Responding to COVID-19: Spring 2022

Penn Cares COVID-19 Vaccination

Vaccines are one of the greatest tools in the fight against the pandemic. All faculty, staff, postdocs, and students who do not have an approved exemption are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 by January 31, 2022 or within 30 days of becoming eligible. Members of the Penn community do not have the option to choose not to report their vaccine status. Failure to report full vaccination is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Penn Cares COVID-19 Testing

Pre-Arrival Testing
Faculty, staff, and postdocs are strongly encouraged to complete a rapid test prior to returning to campus. Free testing is available to all students, faculty, staff and post-docs on campus leading up to the start of the semester; you can find testing information at coronavirus.upenn.edu.

Gateway Testing
All students, faculty, staff, and postdocs who will be on campus and/or enrolled during the Spring 2022 semester are required to complete a gateway test after returning to campus and no later than January 31, 2022, regardless of vaccination status or result of pre-arrival testing. Faculty, staff, and postdocs should schedule their gateway test for their first day back on campus. This test must be completed through our Penn Cares testing system. Anyone with a positive result from a gateway test will be required to isolate and cooperate with our contact tracing efforts. All University community members can schedule their gateway test on the Penn Cares website.

Ongoing Testing
University students, faculty, staff, and postdocs who are not yet fully vaccinated or who have an approved religious or medical exemption from vaccination are required to take part in screening testing twice a week. Members of the Penn community who have had a positive COVID-19 test in the past 90 days are exempt. Screening information for those who are fully vaccinated will be forthcoming, after initial positivity is assessed via pre-arrival and gateway testing.

All members of the Penn community will continue to have access to voluntary COVID-19 testing on campus for any reason as an added measure of comfort. Testing is scheduled online at covidscheduling.upenn.edu.

Weitzman IT Services

Weitzman IT Services has gathered a suite of resources for learning, teaching, and working remotely on the Weitzman IT website.

Go to the Remote Teaching and Communication Tools Guide
Go to the Remote Student Support and Access Guide
Go to the Remote Software Availability Guide

Health & Symptom Monitoring and Services

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, do not report to work. Notify your supervisor and complete PennOpen Pass or contact the PennOpen Pass Call Center at 215.573.6355 (Monday through Friday, 7:00am – 5:00pm). Faculty and staff are strongly discouraged from using the Emergency Department except for emergency situations (e.g. difficulty breathing, chest pain). Consult the CCOVID-19 Return to Campus Guide or Penn HR website for Time Away from Work Guidelines. Supervisors should consult the Penn Leave Policies and Guidance for Managers.

If you hear from a student who is showing COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive, or has health-related questions, they should call PennOpen Pass Call Center at 215.573.6355 to discuss the situation and seek guidance on what to do. If you learn of a confirmed case of COVID-19, you may also call PennOpen Pass Call Center directly at 215.573.6355.

HR Guidance

Information about time away from work policies and Penn health insurance coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment can be found on the Penn HR website. See “Travel” under for travel-related guidelines.

Travel

Penn travel remains in a restricted status due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as the University resumes strategic research, academic, and business initiatives, the following updates to travel policy were approved and in effect beginning September 7, 2021:

  • Faculty, staff, and post-docs on individual, Penn-affiliated international travel will no longer be required to petition the Committee on Travel Risk Assessment for travel approval. Global Support Services and International Risk Management remain available for international travel risk and logistics advice upon request.  All student travel to countries rated by the CDC as Level 3 or Level 4 CDC Level 3 and Level 4 continues to require a petition for approval. 
  • MyTrips registration remains a requirement for all international Penn-Affiliated travel.  As restrictions related to the pandemic are lifted, MyTrips registration for international Penn-Affiliated travel may remain in place as permanent policy. 
  • CTRA has created a set of recommendations to assist group trip administrators as they explore the health, safety, and logistical challenges of group travel (defined as five or more individuals following the same itinerary) during the ongoing pandemic.  Use of the recommendations is optional but highly recommended for both domestic and international group trips.
  • As a reminder, group travel to countries rated by the CDC as Level 3 or Level 4 requires a petition for approval to travel. Any questions regarding international travel policy and procedure can be directed to travelsafety@pobox.upenn.edu.

For all Penn-affiliated travel occurring on or after May 18, 2021, a COVID-19 vaccination is required. This applies to both domestic and international travel, unless an exception has been granted for medical or religious reasons.

People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

All travelers are expected to follow local and state guidelines regarding quarantine, testing, masking, etc., and should be prepared for changes and modifications.  As government restrictions and guidelines pertaining to domestic and international travel continue to evolve, we encourage anyone planning to travel to consult the Penn Global Travel Guidance website for the most up-to-date information.

Everyone returning from any type of travel must self-monitor for development of fever or symptoms for 14 days. Faculty and staff who develop fever or symptoms of COVID-19 must not go to work and should report their symptoms through PennOpen Pass.