A Message to the Penn Community

December 3, 2020

As we prepare for the Spring semester, we would like to thank the University community for your ongoing efforts and dedication to supporting our COVID-19 response. We all share the responsibility of creating a healthy, safe environment, and testing is a critical part of that response.

In that context, we would like to share some important news about the University’s new saliva-based screening test. Starting Monday, December 7, we are inviting students, faculty, staff and post-docs who are enrolled in the Fall testing program and are still living in the Philadelphia area to experience Penn’s new saliva-based screening test for the remainder of the Fall. This FDA-approved test is as effective as the current nasal tests while being easier and less invasive, and it will allow us to ramp up our testing capacity as we prepare to welcome more students for the Spring semester.

Screening testing will now be by appointment only; the nature of this test does not allow us to do walk-in screenings. Testing if you are asymptomatic will only be available if you are currently enrolled in the Fall screening program. Using PennOpen Pass will continue to help those who need testing based on symptoms or a notification of exposure to COVID-19.

As we navigate this pandemic, we must continue to be vigilant about wearing facial coverings, remaining physically distant, and washing our hands frequently. We encourage all students who have not returned home to do so now, as traveling during non-peak holiday times will be safer. Thank you for your partnership as we work together to reduce the risks to ourselves and our communities.


Wendell Pritchett, Provost

Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President

Last Updated 11/30/2020 - 17:03