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Is Penn State testing students and employees for coronavirus?

The University is employing strategies to create an effective detection and management system for all of its campuses, including testing, contact tracing, and monitoring and reacting to trends in data at the community and national levels.

Penn State has put in place a robust COVID-19 testing and contact tracing program consisting of in-house and third-party contracted testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. The plan includes testing for 30,000 students, faculty and staff from locations with a high prevalence of the disease before arrival on campus, as well as daily testing throughout the semester.

The University is conducting surveillance testing of faculty, staff and students on its campuses throughout the semester, testing about 1% of our campus populations (about 700 people) per day. The plan includes random and risk-stratified surveillance testing as well as asymptomatic testing for individuals who are identified in the contact-tracing process.

Additionally, the University has set up on-campus testing capabilities using existing resources in a new Testing and Surveillance Center, which will be used for surveillance testing at University Park.

Penn State has hired additional staff to serve as contact tracers as needed to support all campuses and plans to enhance access to early health-care consultation and treatment. Contact-tracing supports virus case detection and is designed to help prevent future outbreaks. The University also has capacity to isolate and quarantine individuals who test positive, including support for isolated persons, to facilitate proper medical care.

More detailed information about symptomatic and asymptomatic testing may be found in this Penn State News story.