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Drexel Campus with Dragon

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The FAQs below were compiled based on insight from public health experts and representatives across the University, as well as questions submitted through a campus-wide survey and faculty virtual forum. Please check the FAQ pages regularly, as information is updated to reflect the situation as it evolves.

Planning a Safe Return

Does Drexel have a plan in place for the winter?

Most undergraduate courses will be conducted remotely for the winter quarter, except for a number of clinical programs in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and a select few other undergraduate courses. Drexel University housing will be open to undergraduates for single occupancy during the winter term.

Graduate students will continue in the currently planned hybrid modality for the winter term with some limited activities and with strict health and safety protocols in place that adhere to city and state guidelines. Kline School of Law, the College of Medicine, clinical programs in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and specific health sciences and clinical graduate programs will continue to be conducted on campus. All graduate students should consult with their programs for specific details on the winter term.

The University’s research, scholarly and creative activities will continue as per our research ramp-up protocol. Students engaged in research at the undergraduate and graduate level should work directly with their research mentors and faculty investigators to seek approval for student participation.

What is a “hybrid” approach, according to Drexel?

At Drexel, the hybrid approach is an instructional method for learning that is both flexible and adaptive. In the hybrid instructional method, some class meetings are in-person (FTF), at established times and in campus space(s), while others are remote (either synchronous or asynchronous).

The hybrid approach provides our students with more flexibility and options. This is especially important due to the current nature of COVID-19.

What are Drexel’s recommendations for Spring Break 2021?

In light of the significant health risks associated with travel, and to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout our community, Drexel University strongly recommends:

  • Members of the Drexel community refrain from traveling.
  • Students, faculty and professional staff remain in their current place of residence and safely engage only with those individuals within their pods.
  • Members of the Drexel community refrain from engaging activities that may put them at increased risk for contracting COVID-19. Such activities include parties and smaller, indoor gatherings with members of more than one household.

That said, it is important that we all take the time to decompress, recuperate and regenerate during Spring Break. For “Week of Wellness” suggestions to help you de-stress and refresh before the start of the new term, view our campus message or visit our Campus Life and Wellness page.

Campus Life

What can I do to stay safe when I return to campus?

Masks are required in all campus buildings, facilities, and leased properties. Masks are also required outdoors when social distancing of 6 feet or more is not possible. Wearing a mask is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19, even if you don’t feel sick. One washable cloth mask will be provided to all students, faculty and professional staff, and disposable masks will be available to those who forget to bring their own. However, the responsibility to have and wear a mask belongs to each member of the campus community— all employees, students, contractors and visitors. 

Monitor your health. Use the Drexel Health Checker app to take note of how you’re feeling each day and find information on what to do if you are sick.

Maintain distance between yourself and others. Reminders have been placed throughout campus to help everyone remember to stay 6 feet apart.

Wash your hands frequently. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer has also been made more available on campus.

Stay with your pod. Socializing safely within a pod while remaining more isolated from people outside can help reduce the chance of COVID-19 transmission.

Learn more about pods and campus wellness.

What is being done to protect the health and safety of the Drexel community?

New health and safety protocols are being established across campus, including, but not limited to:

  • Masks are required in all campus buildings, facilities, and leased properties. Masks are also required outdoors when social distancing of 6 feet or more is not possible. Even when you are outside with the ability to distance, wearing your mask is strongly encouraged.
  • Mandatory online health and safety trainings for students, faculty and professional staff.
  • Implementing social distancing protocols in all common spaces, including the installation of signage and physical barriers in high-traffic areas.
  • Facilitating access to testing and important COVID-19 health information through use of the Drexel Health Tracker app (Apple and Android).
  • Implementing COVID-19 surveillance testing strategies for employees and students.
  • Making sure that we identify and trace contacts to infected persons to keep people safe and healthy as well as prevent spreading of the virus.
  • Making sure that campus facilities are cleaned based on current CDC and local health department guidelines.
  • All campus buildings will be locked during business hours, and Dragon ID cards will be required to access buildings.

What is being done to encourage social distancing?

Drexel is taking measures to support and promote social distancing across campus. Fewer students and employees on campus will make social distancing easier. In-person classes will be smaller, and instructional spaces will be configured to promote social distancing and encourage space between students. The installation of signage and physical barriers in high-traffic areas also reinforces distancing protocols. Our plans are based on federal and Philadelphia Department of Public Health guidelines. 

Are the local businesses near Drexel's campus open?

Drexel Business Services is in close contact with the private retail and dining establishments that operate on and near the University City campus. Many are offering a Dragon Special to welcome back the campus community. For an updated list, visit the Dining and Retail Directory. Be sure to visit the individual businesses’ website directly to confirm hours of operation and offerings.

Where will I be able to eat on campus?

