We are writing to keep you updated on new developments in our response to the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While there is a high level of uncertainty as the disease spreads around our country and the world, it is absolutely clear that we, along with all other universities, have a responsibility to institute new mitigation practices of social distancing to help stem that spread. These mitigation practices must prudently limit travel as well as gatherings of large groups and occasions involving extended amounts of time in close proximity. As a result, here are the actions that we are currently taking:
We are prohibiting all future University-related travel, both domestic and international, at least until April 17, unless expressly approved by the Provost.
- We also strongly discourage all members of the Penn community from any personal travel, which could result in quarantine upon your return. Anyone currently traveling on University-affiliated business will be able to return to campus.
We are curtailing large University events, at least until April 17.
- We strongly recommend that meetings or events of 100 people or more be cancelled or postponed. We also strongly recommend the use of teleconferencing, group chats, or live streaming as alternatives to in-person gatherings.
- We strongly discourage all University meetings that include participants from other cities and countries, even if fewer than 100 people.
- Penn Admissions has cancelled all on-campus admitted student programs scheduled for April, including Quaker Days and Multicultural Scholars Previews. Our Admissions team will offer web-based and other innovative virtual programs to welcome admitted students and respond to questions. There will be more details about these revised plans in time for the announcement of admissions decisions later this month.
- Penn Medicine, due to the high level of caution associated with the health system, has prohibited all faculty, students, postdocs, and staff of both the Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System from participating in large gatherings, including all conferences in the U.S. and abroad, as well as any Penn Medicine conferences that include participants from outside Penn.
We are preparing to move classes online in order to prepare for all possible scenarios.
- We are working with deans and faculty members to prepare for the likelihood of some (or possibly all) remote and virtual instruction after Spring Break. As the spread of the virus is fast-changing, we will update the community later this week with more definitive guidance.
We have launched a comprehensive website with updated information for every member of the Penn community.
We greatly appreciate your partnership in this important and urgent effort. We are committed to sustaining our core educational mission even in the face of this unexpected global health crisis, and we are confident that we can count on every member of our Penn community to work alongside us. We will continue to update you as more information emerges.
For media inquiries, please contact:
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