Important Information About COVID-19

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Penn State Health is committed to keeping the public informed and helping people find the most up-to-date, reliable information about COVID-19.

COVID-19 Updates at Penn State Health

For updated information from Penn State Health about COVID-19, visit our Newsroom by clicking on the link below.

Coronavirus Updates

OnDemand COVID-19 screening

Free virtual screenings for COVID-19 are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through our telehealth service, Penn State Health OnDemand. Anyone with concerns that they may have COVID-19 may use Penn State Health OnDemand to talk directly with a provider who can evaluate their symptoms and make care recommendations. Download the app, enrollment is free.

Learn more about OnDemand

When to seek care

If you are experiencing symptoms below, have been in close contact with an individual that has COVID-19 or is suspected of having COVID-19, and you think you need to be tested for COVID-19, please call your health care provider before visiting their office. You may also use Penn State Health OnDemand to meet with a provider virtually.

COVID-19 symptoms

The CDC reports that people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny rose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have the illness. It is often difficult to tell the difference between COVID-19 and other illnesses, such as the flu.

Symptomatic COVID-19 testing locations

Patients should reach out to their primary care provider or use Penn State Health OnDemand to discuss symptoms and determine whether they need testing. 

Each of the following Penn State Health locations offer symptomatic COVID-19 testing by appointment only. A copay will be collected at the appointment. Unless otherwise noted below, testing hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Berks County

Penn State Health St. Joseph

Penn State Health St. Joseph offers COVID-19 testing at two urgent care sites and its Downtown Campus. Patients will remain in their cars for testing at the two new locations.

Located throughout Berks County, the alternate testing sites offer expanded hours of operation:

Cumberland County

Dauphin County

Lancaster County

Lebanon County

Perry County

York County

Penn State Health augments financial services for patients

Penn State Health has enhanced its financial counseling services to help families navigate the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19. Financial counselors and customer service representatives are available to assist patients and consumers with a variety of new and existing programs.

Learn more about these services

Visitation Guidelines

Penn State Health has revised its patient visitation guidelines. (As of 9/13/2021)

View details

How Penn State Health is Managing COVID-19

  • With guidance from our emergency special pathogens team, Penn State Health has been able to effectively manage patients with special illnesses while safeguarding other patients, hospital visitors, health care workers and the community at large.
  • Screenings remain are in place for all intake staff to identify higher risk patients.
  • If a patient tests positive for the illness, the appropriate protocols are followed, including approved rooms dedicated for COVID-19 admissions.

What the Public Should Do

  • Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19, and protect against developing serious complications if you do get it. Anyone who has yet to get vaccinated can sign-up at vaccine-scheduler.pennstatehealth.org or call 844-774-8883 to schedule an appointment, including same-day appointments.
  • Regardless of your vaccination status, do not go to work if you are sick.
  • If you are sick or have been in contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19, call your health care provider for recommendations on how best to be evaluated. Do not go to a hospital, urgent care site, or outpatient clinic without calling ahead to report your concerns about possibly having COVID-19.
  • If you are not yet fully vaccinated, continue to cover your nose and mouth with a mask when around others and social distance.
  • Free virtual screenings for COVID-19 are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through our telehealth service, Penn State Health OnDemand.

For more information about symptoms, illness severity, treatment, vaccination efforts and current CDC travel warnings, visit the CDC website.