Penn State hosted a virtual town hall on its COVID-19 plans for the fall semester Thursday, including testing for students, faculty and staff amid the pandemic.
Penn State plans to have tests sent to about 30,000 faculty, staff and students shortly before they return to campus. The tests will go to people in high risk areas and are supposed to be sent back to the testing center about a week before a return to campus.
“This pre-arrival testing strategy provides us the opportunity to begin the semester with a far lower number of asymptomatic but COVID positive individuals on campus,” said Dr. Kevin Black, interim dean of the College of Medicine.
There will also be an ongoing program where 700 asymptomatic daily tests will be done on campus.
The university wants students to self-quarantine for at least seven days before they return to Penn State. And, the university is asking all students to electronically sign a compact saying they understand the risks and expectations of returning to campus.
Penn State president Eric Barron called on local communities for help including through ordinances and enforcement.
"It’s a challenge to control behavior of the students that are living off campus, so we really need the commitment of our local community," Barron said.
Classes start Aug. 24.