Frequently Asked Questions

Campus facilities for employees

How are Hort Woods and Bennet Center childcare centers planning for reopening?

As part of Penn State’s Back to State efforts, the University is planning to reopen the Child Care Center at Hort Woods and the Bennett Family Center at University Park on Aug. 19. The University is developing plans in line with state, local and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for safely reopening the two centers and will continue to provide additional details about these plans with parents and employees.

Given the unprecedented situation brought about by COVID-19, the University’s top priority for reopening is the health and well-being of the centers’ students, teachers and staff. Among the COVID-19 health and safety plans, which are currently being finalized by Penn State and center leadership in line with the University’s overall return-to-campus plans, are considerations for reduced class sizes and other social distancing measures, drop-off/pick-up processes, visitor policies, mask guidelines, daily temperature checks, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and much more.

In addition, Daybridge, which is managed by Bright Horizons, on the University Park campus plans to reopen on Aug. 17 with COVID-19 safety measures in place.

For additional information about the reopening, read this story in Penn State News.

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At this time, the University is planning to reopen child care centers, consistent with all state and public health guidelines, to facilitate employees’ return to working on campus. The Child Care Center at Hort Woods and the Bennett Family Center at University Park will open on Aug. 19. Daybridge, which is managed by Bright Horizons, on the University Park campus plans to reopen on Aug. 17. More information regarding Penn State child care centers will continue to be shared with families and employees.

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The Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) is currently operating its HM (Nittany Mall/Toftrees), K (Cato Park), N (Martin St./Aaron Dr.), P (Tussey Mountain), R (Waupelani Drive), V (Vairo Blvd.), W (Valley Vista), XB (Bellefonte), and XG (Pleasant Gap) Community Routes, and the Blue Loop and Red Link, with service beginning at 6 a.m. daily and extended to include Saturdays. Beginning, June 22, additional Red Link buses were added to accommodate return of employees and students to campus. The White Loop and Green Link do not operate during the summer. Updated schedules may be found at the CATA website. Beginning July 6, Blue Loop and Red Link service will begin at 4:45 a.m. weekdays.

Beginning July 6, the Campus Shuttle will resume regular summer service, with the via College Avenue route serving stops every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. There is no Campus Shuttle via Beaver Avenue service during the summer.

The Hershey Shuttle will not operate until further notice.

Please note that buses and shuttles will be operating with significantly reduced capacity and will be unable to meet normal ridership demand. Until further notice, it is strongly encouraged that transit services be used for essential trips only, including trips by those with mobility disabilities. Students, faculty and staff who are able are urged to walk or bike.

On July 24, CATA announced service changes for the fall, which will go into effect on Saturday, Aug. 22, and remain in place through the end of the fall 2020 semester.

Service changes that will be in effect throughout the fall semester include:

-- No Blue Loop or White Loop campus transit service.

-- No Sunday transit services.

-- All CATA services will begin at 6 a.m. and end no later than 12:30 a.m. each day, with reduced service between 10 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.

While Blue Loop and White Loop campus service will not be available, CATA will continue to operate the Red Link and Green Link campus routes this fall, with additional service to be added to the Green Link. Penn State Transportation Services will also continue to operate its two Campus Shuttle routes, though with reduced capacity.

Full details on CATA’s fall 2020 operational plans and passenger protocols can be found at the CATA website, as well as in this Penn State News article.

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For specific information, contact your local LaunchBox. In keeping with statewide guidance to close all nonessential public spaces, Penn State’s physical LaunchBox locations are closed until further notice. Depending on programming at individual locations, some support services, accelerator programs and events/workshops will be held online. Others have been postponed or canceled.

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At this time, the University plans to utilize the Nittany Lion Inn on campus for additional classroom space and single-occupancy housing for on-campus resident students. The Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center is expected to reopen in July, following the latest guidance from government and public health authorities.

For questions about current reservations, please call 800-233-7505 or email reservations@psu.edu.

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As part of a flexible delivery model, all courses with enrollment over 250 at University Park and over 100 at a Commonwealth Campus will be delivered remotely, per federal and state guidance. Campuses and colleges will have the latitude to decide how best to deliver courses with smaller enrollments. To enable social distancing, as needed, desks and seating in classrooms will be marked if they should not be used. If they were not equipped already, all classrooms on campus are being equipped for remote instruction via Zoom and other technologies.

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Yes, facilities will be open. However, there will be new occupancy limits in place and hours of operation may be adjusted for various buildings and facilities to support the health and safety of the campus community. These changes will be in addition to University-wide social distancing and masking expectations for all students, faculty, staff and visitors.

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Yes, social distancing will be required for all in-person activities on campus this fall, including in classes and labs, as a means to reduce possible virus transmission and to reduce the potential disruption to students’ learning by needing to quarantine close contacts. When in class, both students and instructors should maintain a distance of six feet (about two arm lengths) between one another. The task groups continue to review all of Penn State’s more than 1,700 classrooms, seminar rooms and labs across all instructional campuses to accommodate for social distancing requirements. Changes will be communicated for those that have already registered, and opportunities to work with advisers will be made available. Some non-classroom spaces will be repurposed for instruction and every class that meets in person will allow for appropriate social distancing. Additional measures — for example, assigned seating and monitoring of attendance to help facilitate contact tracing will be deployed as considered necessary. To serve as a reminder to all, distance markers, directional arrows, signage and other visual cues will be installed in high-traffic areas, and classrooms, common areas, study spaces and other shared locations across the campuses.

