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286 More University Park Students Test Positive For Coronavirus

Penn State reported 286 more University Park students have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the latest update to the university’s COVID-19 Dashboard Tuesday.

Three new employees also tested positive.

The university administered 1,080 student random surveillance tests between October 2 and 4, resulting in zero positives, 613 negatives, and 467 pending tests. Meanwhile, Penn State performed 604 on-demand tests in that span, which yielded 95 positives, 434 negatives, and 75 pending tests.

A large number of Tuesday’s added positives likely came from tests that were previously pending before the update. Last Friday, nearly 900 student tests were awaiting results.

According to the dashboard’s update, 46 students are currently in on-campus quarantine, while 110 are in on-campus isolation.

Since testing began on August 7, Penn State has found 2,964 student coronavirus cases at University Park out of 37,237 administered tests. Additionally, six employees have tested positive so far.

According to the dashboard, 503 student cases remain active at University Park, while 2,461 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.

Kelly Wolgast, director of Penn State’s COVID-19 Operations Control Center (COCC), acknowledged the gradual decline in positive tests lately but encouraged community members and students to remain vigilant and continue following guidelines.

“We are seeing some declines in our positive results, particularly in the on-demand surveillance testing, which is encouraging, but it is too early to draw conclusions about a possible declining trend,” Wolgast said. “As the weather gets colder, it’s very important that members of our community get the flu vaccine and continue to adhere to public health guidelines, including masking, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.”

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 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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