Introducing COVID SAFE 2.0
In another sign that the worst of the pandemic may be behind us, the City of Philadelphia’s Health Department has lifted the indoor mask mandate. While at this time our masking guidance in PSOM remains in place as we share space with patients and hospital facilities, we will continue to provide updates in partnership with the University and Health System.
Although COVID-19 case prevalence has decreased in our region, we cannot predict the future or the chances of another surge. We have worked together for the past two years to keep our campus safe, and we continue to do so. In that spirit, I am pleased to share an opportunity to participate in COVID SAFE 2.0, a COVID-19 Surveillance Research Program. This point-of-care testing program will serve as a mechanism to rapidly detect any increase in disease prevalence (which would lead to broader testing recommendations).
Briefly, the COVID SAFE 2.0 program is available at this time to any interested Penn faculty, staff, and trainees working in-person in a Perelman School of Medicine laboratory. Those enrolled agree to participate by self-collecting saliva samples and testing them in their affiliated laboratory using an assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA. The lab should have the personnel and equipment capable of performing the assay, which requires pipets, a biosafety hood, and a heat block or PCR machine.
If you are a PI of a wet lab and would like to have this program available to your team, please click the link below and complete the brief survey so we can contact you about next steps.
By participating in this surveillance program, volunteers will help to monitor the continued safety of our environment and community. This is a voluntary program, and your decision whether or not to make COVID SAFE 2.0 available to your lab will not impact your standing at Penn. For more information or any questions, please contact Adina Lieberman.
Protecting our community remains a top priority, and we will continue to work on innovative ways to support this goal.
Jon Epstein, MD
EVD | CSO