Campus visitors, meetings and events, and tours

Penn State’s strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic has been to limit the density of its on-campus population to help reduce contacts and limit the spread of the virus. As more individuals receive COVID-19 vaccines and as Penn State resumes a full on-campus learning environment for the fall 2021 semester, the University has provided updated guidelines for engaging with visitors and scheduling in-person meetings and events.

Inviting visitors to campus

With Penn State returning to campus for a full in-person learning, teaching and working environment for the fall 2021 semester, the University has provided updated guidance for inviting visitors to campus, including guidelines for individual visitors, group events, employee travel between campuses and hiring. Units inviting visitors to campus should continue to evaluate whether remote options are available, as well as continue to follow all health and safety guidelines.

Individual visitors still bear responsibility for adhering to guidelines and protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during travel and while on campus.

Units hosting individual visitors must share information with visitors about COVID-19 guidelines, including mask requirements inside all University buildings for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, and the acknowledgments of risk should be shared with all visitors to communicate policies and expectations. Signatures are only required for visitors under the age of 18.

The COVID-19 Operations and Control Center (COCC) team must be notified by either the event organizer or the unit executive if a campus visitor, either visiting campus alone or attending a meeting or event, subsequently tests positive for COVID-19.

All individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear face masks while inside buildings on Penn State campuses. This applies to classrooms, meeting spaces and other shared public indoor areas. More information on this change is available on virusinfo.psu.edu. Masking outdoors on Penn State campuses and physical distancing are not required at this time.

Additionally, all individuals must wear a face mask while using public transportation, in accordance with CDC guidance, and in some additional settings such as when visiting on-campus health care facilities and when conducting in-person research involving human subjects.

Visitors should consider and evaluate how their own vaccination status impacts the level of risk they are comfortable accepting before visiting campus. While Penn State has adopted guidelines and protocols recommended by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there is no way to entirely eliminate the risk of exposure or infection.

In-person meetings, events and gatherings

At this time, all individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear face masks while inside buildings on Penn State campuses. This applies to classrooms, meeting spaces and other shared public indoor areas. More information on this change is available on virusinfo.psu.edu. Masking outdoors on Penn State campuses and physical distancing are not required at this time.

Additionally, all individuals must wear a face mask while using public transportation, in accordance with CDC guidance, and in some additional settings such as when visiting on-campus health care facilities and when conducting in-person research involving human subjects.

The updated event and gatherings guidance emphasizes that organizers must follow existing COVID-19 safety procedures as outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the University’s COVID-19 website and Penn State’s Return to Work website.

Event procedures beginning June 28

At this time, the approval process for holding events or gatherings has returned to the individual or group that held approval authority before the pandemic. The guidelines below apply to any University-sanctioned event held on or off campus. In addition to University guidelines, organizers holding an off-campus gathering or event also will need to work with local site officials, who may have more stringent policies that will need to be followed as well.

It is important to note that facility coordinators may be flexible in granting approvals and should use their best judgment in terms of participant safety and staffing ability — keeping in mind that the safety and health of the Penn State community are top priorities. Those approving events should consult with unit leadership regarding questions for permitting specific events or gatherings.

Guidelines for consideration include:

  • Units must communicate information about what participants can expect at events and gatherings.
  • Communication should clearly state that, regardless of their vaccination status, attendees must wear masks when attending indoor events, per Penn State policy. This language should be communicated before the event and posted via signage at the location during the event.
  • The organizer must identify cleaning protocols for the space in use. Good hand hygiene, masking for unvaccinated individuals and receiving a vaccination are paramount in reducing viral spread.
  • The acknowledgment of risk form is no longer required to be completed by participants. However, there may be activities, such as youth camps and other events with participants under the age of 18, in which a signature is necessary.
  • Visible acknowledgment of risk signs should be at all venues indicating that those in attendance understand that COVID-19 is still present in our communities and they assume the risk of possibly contracting the virus by attending the event.
  • Planners should seek to reduce the risk of contact by using digital tickets, cashless concessions, and digital programs or handouts.
  • Planners should still maintain a list of attendees and their contact information whenever possible in the event that contact tracing due to an infected individual in attendance must be undertaken.

Campus tours and information sessions

Due to University efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and for the safety of current students, faculty and staff, Penn State is only offering a limited number of on-campus tours at this time. Campus visits require pre-registration, are subject to availability, and all COVID-19 safety protocols must be followed. Click here to learn more about visit opportunities for each campus. Tours of University Park are available, and registration is now open.

Prospective and admitted students who are currently unable to visit in person are encouraged to experience Penn State online by registering for virtual visits and appointments, watching presentations, taking virtual tours, connecting with their campus of interest, and more.

Individual questions about the admissions process can be directed to admissions@psu.edu or 1-814-865-5471. For additional information and answers to frequently asked questions, visit Undergraduate Admissions online.

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