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Penn State Announces Spring Coronavirus Testing Plans

Penn State has released modified plans for coronavirus testing throughout the spring semester to accommodate the university’s remote learning period, according to a press release.

First and foremost, any students living on campus during Penn State’s remote learning period (or until February 12) need to completely weekly coronavirus testing at Hintz Family Alumni Center. The university said it’ll remind students through weekly emails and provide testing instructions.

Meanwhile, voluntary testing will continue during that span as well. Walk-up testing will be available at Hintz from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for students living on and off campus.

Before returning to campus or State College, all students are required to take part in pre-arrival coronavirus testing or have a positive test on file with the university within the last 90 days. To check your progress in the initial testing process, head over to Penn State’s “Know Your Status” portal.

Additionally, Penn State said it will conduct “universal” coronavirus testing over the first two weeks of in-person instruction (February 15 to 26) of all students taking in-person classes and those taking “a fully remote or online course load while living in Centre County or within a 20-mile radius of a Penn State campus.” The university said students should be “on the lookout” for an email from Penn State to register for testing soon.

Penn State’s universal testing in mid-February will be conducted seven days a week in the White Building. Those who test positive will be sent into isolation either at off campus residences or in Eastview Terrace isolation spaces.

“The spring semester testing strategy is built on the testing plan we implemented in the fall, but we have expanded it based on what we learned in the fall semester and changes we made as we responded to the pandemic,” said Penn State President Eric Barron “While the pandemic remains complex and ever-changing, our augmented and extensive approach to testing will help us to mitigate spread and keep our campuses and local communities as safe as possible. Still, it will take our entire community – students, faculty and staff – working together and taking proper health precautions to be successful in our efforts to maintain in-person activities.”

Penn State still plans on resuming random surveillance testing in mid-February just like the fall semester. The university plans on randomly testing 2% of students and employees each day at a few locations around campus.

“Our surveillance testing program is key to gauging the prevalence of the virus on our campus and to minimizing spread,” said Kelly Wolgast, director of Penn State’s COVID-19 Operations Control Center. “We all need to do our part to help, and that includes participating in the random surveillance testing when you are selected to do so. This data is vital in our efforts to maintain on-campus activities as safely as we can.”

Finally, full walk-up testing will resume when in-person instruction begins on February 15. Students can head to Hintz or Pegula Ice Arena for voluntary coronavirus tests should they need one.

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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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