Penn State University (PSU) on Thursday announced that all students and staff members will return to campus and begin the semester on time.
Citing mitigation measures that are in currently place, Penn State President Eric Barron pledged to continue in-person learning for students at the university.
Additionally, Barron pointed to studies that demonstrate that the Omicron variant poses lower risks for hospitalization, despite the high transmission levels.
“Our students, faculty and staff have a very high vaccination rate, we are testing weekly those who are not vaccinated and we are continuing to require face masks to be worn indoors,” said President Barron. “With these measures in place, together with hospitalization data and what we are learning about omicron, we believe we can safely, but carefully, return to on-campus classes and activities as planned.”
Furthermore, PSU officials encouraged students to receive a coronavirus test before returning to campus, in an effort to prevent the spread of potential variants.
“I urge all of our students to order a free, mail-in Vault Health test kit to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus so that they can isolate at home if they are COVID-19 positive. Any student or employee can currently order up to 12 Vault Health kits for at-home use,” said Kelly Wolgast, director of the PSU’s COVID-19 Operations Control Center (COCC). “I want to emphasize that students at all campus locations can take actions now to order a test and complete it next week to know their health status before returning to a campus.”
Due to the surge of positive cases nationwide, many colleges and universities across the country have delayed the beginning of the semester or moved to remote learning for the first several weeks.
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