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Flu Clinics

UHS will increase the number of its annual fall flu clinics due to the coronavirus pandemic. Flu clinics will run from September through November by appointment only.

More information on UHS can be found on its website.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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