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Penn State ‘Urges,’ Won’t Require Pre-Departure COVID-19 Testing

As they get set to head home for the summer, Penn State students won’t officially need to get tested for COVID-19, according to the university.

Instead, students are only “strongly encouraged” to take a test before hitting the road — a measure administrators say should still help minimize COVID-19 spread in local communities.

“We know that our students may be concerned about returning home to households with high-risk family members or to individuals who have not yet been vaccinated,” said Kelly Wolgast, director of Penn State’s COVID-19 Operations Control Center. “For this reason, all of our students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the testing we are offering before they leave for the summer to prevent the unintentional spread of the virus as they travel to their summer destinations.”

Penn State recommends students take a COVID-19 test three days before heading home. Walk-up COVID-19 testing is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at Hintz Family Alumni Center and Pegula Ice Arena.

Students experiencing symptoms should skip walk-up testing and instead schedule an appointment through University Health Services.

“It doesn’t matter if they have been tested last month, last week or yesterday — if a student is concerned that they may be at risk, they should come get tested again,” Penn State said in a statement.

The university also said getting student tests on record should help administrators plan for the fall semester. Penn State estimated around 96% of its course sections could be delivered in person next semester if all goes according to plan.

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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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