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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.

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. 

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.

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

Wear a mask indoors in all University instructional, public, and research spaces, regardless of your vaccination status.

If you're not fully vaccinated:

  • Maintain distance between yourself and others for your safety and the safety of other unvaccinated or immunocompromised persons.
  • Wear a mask in all campus buildings, facilities, and leased properties. Masks are required indoors for unvaccinated community members; they are also strongly recommended outdoors if you are not fully vaccinated. The responsibility to have and wear a mask belongs to each member of the campus community.

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.
  • 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, including dorms, are cleaned and disinfected based on current CDC and local health department guidelines—including routine cleaning of high-touch surfaces throughout the day—and installing hand sanitizer dispensers in high-traffic areas.
  • Assessing ventilation, air flow, and air quality throughout all Drexel buildings and modified where needed to ensure shared spaces meet ASHRAE’s 62.1 standards for acceptable indoor ventilation.

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 and drink on campus?

Meals often serve as an important and enjoyable time to socialize with others. However, mask removal indoors can increase the risk of viral transmission. In general, it is always safer to eat outdoors regardless of your vaccination status, so plan your schedule to make this option possible. Eating indoors on campus is allowed in designated eating areas such as dining halls and eateries, during approved events, and in a select number of indoor eating areas that are primarily located in the center city campus at this time. Eating in classrooms and lobbies is otherwise prohibited. Eating is allowed when you are alone in your office with the door closed as well as in work cubicles where you are below cubicle walls when seated.  To establish a designated eating area, implementation team members should contact Jon Chase, jc52@drexel.edu. When eating indoors, only remove your mask when seated with your meal. Reduce your risk further by eating with no more than 4 other people. A list of dining options is provided at https://drexel.campusdish.com

Those who are not fully vaccinated should take precautions including physical distancing while eating. Students, faculty, and professional staff looking for places to enjoy the seasonable weather can view a map of outdoor seating areas on the University City Campus https://drexel.edu/business-services/dining-retail/outdoor/. Seating options include a variety of tables and chairs as well as shaded and non-shaded.

Questions about larger events and activities with food should be coordinated through your Colleges/Schools Implementation team designee.

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.

Students, faculty and professional staff looking for places to enjoy the seasonable weather can view a map of outdoor seating areas on the University City Campus on the Drexel Business Services website. Seating options include a variety of tables and chairs as well as shaded and non-shaded.

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?

Masks are required (regardless of your vaccination status) on all public transit including on Drexel shuttles.

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 and how do I access it?

The Drexel Health Checker is a mobile- and web-based app that allows Drexel community members to confidentially monitor or report their symptoms, schedule a COVID-19 test, and access key resources to help them stay healthy.

The 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.

How is my Drexel Health Checker data managed?

As noted in the Privacy Policy and the Consent, Drexel authorized personnel will have access to the information provided through the Drexel Health Checker. This is in order to promote the health and safety of Drexel Community members and to monitor compliance with applicable laws and University COVID-19 requirements. As the app provider, My Own Med will have access to the information provided in the app to check that the information is accurate and to operate the app. Information stored in the app is not sold to third parties.

Information provided through the Drexel Health Checker will be retained as long as Drexel continues to use the app.

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

Testing is available to all Drexel students and employees (schedule through the Drexel Health Checker). You can see our testing locations and hours here. View our COVID-19 Testing page for more information, or email covidtesting@drexel.edu with any additional questions.

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?

Face masks are required indoors in all University instructional and research spaces, regardless of your vaccination status. All students, employees, and visitors must wear a mask in classrooms, lecture halls, and seminar rooms; in Drexel libraries and designated research laboratories/spaces; on public transit and Drexel shuttles; and in all public spaces and settings where members of the public will use University facilities or visit the University.

Those who are not yet vaccinated must wear a face mask in all indoor locations unless they are alone in an office, etc., with the door closed.

Face shields are available for employees and students who cannot wear a face 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 if needed.

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.

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.
  • Individuals arriving to campus from international travel.

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. However, they do need to self-monitor for symptoms and wear a mask when around other people for 7 days after an identified exposure. Additionally, vaccinated individuals will need to obtain COVID testing 5 days after they experience an exposure, whether they are experiencing symptoms or not.

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 7 days 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, unvaccinated students arriving from international locations will be required to receive COVID-19 testing and quarantine for 7 days.

Students coordinating traveling inbound from international locations should reach out to the Health Insurance and Immunization office for support in facilitating testing and quarantine.

If you have any other questions, please contact the COVID-19 Response team at covid19questions@drexel.edu.

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.

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. You can also call our hotline for vaccine-related questions: 215-703-2335.

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 should work with Event Services for reservations and setups, and must still keep accurate lists of all attendees before and after events in case contact tracing is required. Food and beverage are permitted.

Please refer to the Visitors and Events page for the most up-to-date information.

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?

For general questions, email covid19questions@drexel.edu.

For questions about COVID 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.


Visit University Resources to find information for each college, school, and administrative department.

Questions? Please contact covid19questions@drexel.edu


Updated June 29, 2021