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What to do if You Feel Sick


First, stay home and self-isolate (separate yourself from others in your household).

Students should contact the Student Health Center right away by phone (215.220.4700) or through the Drexel Health Tracker app. A staff member will contact the student to facilitate testing, if that is needed, and assist with isolation. In conjunction with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Student Health will also try to identify where the student may have been exposed to the infection and work to identify and confidentially alert additional contacts so they do not spread the virus.  

Drexel Health Tracker

If a student living on campus is diagnosed with COVID-19, Drexel will identify the area(s) of exposure and follow CDC and Philadelphia Health Department guidelines in order to clean and disinfect areas used by the ill student. Isolation and quarantine processes specific to students have been developed and are under the direction of Student Health Services.

Student Health Services will also provide ongoing support for students who have tested positive for COVID-19. These services may include:

  • Same-day virtual appointments for prompt evaluation of students with symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  • Frequent symptomatic telehealth check-ins until improvement of illness 
  • Visits to patients’ isolation location for medical support
  • Communication of short-term medical leave and coordination with academic advisors to provide academic materials and study support for students during the isolation or quarantine period
  • For students who are quarantining or isolating in on-campus housing, we can also provide the following services:

    • Meal delivery through Aramark, with meals ordered by the student to suit dietary needs
    • Opt-in, no-contact weekly laundry service
    • No-contact trash removal
    • Front desk staff available for questions or concerns

Faculty & Professional Staff

First, stay home and self-isolate (separate yourself from others in your household).

Seek medical care by calling your primary care physician and ask to be evaluated for COVID-19. Immediately after calling your provider, please contact and provide your name and phone number. A Drexel representative will contact you and continue to monitor your symptoms until you are cleared to return to work. It is imperative that the University is aware of any exposure risk to members of the Drexel community.

Continue to isolate at home

You must continue to self-isolate until: at least 3 days after resolution of fever, without the assistance of feverreducing medications like acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g. Advil), and resolution of respiratory symptoms; and

  • at least 14 days have passed since the symptoms started, or if tested, at least two swab tests, taken 24 hours apart, have returned negative; and
  • you are cleared by a physician to return to work (see “When to Return to Work” below).

Household contact of a confirmed COVID‐19 case

If you are a household contact of a confirmed COVID‐19 case and do not become ill, you must self‐isolate while the ill household member is isolating, and for 14 days after isolation for the ill household member has been discontinued. This could mean an isolation period of approximately 28 days.

Close contact with a confirmed COVID‐19 case in a non‐household setting

If you have had close contact with a confirmed COVID‐19 case in a non‐household setting such as the workplace, you must stay home and self‐isolate for 14 days after your last contact with the COVID‐19 positive individual, even if you do not develop symptoms.

Unable to work for more than three days

If you are unable to work for more than three days because of your own condition or because you are caring for a family member, you may be eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Drexel’s Non‐FMLA Medical Leave policy. After you email to notify the University of your possible or confirmed exposure, a member of the HR team will contact you for a leave of absence consultation. Go to FMLA or Drexel’s Non‐FMLA Medical Leave policy for more information.

For more information on how to care for yourself or someone else who is sick, visit the CDC COVID-19 website.

When to Return to Work

You will be permitted to return to work on‐campus only when the following criteria are met:

  • You have satisfied the self‐isolation requirements set forth above, including the resolution of fever and respiratory symptoms; and
  • You have been cleared by Drexel’s third‐party occupational health physician.

The steps for obtaining medical clearance to return to work are:

  • Email stating that you are ready to return to work. A Drexel Environmental Health & Safety representative will contact you to schedule an appointment with a third‐party occupational health physician.
  • If you have had COVID‐19 symptoms and/or diagnosis, you will be required to obtain a return to work note from your primary care or treating physician and submit it to the third‐party occupational health physician for review.
  • If return to work clearance is granted, a Drexel Human Resources representative will notify you and your manager that you can return to work.


Drexel is currently preparing clear recommendations for the community on who will be recommended to get tested as part of a surveillance testing plan. These decisions will be based on the latest scientific evidence and best practices outlined by health and industry experts. More information regarding these testing plans will be provided to the Drexel community in the coming month. In the meantime, please download the Drexel Health Tracker app.


Updated October 22, 2020