The following health and safety message was sent to Drexel students regarding the upcoming holiday season:
Dear Drexel Dragon,
With Thanksgiving and the holiday season upon us, it's important to continue adhering to all public health protocols and safety precautions in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Whether you're going on the road to visit family members or staying close to Philly, it's integral that you make sure you're being as safe as possible. This includes continuing to wear face masks at most indoor locations (even if not mandated there) and knowing what to expect at your Thanksgiving celebration.
While we want you to be able to see friends and loved ones without worrying about getting or transmitting COVID-19, remember that traveling still poses a higher level of risk than spending time at Drexel, where most of our community is vaccinated and everyone wears masks. If you'll be seeing loved ones, find out who will be present and what precautions others will be taking. Don't be afraid to ask questions about mask wearing, vaccinations, and other safety factors if no one else has brought them up yet. If some of your family members are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, or medically vulnerable, you may also want to talk to your family about wearing masks most of the time while you are together. Indoor events with more than a few other people — especially unvaccinated and unmasked — are still relatively high-risk for COVID-19 transmission. It's especially crucial to wear a mask while you're traveling in a shared vehicle, whether that's a train, bus, or airplane. While we all wish things were completely back to normal this holiday season, be prepared to alter your plans or take precautions that may differ from those around you but are still immensely important.
If you would like to receive a COVID-19 test before the Thanksgiving holiday, COVID-19 testing is available at both the Race Hall Learning Terrace and Queen Lane campus through Wednesday, November 24. You are encouraged to schedule your test now through the Drexel Health Checker app, as testing will only be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24.
The CDC has approved booster vaccinations for ALL persons over the age of 18 as follows:
- If you are 6 months out from being vaccinated with the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine series.
- If you are 2 months out from being vaccinated with the Johnson and Johnson's Janssen vaccine.
- If you are 6 months out from being vaccinated with any WHO internationally approved vaccine.
Currently, booster doses are not mandatory; but, with cases rising nationally and more break-through infections occurring among our campus community, Drexel recommends that all who are eligible obtain a booster dose and record it in the Drexel Health Checker. Drexel will hold on-campus booster clinics during the week of November 29. More information is to follow. If you seek a booster before then, you can easily do so at most retail pharmacies. You can learn more about boosters on the CDC booster page.
Significant influenza outbreaks have recently occurred on regional and national college campuses. Flu causes high fever, muscle pain, and coughing. This flu season is proving worse than anticipated. Drexel held a large flu vaccine clinic last month; but, with the severity of outbreaks around us, we want to be sure everyone can get their flu shot and we will make the flu vaccine available at all COVID-19 booster clinics. You can also get a flu shot through the Student Health Center and at most retail drug store chains. This year, don't take a chance — get your shot!
As always, you can learn more about the steps the University is taking to ensure our community's safety at Drexel's Response to Coronavirus page. And remember, if you feel ill or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should contact the Student Health Center right away by phone (215.220.4700) and through the Drexel Health Checker app.
We hope that you and your loved ones have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday! Because at Drexel, Dragons take care of Dragons.
Subir Sahu, PhD
Senior Vice President for Student Success