Students Look Back on Semester, Share Experiences with COVID-19 Protocols

Story posted November 22, 2020 in CommRadio, News by Jonathan Draeger

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Over the course of the fall semester, Penn State has been testing the waters of containing the COVID-19 virus.
With walk-in appointments and surveillance testing implemented, students had opportunities to get tested if they felt under the weather.

Graduate student Rachel Guest had been tested six times over the course of the semester. Guest shared how easy being tested for the virus is, either as a random selection or for a walk-in appointment.

“It was pretty simple,” Guest said. “They text you or they email you and you fill out a survey saying, ‘Have you had any of the following symptoms?’ Then you’re required to go to surveillance testing, and when I got to the site, it was pretty simple.”

She added that Penn State was helpful with the process and that it was not very daunting, even though Guest dislikes anything medical-related.
If students happen to test positive for coronavirus, they are directed to Eastview Terrace, where they serve a 10-day quarantine.

Freshman Maggie Branagh quarantined in Eastview earlier this year. Branagh’s experience was not the most luxurious since her room was dirty from the beginning.

“I went to go to the bathroom, and I started to look at the shower and the sink and everything, and then there was hair in the shower and sink,” Branagh said. “Then I started looking closer at the floor, and there were crumbs everywhere.”

Along with the lack of cleanliness, Branagh mentioned that improving student mental health is important since quarantine shuts students out from human interaction.

“What was concerning was that I could have been alone in there and I could have been very ill, and nobody would know because nobody came in to check on you,” Branagh said.

As students leave for the semester, the university’s administration will look to improve the precautions and conditions for students coming back to campus for the spring semester.


Jonathan Draeger is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email