There are designated areas across campus where faculty, professional staff and students can eat outside. Within each academic building, common areas have signage that indicate appropriate spacing so that individuals can be socially distanced while eating or drinking. Students with accommodations to eat or drink during classes or exams should reach out to disability@drexel.edu to discuss options for the winter term. Questions about larger events and activities with food should be coordinated through Event Services.

Are dining halls and other dining options open?

Yes. The campus dining program is now open. Hours and locations are posted at https://drexel.campusdish.com/. There will be limited seating available in the dining halls consistent with the city guidelines. We will be offering robust grab-n-go offerings at all Campus Dining locations.

Is the Recreation Center open?

Yes, the Recreation Center is open as of January 25, 2021.

Are any changes being made to ensure safe transportation to and from campus?

For information on the Drexel shuttle bus service, please visit the Transportation webpage.

Drexel will be coordinating with SEPTA/NJT/PATCO/AMTRAK to ensure that students who use those services have access to safe public transportation options to travel to and from campus. For SEPTA updates, please visit the SEPTA website for the latest information.

Employees whose presence is required to support on-site operations, and who normally commute by mass transit, have the option to park at the Drexel garage at 34th and Ludlow streets or in Lot F at 31st and Ludlow streets. Employees can find more information about parking on Business Services’ COVID-19 Operations webpage.

What behavioral health support is Drexel providing?

Counseling Center therapists can conduct teletherapy using a HIPAA-compliant, confidential Zoom platform to preserve students’ privacy. They will also be able to provide students within Pennsylvania and students residing across state lines with ongoing support as licensing restrictions permit. Students who would like to schedule an appointment with a therapist can email counsel@drexel.edu or call 215.895.1415. An after-hours emergency line can be reached at 215.416.3337. Counseling Center staff also will be offering virtual workshops and other self-help modules, downloadable at the Center’s website.

Earlier this year, we launched 7Cupsa digital peer counseling resource for students who prefer to reach out anonymously for peer support. Finally, for students in recovery or seeking support around substance-use issues, the Haven continues to host virtual meetings every day at 8 p.m. EST at Haven Recovery Meeting or by phone at 872.240.3412 (661-666-741 access code).

Employees and their spouses, domestic partners and dependents can access free, confidential counseling sessions though Drexel's Employee Assistance Program by calling 888.628.4824. The University also offers assistance navigating the healthcare system through Health Advocate, as well as the daily Ten at 10 program designed to help employees stay healthy and connected. For details, visit HR’s COVID-19 Resources page.

Health Monitoring

What is the Drexel Health Checker?

Please see the Drexel Health Checker for more information.

What should I do if I notice symptoms?

Students, faculty & professional staff should first, stay home.

Students should contact the Student Health Center right away by phone (215.220.4700) or through the Drexel Health Tracker app

Faculty and professional staff should seek medical care by calling your primary care physician and ask to be evaluated for COVID-19. Immediately after calling your provider, please contact covid19health@drexel.edu and provide your name and a phone number to be contacted by a Drexel representative. It is imperative that the University is aware of any exposure risk to members of the Drexel community.

Please visit the What to do if You Feel Sick page for more information.

Where do I go for testing? Do I need an order?

Please view our COVID-19 Testing page for information about testing.

Faculty and professional staff are advised to seek medical care by calling their primary care doctor and asking to be evaluated for COVID-19. Drexel is also providing access to 24/7 confidential medical services effective immediately. These services include access to urgent care and emergency care facilities in close proximity to campus. This information will be included and continuously updated on Drexel’s COVID-19 response website.

Students should call the COVID Questions line at 215-703-2335 or email covidtesting@drexel.edu with additional questions about testing.

Who can (and who should) get a COVID-19 test through Drexel?

For the winter 2021 term, the following students will be part of Drexel's mandatory testing program:

  • Students living in Drexel residence halls or Greek properties.
  • Students living in buildings connected to campus properties regardless of the operator.
  • Students attending face-to-face and hybrid classes.
  • Students working in research labs.

For those moving in, COVID-19 testing will be required prior to receiving your room key. All students listed above will undergo testing once a week thereafter.

Students in co-op or special programs with remote or away clinical rotations will receive guidance and expectations for testing from their respective colleges and schools.

We recommend that Drexel employees in return Phases I-IV also be tested every other week throughout the winter term.

Students who are asymptomatic and have not been exposed to persons with COVID-19 infection and are not in any of the above-mentioned groups will still be able to schedule screening testing on select days through the Student Health Center.

For more information, view the COVID-19 Testing page.

How do I schedule a COVID-19 test?

To schedule a COVID test, you'll use the Drexel Health Checker app. For directions on test scheduling using the app, view this PDF or check the COVID-19 Testing page. If you don't have a smartphone, you can schedule a test through the web-based version of the Health Checker.

