UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – As expected from the nationwide spread of the omicron coronavirus variant, COVID-19 test results provided by Penn State show an increase in positive cases and overall positivity rate on campus in University Park.
“We anticipate that our positive case count and positivity rates would increase given the increase in COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania and nationally due to the omicron variant,” said Kelly Wolgast, director of the COVID-19 Operations Control Center. from Penn State. “Right now, we are seeing a lower volume of testing overall due to the University winter break; however, those seeking the test are often symptomatic or asymptomatic, but have been exposed to the virus. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in a higher positivity rate. “
During the period from December 20 to January 2, which encompasses the closure of the University’s two-week winter break, 2,243 total COVID-19 tests were administered in University Park, resulting in 357 positive cases, for a total positivity rate of 15.9%. This includes 283 positive student results from 1,457 tests performed (positivity rate 19.4%) and 74 positive employee results from 786 employee tests (positivity rate 9.4%).
Testing on Commonwealth campuses from December 20 to January 2 resulted in a total of 138 positive results (105 students and 33 employees) out of a total of 552 tests administered (384 student tests and 168 employee tests) .
During the most recent week, from January 3 to January 6, a total of 2,403 COVID-19 tests were administered at University Park, resulting in 318 positive cases, for a positivity rate of 13.2%. This includes 229 positive student results from 1,420 tests performed (positivity rate 16.1%) and 89 positive employee results from 983 employee tests (positivity rate 9.1%).
Testing on Commonwealth campuses from January 3 to January 6 resulted in a total of 33 positive results (20 students and 13 employees) out of a total of 96 tests administered (52 student tests and 44 student tests). employees).
The data reflects all COVID-19 testing conducted by the University, including testing conducted on campus through University Health Services and at the White Building walk-in testing site, home testing conducted through Vault Health and Student-Athlete Testing.
Beginning the week of January 10 and continuing through the remainder of the spring semester, the University’s COVID-19 dashboard will be updated again twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The most recent test data for each individual Commonwealth campus will be available with the next dashboard update on January 11.
Penn State is committed to the health and safety of its students, faculty, staff, and local communities, and the University continues to monitor many factors, including community spread, severity of cases, vaccination rates in our communities, hospitalizations. and pandemic conditions at the local, state, and national levels.
To mitigate the spread of the virus, community members are urged to follow the University’s indoor masking requirement, stay home from class and work when they feel ill, seek evidence when necessary or required, and receive their COVID-19 vaccine and booster if they have not already done so. I’ve already done it.
As a reminder, all students and employees must be fully vaccinated or alternatively get tested for COVID-19 every week during the spring semester. University Park, Commonwealth Campuses, and Dickinson Law students can upload their immunization records through myUHS, and employees can upload through Salesforce Health Cloud.
With spring semester classes beginning January 10, returning students to University Park who did not take a COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus are strongly encouraged to use the White Building walk-in testing site from 9 to. M. At 5 p. M. January 1. 7 and from 10 am to 5 pm on January 8 and 9. The spring semester schedule for the White Building testing site will begin on January 10 and can be found on the Testing and Support page on the Penn State virus information website.
On Commonwealth campuses, student tests are available at the Student Health Center or other designated office, or test kits can be ordered by mail through Vault Health.
University Park students living on campus or in the local community with symptoms of COVID-19 should continue to schedule testing appointments with University Health Services. Students who live on or near other Penn State campuses should seek evidence of symptoms through their campus health services or a local provider. Symptomatic employees are encouraged to make an appointment with their healthcare provider.
Full spring semester testing information for employees and students is available on Penn State’s official coronavirus information website.
The most recent COVID-19 data for Pennsylvania can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard.