Penn State

A satellite election office for Centre County is located at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State's University Park campus.
Kristine Allen / WPSU

Pennsylvania is a crucial battleground state in the 2020 election. And now, for the first time ever in a presidential election year, mail-in ballots are available to all registered voters in Pennsylvania, without any excuse. That means there is now actually a way for you to vote early in person.

Your polling place in won’t be open until Nov. 3.  But between now and Tuesday, there is a place you can go to vote early. 

Penn State coach Patrick Chambers reacts to a call late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Rutgers, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in State College, Pa.
Gary M. Baranec / AP Photo

Patrick Chambers has stepped down as Penn State’s men’s basketball coach. Athletic Director Sandy Barbour has accepted and confirmed Chambers’ resignation.

Penn State Old Main building
Min Xian / WPSU

  

More than one in 10 Penn State University Park students who returned to State College for the fall semester has now had COVID-19, a WPSU analysis finds. 

A sign that reads "keep you distance" on Penn State campus
Min Xian / WPSU

Penn State is reporting 289 new cases of COVID-19 among students at University Park since last Friday, according to its COVID-19 dashboard.

There have been a total of  3,448 cases of COVID-19 from University Park students and seven from staff since Aug. 7.

Dr. Deborah Birx spoke outside of the Penn Stater hotel in a mask
Min Xian / WPSU

More widespread testing and adherence to COVID-19 safety measures, such as masking and distancing, are necessary to prevent a resurgence in cases in Northeastern states, said Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, after a roundtable discussion with Penn State leaders, students and local officials in State College Wednesday.

Penn State Old Main building
Min Xian / WPSU

The number of positive COVID-19 tests at Penn State University Park increased by 196 Friday, since Tuesday’s dashboard update. That brings the total so far for the week of Oct. 2-8 to 287 positive cases, with 653 tests still awaiting results for the time period. The total positives at University Park are now 3,166.

 

 

Penn State President Eric Barron hosted a virtual seminar on Thursday for faculty and staff to ask questions about the university's approach to the coronavirus pandemic. The university is looking into new health protocols for the spring.  

Two masked students walking on the Penn State University Park campus
Min Xian / WPSU

Positive COVID-19 tests among Penn State University Park students were down by 30% last week from the week before, according to Tuesday’s dashboard update

The new total number of cases among University Park students for the week of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 is 485, about two-thirds of the previous week’s 694.

A sign near the Nittany Lion statue urging compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines
Min Xian / WPSU

The number of Penn State students who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the University Park campus increased by 203 since the university updated its COVID-19 dashboard Tuesday, bringing the total number of positive cases among University Park students to 2,678, according to Friday’s update.

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

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.

A COVID-19 nasal swab test is administered to a person in a car
Min Xian / WPSU

  

Free COVID-19 testing at the Nittany Mall in State College began Friday, drawing a long line of residents, as part of the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s effort to contain the rising case numbers in Centre County.

Naomi Niyah, a graduate student at Penn State, went to the site on Friday morning. She said she hasn’t been contacted by the university for its surveillance testing program.

“I don’t like the current situation for testing so might as well do it myself here,” Niyah said. 

Penn State student Kaitlyn Harris did an asymptomatic saliva test at a mobile testing site in August.
Min Xian / WPSU

 

 

Penn State is reporting a 294-case increase of COVID-19 among students at University Park since it last updated its coronavirus dashboard on Friday.

 

It brings the total number of cases to 1,665 students at University Park. The dashboard lists 23 cases among students at Penn State Altoona, with 17 still active. There are 33 students in quarantine at that campus.

 

A pop-up testing site on Penn State campus
Min Xian / WPSU

Penn State added 320 new cases of the coronavirus for the week of Sept. 11 to 17, as the university updated its COVID-19 dashboard Friday.

Barry Reeger / Associated Press

Leaders of the Big Ten universities voted unanimously to have a football season this fall, starting the weekend of Oct. 23, according to a news release Wednesday morning.

Socially distanced dining hall tables at Penn State University Park campus
Min Xian / WPSU

The total number of COVID-19 cases at Penn State reached 1,145, as the university updated its COVID-19 dashboard Tuesday. 

Penn State students walk across the University Park campus at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester.
Min Xian / WPSU

The number of COVID-19 cases increased to 708 at Penn State university-wide, as it updated its COVID-19 dashboard for the week of Sept. 4 to 10 on Friday. That’s a total of 493 new cases since last Friday’s update. While university President Eric Barron said administrators remain concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, the university is not moving to remote instruction.

 

Penn State students shared stories of racism they have encountered at the university and faculty talked about what could lead to change, in the second roundtable discussion in the “Toward Racial Equity at Penn State” series Tuesday night. 

