READING, Pa. - A coalition made up of Pennsylvania's governor and the governors of other northeastern states is urging colleges to provide COVID-19 testing for students before they leave for their fall break.
Albright College in Reading has amped up coronavirus testing after hearing that a lot of students were looking to get tested before going home.
"Some days, we're testing upwards of 200 students," said Samantha Wesner, Albright's senior vice president for student and campus life and the chief health officer.
The school uses the rapid tests and does contact tracing on campus.
"When we give them their results, obviously, if it's positive, they're going into isolation," Wesner said. "If they've been exposed to someone, a direct contact, they're going into quarantine."
Other local colleges are also providing COVID testing for students, staff and faculty. Alvernia has rapid testing on campus, but health services officials said they have been busy accommodating those with symptoms or people who have been in contact with COVID positive cases that they have limited other availability.
"On a case-by-case basis, we could do some testing for students who may have a high-risk situation at home or need testing because of the state that they're traveling home to," said Dr. Claire Murphy, the director of health services at Alvernia University in Reading.
Kutztown University is continuing to test symptomatic students at the campus health center and is providing community testing resources for other options.
Penn State Berks said, in addition to regular COVID testing options, the school offered free departure testing earlier this week for students before for Thanksgiving break.
The other thing that the campus health directors are wanting to remind those getting tested is the importance of continuing to limit contact with people and take the safety precautions like social distancing and masks seriously. They said a negative test one day could be positive the next if people aren't careful.