The University is closely following the legal developments surrounding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on Vaccination and Testing and, at this time, is continuing with its plans to comply with the ETS.

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.

Contractors and subcontractors working on or in connection with a federal covered contract are included under the executive order’s vaccine requirement. Other contractors and subcontractors who may perform work on campus, but not on or in connection with a federal covered contract, are considered visitors under the executive order and are not subject to the vaccine requirement. Fully remote contractors and subcontractors who do not work on or in connection with a federal covered contract are not subject to the vaccine requirement.

Penn State has determined that the federal contractor vaccination requirement applies to individuals working at, or affiliated with, nine campuses: Altoona, Behrend, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Harrisburg, Schuylkill and University Park, including Penn State Extension employees. This also has been extended to Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey and at University Park.

There is no option to test out of the federal contractor mandate.

Individuals covered under the federal contractor mandate must receive their final vaccine dose by Jan. 4 or be granted a disability/medical- or religious-related accommodation by the University. Accommodations will include a requirement to test weekly in the University testing protocol program.

Individuals at other Penn State locations are subject to the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on Vaccination and Testing. These individuals must receive their final vaccine dose by Jan. 4 or test weekly for COVID-19 in the University’s testing protocol.

Penn State officials are continuously monitoring public health and government guidance and requirements. As federal guidelines and mandates change, the University will communicate with the Penn State community how these changes affect students, faculty and staff.

No, the executive order does not permit an exception for those who have previously had COVID-19.

Failure to comply with the federal COVID-19 requirements will result in disciplinary action in accordance with University policies. More details on consequences of noncompliance are forthcoming, but will be consistent with existing procedures.

Guidance has been updated and released to inform faculty and instructors of on-campus work expectations and the work adjustments process for spring 2022. A document describing the work adjustment process and criteria is available here. Faculty with an approved work adjustment for fall 2021 may apply for an extension of their work adjustment to spring 2022 here. Faculty who do not currently have a work adjustment can request a work adjustment for spring 2022 here. The deadline to apply for a spring semester work adjustment is Oct. 29.

Penn State has determined that the federal contractor vaccination requirement applies to individuals working at, or affiliated with, nine campuses: Altoona, Behrend, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Harrisburg, Schuylkill and University Park, including Penn State Extension employees. This also has been extended to Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey and at University Park. There is no option to test out of the federal contractor mandate. Individuals covered under the federal contractor mandate must receive their final vaccine dose by Jan. 4 or be granted a disability/medical- or religious-related accommodation by the University. Accommodations will include a requirement to test weekly in the University testing protocol program.


Individuals at other Penn State locations are subject to the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on Vaccination and Testing. These individuals must receive their final vaccine dose by Jan. 4 or test weekly for COVID-19 in the University’s testing protocol.

While there have been processes in place since early in the pandemic for accommodating COVID-19 absences, a committee composed of faculty and administrators from across the University has generated a new guidance document to assist academic unit heads in planning for instances of extended faculty absences or multiple student absences in a single class.

Instructors may encounter situations when the instructor, a student or multiple students need to be absent for an extended time for reasons related to COVID-19, like quarantine or isolation. Such issues may strain unit instruction capacity or complicate course delivery, further generating questions on how to proceed.

Units across the University have put forth great efforts and found creative solutions to meet departmental needs for maintaining an optimal learning environment during such challenges. The new guidance aims to assist unit heads in their continued efforts of managing and supporting contingency planning for their faculty and instructors.

More information on the guidance is available via the Keep Teaching.

All COVID-19 testing and vaccination data are stored in software/databases that are approved for this level of information, per Penn State’s Information Assurance and IT Security Policy (AD95) and Privacy Policy (AD53), and in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws. Testing data are only shared to inform individuals of their status, and as necessary to accomplish legitimate business purposes/needs, including, but not limited to, diagnostics, treatment, contact tracing, and public health and safety activities. Vaccination status is only available to University personnel directly involved in the COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts and to public health officials. University personnel with access to vaccination records or status are prohibited by University Policy from redisclosing that information except as described above.

Many of the health and safety measures that have been put in place during the pandemic are continuing for fall 2021. Penn State will continue to align with CDC guidance for the cleaning and disinfecting of facilities, including classrooms and other on-campus spaces. The Office of Physical Plant (OPP) cleaning guidance is available on the EHS COVID-19 website for Cleaning Resources and will be updated as recommendations and expectations from the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health continue to evolve.

Units also have protocols and schedules to clean and/or disinfect high-touch surfaces and shared equipment within their areas and offices. As part of these efforts, employees should avoid sharing tools and equipment as much as possible. Supervisors should stagger shifts, if possible, for high-use shared equipment and establish cleaning protocols between uses. Individual employees also are responsible for helping to maintain a clean work environment for themselves and others by cleaning and disinfecting desks, equipment, and materials before and after use.

More information about cleaning protocols is available on the University’s Environmental Health and Safety website.