In-person learning and working
Full on-campus activities, including in-person teaching, learning and working, have resumed for the fall 2021 semester. Fall classes are following Penn State’s standard (non-COVID) instructional modes, with the vast majority of courses returning to in-person instruction. Some hybrid and web-based course options continue to be offered.
Although plans for a full on-campus experience for the fall semester remain unchanged, the health and safety of our community continues to drive the University’s decision-making, and Penn State is prepared to quickly respond to changing pandemic conditions, if necessary.
COVID-19 testing protocols
All students — living both on and off campus — who are unvaccinated or do not submit confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination to the University are required to test for COVID-19 weekly throughout the fall semester or until they share with the University that they have been fully vaccinated. Students at University Park, Commonwealth Campuses and Dickinson Law can upload their vaccination records through myUHS.
Employees who are unvaccinated or have not uploaded their vaccine information are subject to weekly COVID-19 testing and will receive a weekly email reminder. Employees should upload their vaccine information through Salesforce Health Cloud as soon as possible. Unvaccinated employees who are returning to on-campus work may request a test from Vault Health for at-home testing.
Learn more about Penn State's fall testing plans and available testing options on the Testing and Support page.
In response to accelerating COVID-19 case counts across the state and country, and in consultation with University Faculty Senate leadership, Penn State is requiring all students, faculty, staff and visitors — including those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated — to wear masks indoors at all campuses. Learn more about the masking requirement here.
Additionally, all individuals must wear a face mask while using public transportation, in accordance with CDC guidance, and in some additional settings such as when visiting on-campus health care facilities and when conducting in-person research involving human subjects.
At this time, physical distancing and outdoor masking are not required.
Resources for students, faculty and staff
Resources are available on our Students and Families page to help students have a successful semester. There, students will find important information on academic support, travel guidelines, student services, housing and dining, wellness and more.
Visit the Faculty and Staff page for comprehensive teaching resources, as well as guidelines for campus visitors, meetings and events; guidelines for working on campus; travel guidelines; and employee support resources. On-campus research-related activities continue to operate according to their established safety procedures.
The University is closely following the legal developments surrounding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on Vaccination and Testing and, at this time, is continuing with its plans to comply with the ETS.
Individuals who were vaccinated in Pennsylvania and have misplaced their vaccination card can visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health website for information on how to obtain vaccine evidence. Individuals who were vaccinated in another state and need vaccine verification information can call the local vaccine provider that administered the vaccine or contact the state health department. Information on how to obtain a new vaccination card or other evidence of vaccination also can be found on the CDC website.
Contractors and subcontractors working on or in connection with a federal covered contract are included under the executive order’s vaccine requirement. Other contractors and subcontractors who may perform work on campus, but not on or in connection with a federal covered contract, are considered visitors under the executive order and are not subject to the vaccine requirement. Fully remote contractors and subcontractors who do not work on or in connection with a federal covered contract are not subject to the vaccine requirement.
Penn State has determined that the federal contractor vaccination requirement applies to individuals working at, or affiliated with, nine campuses: Altoona, Behrend, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Harrisburg, Schuylkill and University Park, including Penn State Extension employees. This also has been extended to Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey and at University Park.
There is no option to test out of the federal contractor mandate.
Individuals covered under the federal contractor mandate must receive their final vaccine dose by Jan. 4 or be granted a disability/medical- or religious-relatedaccommodation by the University. Accommodations will include a requirement to test weekly in the University testing protocol program.
Individuals at other Penn State locations are subject to the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on Vaccination and Testing. These individuals must receive their final vaccine dose by Jan. 4 or test weekly for COVID-19 in the University’s testing protocol.
Penn State officials are continuously monitoring public health and government guidance and requirements. As federal guidelines and mandates change, the University will communicate with the Penn State community how these changes affect students, faculty and staff.