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Penn State ‘Reviewing’ Latest Masking Guidelines From CDC

Penn State is considering making changes to its campus making policies to reflect new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the university said this weekend.

On Friday, the CDC made changes to its community level metrics, which now factor COVID-19 hospitalizations, local hospital capacities, and cases into the equation. The CDC now says indoor masking isn’t recommended or required for counties within “low” or “medium” thresholds.

For now, Centre County checks in with a “high” community level, which would keep indoor masking mandates in place for the time being. About 37% of U.S. counties remain in the “high” threshold, too.

In a release, Penn State said its COVID-19 Operations Control Center is using the CDC’s revamped recommendations as it “works to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 across all of Penn State’s locations.” Although Penn State still requires indoor masking on campus, that policy could likely expire once Centre County’s COVID-19 transmission threshold dips into “medium” or “low.”

That day might come soon enough, though. On Sunday, Pennsylvania recorded just 915 new COVID-19 cases — the smallest single-day case increase since August 2. Local COVID-19 hospitalizations are at their lowest rates since early September, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Statewide, hospitalizations are at their lowest level since August 21.

Penn State’s University Park campus reported just a 0.9% positivity rate through on-campus testing over the last seven days.

For now, 91.8% of Penn State students and 86.3% of employees are vaccinated against COVID-19. Both trump Centre County’s 62.8% overall vaccination rate.

You can use the CDC’s website to find the latest community level for your county.

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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 ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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