State College School District Says Three Students Have COVID-19

Sep 14, 2020

Students outside of State College Area High School on Jan. 8, 2018.
Credit Min Xian / WPSU

Three students in the State College Area School District — one high school student and two elementary students — have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email from the district superintendent to families Monday evening.

The email said the high school student has not been in any district building this school year. The other two are Mount Nittany Elementary students. The email said “contact tracing showed there were no close contacts by these students connected to district schools.”

“Looking ahead, we presume that it’s likely we’ll have more positive tests in our district among our students, faculty and staff,” the email from Superintendent Bob O’Donnell said. 

“We wish the best for the affected families and hope for swift recoveries,” O’Donnell said.

The news comes as Centre County has the highest incidence rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in Pennsylvania in the past seven days, according to the state Department of Health.

The school district moved to remote learning last week after a spike in cases in the State College area, largely tied to the return of Penn State students for the fall semester. That followed several contentious school board meetings, with board members and families weighing in, and a day off to evaluate the situation.

O’Donnell said the district will add the cases to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, and will continue to provide news of positive cases when the district moves back to in-school instruction.


State College is not the first Centre County school district to experience a case of COVID-19.

The Bald Eagle Area School District announced on Sunday that an adult at Wingate Elementary had tested positive for the coronavirus.

As of Monday, there are 1,237 known cases in Centre County, according to the state Department of Health. That includes 650 confirmed and 24 probable cases in the 16801 zip code and 155 confirmed cases on Penn State's campus, the 16802 zip code.