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Campus & Community

Preparing for Winter Term and Drexel COVID-19 Testing

December 17, 2020

This message about testing and the winter term was sent to faculty and professional staff by Marla J. Gold, MD, director of the Return Oversight Committee, and Megan Weyler, senior vice president and Chief Human Resources Officer:

Dear Colleagues,

As we look forward to returning to campus for the winter term, Drexel University has established a COVID-19 testing plan for students, faculty and professional staff in return Phases I-IV. Informed by experience and science, our screening strategy has been created to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission among our campus community. While testing does not replace the importance of mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing, it does play an important role in risk reduction and supports early detection of COVID-19 infection. Your participation in this program will contribute to the success of our campus community in staying healthy.

As members of the Drexel community, in addition to the required baseline testing, those returning to campus will also have the opportunity to undergo COVID-19 testing every other week as directed by our health and safety program. Ongoing results of this screening program will further guide testing frequency over time.

More information about COVID-19 testing at Drexel including the type of test in use can be accessed here.

Preparing for Winter Term

In preparation for our January return, if you have not already done so, we strongly advise that you obtain a flu vaccination. In addition, please ensure you have completed the online employee health and safety training. You can access the training through CareerPathway.

Based on recent studies, the majority of COVID-19 transmission occurs when people spend time indoors with friends and family members not in their immediate households, without masks or appropriate distancing.  Experience nationally shows an increase of COVID-19 transmission particularly associated with holidays and other special occasions. We all want to be together over the holidays, but the current pandemic and national infection rates must continue to inform healthy and safe choices.  If after careful risk assessment you must travel over winter break, please ensure you are familiar with Pennsylvania travel requirements and Drexel’s travel guidelines.

Drexel Health Checker

Everyone returning to campus should download the Drexel Health Checker app. Available for Android and iOS devices, the app is your key to daily symptom reporting, clearance to enter your workplace, scheduling your COVID-19 test, and accessing your test results through an integrated, confidential health portal. Be sure to download the app and check out its functions before winter term, as it will be used to schedule appointments for baseline COVID tests. To ensure you can access your test result through the app, make sure you register using the Drexel email that is in the format abc123@Drexel.edu. In addition, you must use the app for daily symptom reporting before being able to enter any campus building. Report any symptoms, even if mild. If you do not have access to a smart phone, you can use the web-based version of the app, available here.

Testing Program

·      In accordance with recommendations from the Drexel Scientific Advisory Group, faculty and professional staff in Phases I-IV will be required to undergo baseline testing provided by the University during the week of January 11. Baseline testing is a way to gauge where we are at the start of the term and fine-tune any testing plans. However, you do not need to be tested prior to entering the workplace.

·      Faculty and professional staff in Phases I-IV will have the opportunity to be tested every other week throughout the winter term upon completion of baseline testing. Results from baseline and ongoing testing programs, along with ongoing scientific review, will be used to guide any adjustments in testing frequency.

Test Locations

For ease and accessibility to quick and accurate testing, we have established testing sites at our University City, Center City and Queen Lane campuses.

·      Race Hall Learning Terrace (3300 Race Street)

·      Queen Lane Satellite (2900 W. Queen Lane, Classroom C9)

·      Center City Satellite (245 N. 15th Street, Room 1103)

Scheduling Your Test

·      Faculty and professional staff in Phases I-IV will be notified via email and/or through the Drexel Health Checker when scheduled testing is available. To prepare for return to campus, you must download the Drexel Health Checker app and be able to access your Drexel email prior to arrival on campus.

·      All testing will be completed by appointment using the Drexel Health Checker app.

·      All test results will be provided through the confidential health portal within the Drexel health Checker app within 24-48 hours of testing.

What if I test positive or have been exposed to a positive case?

·      You are to stay home, call your primary care provider for guidance and please notify COVID19health@drexel.edu to assist with our contract tracing protocols to help those who may have been exposed to you on campus.

·      Individuals with a positive test or known exposure will receive outreach from our Contact Tracing team. Please be aware that the team will be calling from a Drexel affiliated phone number (215.895.2001).

·      Any employee in quarantine, due to exposure to someone with known infection, must complete their quarantine period before coming to campus. No employees with symptoms of any illness should report to work. Please do not come to campus until you are well.

·      Note that if you are exposed to an infected individual but remain asymptomatic while in quarantine, new guidelines allow for you to obtain a test on day 5 of your quarantine. If that test is negative, and you remain well, you can finish a full seven days of quarantine and return to work on day 8. Drexel can offer you testing related to quarantine guidelines if you are otherwise asymptomatic. When you notify COVID19health@drexel.edu about your exposure, you will be assessed for the possibility of a day 5 test.

These are challenging times that speak to the need for a caring and empathetic community that understands the interconnection of health, wellness, and the impact of our choices not only on ourselves but also our families, friends and co-workers. Drexel aims to partner with you and members of the entire campus community to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and infection in the workplace and throughout our campus locations.

We will continue to work closely with state and local public health authorities and communicate and remain flexible to respond to any changes that may occur during the holidays.

We wish you a safe and healthy winter break.

Sincerely,

 

Marla J. Gold, MD
Director, Return Oversight Committee

Megan Weyler
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer


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