 

Nyla Holland, an undergrad student and president of the Black Caucus, talked about racism she’s experienced at Penn State starting freshman year.

 

Penn State student Kaitlyn Harris did an asymptomatic saliva test at a mobile testing site in August.
Min Xian / WPSU

Penn State has 433 total positive coronavirus test results university-wide, according to Tuesday’s update to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard. The increase came from new cases added over the Labor Day weekend and from test results coming in from the previous weeks. 

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

Penn State updated its COVID-19 dashboard Friday with data reported between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3. In that time period, 174 University Park campus students tested positive for COVID-19. Of that total, 115 were from 1,092 “on-demand” testing. From the university’s random asymptomatic testing, 59 UP campus students tested positive out of 3,065. 

File photo of a mobile COVID-19 test site on Penn State University Park campus.
Min Xian / WPSU

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase sharply in Centre County, particularly at Penn State and in the neighboring State College area.

There are 578 confirmed and probable cases in Centre County, up from 538 Wednesday, according to the state Department of Health. Thursday’s 40-case increase is second only to the 47-case spike Wednesday, the largest seen in the county since the pandemic began. 

Signage for a COVID-19 collection site in State College, Pa.
Min Xian / WPSU

Centre County COVID-19 cases increased by 47 Wednesday, its largest single-day spike since the pandemic began, according to state Department of Health data.

The county has 538 cases — 491 confirmed and 47 probable — up from a total of 491 Tuesday. The jump comes as the State College Area School District has been grappling with if and when to move to remote learning — even temporarily.

The county’s numbers by zip code include:

Penn State is reporting 32 new COVID-19 cases since last Friday.
Min Xian / WPSU

Penn State updated its COVID-19 dashboard Tuesday with data reported between Friday, Aug. 28 and Sunday, Aug. 30. In that time period, 25 University Park campus students tested positive out of 268 symptomatic tests conducted. Seven asymptomatic UP students also tested positive for COVID-19. 

File photo of a mobile COVID-19 test site on Penn State University Park campus.
Min Xian / WPSU

Updated: Friday, August 28 at 5:34 p.m.

Penn State updated its COVID-19 dashboard for the first week of fall semester classes Friday. It shows 28 new positive cases from a total of 4,664 tests conducted this week. 

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, many students are returning to colleges and universities across the U.S. 

In central Pennsylvania, that includes Penn State, Pitt Bradford, and Juniata College. 

Kevin Kinser is a Penn State professor and head of the Department of Education Policy Studies. He’s a senior scientist at Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education and has written several books about higher ed. 

Facing some community concerns, Mount Nittany Health said the community should feel comfortable in its capacity to treat a potential surge of COVID-19 cases.
Min Xian / WPSU

As tens of thousands of Penn State students return to the University Park campus for fall semester, Mount Nittany Health says the community should feel comfortable in its capacity to treat a potential surge of COVID-19 cases. 

Penn State Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims said no disciplinary action will be initiated against students who participated in the East Halls gathering or the Pi Kappa Alpha party as long as they get tested.
Min Xian / WPSU

Penn State has begun investigations into two large social gatherings that violated the university’s COVID-19 safety protocols. But the university says it’s not considering disciplinary actions for those who attended. 

Carrie Jackson and Dawn Maguire, with the Holmes Foster Neighborhood Association, standing in front of a house.
Anne Danahy / WPSU

 

Penn State classes start this week, and as the campus with the largest student body in Pennsylvania kicks off the fall semester, many in State College are concerned that the arrival of tens of thousands of students could mean outbreaks of COVID-19.

 

Penn State is reporting two students on the University Park campus have tested positive for COVID-19, according to its new COVID-19 Dashboard Friday.
Min Xian / WPSU

Updated: Monday, August 24 at 2:20 p.m.

Penn State is reporting two students on the University Park campus have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the university’s new COVID-19 Dashboard Friday.

The university has performed 520 tests on students and 95 tests on employees since Aug. 9, according to the dashboard. These numbers combined random surveillance tests and symptomatic tests. 

"Keep Your Distance" sign with lion's paw print
Min Xian / WPSU

Penn State had to break up a large gathering of unmasked students apparently partying outside of dorms on the University Park campus Wednesday night, raising concerns in the community about the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks.

The get-togethers, documented on social media, defy the university’s rules requiring everyone to wear masks while in public spaces on campus and not to gather in groups. And, they came before classes start on Monday.

Doctoral student Steph Herbstritt shows the hairy ligule in switchgrass that's growing on Penn State research plot in Centre County.
Anne Danahy / WPSU

 

When COVID-19 hit Pennsylvania in March, universities moved to shut down in-person classes and suspend some lab work work and field research. For environmental scientists, that’s meant changes and delays in how work gets done.

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