More than 87% of University Park students get vaccinated as positivity rate declines
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa .– More than five weeks after the start of the fall semester, COVID-19 vaccination rates among University Park students, faculty and staff continue to rise as the positivity rate of University COVID-19 tests declines. The University continues to strongly encourage students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu, as in-person classes will continue after the Thanksgiving break.
As of October 1, mhe more than 90% of students living on the University Park campus have confirmed to the University that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Over 86% of students living off campus have uploaded proof of vaccination, and the overall vaccination rate among all University Park students is over 87%.
Full-time academic staff have an immunization rate of over 96% and administrators are immunized at a rate of 98%. Full time nounion staff has an immunization rate of approximately 85% and the overall immunization rate among University Park employees is approximately 81%.
“I am happy to see the vaccination rates at University Park continue to climb,” said Pennsylvania State President Eric J. Barron. “As we head into flu season, it’s more important than ever that everyone in our community get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu. It’s the best way to protect you and your friends, family and fellow Penn Staters from getting seriously ill and it will help us stay together on our campuses this fall.
Vaccination rates on Penn State Commonwealth campuses are also on the rise and eeach campus is working on strategies specific to the needs of their students, faculty and staff to increase their immunization rates, which can be viewed on the University website COVID-19 Dashboard.
As part of the University’s fall health and safety plans, students, faculty, and staff who have not shared with the University that they are fully immunized are required to undergo a weekly test of COVID-19. As of this week, this requirement is extended to unvaccinated part-time employees who work in the classroom.
Significant consequences are in place through the Office of Student Conduct and Human Resources for those who fail to comply with required tests, up to and including separation from the University. To prevent as many students as possible from being temporarily suspended or expelled, Student Affairs will contact students facing these disciplinary actions to help them resolve any issues students may encounter. Human Resources examines employee testing data to determine the number of faculty and staff who are not in compliance.
In addition to the compulsory tests, the University offers welcome tests for students, teachers and staff at the university park who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 or who have been identified through contact tracing as close contact of an infected person. Tests for students showing symptoms of COVID-19 are available through university health services (UHS).
As of October 1, tThe seven-day positivity rate for all tests done by Penn State at University Park is 0.7%. The student testing rate is 0.6% and the employee testing rate is 1.2%. Of 7,606 tests administered by the University in the past seven days, 51 gave positive results.
There are currently 23 students in isolation in the isolation space at University Park, and three students in quarantine.
With the Thanksgiving break in just over seven weeks, Penn State urges all students who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 to begin the process now so they can be fully immunized before leaving campus for the break. Anyone traveling for the holidays should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu, continue to wear a mask and wash their hands frequently to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Throughout the fall semester, Penn State will have COVID-19 vaccines available on or near all campuses. At University Park, the first and second doses of the Moderna vaccine are readily available to Penn State students every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Student Health Center. Students can book appointments online via UHS.
All three allowed COVID-19 vaccines are readily available in hospitals, emergency care centers, doctor’s offices and pharmacies. Suppliers can be easily located by visiting Vaccines.gov.
UHS hosts at least two others flu vaccination clinics for University Park students this fall and may allow more time to offer the flu shot to students. The next clinic is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 25 at the Alumni Hall of the HUB-Robeson Center. Appointments must be scplanned in advance by myUHS; walk-in appointments are not available.
Penn State Human Resources offers three ways for faculty and staff to receive a free flu vaccine. Employees and eligible spouses who are members of the Penn State Health Care Plan can receive a vaccine at any pharmacy in the network or at their primary care physician’s office. All employees can use the drive-through clinics, which will be held at most campuses from late September through October. Employees who do not participate in the Penn State Health Care Plan, or are not eligible, can also request a free voucher to receive a vaccine at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid and Safeway pharmacies, if applicable. . Professors and staff should visit the influenza vaccine webpage to view the immunization clinic schedule and instructions on how to register.