Note about Upcoming Holiday Travel
November 9, 2020
As we enter the final weeks of the Fall semester, we know that many of you are eager to reconnect with families and loved ones over the Thanksgiving holiday. We are writing to offer recommendations and suggestions to help minimize any risk of COVID-19 curtailing your holiday plans:
Preparing to Travel
* If you plan to head home, please consider leaving campus or the Philadelphia area sooner in order to avoid traveling during peak holiday travel time; you should proactively consider heading out as soon as you can. If it is safer for you and your family to stay where you are, please know that you can do so. Campus will remain open over the holiday break.
* If you are in isolation, you cannot travel until your isolation period is completed and your symptoms have improved.
* If you are in quarantine prior to your travel date, you are permitted to travel home if you:
* Can do so privately, by car
* Have your own bedroom and bathroom to use at home
* Do not have any immunocompromised family members at home
* Please remember that even if you have a negative test prior to leaving for the holiday, you may still be infected and contagious; a negative test does not replace proper personal behavior and eliminate the need to follow public health guidance of mask use, physical distancing, and frequent hand washing.
* In light of the many travel restrictions and new lockdowns being announced, we recommend avoiding international travel. Please visit the CDC website for more specific travel information by destination: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html.
* International students should additionally consult guidance instituted by International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS).
Reuniting with Family and Loved Ones
* Please be mindful of family members with chronic conditions or who are immunocompromised, and to take every precaution to reduce COVID-19 transmission or exposure to family, please use universal masking (e.g. wear a mask at ALL times indoors and outdoors) up to 14 days after arriving home. Try to sleep in a room alone and use a designated bathroom up to 14 days after arriving home, if at all possible.
As we navigate this holiday season under these new rules of engagement, it is important to remember that we are all responsible for following first line protective measures of masking, physical distancing and hand washing—on campus and elsewhere. This is especially important if you return to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday: you should limit social interactions and gatherings to your household members for a period of 14 days.
Thank you for your continued partnership as we work to keep our Penn community—and our families and friends—healthy and safe.
Benoit Dubé, MD
Associate Provost and Chief Wellness Officer
University of Pennsylvania