Responding to COVID-19: Fall 2022

Overview

The University’s success in limiting the spread of COVID-19 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 Fall 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.

Masking

Masking is always an option for anyone who chooses to wear a mask for any reason. In addition, masks are recommended in indoor public settings for individuals with underlying medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to severe disease. Individual instructors may decide to require students to wear masks in their classroom and those who do should make that clear on their syllabus and to their students in the classroom. Students are required to comply with the masking requirements established by their instructors.

Masks are available in the Operations and Planning Office in Meyerson Hall, Room G29.

PennOpen Pass

PennOpen Pass has been discontinued and is no longer be required to access campus buildings or available for any other purposes.

COVID-19 Testing

Everyone who is arriving on the Penn campus for the Fall 2022 semester is encouraged to self-test at home before arrival.

The University offers on-campus COVID-19 testing for the Penn community through the Penn Cares testing program. All testing is done through an observed, self-administered, nasal swab specimen. These tests are a molecular PCR. Testing is not required, but is available to those who are symptomatic, have been exposed to the virus, or would like to be tested for any other reason. The Penn community is also encouraged to utilize at-home tests, which are available while supplies last at the Penn Cares Testing Site and at most pharmacies, or testing through their primary care provider. 

After testing positive, those who test positive through the Penn Cares Testing Program will be contacted by the Penn Cares contact tracing team and will be provided clinical and public health guidance.

If you test positive for COVID-19 from an at-home test, you can obtain assistance with clinical care and advice about contact tracing and notification of close contacts at covidtesting@upenn.edu or call 215.898.0300.

Isolation & Quarantine

Isolation
The University requires all students, faculty, staff, and postdocs who are fully vaccinated to isolate for five days after a positive COVID-19 test, followed by five days of strict mask use. Unvaccinated individuals are required to isolate for seven days after a positive test, followed by five days of strict mask use. During the five days of masking following isolation, individuals should eat alone, maintain social distancing, and avoid in person meetings when able. Unvaccinated individuals must receive a negative PCR test through the PennCares testing program before returning to campus.

Quarantine
​​​​​​​Per the recent update from the CDC regarding quarantine guidance, all individuals who have a high-risk exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should test immediately and then again five days after exposure. They should continue to monitor for symptoms and wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask for 10 days post-exposure. If symptoms present, they should test immediately.

Visit the Students Testing Positive, Quarantine, and Isolation web page on upenn.edu for more information.

Vaccination

Students are required to be fully up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines (including the COVID-19 booster shot), and must submit documentation of vaccination to their Wellness Portal. Online students who do not plan to come to campus are not required to report their vaccine status and there will be no consequence for not reporting it.

Faculty, staff, and postdocs are required to receive the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine (two doses of mRNA vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson), and are strongly encouraged to be boosted. Faculty, staff, and postdocs should upload their vaccine information into Workday. Step-by-step instructions for uploading vaccine information into Workday can be found here: Self Service: Enter Vaccination Information.

Penn COVID-19 Information and Resources

The Penn website dedicated to Coronavirus issues is coronavirus.upenn.edu. This site is being continuously updated.

The COVID Resource Call Center provides assistance with testing, contact tracing, and more. You can reach a call center representative Monday through Friday from 7:00am - 12:00pm (EST) at 215.573.7096 or covidresource@upenn.edu.

There are extensive support resources available. Students may call the HELP LINE (215.898.4357) to find personal and mental health support for themselves or others in distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Faculty and staff always have access to Penn’s Employee Assistance Program.

Healthy Habits

  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • 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.

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.