November 16, 2020

A Note from Liberal Arts Dean Clarence Lang

November 16, 2020 

Dear Liberal Arts Undergraduates: 

As scheduled in-person instruction comes to an end this Friday, November 20, and we return to a remote learning environment for the remainder of the semester, we are reminding you to take action to protect your families before returning home. 

In preparation for your departure from campus, Penn State is offering all students COVID-19 testing at no cost to you. Through the University’s partnership with Vault Health, voluntary on-campus departure testing for University Park began on November 12 and will continue until this Thursday, November 19, at predetermined testing sites.  

Critical information has been shared in this Penn State News article, and resources have been provided at for you to schedule an individual appointment for your test at a time that works best for you. Though some of you may not be leaving or may live near our campus community permanently, you may also sign up for testing during the allotted time. 

If you have not already done so, please schedule your appointment as soon as possible. Plan to test at least three days before your scheduled departure, as the turnaround time for results will be approximately 48 hours from the time your test is received at the lab. Keep in mind these days for University Park testing: 

DepartureLast Day to Test
November 19November 16
November 20November 17
November 21November 18
November 22November 19

Book your appointment by using the Return Home Event on the Penn State Go app or by visiting After booking an appointment, you will receive an automated confirmation email, which will also provide information on how to reschedule, if necessary. Do not eat, drink, or chew gum for 30 minutes prior to taking your test, and if you test positive, you must isolate for 10 days and until you are 24 hours without a fever and feeling better.  

Test results are only used for contact tracing and providing appropriate support services to students. The University is required to report positive test results to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. 

As you have heard from President Barron, during the period of several days before and after being tested, it is important to take extra precautions. As much as possible, limit your interactions with others to attending classes in person and getting food or other essentials until you travel. Now is the time to be even more vigilant and continue to follow all masking and social distancing requirements, minimize interactions with others outside of roommates or “pods,” avoid large gatherings, and self-quarantine leading up to campus departure.  

Thank you for your continued commitment to yourself and others before traveling home. As we look toward beginning strong in the spring semester, our responsibility to our communities calls us to keep doing our part as we finish this semester. 

As always, I trust you to be healthy, safe, and wise. 


Dean Lang  

Clarence Lang 
Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts 
Professor of African American Studies 

The Pennsylvania State University 
111 Sparks Building 
University Park, PA 16802