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Penn State Suspending Students Who Don’t Comply With COVID-19 Testing

To date, Penn State has placed 117 University Park students on interim suspension for failing to comply with weekly COVID-19 testing requirements, according to a university statement.

Penn State did not offer data on employee non-compliance but said its human resources department is “examining” the numbers.

Penn State said students who missed at least three weeks of testing received interim suspensions. All students who haven’t submitted proof of vaccination to the university are required to get tested once a week.

While on interim suspension, students can’t attend classes and are banned from university property. They also can’t attend Penn State-sponsored events, including football games, or live in their dorm rooms.

Students who’ve missed only two weekly tests received registration holds that bar them from enrolling in future classes.

“It’s important that both students and employees comply with our testing requirement, and we have done everything we reasonably can to ensure that these students are aware of their obligation and do what they must to honor it,” said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs. “The last thing we want is to suspend them. I’m sorry these students did not follow our repeated admonitions and warnings, and I hope they will make the correction necessary.”

Students who haven’t submitted proof of vaccination receive weekly emails reminding them of testing requirements, Penn State said. The university also said it’s called students who’ve missed tests to “assist with any issues” they might run into.

Penn State will rescind interim suspensions and any other punishment for testing non-compliance once students’ COVID-19 tests are received. They can also circumvent the whole ordeal by submitting proof of vaccination.

Students on suspension who want to complete their test can email Penn State and let the university know when they’ll be on campus to finish it.

Penn State students and employees are not required to get COVID-19 vaccinations. Currently, about 85.8% of University Park students and 80.5% of University Park employees are fully vaccinated, according to the university’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

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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 with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email (mattdisanto86@gmail.com) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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