Message to Penn faculty and staff regarding changes to operations

Consistent with an order issued by Governor Wolf late Thursday afternoon, the University of Pennsylvania is suspending all operations performed onsite except for those that are life-sustaining. Remote work is not impacted by this order and is expected to continue.

Effective 12:01 a.m. on March 21, 2020, only those University employees who are performing life-sustaining work are permitted to be physically present at the University. This includes, but is not limited to, those employees performing the following services for the University:

  • Public Safety and Security services
  • Ambulatory Healthcare services (e.g., Student Wellness, Penn Dental)—elective procedures prohibited
  • Hospital services—elective procedures prohibited
  • Animal care
  • Support services for students remaining in the dorms (e.g., dining, housekeeping and maintenance)
  • Transportation and delivery services
  • Building and facility support services (e.g., housekeeping and maintenance) for those areas performing life-sustaining services or to address emergent situations
  • Scientific research services
  • Data processing, hosting and related services
  • IT Support for those performing life-sustaining services or to address emergent situations
  • Broadcasting services (e.g., WXPN)
  • Utility services
  • Hotels

Each School/Center should have a list of employees who are essential to the performance of life-sustaining work for the University. These employees should be notified of their essential designation in response to the latest order regarding COVID-19 and be provided a notice indicating this that can be shared in conjunction with the state’s enforcement efforts related to the Governor Wolf’s order. 

Faculty who are not already prepared and ready to complete virtual instruction from a location other than campus beginning this Monday should make arrangements to do so as soon as possible. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Dean of their respective School.

When scheduling staff for onsite work, staffing should not be in excess of what is necessary to support life-sustaining operations. While on campus, practice social distancing and other healthy habits.

Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your supervisor directly. Further inquiries can be directed to the Employee Solution Center at 215-898-7372 or you may send an email to

For media inquiries, please contact: Ron Ozio at University Communications: 215-898-8658


Communications to students, faculty, and staff:

March 20, 2020:

March 16, 2020:

March 16, 2020:

March 16, 2020:

March 16, 2020:

March 13, 2020:

March 12, 2020:

March 11, 2020:

March 10, 2020:

March 3, 2020:

March 2, 2020:

Feb. 26, 2020:

Feb. 5, 2020: