Updated guidance on masking and information on testing and vaccination status


Dear Colleagues,

We are paying very close attention to the increase in COVID cases and the spread of reported variants, as well as updated guidelines (7/22) from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health strongly recommending that everyone, including fully vaccinated individuals, wear masks in all public indoor spaces.  This message is consistent with ongoing University and PSOM guidance, which supports mask-wearing anywhere on campus: whether you’re unvaccinated, protecting someone you love, or simply because you feel more comfortable.

In our healthcare and patient-care settings, masking is required at all times, regardless of vaccination status; this includes all Penn Medicine clinical facilities and Smilow lobby and elevators.  We would also like to recommend strongly the use of masks in environments and situations where social distancing is not easily maintained, such as procedure spaces and break rooms in our research buildings. 

Regarding testing for vaccinated individuals, while not required, participation is available through Penn Cares Testing using this link.  Beginning August 6th, the testing site will be located at a tent in High Rise Field at 3901 Locust Walk.  The Houston Hall location will close on August 6th for all but symptomatic and close-contact testing.

Lastly, as a reminder, please upload your vaccination status in Workday.  All current faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than August 1, 2021.  COVID-19 vaccination status will be recorded securely and confidentially via Workday.  If vaccination status is not uploaded in Workday, you will be required to participate in weekly Penn Cares screening testing, complete your daily symptom attestation in PennOpen Pass, and wear a mask while indoors.

Public health guidance on campus continues to evolve; please continue to check updates and current information posted here

Thank you,


Jon Epstein, MD