9/25: Penn State COVID-19 dashboard updated

Continued masking, social distancing and compliance with mandatory testing is needed
Pillar in back of HUB

One of the five pillars in back of the HUB on the University Park campus depicts Penn State''s mascot. The pillar is part the HUB-Robeson Center Sesquicentennial Commemorative Piece, a class gift in 2005. The five pillars detail different periods in the University’s history and depict various aspects of student life, activities, athletics, and cultural events.

Credit: Chris Koleno

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State released its preliminary coronavirus testing results for the period of Sept. 18 to 24 on its COVID-19 dashboard today (Sept. 25). Among students tested at the University Park campus whose test results have been received, Penn State received 418 positive results from its on-demand testing and 19 positive results from its random testing program.

Tests administered later in the week are still pending results, which can take 48 hours or more and will be included in the dashboard update on Tuesday, Sept. 29. 

The data for the week of Sept. 11 to 17 has also been updated as additional test results came in and were validated. The dashboard, when updated and posted with new data, is only a snapshot at that one point in time and cannot be considered a final reporting as test results are still pending for the Sept. 18 to 24 time period.

The dashboard also indicates that 1,304 students at University Park have completed their isolation period.

There are no new employee positives recorded on any Penn State campus for the period of Sept 18 to 24 at this time.

At Penn State Altoona, there are 56 new on-demand testing positive results among students. Based on the number of positive cases on the Altoona campus last week, the University established a pop-up, on-demand testing center on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 19 and 20, testing 178 students. During that testing and in the days following, the campus has focused its efforts on contacting and testing students who are currently in quarantine because they were in close contact with an individual who tested positive. The higher number of positive cases on the campus was anticipated as a result of the testing strategy focused on these individuals. At this time, the campus is limiting co-curricular activities to help mitigate the spread of the virus as well as isolating COVID-19 positive students and quarantining close contacts in designated spaces on and off campus.

The dashboard indicates the following new student testing results at other Commonwealth Campuses:

  • Behrend (Erie): two on-demand testing positives for the period of Sept. 18 to 24
  • Brandywine: one random testing positive for the period of Sept. 18 to 24
  • Harrisburg: one new random testing positive for the period of Sept. 18 to 24

All students who test positive are being placed in isolation and, through robust contact tracing, close contacts of the infected individuals are being identified and must remain in quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the infected individual. 

There are slight changes to prior weeks’ data for some Commonwealth Campuses representing instances in which students were enrolled in classes at more than one location and were previously categorized incorrectly on the dashboard. These have been updated and account for the drop in positive cases at some campuses.  

“It’s important for our students to know that we have the ability to test them for COVID-19 quickly and efficiently. Any student who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or believes they may have been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual can be tested on any campus,” said Penn State President Eric J. Barron. “Additionally, we need students to understand that those who are selected to participate in the University’s random surveillance testing program are required to do so. It is a vital part of our multi-layered strategy to monitor the spread of the virus and it is not optional.”

Students who are concerned about COVID-19 exposure are urged to utilize the University’s health care resource to seek out testing and facilitate contact tracing. At University Park, students with health concerns should call the 24/7 Advice Nurse at 814-863-4463 or the appointment line at 814-863-0774 to schedule an appointment. Commonwealth Campus students should contact their campus’ health care services.  

Penn State experts are continuing to track current trends and continuously monitoring local, state and national disease data. The University is working closely with officials from the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Health, as well as local public and private organizations, to carefully monitor the prevalence of coronavirus in Centre County to determine if the virus is moving from the campus community to the local community and, if so, to develop strategies to mitigate such spread.

To continue on-campus learning, work and other activities through the fall semester, it’s vital that students, faculty and staff at all campuses and in adjacent communities do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19 — and support the effort to “Mask Up or Pack Up.” The University urges everyone to continue to wear face masks, practice social distancing and avoid gatherings entirely.

For the latest updates and information on Penn State’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including frequently asked questions and information specific for students, faculty and staff, visit virusinfo.psu.edu.