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Return to Campus & COVID-19 Safety and Resources

Drexel University is committed to preserving and maintaining the health and safety of all members of its community. Details on all university-wide measures being taken can be found on the Drexel coronavirus website.

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As the College of Medicine prepares to resume in-person education, a committee within the college has been formed to determine how and when our entire community can safely make a full return to our campuses at Queen Lane and in Center City. As we embark on a multi-phased return in the coming months, the College’s top priorities are health, safety and high-quality education.

Our decision-making committee will follow federal, state and local guidelines, as well as guidance from Drexel University, to maintain the wellbeing of our community and prevent the spread of COVID-19 as we resume in-person activities.

Returning to campus is an on-going process. The details and guidance below are subject to change, and we encourage you to follow the guidance of your department chairs, academic advisors and managers moving forward. The College of Medicine is grateful for your patience, understanding and flexibility in this unprecedented time.

Please return to this page over the coming weeks for more information on our preparations to reopen, patient safety and research protocols, and more.

Maintain Personal & Community Health and Safety

As our in-person activities increase, your choices will influence the wellbeing of our community and the potential spread of COVID-19. To keep yourself and others safe, please follow the guidance of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

News & Events

Bus Service to Resume on Modified Schedules for Queen Lane and Center City; Powelton/Spring Garden Route Still Suspended
Drexel University bus service along the Dragon Route (Center City Loop) and Queen Lane Route (East Falls Loop) will resume on modified schedules beginning on Monday, July 6. You can view the schedules via PDF on the Campus Bus Service website. The following protocols will be in place to ensure the health and safety of our riders and drivers:

  • Capacity for the buses will be drastically reduced; please do not utilize this service unless you are authorized to be reporting for work or research on campus.
  • Masks will be required to enter any Drexel Transit vehicle.
  • Riders are required to maintain social distancing while loading onto the buses and to sit in designated seating to maintain our safety thresholds. Riders must enter from the front of the vehicle. Upon entering, please take the first available seat starting from the rear of the bus.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided on each bus.
  • Each bus put into service will be disinfected twice per day.

Accelerating COVID-19 Research and Development
Generous support from Drexel’s Board of Trustees enabled the University’s Office of Research and Innovation to create the Rapid Response Research and Development Fund, which is supporting more than a dozen urgent action projects focused on COVID-19 health-related research and development. The work supported by this fund includes the production of new medical masks and face shields, a new app to track infections, vaccine-related research and the chronicling of mental health impacts.

Drexel College of Medicine picked for NIH study on COVID-19
Charles B. Cairns, MD, the Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean, and senior vice president of medical affairs at the College of Medicine, was quoted in a June 11 6ABC story about researchers from the College of Medicine and Tower Health collaborating to take part in a national NIH study on the immune responses of COVID-19 patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Current and prospective MD program and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies students, faculty and staff can find details below regarding the College’s methods of maintaining community wellbeing without sacrificing high-quality education. Individuals with questions that are not answered here are encouraged to directly contact departments and administrative offices for information. College of Medicine faculty and staff are committed to answering questions as they work remotely.

For current students:

Who can I contact for help and questions?

MD Program Students:

If you have questions related to your specific circumstances as a current student in the MD program, please contact Student Affairs directly. If emergent, you may use the Student Affairs emergency hotline (215.991.8184), or email if not urgent.

The Office of Student Affairs & Career Advising continues to operate full time (remotely) with uninterrupted delivery of all services and resources to support students personally, academically, for career guidance, with financial planning and/or for any other student needs. The Student Affairs deans and staff can be reached by email or phone.

Medical School Office of Student Wellbeing: The health providers in the Office of Student Wellbeing continue to provide care for medical students virtually. Students can contact the providers by phone or email.

All medical school course directors and thread faculty are conducting classes online and continue to be available to students by Zoom or email.

Graduate Students:

If you have questions related to your specific circumstances as a current graduate student in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Students, please contact your program director, faculty advisor or academic administrator.

What do I do if I think I have coronavirus?

Aside from self-isolating, if a student has developed fever with cough or shortness of breath, or has had contact with someone who is suspected to have coronavirus, the student is advised to call the Drexel Student Health Center right away at 215.220.4700. Students in the MD program must also contact Student Affairs using the Student Affairs emergency hotline (215.991.8184).

When will clinical-based learning and activities resume?

