The following message was sent to the Drexel community on March 10 about the University stepping-up coronavirus precautionary measures.
Dear Students and Colleagues,
The University continues to operate as normal and has no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus. However, we are taking extra precautions to safeguard the Drexel community amid an uptick of cases in the Philadelphia region. This situation will require many of us to alter our daily routines and travel plans, and likely mean postponing highly anticipated meetings and events. Certainly, that will be the case with our latest decision — to cancel all international co-op placements for the spring-summer cycle and study-abroad programs for the spring term, as well as the spring break Intensive Courses Abroad and student organization international travel.
All education abroad programs will be discontinued for the spring term, but students who are abroad on Drexel-affiliated programs in non-high-risk countries will be permitted to stay to complete their programs. Refund information will be provided by the Office of Global Engagement and Education Abroad.
Travel by faculty and professional staff to China, South Korea, Iran and Italy previously was restricted unless approved by the provost. Now, we are imposing a ban on all University international travel. Questions about international travel should be directed to the Provost’s Office.
In addition, the University will cancel all non-academic events that invite participation from individuals outside Drexel, with the exception of CAA athletic events and admissions programs, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, effective immediately through the end of April.
These latest measures derive from the work of the Drexel Emergency Preparedness Committee, which is tracking the threat of coronavirus and formulating contingency plans covering every aspect of University life. We will be communicating updates regularly, and the latest information can always be found on the ‘Drexel’s Response to Coronavirus’ website at drexel.edu/coronavirus.
The issue of travel is a particular concern, with the approach of spring break in two weeks. In making any personal plans to travel abroad, everyone at the University should consider with care the potential for being subject to a coronavirus quarantine, or restrictions upon re-entry to this country.
In the event you are a student who becomes ill, please contact the Student Health Center 215.220.4700. Guidance for faculty and professional staff will be provided shortly.
Our coronavirus measures are being guided by recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC Travel Health Notices website and the CDC precautions website, which provides strategies for remaining healthy.
Drexel’s previously announced steps include:
Final exams will be held as planned next week but students should anticipate the possibility that exams may moved online, rather than in a classroom setting. We are also assessing the feasibility of moving undergraduate and graduate courses online, if necessary.
Plans are being put in place to accommodate students who prefer to stay on campus over the spring break.
Students, faculty or professional staff returning from a high-risk (CDC Level 3) country are required to undergo a 14-day self-isolation.
Going forward, please continue to minimize the spread of illness through frequently washing hands, covering a cough or a sneeze; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, or shaking hands; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; staying home if you are ill; and sanitizing personal spaces. More detailed information on the virus can be accessed at drexel.edu/coronavirus.
We are fortunate that there have been no positive diagnoses of the COVID-19 coronavirus at Drexel. And working together, we can mitigate the impact of the coronavirus to maintain the safety of our community and continue to fulfill Drexel’s mission of teaching, research and service.
Paul E. Jensen, PhD
Interim Nina Henderson Provost