At Pennsylvania State University, all students taking in-person classes or living on or near campus will be tested for the coronavirus during the first two weeks of on-campus learning next month.

The requirement is among several new protocols the state’s flagship university rolled out this week to combat the spread of the virus.

Penn State is far from alone in ramping up testing from the fall semester.

Temple University expects to administer 20,000 tests a week on campus. That’s more than the 19,000 it administered during the entire fall semester, said Ray Betzner, a university spokesperson. The university has budgeted $9.8 million for the plan, made possible by a new lab at the medical school, he said.

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The University of Pennsylvania expects to conduct 40,000 saliva-based tests per week. It has said it will test undergraduates and those living on campus twice a week and graduate students, faculty, and staff who come to campus or interact regularly with those on campus once a week. Penn has budgeted $20 million for COVID-related safety measures, including testing, said Benoit Dubé, associate provost and chief wellness officer.

The efforts come as coronavirus cases and deaths mount and as the threat of a more contagious variant looms.

“The spring semester testing strategy is built on the testing plan we implemented in the fall,” Penn State president Eric J. Barron said in a statement, “but we have expanded it based on what we learned in the fall semester and changes we made as we responded to the pandemic.”

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The wave of on-campus testing comes despite the increased rollout of the vaccine. As these schools bring more students back and try to return to in-person classes, concerned faculty have called for more testing, noting that students and younger adults are less likely to have access to the vaccine and still could be asymptomatic spreaders.

The university has recorded more than 5,100 cases of the coronavirus. In a study released last week the Centers for Disease Control found increased cases in counties with large campuses of 20,000 or more.

The university plans to require all students to provide a negative test result before returning to campus, unless they have tested positive within the last 90 days. In the fall, the university only required some students and staff to complete pre-arrival testing. They included about 30,000 coming from areas identified as hot spots.

Students who live on campus during the next few weeks of remote instruction will be required to be tested for the virus. When in-person learning begins Feb. 15, the university will require all students taking in-person classes or who are taking remote classes but living in Centre County or within 20 miles of a Penn State campus to be tested. That testing will continue for two weeks.

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More than 10,000 students are scheduled to live on campus at University Park this semester, roughly the same number as last semester and about 74% of capacity. As at Penn and Temple, many more students are living in the surrounding communities.

The university also plans to randomly test 2% of the university population daily for the coronavirus in its surveillance program, up from 1% in the fall.

Beth Seymour, Penn State’s faculty senate chair, said the new protocols are an improvement. The key, she said, will be staying vigilant.

“We’re going to need to be very proactive,” she said.

The university also plans to report coronavirus case numbers three times a week, up from twice a week last semester.

At Penn, students have arrived on campus for the spring semester, with most instruction remaining online. The university has started the semester with a “quiet period” to last until Feb. 1, during which time students are expected to limit activity and interaction. Less than 3,000 students are living in on-campus housing in single occupancy rooms, about 50% of the norm.

At Temple, students resumed classes this week. About 1,660 are living on campus, roughly half the amount that started in on-campus housing in the fall.

Temple reverted to almost all remote instruction less than two weeks into the semester last fall after cases spiked. About 95% of instruction was online during the fall, and about 87% of classes will remain online in spring, Betzner, the Temple spokesperson said.

Those who live on campus or take in-person courses that meet two or more times per week will be tested twice a week, Temple said. Students who live in the six zip codes surrounding the campus and take an in-person course that meets at least once a week also will be tested twice a week.