UNIVERSITY PARK. – Due to rapidly evolving COVID-19 conditions across the country and in Pennsylvania, effective immediately (August 4), Penn State will require all students, faculty, staff, and Visitors – including vaccinated and unvaccinated people – are required to wear masks indoors at all schools. Within the past 24 hours, many of the counties that are home to Penn State campuses have transitioned to “orange,” which warrants an immediate adjustment to the University’s on-campus face covering requirement. learn.

“Penn State is taking this proactive measure to protect the health and safety of our schools and help reduce the spread of this virus in our community,” said President Penn. State Eric J. Barron said. “As we continue to see a daily increase in COVID-19 cases, especially the Delta variant, our current outlook warrants this protective step. I continue to look forward to returning to powerful, direct experiences and hope this is a reassuring adjustment for students, faculty, and staff. For a successful semester, we’ll all have to do our best to support the health of our entire community. ”

At town hall yesterday (August 3), Penn State leaders expressed that the University will require vaccinated and unvaccinated people to wear masks while on campus if the rate Local transmission of the virus reached high or significant levels according to Centers for Disease Control guidelines. and Prevention – or when warranted by other circumstances. With the acceleration of the number of COVID-19 cases statewide, as well as in consultation with the leadership of the University Faculty Senate, the University has updated its mask requirement. Nearly half of our buses are located in counties that currently have significant or high rates of COVID-19 transmission.

At this time, all campus activities will continue to take place on a regular schedule with the wearing of masks indoors required. This switch to face covering does not change faculty and staff return to work. The new measure applies to all Penn State facilities except the College of Medicine, which has implemented specific guidance for its community.

Community members will be required to wear masks indoors, including in all classrooms – regardless of size – as well as in boardrooms, dorm common areas, and at any indoor events any. All individuals on campus will be allowed to eat in designated food service areas, and students living in residence halls will not be required to wear masks in their living spaces. In addition, vaccinated employees with individual offices are not required to wear masks in their individual offices. According to CDC guidelines, all individuals must wear a mask when using public transportation.

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors should plan to wear masks indoors on campus until current COVID-19 spikes subside; The University will provide an update when masks are no longer needed.

“We are taking this proactive step as an important measure to support the well-being of our community, along with initiatives,” said Kelly Wolgast, Director of COVID-19 Operations Control. ideas such as the comprehensive testing strategy for students and staff that we announced yesterday. Center. “We continue to emphasize how important it is for all students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself from serious illness that leads to hospitalization and death.”

All Penn State students and staff are encouraged to get vaccinated and share their immunization status with the College. Despite the surge in COVID-19 as the Delta variant spreads, studies show that currently available vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness in people exposed to this variant. Penn State is not impartial when it comes to vaccinations. The University’s stance is that everyone who can be immunized should do so as soon as possible in order to achieve very high vaccination rates across all Penn State facilities.

Students and staff who have not notified the University that they have been fully immunized by August 9 will be subject to mandatory testing during the fall semester. Students at University Park, Commonwealth Campuses and Dickinson Law can upload their immunization records through myUHS, and World Campus staff and students can do so through Salesforce Health Cloud.

Unvaccinated students are encouraged to begin this process as soon as possible before arriving at their campus for the fall semester. Students can begin the immunization process at home by receiving their first dose and bringing their immunization card to school, where they can receive a second dose of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from a provider within or near school.

Additionally, since yesterday’s City Hall conversation, the University has compiled answers to frequently asked questions, including about testing strategies for students and staff. For more information, visit the University’s Virus Information website.

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