Current status of large gatherings on campus

March 07, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State health and safety officials continue to closely monitor the global outbreak of coronavirus, with leaders focused across action groups in critical priority areas. The University has convened a group consisting of senior leaders from the University administration and Intercollegiate Athletics as well as faculty experts, tasked with looking at the University’s event schedule and making decisions on whether and how such events should proceed in light of the rapidly evolving global coronavirus situation. The group is reviewing everything from academic symposia to student-led conferences to the annual Blue-White Game.

Consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at this time, the action group is allowing event organizers to determine the best approach for events, though this may change as the situation rapidly develops. All decisions will be made with the health and well-being of our community and event guests as the priority.

The following guidance should be considered by teams and units at this time regarding large events/gatherings:

  • Monitor University and CDC guidance to inform your decision
  • Organize your team and have contingency plans in place
  • Establish a firm go or no-go decision date well in advance of the event, understanding University requirements may change
    • Send attendees a message in advance explaining that event organizers are monitoring the situation and will communicate a decision by the go/no-go date
  • Identify actions to take if you need to postpone or cancel events

If the event proceeds:

  • Communicate to attendees:
    • Stay at home if you are sick
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Make sure you can provide COVID-19 prevention supplies at your events:
    • Sinks with soap, hand sanitizers, tissues, and disposable facemasks
  • If possible, identify a space that can be used to isolate staff or participants who become ill at the event
Last Updated March 16, 2020