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For the safety of all employees and to align with social distancing to maintain a minimum six feet of physical distance among employees, supervisors will be asked to identify strategies to reconfigure shared offices and seating, including moving furniture, removing excess chairs, and reconfiguring seating as appropriate. In cases where necessary, such as spaces where employees interact face-to-face with students and customers, plexiglass or other dividers may be installed. To serve as a reminder to all, distance markers, directional arrows, signage and other visual cues will be installed in high-traffic areas, common areas, and other shared locations across the campuses.

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Changes will be made to offices and workspaces, as needed, to support social distancing and prioritize employees’ health and well-being. For example, supervisors will be asked to identify strategies to reconfigure shared offices and seating or stagger work shifts, breaks, and arrival and departure times to align with social distancing and maintain a minimum six feet of physical distance between employees. Meetings should be conducted virtually when possible, and employees should avoid use of break rooms, kitchens and other shared spaces as a gathering area. To learn more, visit sites.psu.edu/returntowork/.

As a reminder, unless otherwise informed by their supervisor, employees who are currently working from home should continue to do so until further notice.

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Penn State will implement enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures using disinfectants approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There will be extensive and regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces. In some cases, it will be necessary to adjust hours of operation for some buildings to accommodate the necessary cleaning and disinfecting, and in other cases there will be a phased approach to reopening. The University will monitor and evaluate cleaning protocols for these areas and adjust as needed.

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Yes. Face masks, soap and hand-sanitizer stations, disinfectant sprays and wipes will be available for all units to purchase through General Stores. The University also has procured several thousand additional hand-sanitizer stations, which will be placed in high-traffic areas.

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To support the health and well-being of students and employees, there will be extensive, daily cleaning of high-touch surface areas, classrooms, labs, offices, restrooms and other common spaces across the University. Desks, podiums, conference tables, interior doorknobs, interior doors, push plates, handrails, light switches and other identified high-touch areas will be cleaned and disinfected at an appropriate frequency. The University has procured several thousand hand-sanitizer stations, which will be placed in high-traffic areas, and hand sanitizer and/or cleaning wipes will be available for each classroom and classroom building. Enhanced cleaning practices also will be implemented for these spaces.

In addition, units will develop cleaning protocols and schedules to disinfect high-touch surfaces and shared equipment within their areas and offices. Guidance is available on the Environmental Health and Safety website. As part of these efforts, employees should avoid sharing tools and equipment as much as possible and supervisors should stagger shifts, if possible, for high-use shared equipment and establish disinfection protocols between uses. Individual employees also will be 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.

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Yes, however, to reduce the potential for person-to-person contact during the coronavirus outbreak, the University Health Services Pharmacy at University Park will no longer allow walk-ins and instead will only provide prescriptions by mail or curbside pickup, available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, until further notice.

Additional details are available in this Penn State News story.

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Transportation Services has received University approval to resume on-campus operations beginning Monday, July 6.

The Transportation Services Office and Fleet Operations will each reopen on Monday, July 6, with new operating hours:

Transportation Services Office

8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Fleet Operations

6 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday

Fleet vehicle return will remain available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customers with vehicle pickup needs outside of the new hours should email fleet@psu.edu to discuss pickup options.

The reduced hours will provide additional time for cleaning of high-contact surfaces in both customer and employee areas.

Campus Parking

Normal campus parking regulations will resume for all campus parking areas and users (faculty, staff, students, visitors) beginning Monday, July 6.

With the return of normal regulations, faculty/staff and student permit holders parking on campus during weekday daytime hours (7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday) will only be permitted to park in their assigned parking areas. Students and employees performing mission-critical work that requires closer parking access should email parking@psu.edu to discuss available permit upgrade options.

Full details regarding campus parking, transit, available services and COVID-19 safety protocols are available on Penn State News.

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Pennsylvania College of Technology has announced a planned return to in-person instruction for the fall 2020 semester. For the latest information from Penn College, visit https://www.pct.edu/campus-life/college-health-services/coronavirus.

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— Campus buildings are typically in weekend-mode access, meaning the exterior doors are locked. Buildings can be accessed by employees that have critical and essential work to do in those buildings through either swipe access or a physical key.

— For the limited number of students who remain in on-campus housing, the University is offering daily meals in one on-campus convenience story, Market Pollock. All other on-campus dining is closed.

Campus Recreation facilities, programs and services at University Park campus are closed.

University Libraries’ physical locations are closed. Virtual library services and resources remain open, and faculty and staff are available remotely to assist with Penn State academic and research needs. Information on returning borrowed items is available in this Penn State News article. For more information, visit https://libraries.psu.edu/covid19.

— University computer labs are closed.

— All retail eateries in the HUB-Robeson Center and the retail operation of the Penn State Bookstore have closed as of March 17. Public access to the HUB also is restricted as part of the closure.

— Penn State’s Berkey Creamery reopened July 20 with limited hours and new procedures.

— The Pasquerilla Spiritual Center and Eisenhower Chapel, which houses the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development, are closed.

— The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center and The Nittany Lion Inn are closed.

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