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Eight Commonwealth Campuses Now Requiring Indoor Masking

Eight Penn State Commonwealth Campuses are once again requiring indoor masking, the university announced Wednesday night. The decision is in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends masks be worn in counties with high COVID-19 community levels.

Seven campuses — Abington, Behrend, Brandywine, Great Valley, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, and Wilkes-Barre — are located in counties with high levels, and as a result, will require masks. Penn State Scranton, which is located in a medium-level county, will also follow suit since it’s recommended that counties that transition from high to low levels continue to mask up for one week after the transition.

Additionally, Penn State’s College of Medicine will continue to enforce masking in alignment with Penn State Health.

The CDC’s county-by-county COVID-19 community levels are used to keep track of low (green), medium (yellow), or high (orange) levels in each county. Here’s a more specific description of each level:

  • Green counties: CDC recommendations call for individuals to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations and to get tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • Yellow counties: The recommendations advise those who are at high risk for severe illness to talk to their healthcare provider about their individual need to wear a face mask. 
  • Orange counties: CDC recommends all individuals wear a mask indoors. 

“As this sixth wave of COVID-19 spreads across Pennsylvania, it is likely that we will see more campuses move to require masking as their home counties move from yellow or green to orange,” Kelly Wolgast, director of the university’s COVID-19 Operations Control Center, said. “We continue to encourage our community to stay up to date on their vaccinations as the best way to avoid a serious case of COVID-19 and to stay home and get tested if you are experiencing symptoms.”

Currently, Centre County is a green county, meaning Penn State’s University Park campus hasn’t yet reimplemented its masking policy. The status of each county is updated every Thursday by the CDC.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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