Message from the Director of Student Affairs

Penn State Wilkes-Barre students:

We hope you enjoyed your summer. In preparation for your return for fall semester, we are bringing to your attention the article published in Penn State News: University updates COVID protocols, resources. You are encouraged to read the article in its entirety for information on vaccines, testing and masking.

While the federal government no longer classifies COVID-19 as a public health emergency, University officials urge all members of the Penn State community to take the CDC-recommended preventative steps to keep themselves and others healthy.

  • Individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 should follow CDC guidance for masking, testing and isolation, as needed.
  • Those who test positive should stay home and away from others for a minimum of five days and may leave isolation on day 6 if they have been asymptomatic or if their symptoms have improved and they don’t have a fever for at least 24 hours. They should continue to wear a high-quality mask when indoors around others through day 10. Individuals who continue to experience symptoms after day 5 should remain in isolation until they are fever free for at least 24 hours and their symptoms are improving. Those who are still symptomatic after 10 days should seek medical attention.
  • Students who are unsure if they should see a clinician can call University Health Services’ 24/7 Advice Nurse line at 814-865-4847 option 3.
  • Students who test positive should report their results via email to [email protected] and Contact Tracing will provide them with their isolation dates via email. Students living off campus should self-isolate at home and wear a well-fitting mask when around their roommates. Students living on campus are encouraged to isolate at home, if possible, as on-campus isolation space specifically for COVID-19 is no longer available. The university will work with students who are unable to return home so that they can isolate themselves as safely as possible. Additional guidance regarding isolation will be provided to students living in campus housing.
  • All members of the community are strongly encouraged to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster doses.
  • Students are expected to communicate directly with their instructors if they must miss class and/or lab-related activities due to a confirmed case of COVID-19, and they are strongly encouraged to share their isolation dates provided by contact tracing with their instructors.

Stay connected to Penn State News for future updates and refer to the CDC for the latest information on COVID-19 prevention. You can refer to the CDC county indicator for COVID cases to help you evaluate COVID risk in your area. Thank you for doing your part to keep you and your campus community safe!

Wanda L. Ochei
Director of Student Services and Engagement