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Penn State Reports 226 More University Park Coronavirus Cases

Penn State reported 226 more University Park students have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to an update to the university’s COVID-19 Dashboard Friday.

The university administered 2,822 student random surveillance tests between September 11 and 17, resulting in 14 positives, 2,466 negatives, and 342 pending tests. Meanwhile, Penn State performed 2,162 on-demand tests in that span, which yielded 306 positives, 1,461 negatives, and 395 pending tests.

Coupled with Tuesday’s dashboard update, Penn State has reported 684 new cases this week.

Penn State reported 656 of University Park’s 1,371 student cases to date are no longer active.

According to the dashboard’s update, 41 students are currently in on-campus quarantine, while 144 are in on-campus isolation.

During Penn State’s Board of Trustees meeting Friday, a presentation showed the university’s isolation spaces are currently at 58% capacity, while quarantine spaces sit at 27%.

In total, Penn State can house 250 people in on-campus isolation and 150 people in on-campus quarantine. The university also has an additional 140 quarantine rooms on standby if needed.

In a statement, Penn State President Eric Barron acknowledged this week’s reduced random surveillance testing positives but implored students and faculty to continue taking measures to mitigate the virus’ spread.

“While the random testing numbers appear to be lower than last week, we must remain cautious as we have changed the process for those tests and there are still many test results pending,” Barron said. “We can maintain on-campus learning and working at this point, but we all have to continue to act safely and responsibly by masking, social distancing and limiting socializing to roommates or a small group of friends who are following the same critical guidance.”

Penn State’s modified random surveillance testing began last week when it launched a new in-house operation. Through the Testing and Surveillance Center, random groups of students are tested at once in “pools,” which provide faster results and use fewer resources.

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, university-wide 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 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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