UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of a series of pre-arrival requirements for returning to campus and communities this fall semester, students are required to agree to the Penn State Coronavirus Compact, which is now available in LionPATH. The compact — which all undergraduate and graduate students at every campus location must confirm that they have read before returning to Penn State or beginning classes — outlines health and safety expectations and requirements for the upcoming semester.
To help protect campus and local communities from the risks posed by COVID-19, the agreement covers a variety of critical topics for students such as COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, face masks, social distancing, travel policies, flu vaccination, and more.
“The compact is the essential expression of the University community’s commitment to the welfare of all its members. It demands of students their individual and collective attention to the health and safety of all with whom they share our campuses and communities,” said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs. “By agreeing to the basic requirements and expectations expressed in the compact, each student acknowledges the risks involved and declares their personal determination to do what they must to support a return to in-person experiences that is as safe and sustainable as possible.”
In preparation for the semester, the University developed the compact for students to acknowledge their responsibilities in helping to maintain in-person classes and to agree to follow the rules outlined in the compact, as well as other related directives from the University.
“I know the challenge these circumstances present, but I also know our students’ ability to take responsibility both for themselves and each other,” Sims said. “If ever there was a time for them to do so, now is that time. We will do all we can to encourage that outcome, and we expect them to do all they can to make it so. We are in this together.”
The compact communicates that students are expected to:
- Be tested for COVID-19 before and/or throughout the semester as directed by the University.
- Participate in the University’s contact tracing process.
- Isolate and/or self-quarantine as needed following directions of the University.
- Wear face coverings at all times in campus buildings, outdoors when they cannot social distance from others, and wherever state or local laws require.
- Honor physical distancing requirements on and off campus.
- Follow guidance from the University and other authorities, including signage, postings, emails and other notifications.
The compact also provides guidance to:
- Self-quarantine for at least seven days prior to arrival on campus.
- Immediately contact University Health Services or campus health staff if a student tests positive at a location away from campus, including in a different state.
- Get a flu vaccine as soon as the vaccine is available.
- Follow good hand hygiene practices.
- Stay home and seek medical care if you are ill.
- Restrict travel to only what is necessary; consider walking or biking rather than taking public transportation.
While the University expects high participation based on student survey feedback, the agreement covers potential consequences for failing to abide by the compact in ways that risk others’ health and safety. Students who are not able to sustain these commitments throughout the semester may forfeit their ability to continue with on-campus activities, classes and living, including through suspension or expulsion in line with the student conduct process.
In addition, to help reduce the risk of widespread virus transmission, Penn State employees also will be required to wear masks, practice physical distancing, and comply with other health and safety guidelines this semester.
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.