Creating a Safe Environment
The safety, health, and well-being of everyone in our Wilkes-Barre community is our top priority. Penn State has taken a robust public health- and science-based approach to inform how it will provide learning environments that are as safe as possible, manage social distancing, and limit the size of events. Penn State will meet, or where possible, exceed, the expectations outlined by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration.
In accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s guidelines for colleges and universities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, wearing face masks and adhering to social distancing practices (maintaining six feet of physical distance from others), are critical components in helping maintain the health and safety of the entire campus community.
To reduce the risk of widespread virus transmission, students, employees and visitors are required to practice social physical distancing, avoid large gatherings, and wear face masks/coverings at all times in campus buildings; outdoors when they cannot be physically distant from others; and whenever state or local laws require. See detailed information on personal safety practices for everyone on the Penn State Stay Well page.
Student Health and Counseling Services
Random Screening Testing
Penn State Wilkes-Barre is participating in the University’s surveillance testing program, where asymptomatic individuals are being screened for potential exposure to COVID-19. Students and employees who are learning or working on campus will be selected randomly and contacted by email and text message to answer a few screening questions and to schedule an appointment. If selected, students and employees are required to complete the free testing and should plan to do so within 72 hours after being contacted.
The University has contracted with Quest, a COVID-19 testing company, to conduct rapid-turnaround testing for symptomatic or suspected-positive students. Penn State Wilkes-Barre students who believe they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, suspect they have COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive should contact University Health Services or their primary care provider.
If a student feels ill outside the Health Services office hours of Monday–Friday, 8:00 am–5:00 pm, they can phone the Penn State 24/7 Advice Nurse line at 814-863-4463.
If a student is deemed in need of a test, they will be directed to contact Quest. The test will then be mailed to the student, who will perform it while being observed by a Quest employee. Upon completion, the student will mail the test back.
The test results will be shared with the student as well as with University Health Services, in order to enact contact tracing if needed. Contact tracing is supported out of University Park, and all individuals (students and employees) that were potentially exposed will be contacted and provided further instructions.
Faculty and staff who believe they are experiencing symptoms should consult with their personal health care provider. If an employee receives a positive test result, they or their supervisor should contact Penn State Occupational Medicine at [email protected] or 814-863-8492. Occupational Medicine will provide guidance on the next steps to make any necessary work adjustments and will initiate the contact tracing process.