Penn State Reports 272 More University Park Coronavirus Cases
Penn State reported 271 more University Park students and one employee tested positive in the latest update to the university’s COVID-19 Dashboard Friday.
On Tuesday, Penn State found 205 positive cases among students. Coupled with Friday’s update, 477 total University Park students and employees tested positive for the virus in the past week.
The university administered 2,830 student random surveillance tests between September 4 and September 10, resulting in 28 positives, 1,736 negatives, and 1,066 pending tests. Meanwhile, Penn State administered 1,988 on-demand tests, which yielded 260 positives and 1,311 negatives. Approximately 417 on-demand tests are currently pending.
A number of this week’s positive cases appear to be from tests that were previously pending when other updates were released.
Penn State performed 129 employee tests at University Park this week and found one positive case. Fifty-seven employees tested negative, while 71 are awaiting results.
To date, Penn State has found 708 positive cases across its campuses since testing began on August 7.
According to the dashboard, 132 University Park students are currently in on-campus isolation, while 77 students are in on-campus quarantine. Some students are also isolating themselves in their off-campus residences.
One week ago, 58 students were in on-campus isolation, while 29 were in on-campus quarantine. During UPUA’s Wednesday night meeting, the assembly reported Penn State estimated its quarantine and isolation spaces in Eastview Terrace were approximately 50% full. Following Friday’s update, that figure is likely a bit higher.
Penn State did not respond to a request for comment on its current quarantine and isolation capacity.
In a statement Friday, Penn State President Eric Barron said the university doesn’t plan to change its semester plans at this time despite the rising case numbers.
“At this time, we do not need to change our current modality and hybrid on-campus approach,” Barron said. “The University is monitoring the number of positive and negative cases — and other variables critical to our decision making — including isolation and quarantine capacity, hospitalizations, locational data, transmission from student cases to employees and community prevalence, to name a few. Mitigations in our armamentarium include pausing in-person instruction and quarantining a specific program or unit, as we have done with nursing, for example.”
Penn State plans to update the dashboard with new testing statistics twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. The tool incorporates data random surveillance testing, symptomatic testing, and self-reported testing through 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. Random surveillance testing began on Monday, August 24.
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