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Penn State Reports 205 More Student COVID-19 Cases at University Park

by on September 08, 2020 1:39 PM

Penn State on Tuesday reported 205 more COVID-19 cases among students attending the University Park campus, a combination of weekend testing results and additional results from the previous seven days that had been pending.

The new cases nearly double the total since Aug. 14 from 211 to 416.

Between Friday and Sunday, 42 students tested positive. Additional results from testing during the week of Aug. 28-Sept. 3 yielded 163 new positives, according to the university's updated COVID-19 dashboard.

Penn State President Eric Barron said the university is continuing to evaluate whether it will move to remote learning on a temporary or sustained basis.

“We continue to be concerned with the numbers, and we will continue to assess our status this week as the results from tests administered later in the weekend are returned," Barron said in a statement We know our community is anxious, but these data are just some of the many variables we consider every day in determining our next steps.”

It's not clear how many of the new positives have so far appeared in the Pennsylvania Department of Health's daily reporting for Centre County. 

Of the 686 total cases in Centre County since the first was reported on March 20, 300 have occurred since Aug. 14 and 195 in the past week. The vast majority of new cases over the past three weeks have been in the State College and University Park zip codes.

The weekend testing results included 36 positives from on-demand testing out of 330 tests completed. Another 447 on-demand tests are still awaiting results. Random screening resulted in six positives out of 670 tests, with another 18 results still pending.

For Aug. 28-Sept. 3, an additional 145 positives from on-demand testing and 18 from random screenings resulted from tests that had been still pending when the university last updated its dashboard on Friday. For the week, there were a total of 337 cases. They included 260 positives from 1,596 completed on-demand tests and 77 positives from 3,399 completed random screenings. 

The dashboard shows there are currently 149 students in on-campus isolation and 76 in on-campus quarantine. A Penn State news release said the university has initiated contact-tracing for all cases and all impacted individuals are in isolation or quarantine "on-campus, at home or in a suitable single-occupancy residence off campus."

On-demand testing includes individuals with symptoms and those who sought testing because they were concerned about possible exposure. Random screening includes daily surveillance testing of approximately 1% of the campus population, as well as testing of student-athletes by Intercollegiate Athletics and targeted testing at "pop-up" facilities of individuals who may have been at heightened risk.

Since Aug. 7, the university has completed 10,654 tests — on-demand and random — at University Park. 

Across all campus, there have been 433 student cases, with positives reported at Abington, Behrend, Brandywine, Harrisburg, Shenango and among nursing students at Penn State Hershey.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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