Penn State Reports COVID-19 Case Numbers, But Not Hospitalizations

Oct 30, 2020

Old Main, the Penn State administrations building on the University Park campus.
Credit Min Xian / WPSU

Twice a week, Penn State updates a public website that lists the number of COVID-19 cases on its campuses, but one thing Penn State does not include is information about whether any of those students are hospitalized.

While Penn State offers general information about the number of COVID cases among students and employees, it does not include hospitalizations. Instead, a spokeswoman said, that would be “up to the hospital.”

The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 is growing in Centre County. As of Thursday, Mount Nittany Medical Center had 17 inpatients being treated for the coronavirus. 

 

Mount Nittany gives an age range for its COVID-19 patients. On Thursday, its patients ranged in age from 52 to 95 years old. But the medical center has treated younger patients as well, including one as young as 19 and another who was 23.

It does not provide additional identifying information.

 

Several Penn State faculty members told WPSU they have had a student or know of a student who was hospitalized for COVID-19.

Molly Countermine, an associate teaching professor in Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State, said that earlier in the semester she got an email from a student who said they had been hospitalized and wanted to catch up on their work.

“I would have liked to have seen the university and school district here go remote," Countermine said. "I would have liked to have seen that on the national level too.” 

Other universities do provide hospitalization information when it’s available. The University of Wisconsin at Madison, for example, has said students and employees do not have to disclose if they’re hospitalized. But, the university will report hospitalizations it is aware of on its dashboard.