We are writing with an update on Penn’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). There is an understandably high level of concern as this virus spreads, and we are closely monitoring the evolving situation. Dr. Benoit Dubé, our Chief Wellness Officer, is leading these efforts, partnering with Penn Medicine, Penn Global, and public health leaders across the campus, city, and state.
We have created—and will continually update—one Penn webpage with answers to Frequently Asked Questions, as well as other resources and information about the coronavirus.
Penn travelers with questions about travel abroad should consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for guidance on travel restrictions. The CDC has recently issued travel warnings and alerts for China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, and Japan, which include avoiding all nonessential travel to mainland China and South Korea. All other travel can continue at the discretion of the sponsoring School, center or program. Please register all Penn-related travel so that we will know where you are and can provide resources in case of an emergency.
Penn travel recommendations will continue to align with CDC travel guidelines. For example, if the CDC raises a warning level on a country to level 3 (avoid all nonessential travel), Penn will similarly restrict University-affiliated travel to that country or region. If you are a faculty or staff member who has essential University travel to a level 3 country (currently China or South Korea), you must notify your dean of your travel plans, clearly outlining the essential reasons for travel. Your dean will then work with Risk Management and the Wellness Office to consider your travel request.
Any travelers returning from China will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days in accordance with guidelines from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, Penn will adopt additional guidelines for self-isolation for travelers from other countries as recommended. Please keep this in mind as you plan spring break travel.
Influenza-like illnesses are still common at this time of year, and we advise everyone to take steps to stay healthy, including getting a flu vaccine, frequent handwashing, avoiding shared utensils, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve, and staying home if you are not feeling well.
We appreciate the help of every member of the Penn community, and we will continue to update you as this global situation moves forward.
Communications to students, faculty, and staff:
Jan. 30, 2020: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/announcements/coronavirus-update
Jan. 24, 2020: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/announcements/update-coronavirus