Students: What you need to know about required Universal COVID-19 Testing

All students to be retested for COVID-19 after start of in-person classes

Retesting will employ rapid tests; does not take the place of testing required prior to in-person classes

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.”

What you need to know:

  • KEEP A LOOK OUT: Students will receive an email from [email protected] on Feb. 9 that will include instructions on how to schedule their testing appointment. Upon receipt of the email, students will have 48 hours to schedule their testing appointment, though they are urged to schedule their appointment as soon as possible in order to find an appointment time that is suitable to their schedule.
  • WHEN AND WHERE: Testing sites will be set up on every Penn State campus during the re-testing period, though dates and hours of operation will vary from campus to campus depending on the size of their student population. Testing locations and hours for each campus are listed below.
  • WHAT: At the testing site, students will first take a rapid antigen test and wait on-site for approximately 15 minutes for their results. Individuals should plan to spend 30 minutes at the testing site to complete all requirements. Students who miss their appointment time will not be permitted to participate in any Penn State classes or activities until they have rescheduled their testing appointment.

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.

  • DON’T FORGET: Students are reminded to bring their Penn State id+ Card, hydrate well 30 minutes before to taking the test and to not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum in the 30 minutes prior to taking the test. Mask wearing and physical distancing is required at all times.

Testing Dates, Times and Location:

  • Feb. 18 and 19
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Beaver Community Center

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

Universal Testing Flowchart