Beginning Monday, March 16, we are temporarily suspending all third- and fourth-year medical student presence in clinical settings This decision was made after discussions with our educational leadership team and our clinical partners, and includes all required Year 3 clerkships and all Year 4 clinical subinternships, required clinical courses and elective rotations. We are not in any way halting medical education or suspending clerkships, but we have temporarily switched to online modalities (virtual cases) for the learning of medical and graduate students at all Drexel-affiliated hospitals and clinical health care education settings. Plans for schedule changes lasting into mid-May have recently been announced to current medical students.

In conjunction with the University and our health care partners, we will reassess the further suspension of student presence in clinical settings as conditions warrant. Clinical education and graduate research are very important, and we will continue to work on short-term alternatives to limit disruption of education.

As a graduating medical student, where do I send my licensing forms?

Please send all licensing forms to QLCert@drexel.edu. Transcripts can be requested through Drexel One. Only electronic transcripts are available at this time. If you have any issue satisfying the transcript requirements for your residency, contact QLCert@drexel.edu. For residencies that require final transcripts, please request the transcript after you receive an email from the Registrar stating that you have satisfied all degree requirements and are clear to graduate. Emails are sent on a rolling basis as students complete fourth-year requirements.

Please also continue to check your Drexel email and the Commencement website for updates.

Students who have questions about financial aid, billing, etc. should contact Drexel Central.

For my graduate program, what’s the status for our courses and graduation?

Remote instruction will continue for all courses in the graduate programs. Except where otherwise specified, classes will meet remotely at their regularly scheduled times. For those programs participating in spring break, March 23 – March 27, the break will carry on as normal.

Posted graduation dates and deadlines, including application for degree, will remain the same. Please consult with your academic program regarding any additional graduation dates and deadlines. Please continue to check your Drexel email and the Commencement website for updates.

Students who have questions about financial aid, billing, etc. should contact Drexel Central.

What happens to my stipend as a graduate student?

Graduate students receiving compensation via stipend are asked to complete their work remotely. Stipends will continue during this period as long as work is performed. Please contact your principal investigator (PI) if you have any questions or concerns.

What support resources are still available remotely for my studies?

Please contact Drexel University Instructional Technology for IT help and for information on accessing Drexel services and resources remotely. For technical help and information on accessing medical school resources, please contact the Technology in Medical Education (TIME) team at TIME@drexel.edu.

Student and academic support services will continue to operate in a remote format. Please check Drexel websites for updated hours and operations.

Visit the Drexel University Libraries website for updated hours and information about remote operations.

The Center for Learning and Academic Success Services (CLASS) will be offering tutoring and peer academic coaching exclusively through online modalities. They can also help support students adjust to online learning. Register for one of their upcoming workshops on online learning.

 
For faculty and staff:

If you have questions related to specific circumstances in your work environment and/or the resources available to you, contact your HR Business Partner.

What should I do if I think I was exposed to the virus?

Faculty and professional staff are advised to seek medical care by calling their primary care doctor and asking to be evaluated for the COVID-19 infection. 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 the members of the Drexel community.

How will faculty members be compensated during the self-isolation period?

Faculty members will continue to be compensated in accordance with Drexel’s current practice.

How will professional staff members be compensated during the self-isolation period?

If the professional staff member is able and approved to work remotely, they will not be required to use their leave time. Members of a collective bargaining unit should refer to their union contract.

If the professional staff member is unable to work remotely, they will be paid via their sick leave. If they do not have enough sick leave accrued, the professional staff member will be permitted to utilize future sick leave accruals to ensure that there is no disruption in pay. Members of a collective bargaining unit should refer to their union contract.

If the individual is experiencing symptoms and is unable to work as a result, they are required to use their sick leave. If needed, the professional staff member will be permitted to utilize future sick leave accruals to ensure that there is no disruption in pay. Members of a collective bargaining unit should refer to their union contract.

Am I able to access my building on campus?

Drexel has closed all campus facilities to the public until further notice, and effective March 23, only life-sustaining essential personnel are permitted on campus. To access campus buildings, those employees will need to present the letter they received designating them as life-sustaining essential personnel, as well as their DragonCard.

How will this affect my research project(s)?

 
For prospective students:

Statement from the Office of Admissions Regarding Academic Work and MCAT Tests Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak

The Office of Admissions would like to address the concerns of MD Program applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is causing unprecedented disruption to academic work and MCAT testing.

The College of Medicine is keenly aware of the many challenges that applicants are facing and we understand the need to be flexible in our approach to admissions during this time.

