Changes to COVID Campus Guidelines
The following message, with updated COVID guidelines, was sent to the campus community:
- Drexel’s Race Hall COVID testing site will close on March 24 and the Race Hall Library Learning Terrace will reopen for the return of students on April 3 at the start of the Spring quarter.
- Effective March 24, employee COVID PCR testing will no longer be available. Employees are advised to use rapid home tests as needed.
- Students can still obtain free PCR or rapid antigen tests through Student Health.
- If you feel sick, get tested, and—if you suspect you may have a COVID exposure or infection—follow the guidelines here: If You Are Infected or Exposed. Contact tracing is now fully automated. Please report all positive COVID test results through the Drexel Health Checker and fill out any health assessment emails you receive.
- Currently, Drexel still requires COVID vaccination defined as the primary series for all employees and students consistent with City of Philadelphia regulation. Should this regulation end, Drexel will strongly recommend that students and employees stay up to date on COVID vaccination and annual booster recommendations. Students can obtain the vaccine series and any boosters through Student Health.
- All students and employees who participate in clinical rotations can be required to be up to date with COVID vaccination by their School or College.
- Drexel recommends wearing a mask indoors around others during periods of medium and high viral transmission, especially if you have health concerns. Masks remain required in health care spaces.
- A streamlined version of Drexel’s Response to Coronavirus web site will move to the Health & Well-Being site by the start of Spring quarter. Please visit the Health & Well-Being at Drexel site for additional health resources.
Dear Drexel Students and Colleagues,
In the three years since COVID-19 arrived in the Philadelphia region, the Drexel community has made many changes and adaptations to stay safe and thrive. Currently, our collective goal is integration of COVID awareness into daily life while also nurturing all facets of our health. As the COVID crisis continues to abate, we are making changes to how Drexel handles COVID testing and information.
With the large-scale shift toward relying on rapid at-home COVID tests, and with the availability of vaccination and effective therapies for COVID, Drexel will close the Race Hall PCR testing site on March 24 at which time testing will no longer be available for employees. The location will reopen as the Race Hall Library Learning Terrace, welcoming the return of students at the start of the Spring quarter.
PCR testing will still be available for Drexel students through Student Health. Students can obtain a rapid test at the Student Health Center or schedule a PCR test through the Drexel Health Checker, just as you would have scheduled at the other testing sites before.
Drexel’s robust PCR COVID testing program has been a vital resource to our community. Testing site staff performed close to 130,000 COVID tests at our Race Hall, Queen Lane, and New College Building sites—hundreds a day during the height of the pandemic—keeping all of us safer through rapid detection and response. As we move to a less acute phase of the pandemic and scale down this operation, we want to recognize and honor the work of all our testing and contact-tracing staff.
Consistent with City of Philadelphia regulation, Drexel still requires all students, faculty, and professional staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.Drexel has determined that should the City end its regulation, we will lift our vaccine mandate while strongly encouraging every member of our community to stay up to date on COVID vaccination.This decision is guided by current science, Drexel campus transmission data and national trends at higher education settings.Note that health care students and employees who participate in clinical rotations may still be required to vaccinate against COVID-19 and should consult with their individual school or college.Drexel offers COVID-19 vaccines and boosters—including the most up-to-date bivalent booster—free of charge to students. You can schedule an appointment Monday–Friday at the Student Health Center by calling 215-220-4700. Employees can obtain vaccination through their primary care provider or at an array of community locations such as retail pharmacies and supermarkets. Community members 50 and older, or persons with certain risk factors remain at elevated risk for serious illness with COVID; whether that’s you or just someone you know, it’s a good idea to get your booster and stay up to date with the CDC recommended vaccination schedule.
Keep Individual and Community Safety in Mind
As always, if you have symptoms of COVID or have been exposed to someone who does, get tested and follow the guidelines here: If You Are Infected or Exposed. If you have questions about COVID protocols, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wearing a well-fitting face mask, especially a respirator-type mask such as a KN95, can lower the risk of COVID transmission. Drexel recommends wearing a face mask indoors when around others, especially if you are concerned that you may be sick (even if it isn’t COVID) or are concerned about your personal risk. Anyone is welcome to wear a mask.
A well-fitting mask is still required in all Drexel health care facilities.
Reporting and Contact Tracing
If you get a positive COVID test result, whether via a rapid test, through Student Health, or elsewhere, it is still vital that you report that result to Drexel by uploading your test result to the Drexel Health Checker. Drexel’s contact tracers will follow up with you via email with a health assessment to ensure you have the information you need to isolate safely and let other people know if they are at risk. We have the power to protect others in our community by curbing the spread of a disease that can have serious consequences.
A New Home for COVID Information
COVID’s impact on campus life, emotional and social well-being, and more has been a catalyst for Drexel to address campus health and well-being more comprehensively. Early in the pandemic, when Drexel shifted to remote work and learning, our Response to Coronavirus website served as the community hub for up-to-date COVID information, and it has remained a go-to resource ever since. We will be moving streamlined COVID information to the new Health & Well-Being at Drexel site by the beginning of the Spring quarter. For the latest guidelines and updates, visit www.drexel.edu/health-wellbeing/covid-19.
While you’re there,discover all the other excellent resources Drexel offers to nurture your whole health.
Moving Forward Together
I’m proud of our community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few years. A novel disease that involves personal responsibility while impacting entire communities can be incredibly hard to navigate. Many of us have been through some of the most challenging, exhausting time in our lives and for some of us, the pandemic has changed our lives for the foreseeable future. Drexel has a variety of support services, events and sources of information to help campus community members thrive. We are all in this together. Let’s continue to do our best to keep ourselves and each other healthy—while also tending to the many other facets of a vibrant and fulfilling campus life. Thank you, as always, for doing your part.
Marla J. Gold, MD, FACP
Chief Wellness Officer
Senior Vice Provost for Community Health
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