Announcement and News Archive

University Announcements

April 09, 2020 - A Message to Penn Undergraduates

  • We have decided to extend the deadline for all undergraduate students, across the four undergraduate Schools, to change the grade type in any course for the Spring 2020 term. You have until Wednesday, April 29 – the last day of classes – to choose to take any course pass/fail.

April 09, 2020 - An Update on Housing and Dining Credits

  • We understand you have been waiting for an update on Penn’s approach to crediting housing and dining fees for the remainder of the semester. Penn has been working around the clock to support students in this challenging time, and we thank you for your patience while we determined the best approach to processing these adjustments.

April 07, 2020 - Letter to Penn Community regarding COVID-19 Biased-Based Incidents

  • We have been alerted to bias-motivated attacks against members of the Asian and/or Asian-American communities in the Philadelphia region that have occurred since the outbreak of the COVID-19 Virus. We are also aware of other incidents of bias-motivated street harassment that have occurred to members of our community and throughout the nation.

April 03, 2020 - Message to Students From Benoit Dubé

  • Student Health and CAPS Remain Available for Students.  As almost all of our Student Health, Campus Health and CAPS staff are considered essential personnel, we are able to continue to support our students’ physical and mental health needs amidst the stay-at-home order in the city of Philadelphia.We offer both in-person and telehealth services to our students, connecting with students regardless of where they are.

April 01, 2020 - Message to the Penn Community About the Summer Session

  • We are writing now to let you know that our current remote learning plan will extend to all credit-bearing courses scheduled to begin on May 26, including both Summer Session I and the 11-week Summer Session. This decision, while not taken lightly, arises from the indefinite stay-at-home order in Philadelphia and the need to resume campus activities only when it is considered safe do so.

March, 27, 2020 - Message to Penn Faculty and Staff - Extension of Onsite Operations Suspension

  • Today we are announcing that the University of Pennsylvania’s interruption of all onsite operations, except for those that are life-sustaining essential employees, will continue until further notice. We will keep you updated well in advance when more information is available on an exact date for returning to onsite operations.

March 20, 2020 - Message to Penn Faculty and Staff Regarding University Operations

  • Consistent with an order issued by Governor Wolf late Thursday afternoon, the University of Pennsylvania is suspending all operations performed onsite except for those that are life-sustaining. Remote work is not impacted by this order and is expected to continue.

March 20, 2020 - Message to Penn undergraduates about pass/fail options

  • We have decided that all undergraduate students, across the four undergraduate Schools, may choose to designate any course pass/fail for the Spring 2020 term—including courses satisfying your major or general education requirements.

March 18 - Update For Students Living Off-Campus

  • I am writing to clarify the message sent this weekend about students who live off-campus. The University is not ordering students who live in private residences to leave, and we regret any confusion about this. We strongly encourage students who live off-campus to return home if they can. For those of you who decide to stay, we urge you to engage in the social distancing that is now being practiced all over the world to stem the outbreak of this virus. It is essential to sustaining the health and safety of every member of our community.

March 18 - Update on Students Living Off-Campus (for Parents)

  • I am writing to clarify the message sent this weekend about students who live off-campus. The University is not ordering students who live in private residences to leave, and we regret any confusion about this. We strongly encourage students who live off-campus to return home if they can. For students who decide to stay, please join us in urging them to engage in the social distancing that is now being practiced all over the world to stem the outbreak of this virus. It is essential to sustaining the health and safety of every member of our community.

March 17, 2020 - A Personal Message from Amy Gutmann

  • To each and every one of our students—Penn undergraduate, graduate, professional, and nontraditional students—I know you are deeply concerned and uncertain about what comes next, and I share those feelings with you. You have goals and dreams left undone, plays not being performed, games and meets not taking place, research interrupted, spontaneous late-night conversations not occurring, and a thousand other losses both large and small that we all mourn. It hurts to have so much changed so quickly.

March 17, 2020 - Penn’s EAP Behavioral Health and Work-life Services

  • Penn’s Wellness team would like you to remember Penn’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you with behavioral health and work-life issues.   Penn’s EAP provides eligible faculty and staff, and their families, access to free, confidential, 24/7 counseling and referral services for personal and professional life issues from any location.

March 16, 2020 - Message to Penn Faculty and Staff Regarding University Operations

  • We are writing today to clarify Penn’s guidance in the context of the recent announcements from federal, state and city officials.   With the approval of school/center leadership, only staff who perform critical procedures or processes and are therefore essential to University operations should be coming onsite, and those staff are expected to practice social distancing and take other recommended precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Today’s announcement does not preclude personnel essential for University operations from coming to campus.

March 16, 2020 - A Message to the Penn Community on Major Changes to Commencement

  • Based on the recent recommendations of the CDC and leading public health experts, who are now directing against any public gatherings of more than 50 people for the next two months, we cannot responsibly plan to bring thousands of people to campus for our traditional Commencement and Alumni Weekend in May.  To protect the health of our graduates, their families, alumni, and faculty and staff of the University—our highest priority in the face of this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic—we are cancelling this year’s on-campus Commencement events and moving them to a virtual ceremony that will be broadcast online.

