Testing and Support

Last updated July 13, 2021

What you need to know about testing


  • University Park students who are not vaccinated and have recently traveled, interacted with individuals outside of their pods or believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 are urged to take advantage of Penn State's free, on-demand coronavirus testing

The health and safety of Penn State students, faculty, staff and surrounding communities are the University's top priorities. To that end, Penn State has developed a comprehensive summer 2021 COVID-19 testing strategy for all campuses.

TESTING FOR STUDENTS WITH SYMPTOMS //

Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, even if fully vaccinated, should seek out symptomatic testing through a University or local health care provider.

Visit the Health Guidelines page to learn more about steps you should take if you feel sick, or if think you may have been exposed to the virus.

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REQUIRED TESTING FOR STUDENTS LIVING IN RESIDENCE HALLS //

On campuses that have more than 25 students living in residence halls, students living on campus who are not fully vaccinated will be required to complete a COVID-19 test weekly starting after summer session begins and continuing through the summer. These students will receive a weekly reminder to complete the test at a designated site on their campus. More information is forthcoming on this test protocol for fully vaccinated students who have provided vaccination status to the University.

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VOLUNTARY TESTING //

Unless they have been vaccinated, regular use of voluntary testing is strongly encouraged for any student living near any Penn State campus or employees that are working on campus in May and throughout the summer.

Voluntary Student Testing
At University Park, drop-in testing is available throughout the summer from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Pegula Ice Arena for all students living on or near campus.

At all Commonwealth Campuses, student tests will be distributed by the student health center or designated office, or ordered through the mail via the Vault Health mail-in test kit. Students should contact their campus student health center or office of student affairs for more information.

Students who test positive will be referred to isolation and the University’s contact tracing process will be initiated.

Voluntary Employee Testing
All employees may seek testing through their health care provider or other local COVID-19 testing options.

At any Penn State location, employees working on campus may order a Vault Health mail-in test kit.

Employees working on campus at University Park also may utilize the drop-in testing available on campus. However, they are strongly encouraged to use the at-home, Vault Health mail-in test kit as the best test option.

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QUARANTINE TESTING //

Asymptomatic students who are not fully vaccinated and quarantining because they have been identified through contact tracing as a close contact of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to receive a COVID-19 test during day 5-7 of their quarantine. Per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asymptomatic, unvaccinated students with a negative test on or after day five of quarantine will be permitted to end their quarantine after seven days. Instructions for testing will be communicated directly to quarantined students.

Fully vaccinated students will receive instructions from contact tracing if they are identified as a close contact.

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Testing and support

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days and are not in a current isolation period, you have developed antibodies to the virus and your next test result could continue to appear as positive, even though you are no longer symptomatic or contagious.

Students who have a positive test result in the myUHS portal from within the last 90 days do not need to participate in required University testing and should not seek testing within this time period. Students, except for World Campus students, can upload evidence of a positive third-party COVID test from within the last 90 days. Negative test results may not be uploaded.

If you received a positive result from a test administered by Penn State, your result is on record with the University and you do not need to submit it through myUHS.

On campuses that have more than 25 students living in residence halls, students living on campus who are not fully vaccinated will be required to complete a COVID-19 test weekly starting after summer session begins and continuing through the summer. These students will receive a weekly reminder to complete the test at a designated site on their campus. There will be no required testing for employees at any campus over the summer.

Unless they have been vaccinated, regular use of voluntary testing is strongly encouraged for any student living near any Penn State campus or employees that are working on campus in May and throughout the summer. Information about the summer drop-in testing schedule at University Park is available here. At all Commonwealth Campuses, student tests will be distributed by the student health center or designated office, or ordered through the mail via the Vault Health mail-in test kit. Students should contact their campus student health center or office of student affairs for more information. Employees who are working on campus may order a Vault Health mail-in test kit. Employees working on campus at University Park also may utilize the drop-in testing available on campus. However, they are strongly encouraged to use the at-home Vault Health mail-in test kit as the best test option.

University Park students living on campus or in the local community who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should continue to schedule testing appointments with University Health Services via MyUHS. Students living on or near other Penn State campuses should seek symptomatic testing via their campus health center or a local provider. Employees who are symptomatic are advised to schedule an appointment with their local health care provider.

More information on the testing strategy for the summer is available on the Testing and Support page. Information about fall 2021 testing will be communicated broadly as plans are finalized.

All COVID-19 testing 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.

Employees can find detailed information and guidance on the Health Guidelines, Contact Tracing, and Quarantine and Isolation pages.

Faculty, staff members, students and families across all Penn State campuses can call the Penn State COVID-19 Response Center at 814-865-2121. The center’s hours of operation (all Eastern Time) over the summer are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Before calling, individuals are encouraged to review the University’s official coronavirus information website to see if their questions are answered there. The site includes links to Penn State COVID-19 resources, as well as a comprehensive list of COVID-19 FAQs for students and families, faculty and staff, and members of campus communities.

Click here for more information about the Penn State COVID-19 Response Center.

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