During the first two weeks of in-person learning (Feb. 15 to Feb. 26), Penn State will conduct universal COVID-19 testing of all students who are taking in-person classes or who are taking a fully remote or online course load while living in Centre County or within a 20-mile radius of a Penn State campus.
This second round of universal testing is in addition to the required initial testing of all students and does not fulfill the requirement that students must have a negative COVID-19 test result from a University provided test on file prior to, and within 72 hours of, their return to their campus community.
“The universal re-testing of all students is a key component of our spring testing strategy and will allow us to assess how the virus is spreading on our campuses and isolate cases quickly. It’s vital for students to participate in all of the required testing and understand that this retesting does not take the place of the required testing prior to the start of on-campus classes,” said Kelly Wolgast, director of the University’s COVID-19 Operations Control Center. “It takes each of our students to do their part to minimize the spread of the virus, and as a small thank you, students who sign-up early and complete the retesting will receive a terrific free T-shirt, while supplies last, that includes the words of the Penn State alma mater.”
A positive result will prompt the University’s contact tracing process. Students who receive a positive result will immediately take a secondary polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the positive result and move into isolation while awaiting the PCR test results. Students who receive a negative PCR test result may leave isolation. A positive PCR test result will require students to complete a 10-day isolation period.
Universal retesting is just one piece of the University’s spring 2021 COVID-19 testing strategy, which also includes ongoing surveillance, walk-up and mail-in testing throughout the semester. Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should continue to seek out symptomatic testing through a University health care provider. More information on testing is available on virusinfo.psu.edu.