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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 summer?

Most undergraduate courses will be conducted remotely for the summer 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 summer term (note: dorms will reopen for full occupancy in the fall when the on-campus community is fully vaccinated).

Graduate students will continue in the currently planned hybrid modality for the summer 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 spring 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.

Campus Life

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

Get vaccinated! Vaccination will be required for all on-campus students and employees. We are lucky to have very safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19. Vaccination is also free. You can sign up for a vaccine through Drexel, or get vaccinated through the City of Philadelphia or numerous other organizations, including local pharmacies. Learn more on our COVID-19 Vaccination page. 

Wear a mask in all campus buildings, facilities, and leased properties. Masks are required indoors; they are also strongly recommended outdoors if you are not fully vaccinated. 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. 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. If you’re not able to get vaccinated, use the Drexel Health Checker to take note of how you’re feeling each day. Everyone should use the Health Checker to report symptoms of COVID-19. Even if you are fully vaccinated, don’t come to campus if you are ill. Find more information here on what to do if you are sick.

If you're not fully vaccinated, maintain distance between yourself and others for your safety and the safety of other unvaccinated or immunocompromised persons.

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

Learn more about campus wellness.

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

Health and safety protocols have been established across campus, including, but not limited to:

  • Requiring all on-campus students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 starting in the 2021-2022 Academic Year, unless they have been granted a medical or religious exemption. Faculty, professional staff, and postdocs must be fully vaccinated by August 1, 2021. This will greatly reduce the chances of disease transmission within the campus community. Learn more on our COVID-19 Vaccination page.
  • Requiring masks indoors for everyone entering campus buildings, facilities and leased properties.
  • Facilitating access to testing and important COVID-19 health information through use of the Drexel Health Checker app (Apple and Android) and web application.
  • Implementing COVID-19 surveillance testing strategies for unvaccinated employees and students. (Note: Vaccinated students and employees who have uploaded proof of vaccination to the Drexel Health Checker are exempt from mandatory screening testing.)
  • Making sure that we identify and trace contacts of 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.

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.

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.

How do I access the Drexel Health Checker?

The Drexel Health Checker is available to download for free via the Apple and Android app stores. You can also scan the QR code available on the Health Checker page from your mobile device to access the checker. In addition, you can log in to the app via a web browser using the Drexel Health Checker Web Version. Important note: You must use the same login email address for the web version and the app-based version of the Health Checker. Always use the abc123@Drexel.edu format for all applications and communications.

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?

All Drexel community members will be able to schedule testing on a voluntary basis.

In addition, the following students will be part of Drexel's mandatory testing program IF THEY ARE NOT FULLY VACCINATED:

  • 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.

All current faculty, professional staff, and post-docs who have not been fully vaccinated will also be enrolled in mandatory testing starting in fall 2021.

Students and employees who are fully vaccinated must upload proof of vaccination through the Drexel Health Checker App. Vaccinated students and employees are exempt from mandatory weekly testing requirements.

Students who have symptoms of COVID-19, or who have been exposed while not fully vaccinated, should contact Student Health to arrange for testing. Faculty or professional staff should contact their primary care provider and notify covid19health@drexel.edu.

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.

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 Checker

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.

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 strongly recommended outdoors if you are not fully vaccinated and in crowded conditions. For unvaccinated persons, 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. 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 space such as an office, alone with the door closed.

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?

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. Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will also be available throughout campus.

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 or self-isolate include:

  • Individuals who test positive for, or have symptoms of, COVID-19.
  • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated and are known to have been in close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated and have attended in-person classes or participated in activities with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 and who had close contact.
  • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated and share a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and/or common living space with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19.

Note: Per CDC guidelines, individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, unless the vaccinated person is experiencing symptoms of 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?

Members of the Drexel community coming from U.S. states outside Pennsylvania are no longer required to quarantine prior to arriving on campus.

Will international students returning to campus be required to quarantine?

International students should quarantine for 2 weeks prior to departing their home country for the United States, unless they have been vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the United States FDA or one acceptable to Drexel as listed in our vaccination FAQ. Per CDC guidelines, they will also need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test no more than 3 days prior to arriving in the United States. Upon arrival to campus depending on vaccine status, International students may be required to 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?

To provide our community with the safety and opportunity afforded by vaccination and prepare for a vaccinated campus community in Academic Year 2021-2022, Drexel is making vaccine available to all students, faculty and staff. More information concerning vaccine clinics is available on our COVID-19 Vaccination page.

For whom is vaccination required?

Starting in Academic Year 2021, all undergraduate and graduate students taking part in any face-to-face classes, participating in extracurricular or other program activities on campus, accessing any facilities on campus, participating in any team sports, or working in Drexel facilities, will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This applies to both full- and part-time students who spend time on campus, whether they live or work on campus or off campus. Students in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the College of Medicine must also be vaccinated for clinical placements as must students planning for university-related domestic or international travel.

Vaccination is not required for students who are attending fully online classes with no in-person requirements, are not living on campus, AND are not returning to campus at any time for any other reason (such as on-campus work, social engagements, or other extracurricular or programmatic activities).

Drexel University will require all current faculty, professional staff, and post-doctoral trainees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to their return to campus, no later than August 1, 2021. Employees within the College of Nursing and Health Professions as well as the College of Medicine should consult with their managers to ensure they follow any additional school-specific guidelines. Similar to the policy for students, employees may request medical and religious exemptions. Employees granted vaccine exemption based on medical or religious grounds, or employees who choose not to upload proof of vaccination, will follow key public heath measures for their individual and collective health and safety, including enrollment in regular COVID-19 testing, required mask-wearing when indoors, and maintaining appropriate distance.

If I am fully vaccinated, do I still need to undergo mandatory testing?

No. As of May 30, 2021, asymptomatic, fully vaccinated persons no longer need mandatory testing. Any vaccinated person who has symptoms must still be evaluated for COVID-19 infection. You are “fully vaccinated” 14 days after completing the last shot of your vaccination. Be sure to upload your proof of vaccination in the Drexel Health Checker so we know you are able to safely opt out of the testing program.

How do I prove I have been vaccinated?

At this time, you will be able to upload your proof of vaccination (usually a card you receive at the time you get vaccinated) through the Drexel Health Checker.

Open the Health Checker and click “More” in the bottom right corner. Select “Vaccine Records.” Choose the vaccine type from the drop-down menu, enter the date of your dose and lot number, and then upload a photo of your record. Click “Save.” If you receive a two-dose vaccine, you will need to record your first dose before you can add your final dose.

When you upload a photo of your vaccination card, note that the dates on your vaccination card must match the dates you enter on the Health Checker. This helps us help you when we provide guidance about your health in certain situations. It also helps us reach out to you in a timely way if there is a future need for a booster vaccine or other health measure.

Where can I find more information about COVID-19 vaccination and Drexel's requirements?

Full information about Drexel's vaccination requirements, how to get vaccinated through Drexel, and other vaccine information can be found on the following page: COVID-19 Vaccination.

Events

Will on-campus events continue?

As of June 10, 2021, all Drexel events on and off campus are allowed without requiring specific approval from the Return Oversight Committee. Event hosts must still keep lists of all attendees in case contact tracing is required.

For full guidelines for indoor and outdoor events, please refer to the Visitors and Events page and to this document: Drexel Event Guidelines [PDF].

Other

How do I arrange for testing before I travel?

 Students that require testing for travel, please call Student Health to arrange testing, 215-220-4700.

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