Drexel Starting Spring with Cautious Optimism

campus message March 28

A message was sent to the Drexel community regarding public health guidelines for the start of the spring quarter.


  • Students returning to Drexel housing will receive COVID testing this week.
  • Drexel will retain its current two-tiered system for indoor masking for at least the first week of term. Instructional spaces, ticketed cultural performances, shuttles and health care settings will continue to be "Masks Required" spaces. Most other campus spaces remain "Masks Optional.”
  • Any further changes to public health guidelines for spring quarter will be announced the week of April 4, once we have a good sense of our community's COVID status post-break, further information concerning omicron subvariant B.A.2 and input from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
  • Drexel students and employees unable to access masks can request a KN95 and/or KF94 high filtration mask at Hagerty Library, DAC, Recreation Center, Main Building Lobby, Kline School of Law, New College Building, the Queen Lane security desk and COVID testing centers.
  • Be careful to follow Drexel public health guidelines as our community returns from break. Stay home if you feel sick, and follow contact tracing, mask-wearing, and (if necessary) quarantine and isolation guidelines if you are infected or exposed.

Dear Drexel Students and Colleagues,

Welcome back! As the spring term begins, we wanted to make note of a few COVID-related guidelines for everyone returning to Drexel’s campus, so that we can continue to minimize risk and promote healthy choices for all employees and students.

COVID Testing at the Start of Spring Term

If you’re returning to Drexel housing after spring break (regardless of your vaccination status), or if you are in one of our mandated testing groups (for example, if you have obtained a vaccine exemption), you are required to receive gateway COVID testing this week.

To schedule your COVID-19 test, log in to Drexel Health Checker

  • Select “Calendar” in the bottom right corner 
  • Select “Schedule” and complete the registration information 
  • Search for the day/time this week and select“Schedule” for Open Testing. Please bring a photo ID to your testing appointment. 

Two-Tiered System for Indoor Masking

When it comes to mask-wearing, there are two types of spaces on Drexel’s campus: Masks Required and Masks Optional.

In Masks Required areas, such as classrooms, eating and drinking are not permitted, and everyone must wear a mask at all times, regardless of vaccination status. Masks Required areas include:

  • ALL classrooms, laboratories and studios that are being used for lectures or instructional purposes.
  • All advising spaces.
  • All health care facilities—including, but not limited to: Student Health Services, Occupational Health Services and the Counseling Center unless otherwise posted.
  • All health care rotations (CNHP, COM, Co-op Health Care Positions).
  • The Drexel Shuttle and other public transit.
  • Disability Resources testing spaces.
  • Ticketed events in Mandell and the Urban Annex Black Box Theaters, as well as the 418 Main Dance Studio (attendees must mask).

In Masks Optional spaces—all spaces where masks are not required—individuals can decide on their comfort levels and precautions with regard to masking. Eating and drinking are permitted in these areas.

We strongly recommend that people who have received a vaccine exemption wear a mask, even in Masks Optional locations. Everyone should carry a mask at all times in order to be able to enter Masks Required spaces as needed. We strongly recommend that individuals wear well-fitted, high filtration masks (for example KN95s and KF94s), especially in settings where mask use is not universal for optimal protection.

Drexel students and employees are expected to access their own masks, but those who forget their mask can request a KN95 and/or KF94 high filtration mask at Hagerty Library, DAC, Recreation Center, Main Building Lobby, Kline School of Law, New College Building lobby, the Queen Lane security desk and at Drexel’s COVID testing centers.

Keep Up with the Latest Guidelines

Stay aware of and follow all Drexel guidelines related to COVID-19 safety and remember that everyone has different levels of vulnerability, risk tolerance and relationships to people who are more at risk. Please respect the needs of people around you if they wish to wear a mask, maintain distance, or avoid certain situations such as crowds or indoor parties. If you have visitors, please ensure that they follow the mask guidelines for the space they are visiting (they no longer need to check in with the Drexel Health Checker Visitor Pass). If you feel sick—especially if you have common COVID symptoms like fatigue, headache, congestion, or fever—please stay home and schedule a COVID test, even if you don’t think it’s serious. It may just be allergies, but it’s best to be on the safe side.

Drexel is continuing to monitor COVID transmission within our community, as well as local and regional trends. We may announce changes to our guidelines depending on the COVID situation post-break, adherence to masking guidelines, and other factors.An Omicron subvariant known as B.A.2 has been causing an increase in COVID infections in parts of Europe and Asia. This “version” of Omicron is highly contagious, and we are closely monitoring the situation. Drexel’s booster requirement deadline was February 28, 2022. If you have yet to be boosted, now is the time. Booster doses of vaccine are available through student health and at retail pharmacies around the city.

We will announce any further changes to our public health guidelines the week of April 4. See the latest announcements on the Response to Coronavirus site.

All the best,

Paul E. Jensen
Executive Vice President
Nina Henderson Provost

Marla J. Gold
Chief Wellness Officer
Senior Vice Provost for Community Health