University offers guidance, procedures for events and large gatherings

April 27, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is announcing updated guidance and procedures for hosting events and large gatherings both on and off campus. At this time the University continues to strongly encourage groups to host virtual events whenever possible.

All events and gatherings with more than 10 participants continue to require University approval. Events and gatherings with 10 or fewer total participants — including all of those who are present, such as employees working at the event — do not need prior permission. Regardless of event size, face masks and physical distancing continue to be required for all. 

For Penn State units and organizations seeking to host an event or gathering, approval must be granted from the unit executive. For student organizations and student-run events, permission will need to be sought by the Office of Student Activities at the University Park campus, or the campus chancellor’s office at Commonwealth Campuses. 

As part of the new procedures, event organizers must develop and submit a detailed program safety plan, which includes:

  • communications plan for attendees and participants that outlines all safety protocols and expectations;
  • pre-event COVID-19 screening process for participants and attendees;
  • Details on how the program will disseminate specific COVID-19 spread and prevention information
  • How the event will adhere to all local and state COVID-19 guidelines, as well as Penn State requirements; and
  • Safety logistics, including cleaning and disinfecting high-contact surfaces; distribution of hand sanitizer stations and other personal protective equipment and supplies; foot-traffic flow; transportation considerations; and adherence to state and local occupancy limits.

The new guidance stresses that organizers must follow existing COVID-19 safety procedures as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionPennsylvania Department of Health, the University’s COVID-19 website and Penn State’s Return to Work website

The guidance also offers planning resources, including information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania Department of Health, the University’s COVID-19 website and Penn State’s Return to Work website, as well as acknowledgement documents for organizers and attendees to sign.

The guidance and documents can be downloaded here:



Last Updated April 27, 2021