Will the University notify the community if there are positive cases on campus?

Aggregate information about the number of COVID-19 cases in the Drexel community can be found on our COVID-19 Dashboard. We will work to make sure that anyone exposed to a case of COVID-19 on the Drexel campus is aware of that exposure and can take protective actions. Public health policies and University guidelines require that we protect the privacy of all confirmed cases, so any public announcements will respect and ensure the privacy of any students, faculty and professional staff who may have the virus. The Student Health Center will contact individuals who may have been exposed so that they’re aware of that exposure, and they will monitor their health for up to two weeks, which is the incubation period of the virus. We are in touch with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health regarding our contact tracing activities.

Masks and Face Coverings

What is the policy on wearing masks on campus?

Masks are required in all campus buildings, facilities, and leased properties. Masks are also required outdoors when social distancing of 6 feet or more is not possible. Wearing a mask is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19, even if you don’t feel sick. One washable cloth mask will be provided to all students, faculty and professional staff, and disposable masks will be available to those who forget to bring their own. However, the responsibility to have and wear a mask belongs to each member of the campus community— all employees, students and visitors. Masks may only be removed if you are in a private office, alone with the door closed. This policy aligns with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health mask requirement.

Face shields are available for employees and students who cannot wear a mask for health reasons or have a specific need to use both a mask and a face shield. Students should contact disability@drexel.edu and staff/faculty should contact their HR business partner to request a reasonable accommodation. Additionally, if a Drexel community member is unable to apply and remove a face covering without assistance, the individual should contact Drexel Human Resources or Disability Resources to request a reasonable accommodation.

What kinds of masks/face coverings are allowable?

A mask/face covering, for the purposes of Drexel COVID-19 safety, is a cloth or other type of material that covers an individual’s mouth and nose. The CDC lists five criteria for “cloth face coverings,” which should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops.
  • Include multiple layers of fabric.
  • Allow for breathing without restriction.
  • If not disposable, then be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.

There are a variety of cloth face coverings available that you can find online or you can make your own following the CDC guidelines. The CDC recommends at least two layers of tightly knit cotton or the more detailed Olson design. In some cases, the use of a face shield may be appropriate.

For more about face mask criteria, view the CDCs's "Considerations for Wearing Face Masks."

In accordance with CDC guidelines, masks with ventilation valves are not permissible or passable as an appropriate face covering on Drexel University’s campuses and should not be used. Bandannas and neck gaiters are also not considered appropriate face coverings.

How will the on-campus mask requirement be enforced?

Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves and each other to adhere to the policies put forth by the University for the benefit, safety and well-being of our community, including wearing a mask in campus buildings and outside where distancing is not possible. Anyone who disregards the University’s health and safety policies, thus putting others at risk, will be subject to University Code of Conduct provisions outlined for students, faculty and professional staff. If a Drexel student has been advised not to wear a face covering due to a documented disability, they should contact disability@drexel.edu. Faculty and professional staff should contact their HR business partner to request a reasonable accommodation. Additionally, if a Drexel University community member is unable to apply and remove a face covering without assistance, the individual should contact Drexel Human Resources or Disability Resources to request a reasonable accommodation.

Will personal protective equipment (PPE) be provided?

One washable cloth mask will be provided to all students, faculty and professional staff, and disposable masks will be available to those who forget to bring their own. However, the responsibility to have and wear a mask belongs to each member of the campus community. We are also providing the appropriate training in proper use of PPE to students, faculty and professional staff. Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will also be available throughout campus.

Does Drexel recommend double-masking?

While it is not yet officially recommended by the CDC, Drexel does suggest “double-masking” (layering one mask over another) as a way for students and staff to reduce their risk of infection while in indoor spaces. Adding an extra mask can help filter more viral particles or block gaps at the side of your mask, especially if you don’t have access to medical-grade masks or insertable mask filters. If you do decide to wear two masks, infectious disease experts have recommended layering a close-fitting cloth mask over a surgical or disposable mask.

Quarantine and Isolation

Under what circumstances will individuals be required to quarantine?

The University follows Philadelphia Department of Public Health, state and federal guidelines regarding isolation and quarantine policies. Circumstances under which an individual or group of individuals will be asked to quarantine include:

  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19.
  • Individuals who are known to have been in close contact for 15 minutes or longer with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Individuals who have attended in-person classes or participated in activities with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 and who had close contact (within 6 ft for over 15 minutes).
  • Individuals who share a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and/or common living space with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19.

To learn more, visit our Isolation and Quarantine page.

Will students and employees returning to campus from states experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases be required to quarantine?

Per Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines, members of the Drexel community coming from any state outside of Pennsylvania will be asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days prior to arriving on campus.

Will international students returning to campus be required to quarantine?

