A pod is a small and consistent group of students who associate with each other based on agreed upon, shared practices. Pods must be used in conjunction with other primary prevention strategies (masking, hand-washing, physical distancing) to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community while maintaining social connection. The safest Pod is within a household—those who share a kitchen and/or bathroom. Because household sizes vary so much across the student population, a maximum pod number cannot adequately be defined; however, the smaller the pod, the better.

A pod should agree to the following:

  • Maintain a 6-foot physical distance from any individuals not in the pod, and to wear face coverings when interacting with others and when physical distance cannot be maintained.
  • Wear face coverings in all indoor spaces other than those where permission to go without a face covering has been explicitly given (for example, student rooms and pod lounges).
  • Continue to practice recommended hand hygiene and avoid sharing utensils and drinks with anyone, including members of the pod.
  • Have open and honest conversations about activities, behaviors, and expectations of one another.

A pod demonstrates the shared responsibility for one another’s safety and the safety of the greater Penn community, and also holds all members accountable for their behaviors and activities.

Here are some pod definitions offered by fellow Penn students:
—“Your pod may not be your friend group.”
—“If you’re not in a pod, you’re in a web.”
—“My pod gets to see my whole face.”