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Penn State Adds 352 COVID-19 Cases At University Park, Offers Free Walk-Up Testing For Employees

Penn State added 352 new COVID-19 cases among University Park campus students since the numbers were updated Friday.
Min Xian
Penn State added 352 new COVID-19 cases among University Park campus students since the numbers were updated Friday.

Penn State added 352 new COVID-19 cases among University Park campus students since the numbers were updated Friday, according to its COVID-19 dashboard Tuesday. The total number of University Park students who have tested positive for the coronavirus rose to 2,475, but the university says 1,774 cases are not active.

Additional test results for the week of Sept. 18 to 24 brought the total number of positive cases among University Park students during that period to 689, which is more than 50% higher than when it was first reported last Friday.

The university said in a release that reporting lags exist because “many test results are still pending.”

There are 121 total positive cases at Penn State Altoona, all from students. Penn State said based on the rising case numbers there, a “pop-up, on-demand testing center” performed additional tests to identify those who may have contact with someone who tested positive. 

“The higher number of positive cases on the campus was anticipated as a result of the testing strategy focused on these individuals,” the release said.

Among other commonwealth campuses, the Behrend campus in Erie added four cases. Beaver, Dubois and Fayette each added one new case and Berks had two new positive results. 

Penn State said no new positives from employees were reported on any campus. The university announced Tuesday that it will offer free walk-up COVID-19 testing for University Park employees who are working on campus or who have direct interactions with students. Employees can be tested at the basement level of the HUB parking deck from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

There are 2,667 known cases of COVID-19 in Centre County, according to Tuesday’s report from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. These cases are reported daily and include those from Penn State’s University Park campus and its surrounding area.

The Department of Health reported Tuesday there are six patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in Centre County. The 14-day average of the numbers of patients hospitalized for the virus has been steadily increasing, from 0.2 on Sept. 2 to 2.8 today, according to the department’s data

In a virtual town hall last Wednesday, Penn State leaders, including President Eric Barron, reiterated that the university is closely monitoring “three particularly critical” factors: the number of hospitalizations in the local hospital, the availability of quarantine and isolation space, as well as community transmission of the coronavirus between its students and others in the community.

“We are not seeing the indicators that might compel a change of our course at this time,” Barron said. “But we will do so if needed.”

There are 60 University Park students in isolation and 123 in quarantine, according to Tuesday’s dashboard update.

Penn State announced Friday that it will hold a virtual town hall on Sunday, Oct. 4, for students and their families “about Penn State’s return to campus and the university’s ongoing response to the coronavirus.

Min Xian reported at WPSU from 2016-2022.
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