Testing and Support

Last updated Jan 18, 2022

What you need to know about testing


  • The University's spring 2022 COVID-19 testing plans include voluntary drop-in and mail-in testing, symptomatic testing (for students) and required testing.

  • Students and employees who have not informed the University that they have been fully vaccinated are subject to required weekly testing during the spring semester. Students at University Park, Commonwealth Campuses and Dickinson Law can upload their vaccination records through myUHS, and employees and World Campus students can do so through Salesforce Health Cloud.

  • At University Park, drop-in and by-appointment asymptomatic COVID-19 testing is available at the White Building for students living on or near campus and faculty and staff who are working on campus. Individuals who need to schedule an appointment should follow the link in their weekly testing email.

Spring Semester White Building Testing Site Hours:

Mondays: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesdays: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesdays: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Thursdays: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fridays: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturdays: noon – 5 p.m.
Sundays: noon – 5 p.m.

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 spring 2022 COVID-19 testing strategy for all campuses.

REQUIRED TESTING FOR ALL UNVACCINATED STUDENTS THROUGHOUT THE SEMESTER //

During the semester, all students enrolled at a residential campus and taking in person classes or web courses — living both on and off campus — who remain unvaccinated or do not submit confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination to the University will be required to test for COVID-19 weekly throughout the semester or until they share with the University that they have been fully vaccinated.

Throughout the semester, students who have not shared with the University that they are fully vaccinated will receive an email each Monday throughout the semester to remind them to be tested and have until the following Sunday to complete a University-administered COVID-19 test. A negative result from a test administered outside of the University will not be accepted.

Compliance mechanisms will be in place to encourage those who are required to be tested to do so.

University Park required student testing

At University Park, testing will be available seven days a week at the White Building for students who are required to test, as well as those who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Appointments are preferred — the individual email will contain a link to make an appointment — however, individuals may drop into the White Building at any time during operational hours.

Commonwealth Campus and Dickinson Law student testing

At other campus locations, tests will either be distributed from a location on campus or ordered via mail from Vault Health. Students can check online to learn how to obtain and complete a test on their campus. The weekly email will also contain a link that provides students additional details for their campus testing process.

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REQUIRED TESTING FOR UNVACCINATED EMPLOYEES //

Under the federal contractor vaccine mandate, all employees at all Penn State campuses are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved medical/disability- or religious-related accommodation. This mandate is currently under an injunction and will not be implemented by Penn State on Jan. 4, however the injunction could be lifted in the near future. In the meantime, the University will continue with the current testing protocols already in place.

Faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated, including those working remotely, will be required to test weekly until the legal process is finalized.

Compliance mechanisms will be in place to encourage those who are required to be tested to do so.

For Tech service employees the University and Teamsters Local Union 8 have bargained about the effects of any valid, enforceable vaccine mandate for federal contractors. As of now that federal mandate is on hold by the federal court thus not requiring any technical service employees to be vaccinated or tested. In the event that the federal contractor vaccine mandate is reinstated by the federal courts, the University and Teamsters will follow the terms of their agreement and will bargain about the effects of the federal contract vaccine mandate, including a new effective date of any vaccine mandate. The agreement includes terms that describe the addition of other campuses to the vaccinate mandate. Specifically, the University must notify the Union and bargain over the implementation of the vaccine mandate at additional commonwealth campuses.

University Park required employee testing

At University Park, testing will be conducted at no cost to employees at the White Building seven days a week. Appointments are preferred — the individual email will contain a link to make an appointment — however, individuals may drop into the White Building at any time during operational hours.

Employees who are traveling for a week are still required to take a COVID-19 test prior to returning to work and should plan ahead to complete an at-home Vault Health mail order test kit, which must be ordered online in advance of travel. This method is only for use if an individual is out of town during their required test week and are not able to access the White Building. It is an individual employee’s responsibility to plan ahead in case of travel. Individuals are reminded that all home tests by Vault Health use shipping via UPS and not the U.S. Postal Service. UPS drop-off locations can be found online.

Commonwealth Campus, Dickinson Law and Extension employee testing

Testing at locations other than University Park — including for Penn State Extension employees — is conducted entirely via Vault Health mail order test kits, which can be ordered online at no cost to employees.

Faculty and staff who are required to test will receive an email each Monday throughout the semester to remind them to complete their mail-in test by the following Sunday — the test week for compliance purposes is Monday to Sunday. A negative result from a test administered outside of the University will not be accepted.

Test kits must be ordered online using the employee’s Penn State email address and employees are strongly encouraged to order 12 tests at a time so they have test resources on hand each week without delays. Employees should order their first 12 test kits prior to Jan. 3 and plan to order their second batch of kits no later than March 6.

