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First Case of COVID-19 At Penn State University Park Is A Student-Athlete

Outside view of Beaver Stadium
Min Xian

A Penn State athlete living on campus has tested positive for COVID-19, according to University Athletics.

In an email, a spokeswoman confirmed that the positive case included in the state Department of Health’s daily COVID-19 report Wednesday is the first positive report involving an Intercollegiate Athletics student-athlete.


The state report showed the first positive case in the 16802 zip, which is Penn State’s University Park campus.

"Wednesday’s positive report for the 16802 zip code is the first positive report involving an Intercollegiate Athletics student-athlete," the statement from Penn State Athletics says. 


Athletics Director Sandy Barbour said during a news conference July 1 that the university would test student-athletes as they return to campus and would share the overall results with the public every two weeks during the summer.

The spokeswoman said full testing numbers will be shared in the Intercollegiate Athletic Department’s next bi-weekly report on July 29. She said those who test positive will be put in isolation for 14 days and then retested.


“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the broader community are of the utmost importance,” the statement reads. “Therefore, as part of the protocols established in the return to campus plan by the Penn State Athletics medical staff and in consultation with University, local and national officials and guidelines, individuals with a positive test have been put into isolation for 14 days and will be retested at that point. In addition to isolation, contact tracing procedures have been implemented, which includes quarantine and testing for those individuals who might have been exposed, even if asymptomatic.”

Anne Danahy is a reporter at WPSU. She was a reporter for nearly 12 years at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, where she earned a number of awards for her coverage of issues including the impact of natural gas development on communities.