Health and Safety

For the most up-to-date information about health guidelines, visit the Penn State Health Guidelines page.

For the most up-to-date vaccine information, visit the Penn State Vaccine Information page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Review the following frequently asked questions about health and safety. For additional information, read all frequently asked questions.

Health and Safety

Vaccinations are not required but are strongly encouraged for your safety and the safety of others. Being vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19. Students (and employees) who are not vaccinated may be required to participate in a COVID-19 testing program upon return to campuses this fall.

As of June 28, masks are optional for those who are fully vaccinated. Those who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after the second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine) are not required to wear masks or physically distance in on-campus spaces unless you work in a designated health care space. You may still choose to wear a mask even if you are vaccinated. While you are not required to wear a mask if vaccinated, some instructors, advisers, and student services staff may encourage everyone to wear a mask, whether they are vaccinated or not. We encourage everyone to be respectful of others’ preferences as we navigate our way back to being fully in-person.

Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks indoors at all times. The COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from contracting COVID-19, as well as protecting you from severe illness should you contract COVID-19.

It may take some time to reacclimate to classrooms and offices on campus. You should continue the use of practices that help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other seasonal illness such as flu (e.g., hand hygiene, wearing of masks, not coming to class when ill). Remember not to assume that only unvaccinated people will wear masks, as there are many reasons those who are vaccinated will continue to wear a mask. If wearing a mask makes you more comfortable, then you should continue to do so.

Students, like employees, are expected to follow all Penn State policies regarding masking. If you are not wearing a mask and are not vaccinated, then you are violating Penn State’s policy. While you can ask a someone about their vaccination status, no one is required to share this personal information.

As of June 28, masks are optional for those who are fully vaccinated, including in classroom, advising, and student services spaces. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks indoors at all times. While you are not required to wear a mask if you are vaccinated, wearing a mask if someone requests it is a good way to show that you care for all members of the Penn State community. It is important to note that those who are working in or visiting designated healthcare environments must continue to wear masks indoors and maintain distancing regardless of vaccination status.

No. If you are not vaccinated, you are permitted in classrooms, advising, and other on-campus spaces without any requirement for distancing, but you must remain masked until you are fully vaccinated.

No. If you are not vaccinated, you are permitted in classroom, advising, and other on-campus spaces as all others are, but you must remain masked until you are fully vaccinated.

The Penn State Student Affairs website provides comprehensive information about COVID-19 including what to do if you feel sick, contact tracing, and quarantine/isolation.

If you are quarantined, you may be able to attend class remotely. Your instructor will provide guidance on remote attendance or how absences will be handled if remote attendance is not available. Once you know you need to be quarantined, you should contact your instructors and your academic adviser.

Effective immediately, all students are strongly encouraged to complete a daily symptom checker to self-screen for potential COVID-19 symptoms before returning to campus. Students can access the COVID-19 symptom checker in the Penn State Go mobile app. Download Penn State Go from Google Play Store and Apple App Store

New users will be prompted to select their Penn State Go Experience when they start using the app. You can select from University Park, World Campus, or individual Commonwealth Campus Experiences in the app to view the Coronavirus Resources section for access to the daily COVID-19 symptom checker. 

Users who had previously downloaded Penn State Go will need to update the app to view the Coronavirus Resources section for access to the daily COVID-19 Symptom Checker. 

For more information, visit the Penn State Go website and learn about its features.

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