Yes. International students should quarantine for 2 weeks prior to departing their home country for travel to the United States. Upon arrival to campus they will receive COVID-19 testing. Students who are traveling from countries identified as very high-risk or high-risk by the CDC, as well as students from countries on the CDC’s prohibited travel list, should contact International Students and Scholars Services before attempting to make travel plans. For more about COVID testing policies, see our COVID-19 Testing page.

How do I know if I need to move to a different location for quarantine/isolation?

Our contact tracers will help address this in the event that you need to enter isolation or quarantine. The main consideration is whether you have a private space (no shared bathroom, kitchen, etc.) in which to completely isolate from anyone else in the building. If you test positive, and our initial conversation with you suggests a need to move to isolation housing, we will work with you to coordinate a time to check in as quickly as possible.

What should I plan to bring with me if I'm asked to quarantine or self-isolate?

Students should plan to bring two weeks' worth of supplies if they are asked to quarantine or self-isolate. Review this list of suggested items to pack [PDF] and visit our Quarantine and Isolation page for more information.

COVID-19 Vaccines

Is Drexel offering the vaccine?

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is in charge of vaccine distribution in the city. Under current guidelines, most students and employees are not yet considered eligible. Individuals living in Philadelphia can register with the City to be notified when they become eligible for vaccination: COVID-19 Vaccine Interest form

Vaccination inquiries from Philadelphia residents can be emailed to the City of Philadelphia at covidvax@phila.gov.

Will Drexel be requiring that all faculty, staff, and students receive a COVID-19 vaccination?

Drexel is not currently requiring a COVID-19 vaccination, nor is the University planning to do so in the near future.

If I have received both doses of the vaccine, do I still need to get tested and follow public health procedures?

Yes. You must still wear a mask, participate in any mandated testing, stay 6 feet from others, and follow all other health and safety precautions outlined in the Dragon Pledge. Reasons for doing so include:

  • While the vaccine protects you from developing COVID-19, it is currently unclear whether it prevents you from transmitting the virus to others.
  • If you were vaccinated recently, it may take some time before you are completely protected.
  • Vaccination is never 100% effective—there is still a small chance that you could get sick with COVID-19 even after you have been vaccinated.

For more information, read this article from National Public Radio: “Why You Should Still Wear A Mask And Avoid Crowds After Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine”.

Facilities and Sanitation

Will sanitation efforts be increased?

Please visit the Cleaning and Sanitization page for information on the University’s plan to ensure that all spaces on campus are as safe as possible.

Will measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (required mask wearing, increased sanitization, etc.) be in place in spaces not owned exclusively by Drexel, such as 3 Parkway and the Center City campus?

Drexel is working closely with city officials and neighboring partners to ensure that we are collectively addressing the challenges and health risks of COVID-19. Plans and measures to ensure consistent social distancing and PPE protocols continue to be developed.

The University will ensure that all external parties, including groundskeepers and construction workers, adhere to Drexel’s physical distancing and mask-wearing policies.

Specific guidelines for individual facilities that are leased by Drexel University can be found at our Guidelines for Working in Leased Properties page.

Events

Will on-campus events continue?

There will be no on-campus events held during the winter quarter unless otherwise approved by Student Life and/or Drexel's administration.

More detail:

  • All indoor gatherings and events involving people from more than one household are prohibited, in public or private spaces.
  • All outdoor, on-campus, in-person events are restricted to essential events with internal audiences, and must be submitted for approval to the Return Oversight Committee. Outdoor gatherings and events are limited to 10 percent of maximum capacity of the space, or 10 people per 1,000 sq. ft. for venues with an undefined maximum capacity. All individuals at outdoor gatherings must wear masks at all times, and neither food nor beverages may be served. Student groups should contact Student Life at studentorgevents@drexel.edu or check the DragonLink homepage for information and updates.

Can student groups continue to hold events?

Student groups should contact Student Life at studentorgevents@drexel.edu or check the DragonLink homepage for information and updates.

I am planning or attending an approved campus event. What guidelines must I follow?

Any events must follow these guidelines, which are made in conjunction with the COVID-19 health and safety requirements issued by federal, state and local public health authorities, as well as by Drexel University public health experts: Event Visitor and Vendor Guidance [PDF].

Guidelines may be modified and further specified over time, as changes during the COVID-19 pandemic require.

Other

What if I have other questions about COVID-19 testing or the Drexel Health Checker?

Review the FAQs on our Drexel Health Checker page and the COVID-19 Testing page. If you have additional questions, or if you encounter difficulties with the app, email COVIDtesting@drexel.edu.


If you have additional questions, please call the COVID Questions line at 215-703-2335. You can also visit University Resources to find information for each college, school, and administrative department.

Questions?  Please contact covid19questions@drexel.edu