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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 fall?

Drexel President John Fry, on June 10, announced Drexel’s plan for a safe return to campus for the fall. Given the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, Drexel University plans to reopen the campus in the fall using a hybrid approach. This approach will utilize a combination of in-person and remote education, helping to limit the number of students, faculty and professional staff on campus to ensure that social distancing measures can be implemented. More information can be found on the return to campus page.

How is Drexel planning for a return to campus?

Drexel has worked over the course of the past several months to determine the safest and most efficient way to return our community to campus in the fall. We are actively planning and making decisions in accordance with health officials, CDC guidelines, and in collaboration with experts in higher education to ensure that our plans are aligned with best practices.

A Fall 2020 COVID-19 Task Force, made up of an interdisciplinary team of professional staff and faculty from across the University, was convened in April to consider and plan for multiple return scenarios. This group remains committed to developing and implementing return plans that protect the health and safety of the Drexel community while preserving a high level of teaching, research and service.

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 for the fall. This is especially important due to the current nature of COVID-19.

What will happen if there is a second wave of COVID-19, either before or during the fall term?

Drexel is committed to the safety and well-being of our community. The University continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and is following guidance from local, state and national health officials. The University will make necessary adjustments to the return to campus plan for students, faculty, and professional staff as needed.

Given the mix of remote and face-to-face instruction planned for the fall term, the University is preparing instructors to quickly pivot to remote-only instruction if it is deemed necessary.

We are closely monitoring information from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Should the University need to close and move to fully remote instruction, there is a plan in place to manage housing, boarding, screening, and testing of students who are unable to return home.

Health & Safety

What can I do to stay safe once we return?

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 Tracker 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.

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. Our hybrid plan will reduce the number of employees and students on campus. Occupancy in residence halls will be modified so that dormitories and rooms afford the ability to distance. In-person classes and events will be smaller, and instructional spaces will be configured to promote social distancing and encourage space between students. Outdoor events may not exceed 50 people. The installation of signage and physical barriers in high-traffic areas is underway to reinforce distancing protocols. Our plans are based on federal and Philadelphia Department of Public Health guidelines.

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.

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. This training is required of all Residential Life staff working in campus housing facilities. Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will also be available throughout campus.

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

Members of the Drexel community coming from states listed on the Pennsylvania Department of Health travel page will be asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days prior to arriving on campus.

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 fall term. Questions about larger events and activities with food should be coordinated through Event Services.

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. 

Where do I go for testing?

Drexel is building capacity for testing for our students, faculty and professional staff so that testing is both available and convenient for those who need it. Our Office of Student Health is working with partners across the University to expand COVID-19 testing services. We will provide more information about these plans in the coming weeks.

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. 

Students should contact Student Health at 215-220-4700 to get testing instructions.

 

 

 

What is the Drexel Health Tracker?

Please see the Drexel Health Tracker for more information.

What should I do if I notice symptoms?

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

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.

What will happen if there are confirmed cases on campus?

Drexel has established specific locations on campus that are reserved to quarantine individuals if necessary. Should there be confirmed cases on campus, quarantine measures will be put into effect for affected individuals.

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

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.

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 classrooms be cleaned in between class sessions?

Drexel is increasing cleaning and sanitization in all campus buildings with increased attention to ‘high touch’ areas (e.g., bathrooms, door handles, light switches, computer lab keyboards/mice, elevator buttons, water fountains). However, sanitization will not take place between each class session. To support cleaning, classrooms and public spaces will be stocked with CDC-recommended sanitizers. Students, faculty and professional staff are encouraged to clean their respective spaces in between classes to help keep public spaces clean. 

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.

 

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.

How will I get my results?

Employees who get testing outside of Drexel will need to provide documentation of their test result to WorkNet in order to return to work.

Students who have testing via the Student Health Center will receive their results from Student Health.  Students who have testing done outside of Drexel Student Health will need to provide documentation of their test result to Student Health before they are cleared for campus activities.

What should I do while I wait for my results?

Do not come to work or attend in-person classes while you’re waiting for test results. It is important that you stay home and avoid contact with others, including the people you live with. If you must leave your home, wear a mask and practice social distancing. Please inform your manager/department head of your need to be out of work.


If you have additional questions, please visit University Resources to find information for each college, school, and administrative department.

Questions?  Please contact covid19questions@drexel.edu