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What can students expect if they need to receive care from University Health Services this fall? What safety precautions are in place at the Student Health Center?

University Health Services continues to take enhanced precautions and has implemented additional guidelines for the fall semester to help protect the health and safety of the Penn State campus community.

Precautions

UHS has increased cleaning and safety measures inside the Student Health Center and is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. This includes:

  • Disinfecting surfaces frequently.
  • Maintaining physical distance.
  • Wearing gloves and masks.
  • Disinfecting all rooms, regardless if the visit was COVID-19 related or not.
  • Implementing additional cleaning in negative pressure rooms.
  • Using hand sanitizer or washing hands prior to and after seeing each patient.
  • Assessing employee temperatures before they enter the Student Health Center.

UHS will only allow those with a scheduled in-person appointment inside the Student Health Center. Anyone who enters the Student Health Center will have their temperature taken, symptoms assessed, and must wear a mask. Plexiglass barriers also have been installed for added protection.

All patients will enter the Student Health Center through the front door, except those with COVID-19 concerns. Students who are being seen for COVID-19 will come through a different door and have a designated elevator to use, which will be communicated when the appointment is scheduled.

In addition, UHS has added a negative pressure suite, which includes nine additional negative pressure rooms, for 11 negative pressure rooms in total. These are single-occupancy patient-care rooms that use negative air pressure to prevent airborne infectious diseases such as COVID-19 from escaping the room and infecting others. This suite will be dedicated to seeing patients in-house that require a higher level of care for COVID-19.

Scheduling

Students who wish to schedule a medical appointment with UHS can call 814-863-0774 or visit myUHS online. Any patients who access care will be assessed for COVID-19 symptoms. Students can still be seen for routine appointments such as women’s and men’s health, LGBTQ health, physical therapy and more. Students will be triaged based on their concerns, symptoms and visit type, and may be seen via telemedicine or asked to come to the Student Health Center. COVID-19 concerns may be addressed via telemedicine, unless in-person care is needed. Students should check with their insurance carrier in advance to determine if telemedicine visits are covered under their insurance plan.

Students who need to have lab tests completed, either ordered by a UHS clinician or an outside clinician, can schedule a lab appointment through myUHS.

Any nonclinical appointments that need to be scheduled with Student Health Insurance, Health Information Management, or Finance and Billing can be done by calling the specific department. Soon, students will be able to schedule an appointment through myUHS for all departments. These nonmedical appointments will be accomplished through Zoom or by phone.

COVID-19 testing

UHS is offering two options for COVID-19 testing to all undergraduate and graduate students. Students can get tested within UHS or use the testing boxes located in Eisenhower Parking Deck. Both testing options require an appointment.

The testing boxes are a fast and easy way for students who have a COVID-19 concern or have mild COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. Those with more severe symptoms will be asked to be tested in-house at the Student Health Center. Once an appointment has been made for the testing boxes, students will arrive at Eisenhower Parking Deck on the first floor and follow the signs to the testing boxes. At the box, students will be directed by a UHS provider to step up to the box and get tested. Getting tested only takes about 30 seconds.

After the test has been administered, students will be isolated until further direction is provided when test results are available. Students will be notified of their results either via phone or myUHS secure messaging. If a student tests positive, they will continue isolation and proceed through the contact tracing process.

All positive cases will be reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which will then report that information to the CDC.

For additional information about available UHS services and enhanced health precautions, read this Penn State News story.