Pennsylvania State University: University encourages students in Earle, Martin Halls to get tested for COVID-19

Several students who live in Earle Hall and Martin Hall have recently tested positive for COVID-19, so — out of an abundance of caution — Penn State is advising all students living in those residence halls to get tested for COVID-19 on Friday (March 19) or Saturday (March 20) at the walk-up testing site at nearby Pegula Ice Arena.

Walk-up testing for asymptomatic students is available at Pegula and the Hintz Family Alumni Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. University Park students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should continue to schedule testing appointments with University Health Services (UHS) via myUHS.

“Similar to earlier in the week at Hastings and Stone Halls, we have had a few students from Earle Hall and Martin Hall test positive for COVID-19,” said Kelly Wolgast, director of the COVID-19 Operations Control Center. “We are asking all students living in Earle and Martin to get tested for COVID-19, unless they have tested positive in the previous 90 days. This will help us understand if the virus has spread further and catch and isolate any additional positive cases.

“I want to remind our students that we’re using rapid tests at our walk-up sites at University Park, which means results will be available on site in about 15 minutes,” Wolgast added. “Our walk-up testing is designed to be convenient and reassure individuals that they are not unknowingly infected and putting others at risk. It’s a judgment-free zone – you’re not asked where you’ve been or what you’ve been doing – you’re just taking the responsible step of getting tested.”

Students whose rapid test indicates a positive result will immediately take a secondary PCR test to confirm the positive result and be referred to isolation. The University’s contact tracing process will also commence at this time. Students who must isolate – whether on or off campus – will have support from the University to help them continue their studies uninterrupted, maintain their physical and mental health and stay connected to others.

Students who receive a negative result on their secondary PCR test will receive information from the University’s contact tracing team about leaving isolation. Those who receive a positive result on the secondary PCR test will complete their 10-day isolation period. More information about the support and resources provided to students in quarantine and isolation is available online at virusinfo.psu.edu.

“The virus is still prevalent nearly everywhere, so we must keep masking, physically distancing from others and avoiding large gatherings,” Wolgast said. “Stay with your small pod of friends this spring. Answer your phone when our contact tracers call you. The next few weeks are critical to continuing our on-campus activities through the end of the semester.”

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