Orientation COVID-19 and the new academic year

The following message, providing further guidance on COVID-19 ahead of the start of the fall term, has been sent to the Drexel community:

Summary

  • Drexel continues to require full vaccination for all students, faculty, and professional staff on campus.

  • Boosters are not required. Drexel strongly recommends staying up to date with the COVID-19 vaccination, including getting any boosters for which you are eligible.
  • As of September 6, masks are advised in all indoor public spaces, including classrooms; the masks remain obligatory across all healthcare facilities, including Drexel COVID testing sites, student health, and clinical rotations. College of Medicine and College of Nursing and Health Professions students may be required to wear a mask in additional clinical teaching settings.

  • The PCR COVID test remains available to all students and employees. There will be no entrance test at the start of the academic term. All new and returning students and employees are encouraged to take a rapid home COVID antigen test before coming to campus.

  • Students who test positive for COVID and live in Drexel Housing self-isolate in their room rather than moving to separate isolation accommodation.

  • Find the latest COVID-19 health updates at Drexel.edu/coronavirus.

Dear Drexel Students and Colleagues,

As we begin the 2022-2023 academic year, we want to reinforce our commitment to the health and well-being of the Drexel community and share our updated COVID guidelines. These updates were made in collaboration with public health authorities and follow extensive conversations within the Drexel community.

Vaccination

In accordance with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s vaccine requirements for institutions of higher education, Drexel continues to require full vaccination for all students, faculty, and professional staff on campus. Although it does not always prevent infection, vaccination significantly reduces the risk of serious illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19. Remember to upload proof of COVID-19 vaccination through the Drexel Health Checker mobile app or online interface by September 1, 2022.

If you have already obtained a Drexel COVID vaccine exemption, the University will continue to honor it until the end of the 2022-2023 academic year; To learn more about mandatory student vaccinations as well as exemptions, visit the Office of Counseling and Health Services website on COVID vaccination.

You are considered fully vaccinated when you have received both doses of an FDA-cleared two-dose vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines, or when you have received a single dose of a single-dose vaccine FDA-cleared, such as Janssen/J&J Vaccine. Drexel also accepts any COVID-19 vaccination approved by the World Health Organization. Additionally, Drexel strongly recommends booster doses for all who are eligible.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination at Drexel.

Recommended masks

Starting September 6, face masks will be RECOMMENDED in all indoor shared spaces, including classrooms. Masks will still be MANDATORY at health care facilities, including COVID testing locations, student health center, and health care rotations. College of Medicine or College of Nursing and Health Professions students may be required to wear a mask in certain clinical teaching settings.

A well-fitting, high-filtration mask provides substantial protection to the wearer, even if others around you are not masked. Masks continue to reduce the risk of transmission in crowded settings or for people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Drexel will continue to make KN-95 and KF-94 masks available to students and employees who cannot otherwise access them. You can request a mask at Hagerty Library, DAC, Leisure Centre, Main Building Lobby, Kline School of Law, New College Building Lobby, Queen Lane Security Office and Testing Centers Drexel COVID. You can also get free masks from vendors participating in the US government’s free N95 program. Always carry a mask with you as advice and situations may change.

COVID test

We strongly recommend that Drexel students and employees take a rapid home antigen test for COVID-19 before returning to campus at the start of term. You can order free tests online through the US government, and most health insurance companies fully cover home test kits available at area pharmacies. If you test positive, please do not return to campus until you have completed your isolation period and are in good health.

Drexel will not require a PCR entrance test at the start of the academic term for students living in on-campus housing. However, all students, faculty, and professional staff who have symptoms or who have been exposed through close contact will still be able to receive a PCR test for COVID-19 at our on-campus testing sites. You can schedule your test through the Drexel Health Checker. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are exposed to COVID-19, follow these instructions to determine when to get tested and other precautions to take: If you are infected or exposed.

Ventilation

At Drexel, the HVAC systems of all occupied buildings were assessed and additional treatment using HEPA filtered recirculating air purifiers was provided to the spaces as needed. HVAC equipment serving these areas has been refitted with improved filters, reprogrammed to run more often, and adjusted to maximize the amount of outside air that can be drawn in. Preventative maintenance schedules have been completed to ensure mechanical systems are functioning properly.

How Drexel is responding to COVID cases

Drexel maintains an on-campus contact tracing program for students and ensures that affected community members are informed and take all necessary precautions. We provide services such as meal delivery and telehealth to students who live in Drexel University Housing and need to self-isolate; most students will self-isolate in place in their halls of residence rather than being forced to move to isolation accommodation if they test positive for COVID-19. More detailed information regarding on-site isolation can be found on the Response to Coronavirus site.

If you have COVID symptoms or exposure, follow these instructions and notify Drexel – students should email [email protected]; employees notify [email protected] We will continue to provide updates or changes to the guidelines based on community viral transmission and evolving science. You can find our complete public health guidelines and the latest information on COVID-19 at Drexel.edu/coronavirus/health-safety.

As we revise our guidelines, we recognize the ongoing lessons of the COVID pandemic. Whether it’s COVID-19, the flu, or even our mental health and general well-being, we’re all in this together. While COVID-related risk assessment and decision-making increasingly rests with the individual, our collective well-being is nonetheless heavily impacted by the actions of everyone.. We are a caring community living through an ongoing pandemic.

Thank you for sharing our commitment to health and wellness. We look forward to seeing you on campus this fall!

Sincerely,

Marla J. GoldMD Chief Wellness Officer Senior Vice Provost for Community Health

Subir SahouPhD Senior Vice President of Student Success

Paul E. JensenPhD Executive Vice President Nina Henderson Provost University Professor

Megan Weiler
Senior Vice President Human Resources Director

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