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Penn State Reports Nearly 150 Pre-Arrival Coronavirus Cases So Far

Nearly 150 Penn State students have tested positive for the coronavirus following a round of pre-arrival testing, the university announced Friday afternoon.

In a press release, Penn State said at least 148 of the 17,042 tested students receive positive or presumptive positive results in the first round of pre-arrival coronavirus testing. Additionally, at least 5,005 students are still awaiting results just three days away from the start of the semester.

Those who tested positive were notified to stay home and isolate for at least 10 days while potential symptoms resolve completely. Affected students also need to be cleared by a health care professional before returning to their campus of choice.

Penn State’s pre-arrival testing focused on areas around the country featuring a “high prevalence of coronavirus” where cases may be more common. The university planned to test approximately 30,000 students, faculty, and staff across all its campuses.

Penn State said it’s using pre-arrival results to inform “additional testing strategies” and continue planning for the fall semester.

Earlier Friday, Penn State debuted its COVID-19 Dashboard, a public-accessible resource that aggregates the university’s coronavirus test statistics each week. Although the tool is currently reporting using data only from University Park and Penn State Athletics, it reported two positive cases among students out of 520 conducted tests dating back to August 7. Penn State also tested 95 employees over that time but did not disclose any positive cases.

Pre-arrival testing statistics aren’t included in the COVID-19 dashboard because they weren’t conducted on Penn State’s campus, the university said.

Penn State will begin its random coronavirus surveillance testing on Monday, August 24. The university plans to test at least 1% of its population (~700 people) each day at designated locations around campus, including the Bryce Jordan Center and Eisenhower Auditorium. Students who fail to comply could be met with disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion.

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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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