Penn State Answers COVID-19 Questions from Staff at Virtual Town Hall


The Penn State community wants to know, with more than 1,600 positive COVID-19 tests this semester, why are they still in school?

President Eric Barron says it’s not about the numbers.

“Hospitalizations that remain at low levels, a very little change in quarantine isolation space and not seeing a transfer from students to faculty and the community,” Barron, said.

Wednesday, President Barron and other officials at penn state answered anonymous questions from staff at a virtual town hall meeting.

Some anoynmous recommendations included switching to virtual learning and have students return to home.

Dr. Kevin Black says not now.

“We have received recommendations from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci that the wrong thing to do would be to take the students and send them back their home communities, at this point in time,” Dr. Black, said.

Dr. Barron says there is not a magic number that will move them to remote learning, there are multpiple components that would factor into that decision.

He says keeping the students here allows them to expand their abilities and keep the students in the testing and contact tracing programs.

“Within the safe, social distancing-masking and testing strategies of the university, rather than having the university go remote, go dark on campus and having these students operate under their own devices,” President Barron, said.

President Barron says they’re looking at different scenarios for the Spring semester very actively. He hopes they’ll have the proposals on how to move forward, soon.

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