Penn State announced Thursday, it will start the spring semester as planned with in-person classes and activities. Health and safety protocols will still be in place. According to the university, it will closely monitor the conditions around University Park and its Commonwealth Campuses and will alter the plan as needed. Additional or enhanced protocols may be added in the coming weeks due to the omicron variant.
University leadership says they have been monitoring local hospital capacity, the spread of the omicron variant, and local and state conditions in making decisions about the upcoming semester.
Based on advice from Penn State’s COVID-19 Operations Control Center, Penn State leadership has determined that, at this time, conditions do not warrant a move to remote learning.
“I urge all of our students to order a free, mail-in Vault Health test kit to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus so that they can isolate at home if they are COVID-19 positive. Any student or employee can currently order up to 12 Vault Health kits for at-home use,” said Kelly Wolgast, director of the COCC. I want to emphasize that students at all campus locations can take actions now to order a test and complete it next week to know their health status before returning to a campus.”
Student testing will take place during the move-in weekend at University Park. The White Building will have a drop-in testing site open January 7-9th. Students who did not take a COVID-19 test prior to their arrival on campus are encouraged to do so at the White Building, according to Wolgast.
Students who test positive using University testing resources will be contacted by contact tracing.
Penn State students who have not shared with the University proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19will continue to have to test weekly throughout the spring 2022 semester.