Responding to COVID-19: Spring 2022

Overview

The University’s success in limiting the spread of COVID-19 over the past two years has demonstrated the effectiveness of using a multi-layered public health approach and of working together to promote the health of our community. We have also learned that plans often need to be modified based on changing conditions, and this remains true for the Spring 2022 Semester.  

For more information about the University's response to COVID-19 and Penn resources, visit coronavirus.upenn.edu. If you are not already receiving Weitzman community announcements about changes to our operations at your Penn email account, contact ithelp@design.upenn.edu.

Return to Campus Spring 2022

In our continuing efforts to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, and in accordance with the University’s changes for undergraduate students, the Weitzman School of Design will begin spring semester classes and studios as scheduled on Wednesday, January 12 virtually (following a Monday schedule) and then resume in-person classes and studios beginning on Monday, January 24, 2022.    

Reduced Access to Weitzman Labs, Resources and Services 

During the period from January 12, 2022 through January 23, 2022, the following Weitzman Labs, resources and services will be closed or unavailable: 

  • Robotics Lab 
  • Fabrication Lab 
  • All digital and photography labs in Addams Hall 
  • All computer labs 
  • All printers and plotters 

Please note that IT staff will be working remotely during this time. Please email ithelp@design.upenn.edu if you have questions or concerns, or visit the IT Services section of the Weitzman website.  

Use of Weitzman Buildings by Students Before January 24, 2022 Is Discouraged 

The use of Weitzman buildings during the period when classes and studios will be held remotely is strongly discouraged. However, if you need to retrieve equipment, materials, or personal belongings, or if you are unable to complete studio or class work at home, you may enter Weitzman buildings between the hours of 8:30am and 5:00pm, Mondays through Fridays, from Wednesday, January 12 through Friday, January 21, 2022. PennCard access will not be available for students outside of those times, with the exception of graduate students who have a private, enclosed workspace. It is extremely important that students entering any Weitzman building MUST adhere to the following guidelines: 

  • Complete their pre-arrival testing 48 hours prior to returning to campus;
  • Complete PennOpen pass prior to entering and DO NOT enter if you have a red pass; 
  • Adhere to correct masking at ALL times (layer a cloth mask on top of a disposable maks or wear a KN95 or N95 mask); 
  • Refrain from eating; 
  • Wash hands frequently; 
  • Practice social distancing. 

Weitzman staff will be monitoring all buildings to assess adherence to these guidelines. Violations may result in disciplinary action. 

Pre-Return to Campus Testing Requirement and New Booster Requirement

Please see the University’s email of January 7, 2022 regarding required return-to-campus requirements for faculty, staff, and students. All students will be required to complete a negative PCR test 48 hours before returning to campus. A PCR test is preferred, but rapid tests are also acceptable. Faculty, staff, and postdocs are also strongly encouraged to complete a test before returning to campus. Free testing will continue to be available to all students, faculty, staff and post-docs on campus leading up to the start of the semester; you can find the testing schedule at coronavirus.upenn.edu. Information about the new booster requirement can be found at coronavirus.upenn.edu.

Gateway Testing for Spring 2022

As an additional safety measure, all students, faculty, staff, and postdocs who will be on campus and/or enrolled during the spring 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. Those arriving to campus after the end of January should test on the day they arrive to 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.

Masking Requirement

Effective January 10, 2022, Penn is requiring that all members of the Penn community and visitors double-mask (layer a cloth mask on top of a disposable mask) or wear a KN95 or N95 mask in campus buildings. Exceptions to the masking requirement include single occupancy offices, with roommates in our college house suites/rooms, and by permission in instructional settings for pedagogical reasons.

The very limited exceptions to mandatory mask use can be found on the University’s Public Health Guidance page. Masks should comply with CDC and Penn EHRS guidance, which can be found online at the Penn EHRS webpage Universal Mask and Cloth Face Covering Precautions

The University has implemented a process for reporting non-compliance with the mask mandate through a simple online form.

Mandatory COVID-19 Testing

In addition to pre-arrival testing and gateway testing requirements for Spring 2022 outlined above, students, faculty, postdocs, and staff who are not yet fully vaccinated or who have an approved COVID-19 vaccine exemption must test twice a week. (Members of the Penn community who have had a positive COVID-19 test in the past 90 days are exempt.) More information about the Penn Cares Testing Program is available on the Penn COVID-19 Response website. 

Boosters

All members of the Penn community who do not have an approved exemption are required to get a COVID-19 booster by January 31, 2022 or within 30 days of becoming eligible, and to document their latest dose in Workday (faculty and staff) or the Student Health Portal (students). 

Vaccine booster clinics will be held on January 14, 17, 18, and 19. More information about scheduling a booster clinic appointment is forthcoming. For more information about the booster requirement, please visit the Public Health Guidancepage on the Penn Coronavirus website.

PennOpen Pass (for Students, Faculty, Staff) & PennOpen Campus (for Visitors)

Not feeling well? Know someone who has COVID-19? Think you might have been exposed? PennOpen Pass will guide you through next steps. When it doubt, fill it out!

Daily use of PennOpen Pass is required of all members of the Penn community, even on days when you are not on campus. PennOpen Pass should be used by all students, faculty, postdocs, and staff to report new symptoms, exposures, and to schedule testing. In addition, faculty may ask students to show their Green PennOpen Pass as part of course meetings.

For answers to frequently asked questions about PennOpen Pass, or to provide feedback, please visit the PennOpen Pass website. You can also direct questions to the PennOpen Pass Call Center: 215.573.6335.

Effective September 16, 2021, visitors are required to complete the PennOpen Campus symptom checker. They will be asked to present their Green Pass for entry upon arrival.

