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University Park Reports 87 New Student Coronavirus Cases

Penn State reported 87 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 2,611 student random surveillance tests between October 23 and 29, resulting in 17 positives, 2,162 negatives, and 432 pending tests. Meanwhile, Penn State performed 1,240 on-demand tests in that span, which yielded 110 positives, 979 negatives, and 151 pending tests.

Coupled with Tuesday’s dashboard update, Penn State has reported 223 new student cases at University Park this week.

According to the dashboard’s update, 42 students are currently in on-campus quarantine, while 61 are in on-campus isolation.

Since testing began on August 7, Penn State has found 3,869 positive student coronavirus cases at University Park out of 55,059 administered tests. Additionally, 13 employees have tested positive so far.

According to the dashboard, 275 student cases remain active at University Park, while 3,594 are inactive. Two employee cases are active, while 11 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 update stands as the lowest reported number of cases in a dashboard update since September 1.

“Our positive cases are remaining flat and I’m hopeful that they will remain there or drop further if we continue to follow public health recommendations,” Penn State President Eric Barron said. “With Halloween and the Ohio State game this weekend, we all must remain committed to mask-wearing, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. We absolutely cannot have a repeat of the large gatherings that occurred during last week’s football game. Watch the game with your roommates or your ‘pod’ of friends, stay away from large watch parties and Halloween celebrations and act responsibly.”

As of Friday afternoon, 17 coronavirus-positive inpatients are hospitalized at Mount Nittany Medical Center, a record high for the hospital. The admitted patients are aged between 31 and 92 years old.

So far, Mount Nittany has admitted 47 virus-positive patients in October. The hospital admitted just 16 coronavirus patients in all of September.

“Increased cases and hospitalizations – especially among vulnerable elderly populations – remains cause for concern,” Chief Medical Officer Nirmal Joshi said. “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.”

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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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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