Coronavirus Health and Safety
Workplace Resources for COVID-19 Control
March 31, 2020
As conditions change, this page may be updated at the discretion of the Provost and the Executive Vice President.
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The University of Pennsylvania’s interruption of all onsite operations will continue until further notice. During this period, those employees engaging in life-sustaining activities will continue to work onsite, following social distancing guidelines and taking other recommended precautions.
All staff who can work remotely are expected to do so. We recognize that not all employees are able to work remotely. At this time, no University paid employee will be put in an unpaid status.
For those who are in not essential, life-sustaining roles but are in positions where they do not typically work from home, we ask that supervisors consider alternate work for them to do remotely. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary flexibility at the largest employer in Philadelphia. To protect our community, Penn must severely limit the number of people on campus and in our physical workplaces.
Refer the remote work guidelines for details.
News and Announcements
Workplace and Home Precautions
Penn’s health and wellness community encourages everyone to take the following general precautions at work, home, and in your neighborhood:
Depending on the environment and your role, your school or center facility may have additional requirements. For further advice, contact your supervisor or Penn EHRS.
Use good hand hygiene:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Stop the spread of germs:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow.
- Avoid sharing food, drinks, utensils, cups, vapes/JUULs, etc.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Stay home if you are feeling sick:
- If you are not feeling better after 24 hours, seek medical attention.
"Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19."--CDC
Human Resources-related Guidance for Supervisors and Staff
Other Guides for Higher Education
- How COVID-19 Spreads
- Prevention & Treatment
- What to Do If You Are Sick
- Fact Sheets and Posters (English, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese)
Guidance for Faculty
- Faculty are required to work with their departments and schools to meet their teaching and mentoring obligations if online instruction becomes necessary. Faculty cannot opt out of online measures. If teaching moves online for the remainder of the spring semester while the University remains open, faculty are expected to remain on campus for other activities and responsibilities as directed by their dean or department chair.
- Faculty normally travel frequently to conferences and meetings, domestically and abroad. However, all Penn-related business travel has been suspended through April 17. The suspension includes travel for scholarly and professional conferences, meetings, and research.
- Faculty should not make risky personal travel plans that may interfere with their ability to fulfill their teaching and other faculty responsibilities due to future quarantines or unexpected delays.
Self-quarantine is required of all faculty who have travelled in areas greatly affected by the virus, such as Italy and China. Do not come to your campus office or facilities during self-quarantine.
- Faculty who are ill and unable to work should inform their department chairs, deans or campus HR/benefits staff to discuss paid and unpaid leave options.
- Faculty in their probationary periods should speak to their chairs, dean or the Vice Provost for Faculty about probationary period extensions if their research is seriously interrupted for an extended period by corona-related illness, whether their own or vital members of their labs or teams.
- Faculty in clinical roles that expose them to communicable illnesses should take all the recommended precautions.
Penn Department Websites
Penn's COVID-19 Task Force
A University-wide task force has been charged with reviewing—and updating as needed—our existing pandemic planning procedures. It is led
by Dr. Benoit Dubé, Chief Wellness Officer, and Michael Fink, Deputy Chief for Tactical and Emergency Readiness of the Penn Police, working with experts across campus and coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
and other government agencies.