Essential Resources

We are stronger when we all do our part to keep our campus and our community healthy.

Penn Cares Coronavirus Website

Student Health and Counseling
215.746.3535

PennOpen Pass Call Center
215.573.6335

Penn Cares COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

Vaccines are one of the greatest tools in the fight against the pandemic. To find out about upcoming vaccine clinics at Penn and schedule an appointment, visit coronavirus.upenn.edu. To locate the closest retail pharmacy offering COVID-19 vaccines near you, visit vaccines.gov/search.

All students, faculty, staff, and post-docs are required to be vaccinated and boosted; exceptions will be provided only for medical or religious reasons. Students should submit their vaccine record to Student Health Portal; faculty, staff, and post-docs should submit their information to Workday. 

All members of the Penn community who do not have an approved exemption are required to get a COVID-19 booster by January 31, 2022 or within 30 days of becoming eligible, and to document their latest dose in Workday (faculty and staff) or the Student Health Portal (students). 

Vaccine booster clinics will be held on January 14, 17, 18, and 19. More information about scheduling a booster clinic appointment is forthcoming. For more information about the booster requirement, please visit the Public Health Guidance page on the Penn Coronavirus website.

Individuals with a medical and religious exemption will be required to continue to participate in daily symptom checks on PennOpen Pass and weekly Penn Cares COVID-19 screening testing, and continue to wear masks indoors.

Penn COVID-19 Information and Resources

The Penn website dedicated to Coronavirus issues is coronavirus.upenn.edu. This site is being continuously updated, and topics covered there include:

  • Past University Announcements
  • Tools and guidelines for working remotely
  • Guidance for teaching remotely
  • Health information and guidance
  • Workplace and home precautions
  • Resources for supervisors and staff from Penn HR
  • Travel
  • Resumption of research

The COVID Resource Call Center provides assistance with testing, PennOpen Pass, contact tracing, and more. You can reach a call center representative Monday through Friday from 9:00am - 5:00pm (EST) at 215.573.7096 or covidresource@upenn.edu. Please visit Penn's COVID Resource Website for more information.

In this stressful time, be aware that there are extensive support resources available to students. One call to the HELP LINE (215.898.4357) can assist you in finding personal and mental health support for yourself or others in distress. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In addition, faculty and staff always have access to Penn’s Employee Assistance Program.

Healthy Habits

  • Stay home if you’re sick and report any possible COVID-19 symptoms when you complete your daily PennOpen Pass questionnaire. If you have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, you should stay home until you are free of fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Centigrade).
  • Wash your hands throughout the day for at least 20 seconds using soap and running water.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or with your upper sleeve if you don’t have a tissue.

Weitzman Buildings: Eating and Drinking

Building Hours

The use of Weitzman buildings from January 12 through January 23, 2022 is strongly discouraged. Students who need to retrieve equipment, materials, or personal belongings, or who are unable to complete student or class work at home, may enter Weitzman buildings between the hours of 8:30am and 5:00 Mondays through Fridays from Wednesday, January 12 through Friday, January 21, 2022.

It is extremely important that students entering any Weitzman building MUST adhere to the following guidelines: 

  • Complete PennOpen pass prior to entering and DO NOT enter if you have a red pass; 
  • Wear a mask at ALL times; 
  • Refrain from eating; 
  • Wash hands frequently; 
  • Practice social distancing. 

Weitzman staff will be monitoring all buildings to assess adherence to these guidelines. Violations may result in disciplinary action. 

Eating and Drinking in Weitzman Buildings
The Weitzman School is prohibiting food and drink from being consumed inside Weitzman buildings, including the basement commons at Meyerson Hall, from January 12 through January 23, 2022, with the exception of individual staff and faculty members in a private office with the door closed. It is permissable to lower your mask briefly if you need to sip on a beverage while seated at your desk. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 transmission rates and other relevant public health indicators during the month of January to determine whether to allow eating in the Meyerson basement once students return to campus.

Public Events

Effective January 10, 2022, double masking (layering a cloth mask on top of a disposable mask), or wearing a KN95 or N95 mask, is required in Penn buildings. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Visitors are required to register in advance for lectures and other public events at Weitzman, and must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Weitzman is collecting contact information from attendees for the purpose of contact tracing by University staff, should the need arise. It’s recommended that you arrive early to allow extra time to check in. Visitors are also required to complete PennOpen Campus on the day of the event.

Penn students, faculty, staff, and post-docs will be asked to present their PennCard and a Green PennOpen Pass for entry to public events.

Visitors are reminded that their participation in public events has the potential to impact 37,000 Penn students, faculty, staff, and postdocs, as well as the surrounding West Philadelphia community.

University-Related Emergencies

Contact the Division of Public Safety 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 215.573.3333 or dial 511 from a campus phone.

The PennComm operations center supports non-English speakers with the use of AT&T’s Language Line, which permits ESL speakers to contact the emergency number and communicate with an emergency dispatcher in over 120 different languages. Additionally, the Language Line can be employed by any UPPD officer in a face-to-face interaction, where the ESL speaker can request to communicate to the Penn Police in his/her own native language via a phone call.

UPenn Alert

If you are not already subscribed to receive UPenn Alert electronic notifications, you are urged to do so by visiting the Office of Public Safety website.

Previous Weitzman School Announcements

July 1, 2021, 10:52am
March 4, 2021, 11:27am
January 19, 2021, 2:33pm
November 2, 2020, 12:44pm
August 12, 2020, 4:43pm
May 27, 2020, 5:57pm
March 5, 2020, 9:13am