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Including COVID-19, Flu, and other viruses

As of March 25, 2024, Penn State adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) most recent recommendations and removed its five-day isolation guidelines. Students will no longer report positive test results at Students should treat COVID-19 symptoms in the same way they treat flu and other respiratory virus symptoms: Stay home and away from others if you are experiencing fever or respiratory symptoms such as but not limited to cough, sore throat, runny nose, chills, fatigue, headache, body aches.

Return to normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, both are true:

  • Your symptoms are getting better overall, AND
  • You have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication)

Then, take these additional precautions for the next five days to limit the spread of infection:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask
  • Keep a distance from others and/or
  • Get tested to inform your actions to prevent the spread to others

If you begin feeling worse and/or fever returns, stay home and away from others for at least 24 hours until both are true:

  • Your symptoms are getting better overall, and
  • You have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication)


Testing for COVID-19 or flu can be done at University Health Services by scheduling an appointment via myUHS. However, having at-home COVID-19 tests on hand and being able to test quickly can provide useful information to help you make prevention or treatment choices.

Verification of Illness

University Health Services policy states that verification of illness forms will not be provided for routine illnesses or injuries. Students who are sick and must stay home are responsible for communicating directly with instructors if they miss class, lab, work, or assignments. 

When to seek care

For appointments, schedule via myUHS or call 814-865-4UHS (4847). Students with respiratory symptoms who have risk factors for severe illness should seek healthcare right away for testing and/or treatment. Treatment for flu and COVID-19 may be an option and should be started within a few days of symptoms beginning. Students at the Commonwealth campuses can locate their campus health center for more information.

Visit our webpage for more information on upper respiratory infections.