Masks are currently required indoors at campuses with high community COVID-19 levels. You can check the status of any Penn State campus here: https://virusinfo.psu.edu/university-status.
At other Penn State campuses, face masks are optional in most indoor spaces. However, masks continue to be required where mandated by law, regulation or rule — including under guidance particular to individual workplaces or health care settings and COVID-19 testing centers.
Employees at Penn State who work in their own individual offices on mask-optional campuses may request that visitors wear masks while in their private offices, and faculty may request that their students wear masks during classes. The University asks that community members cooperate respectfully with these requests. At this time, the College of Medicine will continue the mask mandate in alignment with Penn State Health to support patient care.
As of March 26, 2022 Penn State paused its required COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff.
Required COVID-19 testing is being paused; however, testing will continue to be available to students who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, are identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Faculty and staff may seek testing through their health care provider or other local COVID-19 testing options. Employees are no longer able to order PCR tests online from Vault Health and are encouraged to use test kits they previously ordered or obtain free, at-home rapid tests from the U.S. government by ordering them online at covidtests.gov. Symptomatic employees should stay home from work and are advised to schedule an appointment with their health care provider for testing.
Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should not go to classes or other activities and seek out symptomatic testing through their health care provider.
As a reminder, free, at-home rapid tests provided by the U.S. government are available to be ordered online at covidtests.gov.
The University strongly encourages all students, faculty and staff to stay up to date with their vaccinations, including booster doses.
Students at University Park, Commonwealth Campuses and Dickinson Law who have received their booster shot can upload their vaccination records through myUHS. Faculty and staff who have received their booster shot can upload an image of their COVID-19 vaccination card into Penn State’s Salesforce Health Cloud, a secure online platform for collecting and storing health data.
All individuals are also still encouraged to practice appropriate hygiene, including:
- Coughing sneezing into your elbow, not your hands
- Refraining from touching your face
- Washing hands often, for a minimum of 20 seconds, with soap and water – or using hand sanitizer after coming into contact with common surfaces and after using the bathroom.
With required testing paused and anticipated low usage of voluntary and asymptomatic testing, the University also will pause updating the data on its public COVID-19 dashboard beginning April 7. Historical data will remain available.
The latest information on the University’s response to the pandemic can be found on the Coronavirus Information website.
For more information on sharing your vaccination status and the incentive program, go to: https://virusinfo.psu.edu/vaccine-information/#upload
For more detailed information, go to: https://virusinfo.psu.edu/university-status/
For more detailed information on all University coronavirus information, go to: https://virusinfo.psu.edu/?utm_source=banner&utm_medium=psumain&utm_campaign=virusinfo
We also encourage you to read University Park’s student and family FAQs in addition to those on this page.
This website will continue to serve as a resource for our students during the global coronavirus pandemic and will be updated regularly with critical information and links to key resources.
Daily Symptom Checks
Students can also self-screen for potential COVID-19 symptoms before coming to campus by completing a daily symptom checker to self-screen for potential COVID-19 symptoms before coming to campus. Students enrolled for in-person courses or scheduled to be present at on-campus facilities will need to sign in with their Penn State ID to complete the daily student COVID-19 symptom checker through the Penn State Go app.
The Penn State Go app is available to download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Vaccinations will continue to be required for employees in health care facilities as required by law. The University strongly encourages all students, faculty and staff to stay up to date with their vaccinations, including booster doses. Students at University Park, Commonwealth Campuses and Dickinson Law who have received their booster shot can upload their vaccination records through myUHS. Faculty and staff who have received their booster shot can upload an image of their COVID-19 vaccination card into Penn State’s Salesforce Health Cloud, a secure online platform for collecting and storing health data.
For more detailed information, go to: https://virusinfo.psu.edu/university-status/
For more detailed information on all University coronavirus information, go to: https://virusinfo.psu.edu/
Are there penalties for students, faculty or staff who don't follow campus safety and health guidelines?
To help prevent the spread of coronavirus and support a healthy return to living and taking classes on campus, all students and employees have a personal and collective responsibility to follow guidelines from the University, which are aligned with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pennsylvania Department of Health.
While we expect high levels of compliance, non-adherence to these guidelines in a way that elevates exposure and risk for others in the community will be addressed in a manner consistent with how other violations of University guidelines and policies are managed.
Can I continue to work from home if I can accomplish my work remotely? What if I am immunocompromised or part of an at-risk population?
The health of faculty and staff members remains the University’s top priority as part of a phased return. If you have questions or concerns about your individual health circumstances, contact your supervisor and/or HR Strategic Partner. While there are processes and protocols being put in place to help support safe working environments across the campuses, those who can work effectively from home should continue to do so and will be last to return to campus. Phasing will prioritize those who have a need to perform work on-site.
What if I am feeling ill, who should I notify?
If you are feeling ill, you must stay home and/or leave work immediately. Employees should contact their health provider for guidance and notify their supervisors and follow normal unit-based notification protocols, so that their unit can begin a process to conduct contact tracing, notify individuals to monitor for symptoms, and begin temperature checks and health screenings. To learn more, visit the Return to Work website.
As a community, we must support each other by encouraging and following these guidelines, which are in place to protect each employee’s health and well-being.
You can also use the symptom checker feature in the Penn State Go app, to determine if you should stay home when you begin experiencing a sudden onset of symptoms related to Covid 19. Learn more about the Covid-19 Symptom Checker.
What if one of my colleagues is sick?
As part of the planning process for a phased return to work, processes and protocols have been put in place to support supervisors and employees when a colleague has tested positive for COVID-19. Among these protocols, contact tracing will begin and employees and students who have been in close contact with the individual will be notified, asked to quarantine while the individual is tested (even if asymptomatic), and to begin monitoring for symptoms. The individual’s work area will undergo a thorough cleaning and disinfecting procedure in compliance with Pennsylvania Department of Health protocols.
What if I cannot find child care or my own child is still at home from public school (K-12)? What are my options?
Given uncertainties about the status of local schools for the upcoming school year, as well as the individual circumstances of employees, the University is asking supervisors to be flexible in working with employees who find themselves without child care. Telecommuting may be an option for employees currently working remotely who can continue to perform the duties of their jobs from home. Faculty members teaching in-person classes in the fall should discuss their circumstances with their academic supervisors. However, all employees need to have individual conversations with their supervisor/HR regarding their specific circumstances. For some employees, FMLA-Public Health Emergency leave also may be available. (Please visit this Box Folder for more information.)
What will happen if/when employees test positive?
Individuals who are sick, think they have been exposed to coronavirus, exhibit symptoms and/or test positive for COVID-19 are expected to stay home and/or leave work right away. Employees should isolate, monitor their symptoms and seek medical care as needed. The University is developing isolation guidance for employees.
Employees should notify their supervisors, so their unit can begin a process to conduct contact tracing, notify individuals in the unit to monitor for symptoms, and begin temperature checks and health screenings for those who have been in contact with the sick individual.
Policies and programs will be in place to support employees who are recovering from and/or caring for partners and family members with COVID-19. Most individuals who need to miss work due to COVID-19 to care for themselves or another individual are eligible to receive pay (up to certain maximums) for up to the first 80 hours, depending on full-time or part-time status, regardless of available sick time. Additional time off will be paid through accrued sick leave or short-term disability, if elected.
Where can employees go if they have specific questions?
Staff members who have questions or concerns regarding returning to work should visit the Return to Work website. The site includes FAQs and contact information for more specific questions.
Last updated on June 8, 2022