The following message with COVID safety reminders for the spring was sent to the Drexel community.
- Pandemic safety measures remain crucial as campus activity levels increase
- Sign up to get vaccinated when you can
- Drexel hopes to offer vaccination for employees under Phase 1c and students under Phase 2; stay tuned
- Resources for mental health and campus recreation are available
- Balance optimism and safety
Dear Students and Colleagues,
Happy spring! Warmer weather, more outdoor activities and the promise of effective vaccines have brought new optimism to our community. Published data on the vaccines in use continue to show them to be safe and highly protective. After one of the longest, most difficult years in our lives, we are close to the time when vaccination will be more widely available, and our lives will feel more familiar. There is clearly light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, yet we are faced with another huge challenge.
We are so close to a healthier time with less anxiety and more freedom. We are so close. But we are not there yet. More transmissible COVID-19 variants are here and cases of the virus are again rising in Philadelphia and in cities across our nation. Unfortunately, there is an associated uptick in hospitalizations.
Our challenge now is to hang on to our optimism while still keeping COVID-19 safety in mind and continuing to follow all public health guidelines — wherever you are. Being able to stay healthy, stay open and offer more in-person courses and activities depends on our campus community's ability to abide by our shared commitment to the Dragon Pledge and expert public health guidance. It's hard. We're tired. But we are not done yet.
Mask. Distance. Wash. Test.
Whenever you're in a shared space on or off campus, make sure to wear your mask. This includes wearing your mask when outside where appropriate distance cannot be achieved. Socialize with a specific group of people with whom you have committed to be safe — a pod — to limit your exposure. Always stay six feet or more away from others, and make sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly. Check in regularly using the Drexel Health Checker to let us know how you are feeling. Get COVID-tested regularly. See our COVID-19 Testing page for information about our campus testing program, and our Campus Life and Health page for more about socializing safely. Note: Even if you have been vaccinated, you must continue to follow the safety procedures in the Dragon Pledge [PDF] in all campus spaces at this time.
We need widespread vaccination to beat COVID-19, keep ourselves and each other safe and make full in-person instruction and community events available to all once again. The available vaccines are both safe and exceptionally effective, and we urge you to get one as soon as you can.
Drexel is working with the local health department on how best to make vaccinations available to University faculty and professional staff under Phase 1c: Stay tuned for more information. While the majority of students are not considered eligible for COVID-19 vaccination until Phase 2, many locations expect to reach that phase at least before summer. We hope to be able to offer vaccine to students when eligible. In the meantime, individuals living in Philadelphia should register with the City to be notified when they become eligible. You can also email email@example.com for more information. If you do not reside in Philadelphia and you are eligible based under your city or state's guidelines, we strongly recommend you get vaccinated through your local public health authority.
Take Care of Your Mental Health.
There's plenty you can do to maintain your emotional and physical well-being while staying safe. Make sure to spend time outside — consider taking a walk or eating lunch at one of our outdoor tents. Visit Campus Philly's Spring 2021 Resource Guide to explore additional activities. And remember that Drexel University has mental health resources available for students and employees: visit our Mental Health and Wellness page for more information.
Balancing exhaustion, optimism, Spring weather and consistent safety guidelines may not feel easy to do, but we must get through this together. We must, and we will.
Thank you for continuing to work for the safety of our community. If you have additional questions about COVID-19 safety, please view our Response to Coronavirus website, call the questions line at 215.703.2335, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be safe, and be well,
Marla J. Gold, MD
Director, Return Oversight Committee
Subir Sahu, PhD
Senior Vice President for Student Success
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer