A Hopeful Spring, Thanks to You

The following message, about developments with Omicron and COVID-19 policy updates, was sent to the Drexel community. 


  • New COVID-19 cases continue to decline in the Drexel community and the Philadelphia region. See the latest aggregate results from Drexel’s testing sites on our COVID-19 Dashboard.
  • Food and beverage will be allowed at events, starting February 17.
  • Indoor mask-wearing will continue on Drexel’s campus. Reminder: If you haven’t yet uploaded proof of your booster vaccination to the Drexel Health Checker, you must do so by February 28. If you still need a booster, call Student Health (215-220-4700) to make an appointment, or click here to schedule at a Drexel/SunRay Pharmacy booster clinic.
  • COVID testing: If you have COVID symptoms, schedule a test within 24 hours. If exposed, schedule a test 5 days after exposure. If you’re in a mandatory testing group, continue to follow your assigned schedule. If none of these apply, you may receive a COVID test at Drexel, up to once per week.
  • See updated Drexel public health guidelines here.

Dear Drexel Students and Colleagues, 

As you can see on our COVID-19 Dashboard, the effects of the winter Omicron wave continue to subside within the Drexel community. Note that the dashboard has been updated so you can see results for students and employees and our cumulative testing results for the current academic year.

As we ride out the tail end of this latest wave, it may feel like life in a pandemic is full of endless crises and precautions. Yet while COVID appears here to stay, we’ve won so many victories and have seen what we can do when a community comes together with compassion, care and science as guiding principles. While successive waves of transmission have occurred in our wider environment, and many of us have experienced them personally, we have kept our on-campus administrative and academic spaces free from any documented COVID transmission. We have worked together to create a campus where we can interact and engage while still keeping a pandemic at bay.

  • We have achieved a remarkable vaccination rate. Nearly 98% of our students, faculty and professional staff are vaccinated.
  • We have worn masks on campus and while mask-wearing can be tiring, we have been encouraged to see not only how well our community members follow these procedures, but also how well you have incorporated masks into your routines and learned to live with them as comfortably and naturally as possible.
  • We have learned and worked and taught separately and together, showing patience and flexibility as situations have changed.
  • We have been vigilant—individually and collectively—by following regular testing procedures, by keeping an eye on our circumstances, and by adjusting our protocols where needed.
  • We have become more empowered with information about COVID-19, more able to make evidence-based decisions for ourselves (what events are safe enough for me, and what precautions are necessary in this situation?) and our community as a whole.

Thank you for making Drexel a space for learning, friendship and discovery—a place where even our more vulnerable community members can feel welcome—in spite of COVID-19.

Moving forward, here are a few things you need to know:

Food and beverage will be allowed at events again starting today, February 17

Detailed guidance concerning considerations for planning events that are as safe as possible are provided on the Response to Coronavirus, Visitors and Events site. Please carefully read the guidance as you plan your events. Student organizations should continue to follow event guidance as provided by Student Life. Community and campus transmission is low as is COVID-19 infection among students, faculty and professional staff at this time. In general, planning for food and beverage at events should be done with attention to ventilation, the ability for attendees to distance, if desired, and ample seating. Some attendees may choose to remain masked but desire to socialize, while others may feel more comfortable sitting with a few people. This is a time of transition. Our goal is to inclusively plan for safety and comfort while being able to socialize more.

Indoor mask-wearing continues

Wearing masks in all shared on-campus spaces has proven to be a very effective way to protect our Drexel community while still maintaining a rich campus experience. New evidence from the CDC further reinforces the fact that wearing a mask (especially a surgical mask or a respirator mask) provides substantial protection to the person wearing it, as well as to those around them. Drexel will continue its indoor mask-wearing rules to keep students and staff protected while continuing to monitor viral transmission trends and information concerning how masks protect the wearer in a college setting, including classrooms. It is too soon to say if we might become mask-optional but know we are looking closely at the data.

Updates on when to get tested

If you have COVID symptoms, stay home and schedule a test ideally within 24 hours, even if you’re vaccinated. If you’re truly exposed, regardless of vaccination status, you’ll need to schedule a test 5 days after your last exposure to an infected person. If you’re in a mandatory testing group (e.g., vaccine-exempted or partially vaccinated), you’ll continue with your regular COVID testing protocol.

If you’re not in any of the above categories but want to schedule a COVID test to check your status (known as ‘discretionary testing’), you can still get tested at Drexel’s testing sites. With infection low in the region and on campus, please do not test more than once per week unless instructed otherwise by members of the COVID response team. We suggest you use an at-home antigen testing kit if you wish to get tested more regularly. In the U.S, everyone is eligible to order up to 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests.

Learn more about COVID testing at Drexel or what to do if you feel sick.

Booster deadline is February 28

If you haven’t already, and if you are booster-eligible and have not received a University-approved vaccine exemption, you must upload proof of your booster vaccination to the Drexel Health Checker by Monday, February 28. It’s important to be up to date with your COVID vaccinations and this includes the booster dose. Read more about vaccination and booster doses on Drexel’s Response to Coronavirus website. Questions concerning your booster dose should be emailed to COVID19questions@drexel.edu.

You still have more than a week to schedule a booster shot, if you have yet to do so. Call Student Health (215-220-4700) to make an appointment, or click here to schedule at one of Drexel’s extra booster clinics with SunRay Pharmacy. You can also visit Vaccines.gov to find a non-Drexel vaccine provider near you.

As always, keep an eye on our Drexel public health guidelines for the latest updates. Thank you again and take good care.

All the best,

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

Janet Cruz, MD
Director, Student Health Services