Penn's Coronavirus COVID-19 Page
Visit coronavirus.upenn.edu, the University’s dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 Wellness web page, for the latest updates for returning to campus.

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Coronavirus Health and Safety

Workplace Resources for a Safe Return to Campus

August 31, 2021

As conditions change, this page may be updated at the discretion of the Provost and the Senior Executive Vice President.

If you feel ill, please do not report to work.
Working while you are sick can endanger community health.

Complete the PennOpen Pass symptom check and follow the instructions provided, which may include self-isolation and COVID-19 testing.

New Fall PennOpen Pass and Testing Requirements

PennOpen Pass

PennOpen Pass is again required of all members of the Penn community. We will be requiring all members of the Penn community to participate in PennOpen Pass, the University’s daily symptom tracker designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread within the Penn community.

Requiring Gateway and Screening Testing

Beginning September 7, the University will be expanding the gateway testing requirement to include all faculty, staff, and postdocs. All faculty, staff, and postdocs are required to schedule and complete gateway testing by September 17. Detailed test scheduling instructions can be found in this scheduling tip sheet.

All fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and postdocs who are accessing campus for any reason during the Fall 2021 term are required to participate in an ongoing screening test program. Each week, a random sample of those faculty, staff, and postdocs accessing campus will be notified by email if selected and will be required to get tested within two weeks of selection.

Faculty and staff in clinical schools, as well as medical students on clinical rotations, will be required to follow their local guidance. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in a RedPass in the PennOpen Pass system.

Students, faculty, staff, and postdocs who have not yet reported being fully vaccinated must continue to test twice a week unless they submit vaccine documentation. After October 15, those who have been granted a medical or religious exemption from vaccination will be required to continue to test twice a week.

In addition, any member of the Penn community who wants to access a COVID screening test may participate in volunteer testing by scheduling a screening test.

Read the full announcement at coronavirus.upenn.edu.

On-Campus Work

Before You Return to Campus

  • Upload Your Vaccine Record in Workday. Fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and post-docs who enter their vaccination record in Workday are exempt from Penn Cares testing. New hires, those returning from leaves of absence, and those who become fully vaccinated should update their records as soon as possible.

    Consistent with the recently revised Philadelphia Department of Public Health guidance, the University will be requiring all faculty, staff and postdocs to be fully vaccinated, except for those with medical or religious exemptions, by October 15, 2021. 
  • Use PennOpen Pass daily symptom tracking. Enroll at at https://pennopen.med.upenn.edu.
  • Check the latest University public health announcements at coronavirus.upenn.edu
  • Communicate with your supervisor. If you have not resumed on-campus work, your school or center leadership will continue to inform you about preparations for your return to campus.
  • Read the Return to Campus Guide for Faculty and Staff for details.

Mask and Face Covering Guidance

The University requires all members of the Penn community and visitors wear masks while indoors in public or shared spaces on campus. Exceptions to the masking requirement include single occupancy offices and shared spaces where 6-feet distancing can be maintained, with roommates in our college house suites/rooms, and by permission in instructional settings for pedagogical reasons.

Visit https://coronavirus.upenn.edu/content/public-health-guidance for the latest updates.

Visit the Penn EHRS website for details on mask and PPE Guidance for Lab Personnel.

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.
illustration of washing hands for 20 seconds

Stop the spread of germs:

Outdoor Dining: The Safest Option

Restrictions on indoor eating have been lifted by the City of Philadelphia. However, eating remains one of the higher risk activities for disease transmission, especially indoors. Social distancing when eating is paramount when dining indoors. Outdoor eating and drinking remain the safest option for everyone.
  • 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.
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Stay home if you are feeling sick:

    • If you are not feeling better after 24 hours, seek medical attention.
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    Human Resources-related Guidance for Supervisors and Staff

    Penn Sources

    Guidance for Managers on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    COVID-19 Sick Time and Leave Guidance

    Penn Human Resources Policy Manual

    Penn Health Insurance and COVID-19

    Other Guides for Higher Education

    OSHA Guidance on COVID-19 and Worker Safety

    What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and the Coronavirus (EEOC)

    Office for Civil Rights Bulletin on HIPAA Privacy and COVID

    American College Health Association's Brief and Resources

    Penn Travel Information

    Travel Guidelines and Procedures

    Register Your Trip – Register your Penn-affiliated trip to keep you connected to Penn resources

    Penn Abroad

    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.