Faculty and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home from work, contact their supervisor and their primary care provider and get tested for COVID-19.

If the test result is positive, the employee should continue to stay home from work and contact their supervisor regarding taking time off or working remotely. Faculty and staff with a positive test result also should call Occupational Medicine at 814-865-8612, then email Occupational Medicine at psuoccmed@psu.edu with the following information:

  • First & Last Name
  • Penn State 9-Digit Number
  • Date symptoms began
  • Date employee tested positive for COVID-19
  • Date of the first day work was missed
  • Y/N – Are you able to work remotely?
Occupational Medicine will respond back to your email and include your immediate supervisor/manager, and Absence Management on the employee’s status.

The current CDC guidelines for COVID-19 quarantine and isolation vary based on symptoms and an individual’s vaccination status. The guidelines can be found on the CDC website. Additional information is available on the Penn State Human Resources website.

Faculty members and graduate teaching assistants who want students to continue to wear masks during their classes should communicate this preference directly to their students during class time or in advance via email or Canvas. It is recommended that faculty members and graduate teaching assistants provide the reason behind their request that students wear masks and communicate that the University encourages students, faculty and staff to cooperate with requests that masks be worn in classrooms and individual offices. Individuals who feel like they need an accommodation should contact the Office of Affirmative Action.

Yes. Faculty and staff at Penn State who work in their own individual offices may request that visitors wear masks while in their private offices and the University asks that community members respectfully cooperate with these requests. In other workspaces, employees are asked to be cognizant of others’ masking preferences when working in shared spaces and to consider wearing a mask themselves.

Please see this flow chart from Human Resources to guide you to your answer depending on your individual circumstances.

Individuals who were vaccinated in Pennsylvania and have misplaced their vaccination card can visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health website for information on how to obtain vaccine evidence. Individuals who were vaccinated in another state and need vaccine verification information can call the local vaccine provider that administered the vaccine or contact the state health department. Information on how to obtain a new vaccination card or other evidence of vaccination also can be found on the CDC website.

In situations where employees refuse to adhere to masking requirements, the steps below should be taken:

  • The manager should have a conversation with the employee to remind them of the masking requirements.
  • Failure to comply with the requirements following the conversation should result in the employee being sent home for the remainder of the day with the expectation they return to work the next business day in compliance. The employee should utilize accrued vacation or personal time (if available) or be placed on an unpaid leave status for the absence.
  • The manager should discuss the situation with their HR Strategic Partner who will in turn consult with Labor and Employee Relations. Upon the employee’s return to on-site work, steps should be taken to document the violation using HR 78  Staff Employee Failure to Meet Acceptable Standards of Performance in consultation with their HR Strategic Partner.
  • If the employee persists in their refusal to follow the University requirement, then the employee must be sent home again and utilize accrued vacation or personal time (if available) or be placed on an unpaid leave status.
  • In cases of repeated noncompliant behavior, managers should discuss continued utilization of HR 78  Staff Employee Failure to Meet Acceptable Standards of Performance with their respective HR Strategic Partner, which could lead to termination of the employee.

The University strongly recommends face masks be worn indoors on campuses in counties designated by the CDC to have high COVID-19 Community Levels.

Even on campuses in counties with low or medium COVID-19 Community Levels, the University encourages anyone who wishes to wear mask indoors on these campuses to continue to do so.

Face masks are required in facilities providing health care and in other locations where required by law, including indoors at the College of Medicine, Penn State Health locations, University Health Services and other campus health care centers.

Masks also are required for some in-person human subjects research. Masking is optional for in-person human subjects research that recruits healthy participants; for studies recruiting high-risk participants (as defined by the CDC), masking continues to be required for both participants and study team members at all indoor locations.

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.

Yes, unvaccinated individuals who have been in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive or suspected of having COVID-19 must quarantine. 

Anyone is free to voluntarily share their vaccination status with others, but employees should refrain from asking their peers whether they are vaccinated. Supervisors, however, are permitted to ask their direct reports about their vaccination status. Supervisors should not disclose this information to others and should not ask questions specific to reasons for receiving or not receiving the vaccine. In addition, supervisors should not take proof of vaccination, rather employees are encouraged to confirm their vaccination status via Salesforce Health Cloud. If supervisors or employees should have any questions, they should contact their unit HR. Technical services employees and other employees represented by a collective bargaining agreement should check with their unit HR to determine if there are other requirements applicable to them.

Students at University Park, Commonwealth Campuses and Dickinson Law can upload their vaccine information now into the MyUHS portal and are encouraged to do so as soon as their vaccine series is complete.

Employees and World Campus students can provide their vaccination status to the University using SalesForce Health Cloud, a secure online platform for collecting health data.

Your vaccine status is only available to University personnel directly involved in the COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts and to public health officials.

Employees can find detailed information and guidance on the Health Guidelines, Contact Tracing, and Quarantine and Isolation pages.

Faculty, staff members, students and families across all Penn State campuses can call the Penn State COVID-19 Call Center at 814-865-2121 or submit an online contact form.

The Call Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. The Call Center is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Before calling, individuals are encouraged to review the University’s official coronavirus information website to see if their questions are answered there. The site includes links to Penn State COVID-19 resources, as well as a comprehensive list of COVID-19 FAQs for students and families, faculty and staff, and members of campus communities.

Click here for more information about the Penn State COVID-19 Response Center.

Under the federal contractor vaccine mandate, all employees at all Penn State campuses are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved medical/disability- or religious-related accommodation. This mandate is currently under an injunction and will not be implemented by Penn State on Jan. 4, however the injunction could be lifted in the near future.

For Tech service employees the University and Teamsters Local Union 8 have bargained about the effects of any valid, enforceable vaccine mandate for federal contractors. As of now that federal mandate is on hold by the federal court thus not requiring any technical service employees to be vaccinated or tested. In the event that the federal contractor vaccine mandate is reinstated by the federal courts, the University and Teamsters will follow the terms of their agreement and will bargain about the effects of the federal contract vaccine mandate, including a new effective date of any vaccine mandate. The agreement includes terms that describe the addition of other campuses to the vaccinate mandate. Specifically, the University must notify the Union and bargain over the implementation of the vaccine mandate at additional commonwealth campuses.

Importantly, while the University is not currently requiring vaccinations for students, Penn State is not impartial when it comes to getting vaccinated. The University’s stance is that everyone who can get a vaccine should do so as soon as possible to attain high vaccination rates on all Penn State campuses.