Employees who are traveling for a week are still required to take a COVID-19 test prior to returning to work and should plan ahead to complete an at-home Vault Health mail order test kit.

Some Penn State locations will offer test kit pick-up opportunities on campus, with additional details forthcoming.

Individuals are reminded that all home tests by Vault Health use shipping via UPS and not the U.S. Postal Service. UPS drop-off locations can be found online.

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TESTING FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH SYMPTOMS //

Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should seek out symptomatic testing through a University or local health care provider. Although more protected from serious illness, if at any time vaccinated individuals experience COVID-19 symptoms, they should still seek testing to minimize spread of the virus.

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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VOLUNTARY TESTING //

Penn State is continuing to offer voluntary COVID-19 testing for any student or employee, including vaccinated individuals, who are asymptomatic of COVID-19 but want to be tested because of possible virus exposure or other reasons.

Voluntary Student Testing

Voluntary COVID-19 testing is available for any student taking in-person classes or living near a Penn State campus, regardless of vaccination status.

At University Park, drop-in voluntary rapid antigen testing is available at the White Building for asymptomatic students living on or near campus. Individuals who are being tested should bring their mobile phone and Penn State id+ Card to the testing site and plan to spend at least one hour on site for the full testing process.

Spring Semester White Building Testing Site Hours:
Mondays: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesdays: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesdays: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Thursdays: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fridays: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturdays: noon – 5 p.m.
Sundays: noon – 5 p.m.

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 can check online to learn how to obtain and complete a test on their campus.

Voluntary Employee Testing
All employees may seek testing through their health care provider or other local COVID-19 testing options. Voluntary testing is available to employees even if they have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

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. Employees who utilize the drop-in testing at the White Building should bring their mobile phone and Penn State id+ Card to the testing site and plan to spend at least one hour on site for the full testing process.

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QUARANTINE TESTING //

Penn State is in the process of reviewing the latest CDC guidance and will be updating its quarantine testing policy soon.

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

No, Vault Health at-home tests can only be used by Penn State faculty, staff and students, and each individual needs to order their own test kit(s). Each Vault test kit is linked to the identity of the person who ordered it via the individual’s name and Penn State email address.  Additionally, the at-home tests must be administered while connected via Zoom to a Vault Health representative who will monitor the sample collection process.

Testing resources for family members can be found via personal health care providers or by searching for testing sites on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website

All students are strongly encouraged to order a free, mail-in Vault Health test kit to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus so that they can isolate at home if they are COVID-19 positive. Employees who are working on campus or in person also can order free, mail-in Vault Health test kits. Any student or employee can currently order up to 12 Vault Health kits for at-home use.

Employees exhibiting symptoms are expected to notify their supervisor immediately. Symptomatic employees are expected to not come to work and will be sent home if symptoms begin while working on-site. Supervisors will refer employees to Occupational Medicine for an evaluation and determination of when the employee is safely able to return to work. The employee will be expected to use accrued sick, vacation or personal time (if available) or be placed on an unpaid leave status for the absence to cover any time off until they are released to return to work by Occupational Medicine. The employee may work remotely during the isolation period (with approval from their manager) if their symptoms are mild and their position permits.

Employees can contact Occupational Medicine at psuoccmed@psu.edu or call 814-863-8492. If you are a Technical Service employee, please contact your supervisor who will then contact Occupational Medicine. 

Penn State students who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 and those who have not shared with the University that they are fully vaccinated will be required to test weekly for COVID-19 throughout the fall semester, or until they share with the University that they have been fully vaccinated.

Students who fail to test by the weekly deadline will receive an email with a warning that the student will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and be placed under a registration hold, which prohibits future course registration, if they fail to test within the required time window a second time.

Students who fail to test within the required window a second time during the fall semester will immediately be placed under a registration hold and will be referred to Student Conduct. More information on registration holds is available online.

Students who fail to test a third time within the required window during the semester will immediately be placed on interim suspension. The student’s instructors will be notified of the interim suspension and the student will not be permitted to enter any campus building or participate in any class, activity or program of the University, including Penn State football games. In addition, students living on campus who are placed on interim suspension must vacate their residence hall. The interim suspension will be lifted if the student gets tested; however, the Student Conduct process will continue.

There will be additional accountability for students who continue to disregard their testing obligations after their third instance of noncompliance. At the conclusion of a formal student conduct process, the student may face consequences up to and including immediate suspension from the University.

Additional details about required testing and consequences for noncompliance can be found on the Testing and Support page.

​Information on required COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated faculty and staff can be found on the Testing and Support webpage.

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