University Park Reports 108 New Student Coronavirus Cases
Penn State reported 108 more University Park students have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to an update to the university’s COVID-19 Dashboard Friday.
One employee also tested positive for the virus.
The university administered 2,622 student random surveillance tests between October 16 and 22, resulting in 13 positives, 2,249 negatives, and 360 pending tests. Meanwhile, Penn State performed 1,066 on-demand tests in that span, which yielded 127 positives, 845 negatives, and 94 pending tests.
Coupled with Tuesday’s dashboard update, Penn State has reported 198 new cases at University Park this week.
According to the dashboard’s update, 47 students are currently in on-campus quarantine, while 57 are in on-campus isolation.
Since testing began on August 7, Penn State has found 3,646 positive student coronavirus cases at University Park out of 49,946 administered tests. Additionally, 11 employees have tested positive so far.
According to the dashboard, 235 student cases remain active at University Park, while 3,411 are inactive. Three employee cases are active, while eight are not.
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.
Friday’s added cases represented a slight increase compared to the last two updates, which added 93 and 90 cases, respectively. Penn State President Eric Barron said students should remain cautious and vigilant, even if numbers appear to be trending downward.
“After a steady decrease, the slight uptick in the number of active cases serves as a reminder that the virus is still with us,” Barron said. “With our first football game taking place on Saturday, and with flu season upon us, it is especially critical that we remain diligent in our prevention behaviors so that we do not undo the progress we’ve made in recent weeks. For the sake of the overall health of our community, I urge our students, employees and all Penn State fans to not congregate this weekend and to continue practicing masking-wearing, social distancing and proper hygiene. This is not the time to let down our guard.”
Mount Nittany Medical Center is currently treating a record-high 15 coronavirus-positive patients ranging from 23 to 95 years old. Thirty-four total patients have been admitted in October, with an average of nine positive inpatients each day.
“Although recently reported trends reflecting a decline in overall community cases is encouraging, increased cases and hospitalizations among vulnerable elderly populations is cause for concern,” Dr. Nirmal Joshi, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said in a statement. “It is also a reminder to be even more vigilant and thoughtful in consistently practicing preventive measures, including masking, social distancing and frequent hand washing.”
Mount Nittany’s record number of patients comes as Pennsylvania reported 2,219 new positive statewide Friday, a record high. Its previous high was 1,989 on April 9.
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. Students can also receive free walk-up testing at Pegula Ice Arena from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
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