Please be advised of the following:

  • The Admissions Committee will accept Pass/Fail, online, and courses not taken at an applicant’s “home school” without penalty to the applicant.
  • The deadline to complete the 2021 application is extended from January 1 to February 1.
  • The date to submit MCATs will be extended from September of 2020 to the last date in 2020 that the MCAT is offered. MCATs from 2021 will only be accepted for special program students.
  • 2020-2021 applicants will not be penalized for experiences they had planned to complete or participate in that were impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic.
  • All applicants will receive a secondary application. Applicants with complete files who indicate they intend to sit for a future MCAT testing in 2020 will be held for review until the results of that testing have been received.

Please continue to visit our website for the latest information about this evolving situation.

For questions, please contact the Admissions Office by email at medadmis@drexel.edu.

MD Programn Applicant Interviews

College of Medicine 2020-2021 MD program applicant interviews are being conducted virtually. Interviews are by invitation only. For questions about admission to the MD program, please email medadmis@drexel.edu. Detailed information about the MD program and the admissions process can be found at MD Program Admissions.

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies Programs

For questions about the graduate programs and applying to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies, please email CoM_GraduateSchool@drexel.edu, or use the chat function on our program web pages. There are also many online open houses available for more information.

Related Stories and Videos on COVID-19 and the College of Medicine

College of Medicine and Tower Health Researchers Study Immune Responses Among COVID-19 Patients in Nationwide NIH Study
Researchers at Drexel University’s College of Medicine and Tower Health are among 10 leading medical institutions nationwide embarking on a study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to uncover insights that may help answer these questions and others about the immune responses to COVID-19. The clinical trial was mentioned in a June 10 WFMZ-TV (Allentown, Pennsylvania) segment.

Medical Students Team Up to Supply PPE to Philly Hospitals
The College of Medicine was mentioned in a Jewish Exponent article about Philadelphia medical students joining forces to supply personal protective equipment to area hospitals.

University Providing $100,000 to Support Urgent, Short-term COVID-19 Research
College of Medicine faculty members are involved in more than half of all the short-term, urgent action COVID-19 research and development efforts receiving support from the University’s $100,000 Rapid Response Research & Development Fund.

MD Students Form Task Force to Collect PPE
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has changed the routines of daily life for many, but Drexel University College of Medicine students are working together – and collaborating with new student groups – to make the best of the difficult situation.

Video: Why Do We Need Clinical Trials of Treatments and What Will They Tell Us?
Charles B. Cairns, MD, dean of the College of Medicine and Leslie McClure, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Dornsife, discuss the role of clinical trials in stopping COVID-19's spread.

Prioritizing Transplants When Other Surgeries Are on Hold
Meera Nair Harhay, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, was quoted in an April 6 Medscape article about prioritizing transplants when other surgeries are on hold during the pandemic.

Retired doctors want to return to work to fight COVID-19. Here's what they need to know
Nielufar Varjavand, MD, a professor of medicine, program director of the Physician Refresher/Reentry Course, director of Global Health Education and co-director of Case-Based Learning, was quoted in an AAMC News article about what retired doctors need to know before returning to work to fight the coronavirus.

Webinar: Development of COVID-19 Therapeutics
Faculty from Drexel University College of Medicine presented a webinar on the development of antiviral drugs and vaccines for COVID19 on Wednesday, April 22 at 12 p.m.

Dean Charles Cairns – Can Antibody Testing Reveal Immunity for COVID-19?
Drexel University College of Medicine Dean Charles B. Cairns, MD, discusses antibody testing for confirming immunity to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Trump touted an anti-malaria drug for the coronavirus. Now Philly patients who need it can’t get it.
Akhil Vaidya, PhD, a professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology and director of the Center for Molecular Parasitology, was quoted in a March 25 Philadelphia Inquirer article about people stockpiling an anti-malaria drug touted by President Trump as a treatment for COVID-19.

Charles B. Cairns, MD, dean of Drexel University College of Medicine, on COVID-19
Charles B. Cairns, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, FAHA, Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean and senior vice president of medical affairs, provides information about the novel coronavirus and what steps can be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Q&A with College of Medicine Dean Charles B. Cairns, MD
In this Q&A, Charles B. Cairns, MD, the Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean and senior vice president of medical affairs, discusses the known risks of COVID-19 and prevention of its spread.

Drexel University working to fill critical need for COVID-19 masks and respirators

How antibody tests work and could help fight the coronavirus

 
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