Coronavirus update

We are writing with an update on Penn’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China. We are working closely with partners across campus, Penn Medicine, and the City of Philadelphia to monitor this evolving situation. There are currently no cases of the virus at Penn or in Philadelphia, and health officials continue to stress that the risk of infection remains low.

Campus Health has prepared a comprehensive FAQ to address questions from the campus community about novel coronavirus. We encourage you to read these FAQs and follow up with your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

Consistent with any influenza/flu outbreak, we must be prepared for the possibility that cases may be reported in Philadelphia. Therefore, it is important to continue to take steps to reduce disease transmission, including: frequent handwashing, covering of coughs and sneezes using a tissue or sleeve (not your hands), and staying home if you feel unwell. 

Penn Medicine is in regular contact with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and local health officials. It is following all CDC infection control recommendations to ensure the safety of all patients and staff, as well as to implement appropriate precautions for any patients who may arrive at Penn Medicine facilities meeting the CDC screening criteria for the virus.

With regard to travel to and from China, the University is recommending the following:  

Penn travelers to China 

  • Penn currently recommends rescheduling, delaying, or canceling all planned University travel to China between now and the end of the term (May 12, 2020). This includes academic programs, extracurricular programs, executive education programs, and all other Penn-affiliated travel.
  • Consistent with the recommendations of both the CDC and the U.S. Department of State, Penn is advising students, staff and faculty to delay all personal travel to China for the time being unless it is absolutely necessary. 
  • Penn will be monitoring developments in China and will make decisions about summer travel at a later date.

 Travel from China to Penn

  • All travelers arriving from China are being thoroughly screened for symptoms of novel coronavirus at the port of entry. If they are not showing signs of illness, they are deemed eligible to enter the United States and can carry out all normal daily activities.
  • Schools, centers, and departments should be aware of inbound visiting scholars or visitors from China to provide them with information about what to do if they become unwell while at Penn.  
  • If CDC guidance regarding travelers from China should change, Penn will implement this guidance accordingly.
  • Please note, any traveler from China who has been in the United States for more than 14 days without symptoms is considered to have passed the incubation period for this novel coronavirus.

Current Penn travelers/staff in China 

  • Penn staff, faculty and students currently in China should immediately register their travel in MyTrips and be in contact with their home School or department. Penn is not mandating withdrawal at this time but is available to answer questions and provide assistance if possible. Please contact Global Support Services if you have questions related to current Penn travelers in China.
  • The Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing will operate in accordance with Chinese government recommendations for business opening and closing.

We recognize that this situation may cause concern or anxiety, in particular for those whose families and loved ones in China or elsewhere are directly impacted. We remain committed to providing support and guidance to the Penn community as this situation develops. Student Health and Campus Health are updating their websites regularly, as is Penn Global, and we encourage you to go to any of those sources for updated information as this situation develops.