A Message From the Provost and Executive Vice President
November 18, 2020
A MESSAGE TO THE PENN COMMUNITY
Wendell Pritchett, Provost
Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President
We are grateful to every member of the Penn community for your patience, resilience, and creativity as we navigate the global pandemic. The situation continues to evolve from day to day, bringing both positive news about vaccine trials and worrisome news about infection rates.
We know that many of you have questions about the new guidelines issued on Monday by the City of Philadelphia. These measures include the closure of indoor dining, gyms, museums, and libraries, among other public spaces, and restrictions on both indoor and outdoor gatherings. It is critical that every member of the Penn community in Philadelphia follow these guidelines, especially students living on or around the Penn campus. We are all in this together, and we must take collective responsibility for lowering the infection rate in the coming weeks and months, above all during the imminent holiday season.
Penn research operations continue, as do our on-campus testing operations. While there is currently no change to the plans for the spring semester announced at the end of October, we are continuing to monitor the situation carefully in partnership with local and regional public health agencies. Designated faculty and staff should continue to work from campus; most employees should continue to work from home. Penn Medicine faculty and employees should follow local guidance. Students should continue to follow the guidelines sent last week from our Chief Wellness Officer and Vice Provost for University Life, particularly if you are planning any travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. Students planning to return home to complete the semester are encouraged to do so now. All of us must continue to wear facial coverings, wash our hands, and maintain physical distance, the best ways to reduce transmission for ourselves and everyone around us.
If you are planning to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, please be aware of the newest guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which requires a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before returning to Pennsylvania. If testing is not available, travelers will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
We are enormously proud of the shared sense of purpose that we are seeing from every member of our community. Penn has thrived for hundreds of years, and we are confident that there are better days ahead in 2021. Thank you for your best efforts to bring us safely to that future.