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Penn State To Begin Updating COVID-19 Dashboard Twice Weekly

Penn State will begin updating its COVID-19 Dashboard twice a week, the university announced Tuesday afternoon.

The university plans to update the testing aggregator on Tuesdays and Fridays. Tuesday updates will include testing data from the previous weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), while Friday updates will include the entire week’s results.

Previously, the university had published testing data once a week on Fridays. Its previous reporting schedule received criticism from students, faculty, and staff who felt the frequency was inadequate.

The university said the change to twice-weekly updates comes after a noticeable increase in positive test frequency. Earlier Tuesday, Penn State reported 32 new student cases at University Park in an update to the dashboard.

“While we are seeing an uptick in the symptomatic positive numbers, this data reflects that our system is working as symptomatic students are seeking testing at University Health Services and we are reaching people through our contact tracing process,” Penn State President Eric Barron said. “If we are to remain on our campuses for the rest of the fall semester, we absolutely must continue to be diligent in taking personal steps to slow the spread of the virus.”

Barron added student action, including limiting unnecessary travel, can help reduce the coronavirus’ spread on campus.

“This is a critical time. It’s vital that students do not travel over the Labor Day holiday weekend or at other times, whenever possible, so they do not contract the coronavirus elsewhere and bring it back to our campus communities,” Barron said. “Students also are strongly urged to not host out-of-town guests, who, unbeknownst to them, may be infected.”

To date, Penn State has reported 73 positive cases out of its 6,632 reported administered tests. Twenty-three students are currently in on-campus isolation, while 26 are currently in on-campus quarantine.

Penn State also reported 147 positive cases from its 20,914 pre-arrival tests, which were administered to students, faculty, and staff residing in “hotspot” areas where cases may be more prominent.

Penn State’s testing dashboard incorporates data from random surveillance testing, symptomatic testing, and self-reported testing via University Health Services or Occupational Medicine.

Throughout the semester, the university plans to randomly test at least 1% of its population each day at designated locations around campus, including the Bryce Jordan Center and Eisenhower Auditorium. Surveillance testing began on Monday, August 24.

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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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