Penn State Abington announces COVID-19 masking changes

Following latest CDC guidance, masks will be required indoors on Penn State Abington’s campus beginning Thursday, August 5

ABINGTON, Pa. — Pennsylvania is experiencing accelerating COVID-19 case counts across the state, and Penn State Abington is in an area of substantial (orange) transmission per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker. Effective at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5, masking will be required indoors for all vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals on Penn State Abington’s campus in Montgomery County, in accordance with the latest CDC guidelines.

The University will require all vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals — faculty, staff, students and visitors — at Penn State Abington to wear masks indoors, including in classrooms, meeting rooms and common areas in residence halls, as well as any indoor events. All individuals on campus will be permitted to eat in designated food service areas, and students living in residence halls will not be required to wear a mask in their living space.

At this time, all on-campus activities will continue as regularly scheduled with required masking in place. This shift to masking does not change the return-to-work process for faculty and staff.

All individuals should expect to wear masks inside while on campus until the county has returned to moderate (yellow) transmission levels for seven days; after that, the campus will return to mask wearing inside for non-vaccinated people. The University will provide an update when masking is no longer required.

All Penn State students and employees are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and share their vaccination status with the University. Despite the COVID-19 surge as the Delta variant spreads, studies suggest that the currently available vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness in those exposed to the variant. Penn State is not impartial when it comes to getting vaccinated. The University’s stance is that everyone who can get a vaccine should do so as soon as possible to attain very high vaccination rates on all Penn State campuses.

Students and employees who have not informed the University that they have been fully vaccinated by Aug. 9 will be subject to required testing during the fall semester. Students can upload their vaccination records through myUHS, and employees can do so through Salesforce Health Cloud.

Students who are not yet vaccinated are strongly encouraged to begin the process as soon as possible before arrival at their campus for the fall semester. Students may begin the vaccination process at home by receiving their first dose and bring their vaccination card to their campus, where they can receive their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines from a provider on or close by campus. 

All campuses should remain alert for changes in county statuses. More information about the University’s fall COVID-19 plans for all campuses, including testing and other protocols, is available on the Virus Information website.