Staying on course




When it comes to our mitigation measures, you’ve heard the warning “Don't Spike the Ball on the 5-Yard Line.”  We are so close to getting through to the other side of this pandemic.  In partnership with our health system colleagues, any member of our PSOM community who would like to receive a vaccine will be able to do so next week.  Our 7-day test positivity rate via COVID SAFE remains at 0%. 

However, while we are hopeful that we are turning the corner, it is not the time to let down our guard.  Case positivity rates and hospitalizations for COVID are rising in our region.

It remains imperative that everyone on campus – vaccinated or not – continues to abide by the following: use PennOpen Pass; enroll in Penn Cares and COVID SAFE surveillance testing (as applicable); and practice mitigation measures of universal wearing of masks, maintaining physical distance, and avoiding large crowds.

Through our lab safety tours, we are seeing increased examples of non-compliant activity.  While the majority of our labs are adhering strictly to our directives, there are some who have become lax in their behaviors. 

We continue to follow City guidelines for colleges and universities and emphasize the following:

  • In-person meeting are prohibited at this time, and conference rooms are not to be used for staff or lab meetings.  Substitute telephone or internet meetings for in-person meetings.  Use of meeting space is allowed for teaching purposes, with reduced room densities, 6-feet separation of all occupants, and no class headcount exceeding 25 persons, inclusive of the instructor.
  • In designated eating areas, there is an 8-feet minimum distance requirement from others (and individuals should face the same direction).  Designated break space should be separated from work areas by walls; avoid using open office and public hallways for eating/drinking.  Additionally, please avoid use of electronic devices, remove masks only while actively eating, and speak with others only when masked.
  • Masks must be worn at all times unless in a private office or as necessary to eat. 
  • Remote work is recommended when possible. 

We continue to monitor the City guidelines and will update our guidance as regulations allow.  Thank you for your attention, and my gratitude to the Mission Continuity team and our Compliance Officers for dedicating enormous time and effort in keeping our community safe. 


Jon Epstein, MD | EVD/CSO

Follow us on Twitter: @PennMedEVDCSO