Message to Penn students from Benoit Dubé

I am writing to share that three Penn undergraduate students have tested positive for COVID-19. Two students are home, away from campus. One was on campus and tested by Penn Medicine. Upon release from the hospital, that student will be quarantined and cared for in an undisclosed campus location following public health protocols. 

Protecting the anonymity of these students is of utmost importance. Please respect your classmates’ privacy and think about how you would want others to act if you were contending with COVID-19. 

Equally important to all of us is understanding how this disease spreads and taking steps to minimize risks.

The affected students were part of a group that traveled together abroad for Spring Break. Some members of that trip returned to campus last week, where they lived in close quarters and socialized with friends. 

I greatly appreciate these students sharing details of their travel and contacts. This communication allowed the University to identify 20 additional students—most of whom are not currently on campus—as having medium to high risk of exposure, necessitating 14 days of self-isolation and symptom checks wherever they are. 

COVID-19 may not have personally touched you or anyone in your life – yet. Based on scientific modeling, it may soon impact people you know and love. Social distancing is vital for all of us—including young and healthy students. We have a collective responsibility to mitigate the spread of this disease to protect those more vulnerable. Learn more here: 

What else can you do now?

  • Minimize your social activity. Wherever you are or go this week, be vigilant and thoughtful. Wash your hands frequently and take your temperature. If you develop a fever, frequent cough, or have difficulty breathing, please limit your contacts and call your health care provider for guidance.
  • Continue to check for University updates and information. 

Thank you for your empathy and thoughtful response to this public health emergency. 

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ron Ozio at University Communications: 215-898-8658


Communications to students, faculty, and staff:

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: