10/6: COVID-19 dashboard updated with preliminary results from weekend testing

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has updated its public COVID-19 dashboard with the University’s on-demand testing and random testing results from tests administered during the period of Oct. 2 to 4, as well as new University testing results from the prior week. These numbers are evolving as many test results are still pending, which will then be validated and uploaded.

For the period of Oct. 2 to 4, the University Park campus received 95 positive on-demand test results and zero positive random testing results from student testing.

Test results received with respect to tests conducted in the week of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 have added 177 positive on-demand student testing results and 11 additional positive student random testing results for the University Park campus for that week. This brings the current total for the University Park campus for that week to 462 positive on-demand testing results and 23 positive random testing results from student testing.

The dashboard also indicates that 2,461 students at University Park have completed their isolation period and are no longer active cases.

“We are seeing some declines in our positive results, particularly in the on-demand surveillance testing, which is encouraging, but it is too early to draw conclusions about a possible declining trend,” said Kelly Wolgast, director of the University’s COVID-19 Operations Control Center. “As the weather gets colder, it’s very important that members of our community get the flu vaccine and continue to adhere to public health guidelines, including masking, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.”

Among employee testing at University Park, the dashboard includes one new random testing positive for the period of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 and one new on-demand testing positive each for the periods of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 to 4. Penn State began offering on-demand testing for employees at University Park last week.

At Penn State New Kensington, the dashboard lists one new random testing positive among employees. There are no other employee positive test results from University testing.

The dashboard indicates the following new student testing results at Commonwealth Campuses:

  • Altoona: 15 on-demand testing positives and four random testing positives for the period of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1
  • Beaver: two random testing positives for the period of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1
  • Berks: one random testing positive for the period of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1
  • Hershey: one on-demand testing positive and one random testing positive for the period of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1

All students who test positive are being placed in isolation and, through systematic University contact tracing, close contacts of the infected individuals are being identified and must remain in quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the infected individual. 

The data representing random surveillance testing at the Commonwealth Campuses are different in today’s dashboard update. Prior to today, calculations were based on the date the test was provided rather than the date the test was taken. That caused a higher than expected number of tests completed and awaiting results in past dashboard editions. As part of our continued process improvement efforts, the metric now uses the actual date the test was taken, and has been recalculated accordingly. Today’s dashboard shows lower numbers of tests completed and awaiting results at the Commonwealth Campuses over five weeks. Positive or negative test results reported during that time period did not change.

Students who are concerned about COVID-19 exposure are urged to utilize the University’s health care resources to seek out testing and facilitate contact tracing. Students with health concerns should call the 24/7 Advice Nurse at 814-863-4463. At University Park, students can make appointments with University Health Services by using myUHS or calling the appointment line at 814-863-0774. Commonwealth Campus students should contact their campus’ health care services.  

Penn State experts are continuing to track current trends and continuously monitoring local, state and national disease data. The University is working closely with officials from the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Health, as well as local public and private organizations, to carefully monitor the prevalence of coronavirus in Centre County to determine if the virus is moving from the campus community to the local community and, if so, to develop strategies to mitigate such spread.

To continue on-campus learning, work and other activities through the fall semester, it’s vital that students, faculty and staff at all campuses and in adjacent communities do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19 — and support the effort to “Mask Up or Pack Up.” The University urges everyone to continue to wear face masks, practice social distancing and avoid gatherings entirely.

For the latest updates and information on Penn State’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including frequently asked questions and information specific for students, faculty and staff, visit virusinfo.psu.edu.

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