Student Update: Maintaining a Safe Campus
The following message was sent to Drexel students on Jan. 22:
Dear Drexel Dragon,
Over the course of the past two weeks, there have been some clusters of COVID-19 infection within our undergraduate student population.
While these individual cases have, thankfully, been mild with regards to infection thus far, the spread of infection is cause for concern. Even one positive case is one too many for the health and safety of our students and the broader Drexel community.
While currently under review, initial information indicates that the increase in positive cases is a direct result of small social gatherings of students who are intermingling with individuals not within their pods or households.
When you attend small, indoor gatherings without masks involving people from different households, you are greatly risking infection.
It is safest for you to always wear a mask when you are with others and maintain at least 6 feet of distance.
That said, we understand the importance of social connection and that some students have apartment roommates and/or reside in housing where there may be some shared, common space. Forming true pods with your roommates and staying safe are important parts of a prevention strategy which supports reducing the spread of COVID-19 while simultaneously allowing students to maintain a social connection.
We wish to emphasize the following points regarding pods at Drexel University:
- Your pod should be a small group of no more than 6 students who associate with each other based on agreed-upon shared practices.
- It is imperative that you maintain a safe and secure pod while at Drexel University in order to help mitigate spread to yourself, your fellow students, and our community.
- Gathering with members outside your household, no matter how small, and doing this unmasked and indoors is a significant risk of infection, as we have outlined to you in the Health and Safety training and the Dragon Pledge you affirmed.
Furthermore, we would like to reiterate some key mandatory health and safety protocols which you are required to follow for your health and that of our community:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask at all times.
- Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.
- Disinfect shared equipment and wash your hands regularly.
- Limit indoor activities.
- Limit social gatherings to your immediate household and/or pod while continuing to follow masking and social distancing guidelines.
In addition to the above, all students should continue to monitor their symptoms daily by utilizing Drexel’s Health Checker app. If you feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, stay home and contact Drexel Student Health immediately.
We are all working to overcome the unexpected challenges during this complicated time. And many of you may be experiencing pandemic fatigue; however, we can all agree that keeping our community safe is worth the risk reduction steps we need to maintain. Please, continue to take the proper precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and adhere to all health and safety protocols put forth by the University.
Drexel University has been, and will continue to be, fully committed to doing all that we can to keep our students, faculty, and professional staff safe at all costs.
It is our collective responsibility and obligation — both to ourselves and each other — to ensure our community stays safe and healthy.
Janet Cruz, MD
Director, Student Health Services
Marla J Gold, MD
Director, COVID Operations