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In-person start to the semester for Penn State

Students returned to campus for the start of spring semester despite a rise in COVID-19 cases.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Classes are back in session at Penn State University. The school made the decision on December 30 to start the semester in person rather than two weeks of virtual classes like other large colleges across the commonwealth.

"Pitt and Temple were two schools that did decide to wait and then go back after the two weeks, so honestly, I thought we were going to follow that pattern," said Phoebe Cykosky, a student from Lake Wallenpaupack.

The decision to start the year in person received some backlash from students online because of the ongoing pandemic. However, students Newswatch 16 encountered say they are glad to be back.

"A little selfishly, I am a graduating senior, so for me, it is great to be back because I understand this is my last shot," said Andrew Destin, a student from Williamsport.

"You know, I am happy that we are back, and I had a class this morning, and it went well, so I am looking forward to the rest of the week," said Cykosky.

Schools like Wilkes University and Kings College in our viewing area both altered their plans for the start of the semester. Penn State is still requiring a number of Covid-19 guidelines like masking in the classroom.

"Still masking and still testing as much as we need to when we feel like it is needed and can be a beneficial resource to us. So, doing all the same health protocols that we have done in the past," said Destin.

"As happy as I am to be back in person, we do have to be mindful of the spread because it is not just affecting students, it affects the entire surrounding community," said Cykosky.

The masking policy doesn't just apply for students and faculty. If you plan on attending an indoor sporting event this spring, you must wear a mask.

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