March 16, 2020 - Enhanced Penn Health Insurance Coverage and Care Access

  • Penn’s insurance carriers, Independence (Blue Cross), Aetna, CVS Caremark, Keystone (IBC), and Penn Medicine’s Connected Health Virtual Care Telemedicine Practice are all closely monitoring the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) situation. They are committed to making sure that our participants can receive appropriate testing and treatment for this virus if needed.

March 16, 2020 - An Update for Students on COVID-19 Exposure

  •  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.

March 16, 2020 - An Update for Faculty & Staff on COVID-19 Exposure

  • I recently informed Penn undergraduate, graduate, and professional students that three of our undergraduate students have tested positive for COVID-19. All had traveled internationally during Spring Break and were very forthcoming about details of their itinerary, allowing us to conduct a thorough contact investigation.

March 16, 2020 - 2020 Penn Relays Cancelled

  • Due to the coronavirus public health threat, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Penn Relays. We remain hopeful that the recent measures put in place by many health organizations, government officials, and academic institutions will prevent the spread of this disease and the world will slowly begin to return to normal.

March 15, 2020 - Message from Penn Libraries

  • Effective immediately, all Penn Libraries, including the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, will be closed to the Penn community until further notice... We will redouble our efforts to increase support for a remote teaching, research and learning environment, and we have created a web page designed to reflect and respond to the needs of our students and faculty.

March 15, 2020 - Important Message from the Provost to Penn Families

  • Spring Break has been extended by a week to facilitate the transition to remote learning for the remainder of the semester. Some students are taking this extension as a cue to have parties, socialize, and frequent local restaurants or clubs – violating medical guidance to practice social distancing. We cannot overemphasize the importance of changing personal behavior at this time.

March 15, 2020 - New Measures for Research at Penn in Response to COVID-19

  • In the face of the urgent public health crisis caused by COVID-19, the University of Pennsylvania is instituting new measures to protect the health and safety of our community, as well as to maintain the capability of our health system.

March 14, 2020 - Important Message to Students

  • The University has made several difficult decisions in the past week in the interest of our community’s health and well-being. Included in these decisions was a notice to all students to immediately practice low-density medical standard social distancing...  This included a clear mandate to cease all student group activities, on or off campus. No parties. No events.

March 13, 2020 - A Statement on Limited COVID-19 Exposures on Campus

  • The Montgomery County Office of Public Health has confirmed to the University of Pennsylvania that some members of its community have had a confirmed COVID-19 exposure.

March 13, 2020 - Message to Penn Faculty and Staff Regarding University Operations

  • We are depopulating the campus for the remainder of the semester by transitioning to virtual teaching and dramatically reducing the number of students residing in the College Houses.

March 12, 2020 - Update from Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett on Campus Planning Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • We are deeply committed to the safety and health of our students, faculty, postdocs, staff, patients and visitors.  That is why we announced our intentions yesterday to move as many people as possible off campus as quickly as possible and to complete the semester with virtual classes.

March 12, 2020 - Message From Residential Services

  • Residential Services understands that you have questions concerning the University’s recent announcement on actions being taken in regards to the unprecedented health emergency related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we appreciate your patience as we work to provide you with information.

March 11, 2020 - Coronavirus and important changes to our operations for the remainder of the semester

  • The COVID-19 virus is readily spread through close human contact, which is a fact of life in a university environment, whether in classrooms, dining halls or at University events. Eliminating large gatherings and creating social distancing are important steps to help prevent the spread of the disease.To achieve that, we are announcing new measures.

March 10, 2020 - Penn’s latest update on coronavirus

  • 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.

March 06, 2020 - An Important Update from Penn Admissions

  • Penn Admissions has made the decision to cancel all large-scale, on-campus admitted student programming scheduled for April.  This includes all Quaker Day events scheduled for April 6 and April 15, and Multicultural Scholars Previews programming scheduled for April 14.

March 03, 2020 - Planning to travel over spring break?

  • Yesterday, Penn advised all community members against travel to China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea. Any student visiting these countries must self-isolate for two weeks upon return, missing class and assignments.

March 02, 2020 - Penn’s latest coronavirus update

  • A University-wide task force has been charged with reviewing—and updating as needed—our existing pandemic planning procedures.

February 26, 2020 - Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

  • Penn travelers with questions about travel abroad should consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for guidance on travel restrictions.

February 05, 2020 - Novel coronavirus outbreak update

  • There continue to be no cases of the virus on our campus or in Philadelphia, and the risk to our community remains low.

January 30, 2020 - Coronavirus update

  • We are working closely with partners across campus, Penn Medicine, and the City of Philadelphia to monitor this evolving situation.

January 24, 2020 - An update on coronavirus

  • At present, there are no reported cases of this new strain of coronavirus at Penn or in Philadelphia, and it does not appear to present any immediate risk to the Penn community.

University News (via Penn Today)

February 20, 2020 - A reality check on coronavirus

January 28, 2020 - What we do and don't know about the novel coronavirus

Last updated: April 04, 2020 - 11:49am