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294 More University Park Students Test Positive For Coronavirus

Penn State reported 294 more University Park students have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the latest update to the university’s COVID-19 Dashboard Tuesday.

The university administered 827 student random surveillance tests between September 18 and 20, resulting in one positive, 591 negatives, and 235 pending tests. Meanwhile, Penn State performed 507 on-demand tests in that span, which yielded 68 positives, 163 negatives, and 276 pending tests.

It appears a large number of Tuesday’s reported positives came from tests that were previously pending before the update. Last Friday, nearly 900 student tests were pending results.

According to the dashboard’s update, 58 students are currently in on-campus quarantine, while 111 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%. Penn State did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its current quarantine and isolation capacity.

Since testing began on August 7, Penn State has found 1,665 positive student coronavirus tests at University Park out of 21,294 administered tests. Additionally, one employee has tested positive so far.

According to the dashboard, 613 student cases remain active at University Park, while 1,052 are inactive.

It’s worth noting Penn State defines “inactive” as any case that’s more than 10 days old. At this time, it’s unclear how many inactive cases, if any, have actually tested negative and are truly dormant.

In a statement, Penn State COVID-19 Operations Control Center (COCC) Director Kelly Wolgast noted the university’s slight decline in reported figures but stressed the importance of continuing to follow guidelines.

“It’s important for Penn State students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or believe that they may have been a close contact of an infected individual to use the University’s health care and testing resources,” Wolgast said. “This will help facilitate contact tracing on campus and allow us and the Department of Health to more accurately assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in the local community surrounding University Park.”

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.

Penn State’s data and Pennsylvania’s Department of Health data may vary due to lag between test collection and test results from various labs.

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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