A Message to the Penn Community
March 15, 2022
From:Wendell Pritchett, Interim President
Beth Winkelstein, Interim Provost
Craig Carnaroli, Senior Executive Vice President
J. Larry Jameson, Executive Vice President for the Health System
We are very pleased to welcome back our faculty and students from Spring Break and to look ahead to the second half of the semester. It has now been two years since our community first experienced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been one of the most challenging periods in Penn’s long history, yet it has also been a time of extraordinary resilience, perseverance, and partnership. Together, we have sustained our historic university missions of teaching and research, while striving to keep each other safe and supported through many unpredictable changes. We have been through a lot, we have learned a lot, and now we are seeing better days ahead.
We are today announcing some significant changes to our campus protocols, following the recent changes in guidance of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of today:
- Screening testing is now required only for those who are unvaccinated, are not yet fully vaccinated, or have not uploaded their booster information, all of whom continue to be required to test twice a week. Voluntary COVID-19 testing continues to be available for all members of the Penn community.
- Masking is now optional in indoor public spaces on campus, with the following exceptions:
- Masking continues to be required in classrooms until March 28.
- Masking continues to be required in healthcare spaces and on Penn Transit.
All members of the Penn community are expected to follow our public health guidance, developed in alignment with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. UPHS-affiliated faculty and staff should follow guidance from the Health System. To continue to protect our community, we are also reinstating a ten-day isolation protocol for those who test positive for COVID-19. All Penn community members will be eligible to test on Day 7 for an early return to campus on Day 8. You can find more details about these policies on our public health guidance page. Visitors to campus, in accordance with the new guidance from the City of Philadelphia, are no longer required to be fully vaccinated. Visitors must complete a PennOpen Campus pre-screening on the day of their visit, present their Green Pass upon request, and comply with all University requirements while on campus.
In the weeks ahead, we will publish a set of specific COVID-19 response levels, based on the four levels created by the City of Philadelphia, that will guide our responses to any future changes that could impact the health and safety of our campus. We are grateful to be in a much better place than we were two years ago, and we look forward to celebrating together the joyful campus events of the months ahead.