COVID-19 Updates for Summer Term and Academic Year 2022-2023
The following message, with updates on masking and vaccination for the summer term and academic year 2022-23, was sent to the Drexel community:
- Drexel recommends wearing a well-fitting, high filtration mask in indoor shared spaces, where COVID transmission remains high. You must wear a mask in all “masks required” settings on campus.
- Drexel will continue to require full vaccination for all on-campus students and employees.
- If you have been granted a Drexel vaccine exemption, the University will honor it through the coming academic year.
- Drexel testing sites will have reduced hours during the summer, and Queen Lane and New College Building sites will be closed through the end of July. Consider the use of rapid at-home tests for day-to-day monitoring.
- Weekly surveillance testing will no longer be required for vaccine exempt persons as of June 20, 2022.
- Dr. Janet Cruz, director of Student Health, is transitioning out of her position to assume leadership of the Family Medicine residency program beginning in August. As of June 20, Dr. Alicia Tucker will become interim director of Student Health.
Dear Drexel Students and Colleagues,
Thank you so much for helping us end the 2021–2022 academic year on a strong note.
COVID-19 viral transmission remains high in our region. However, while newer versions of the Omicron variant can more easily infect even vaccinated persons, vaccination continues to markedly reduce adverse outcomes of infection in most people. Further, consistent and correct masking continues to greatly reduce viral transmission and infection. While significant viral transmission remains, Drexel is making some changes to its institutional public health guidelines around COVID-19 reflecting evolving science, expert input, consultation with local health department officials and campus disease patterns. Please see the CDC’s county-level data tracker and the Philadelphia Health Department local data to stay abreast of local trends. Keep in mind however, that reported case data, including that on Drexel’s own dashboard, does not include rapid home testing. As such, cases are often higher than reflected in large datasets based on pcr testing.
Vaccination requirements for the 2022-23 academic year
Drexel continues to require that all students and employees who spend time on campus be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or obtain a university-approved medical or religious exemption. “Fully vaccinated” means you have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine that is approved or authorized by the FDA (this means either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines, or a single dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine) or the World Health Organization. This requirement applies to all students and employees who spend any time on campus unless they have applied for and received a religious or medical vaccine exemption from Drexel. If you have previously been granted a Drexel vaccine exemption, the University will continue to honor that exemption through the coming academic year.
Drexel has consistently achieved an excellent vaccination rate. We appreciate all your efforts to protect yourselves and our community; this affords us all an additional measure of protection.
Booster recommendations for students and employees
We continue to transition to a longer-term strategy for managing COVID-19 and balance evolving science with community and individual health. Therefore, effective immediately, Drexel will no longer require, but rather will strongly recommend, that students and employees receive COVID-19 vaccine boosters as recommended by the CDC and their health care providers. Boosters can still lessen your chance of contracting COVID-19 and – depending on your age and other conditions – can greatly decrease your risk of serious illness, if you do get sick.You can schedule a booster shot through Student Health (call 215-220-4700) or at a retail pharmacy location near you.
End of Required Weekly Surveillance Testing for Exempted Students/Employees
Based on campus data, Drexel is phasing out its weekly testing requirement for vaccine-exempt students and employees during the summer term. Vaccine-exempt students, faculty, and professional staff will no longer be required to take part in weekly COVID-19 testing, as of June 20. However, we strongly encourage anyone who has a known exposure or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to get tested and isolate away from others. Please see below for testing site information over the summer.
We strongly recommend you wear a well-fitting, high filtration mask (e.g., KF94, KN95, N95) in any indoor shared space, especially when COVID transmission levels are high. Posted signage concerning mask wearing reflects our knowledge concerning regional viral transmission to aid your decision-making. In addition, please recall that the following campus spaces require mask-wearing:
- ALL classrooms, offices, laboratories and studios that are being used for instructional purposes.
- All health care facilities—including, but not limited to: Student Health Services, Occupational Health Services and the Counseling Center.
- All health care rotations (CNHP, COM, Co-op Health Care Positions).
- Disability Resources testing spaces.
- Ticketed events in Mandell and the URBN Annex Black Box Theaters, and the 418 Main Dance Studio (attendees must mask).
Testing Hours and Location Updates
Due to lower demand during the summer quarter, starting June 20 we will have reduced hours at our Race Hall testing site, and our other two Drexel testing sites will be closed through the month of July and reopen August 1.
Race Hall (University City campus) hours starting Monday, June 20:
- Monday/Tuesday/Thursday: 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
- Wednesday: 12 p.m.–7 p.m.
- Friday: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Queen Lane and New College Building sites:
Closed June 20-August 1
We encourage you to make extensive use of rapid at-home tests to aid in everyday decisions. You can order rapid tests for free through the U.S. government or find them at local pharmacies.
Leadership Changes and Heartfelt Thanks
We would like to take a moment to thank and honor Dr. Janet Cruz, who has led Drexel’s Student Health Services throughout the course of this challenging pandemic. Beginning in August, Dr. Cruz will become Director of the Drexel Family Medicine Residency Program.Effective June 20, Dr. Alicia Tucker will become the interim director of Student Health, taking over Dr. Cruz’s duties during this time of transition while we seek a long-term replacement. Dr. Tucker is well known to our community in her role as sports physician within Drexel Athletics. Please join us in expressing a heartfelt thanks to Dr. Cruz for her crucial work. Her leadership and expertise have kept all of us healthier and safer, both before and during the COVID pandemic crisis.
An Ever-Evolving Situation
At this time in the pandemic, it is our hope that scientific advances in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, along with improved understanding of the virus, support a transition to endemicity. This is the point at which the disease has predictable outcomes and rates across populations, combined with clearly defined public health guidelines.We are not there yet, but we are heartened by all the progress that has occurred since early 2020. As has been the situation throughout the pandemic at Drexel, changes in the science, data from other institutions of higher education, expert input and guidance from governmental public health authorities can impact our future recommendations and requirements. We will continue to update the Drexel community as information becomes available.
We hope you enjoyed graduation and we wish you all a wonderful summer. If you are on campus, please continue to stay up to date with our campus guidelines at drexel.edu/coronavirus.
Marla J. Gold, MD
Chief Wellness Officer
Senior Vice Provost for Community Health
Subir Sahu, PhD
Senior Vice President for Student Success
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Paul E. Jensen, PhD
Executive Vice President and Nina Henderson Provost