Health Guidelines

Current masking guidance

Face masks are required to be worn indoors on campuses in counties identified by the CDC as having high COVID-19 Community Levels. Please visit the University Status page for a list of locations that require masking indoors.

Individuals are expected to review campus policies and procedures and local municipal ordinances related to COVID-19 mitigation. Per CDC guidance, individual municipalities, businesses and other organizations may set their own masking and physical distancing expectations.

In addition to personal actions, Penn State has implemented thorough testing and contact tracing programs as part of its efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at its campuses and neighboring local communities.

Coronavirus vaccine

Penn State strongly encourages students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and to share their vaccination status with the University as soon as possible. Visit the Vaccine Information page to learn more about the vaccine and where to get a shot.

Gatherings

It is important to be mindful of your activities and personal health, including social activities. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should not engage in activities with others and seek proper health advice and care.

Individuals are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or receive a booster as soon as possible. You can find a vaccine provider near you on Vaccines.gov. Having a significant portion of our campus community vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves and to guard against the spread of COVID-19 on Penn State campuses.

Students, faculty and staff who are vaccinated but have not yet shared their vaccination status with the University are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Information on how to upload your vaccine status can be found on the Vaccine Information page.

What to do if you feel sick

Students

If you’re feeling ill or are worried you might have been exposed to COVID-19, we are here to support you. You are urged to get tested and follow these steps:

Step 1: If you feel sick, isolate yourself immediately.

Step 2: Contact University Health Services or your campus health care provider.

Step 3: If your provider recommends treatment, when traveling to the health care facility:


  • Avoid contact with other people as much as possible.

  • Do not use public transportation.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (do not use your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

  • Wear a mask at all times.

Step 4: Pack for quarantine/isolation. After your exam, you may be sent to quarantine/isolation for a few days. You should pack what you need for your personal and academic needs, and bring them with you.

Step 5: Answer the call from contact tracing. Participate fully in contact tracing phone call — help to identify anyone else who may have been exposed.

Faculty and Staff

Any faculty and staff member who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and call their health care provider to arrange for a symptomatic test, or schedule an appointment at a publicly available COVID-19 testing site.

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.

Additional information for employees, including testing and screening, frequently asked questions and other resources can be found on the Penn State Human Resources COVID-19 page.

Health guidelines

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.

On March 30, 2022, the federal government launched COVID.gov, a toolkit to provide information on resources for masks, treatment, vaccine, and testing related to COVID-19. The resources are searchable by county and are presented in English, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese. The federal government is also making the resources available over the phone through the National Hotline at 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489), which supports over 150 languages. More information can be found on this White House fact sheet.

The University asks that students, faculty and staff cooperate with requests that masks be worn in classrooms and individual offices, however it is up to each individual to make a decision about whether or not they wish to wear a mask. At this time, individuals cannot be required to wear a mask, except in situations where masks are required by law.

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.

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.

Learn more

Vaccine information

Explore

Travel guidelines

Explore

Students and families

Explore

Faculty and staff

Explore