Student FAQs

COVID-19 Vaccination

Vaccine Requirements

  1. Will the vaccine be mandatory for Penn students?

    Students will be required to get vaccinated for the Fall 2021 semester. Exceptions will only be provided for medical or religious reasons.

  2. Am I required to have screening testing if I have been vaccinated against COVID-19?

    At this time, we are requiring continued screening testing for University members who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and meet the testing criteria. 

  3. Will Penn offer the COVID-19 vaccine in the Fall 2021?

    Full vaccination prior to arrival on campus is required. For those students who were unable to access vaccine in their home locations, vaccine will be available through Student Health; however, Penn strongly recommends completing vaccination before arrival.

  4. Which vaccines will be accepted?

    Penn will accept the vaccines listed below, all of whom have been granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) through the United States’ Food and Drug Administration:

    • Pfizer-BioNTech
    • Moderna
    • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen

    Additionally, there are numerous vaccines that are available in other countries. Penn will accept those that have been “pre-qualified” or authorized for “Emergency Use Listing” (EUL) by the World Health Organization (WHO) evaluation process. As of June 4, this list also includes:

    • AstraZeneca 
    • Covishield
    • Sinopharm
    • Sinovac

    Additional vaccines may be authorized in the coming months. The WHO vaccine evaluation list can be found on the WHO's Emergency Use Listing for COVID-19 Vaccines page, under the Status of COVID-19 Vaccines within WHO EUL/PQ evaluation process link. When accessing this document, the word "finalized" must appear under Status of Assessment. 

  5. Should I delay getting the vaccine offered in my home country and wait until I arrive at Penn?

    At this time, Penn strongly encourages students, including international students, to get whatever vaccine is available to them. If a vaccine series is started that is not available in the US, Penn encourages you to finish that vaccine series before traveling to the US. COVID-19 continues to spread globally resulting in serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths. Vaccination is the best way to prevent spread of virus and new variants.

    It is expected that guidelines for those receiving international vaccines will continue to evolve. Please submit proof of vaccination to the Student Health portal: 

  6. I received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not available in the US, should I be re-vaccinated here?

    If a vaccine series is started that is not available in the US, Penn encourages you to finish that vaccine series before traveling to the US. COVID-19 continues to spread globally resulting in serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. Vaccination is the best way to prevent spread of virus and new variants.

    It is expected that guidelines for those receiving international vaccines will continue to evolve. Please submit proof of vaccination to the Student Health portal. 

  7. Where should I upload my vaccine record?

    Immunization records should be uploaded to the Student Health Service portal. 

  8. How many doses will I need to get?

    The vaccines that are currently available and authorized by the Federal Drug Administration are Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna both require two doses in order to provide protection against COVID-19. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose. 

  9. Do I have to get the same type of vaccine for my second dose?

    Yes, the two doses received by either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech must be from the same manufacturer.

  10. How will I know when it's time to come back for my second dose?

    The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine second dose will occur between 19-23 days following the first dose. The Moderna vaccine second dose will occur between 26-30 days following the first dose. 

About the COVID-19 Vaccine

  1. What have we learned about the vaccine since December when the first shots were administered?

    More than 1.6 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, and more than a third of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated. The vaccines have proven to be highly effective and safe. Very few recipients of the vaccine have developed COVID-19, and the vaccine has proven to be highly effective in preventing hospitalizations, death, and spread of the virus. 

    Visit the CDC website for Key Things to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines.

  2. How many doses will I need to get?

    The vaccines that are currently available and authorized by the Federal Drug Administration are Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna both require two doses in order to provide protection against COVID-19. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose.

  3. Do I have to get the same type of vaccine for my second dose?

    Yes, the two doses received by either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech must be from the same manufacturer for both vaccines.

  4. Do the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines contain blood products?

    The manufacturers of the currently-authorized mRNA vaccines, Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna, have both indicated that no blood or blood products are used in the manufacturing of their vaccines, and the vaccines do not contain any products of human origin. The Pfizer product does contain materials from bovine milk, but no animal blood or blood products.

  5. Does the Johnson & Johnson vaccine contain the COVID-19 virus?

    No, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not contain the COVID-19 virus. It is a vector vaccine. Vector vaccines use genetic material from the COVID-19 virus that is placed inside a weakened version of another virus, such as one of the viruses that causes the common cold. 

    The weakened virus is then injected into your body, delivering information from the COVID virus. That information instructs your cells to copy the spike protein that is unique to COVID-19 and create antibodies against the spike protein. It is impossible for a viral vector COVID vaccine to cause you to become infected with COVID-19, cause a common cold, or to change your DNA.

  6. Will the COVID-19 vaccine change my DNA?

    No. This myth may have arisen from the fact that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines contain messenger RNA. RNA is a type of genetic material, but it’s not the same as DNA. The RNA does not enter the cell nucleus, which is where your DNA lives. It does all of its work in your cell cytoplasm. That’s the outer portion of the cell. Plus, the instructions mRNA (created here at Penn) carries to your cells are only for a piece of SARSCoV-2, not the whole virus.

  7. Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

    No. It is not possible to get COVID-19 from vaccines.

  8. Are the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently being used in the United States developed using fetal tissue?

    No. The COVID-19 vaccines that are either authorized or up for authorization in the United States were not developed — nor do they use in any way, shape, or form — any fetal tissue. Johnson & Johnson used fetal cell cultures when developing its vaccine, but it contains no fetal tissue or fetal cells.

  9. I’ve already had COVID-19. Am I required to get the vaccine?

    Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, people are advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have already been sick with COVID-19. At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person, and the evidence suggests natural immunity may not last long in some people.

  10. Should I be concerned the vaccine will negatively impact my health?

    The safety of our students, faculty, staff, and postdocs are our highest priority. More than 1.6 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide. The risk of side effects from the vaccine is rare and outweighed by the risk of dying from COVID-19. In fact, the vaccines have been proven to be highly effective and safe. Very few recipients of the vaccine have developed COVID-19, and the vaccine has proven to be highly effective in preventing hospitalizations, death, and the spread of the virus.

Public Health Measures

  1. Has the University's public health guidance changed for summer 2021?

    Beginning May 21, masks are not required outdoors if vaccinated, but are still required indoors.

    As of June 2, physical distancing is no longer necessary.

    As of June 11, those who are fully vaccinated are only required to wear masks indoors in the following settings:

    • If you are a student in quarantine or isolation living with other people, also known as congregate settings. You are required to wear a mask indoors in your residence.
    • Those who are working with children under the age of 12, such as a school, camp, or childcare setting.
    • Inside healthcare settings, including all Penn Medicine facilities and Penn Cares testing sites. 
    • On public transportation, including Penn Transit.

    As of July 1, all staff, faculty, postdocs, and students must either be vaccinated or participate in Penn Cares screening testing on a weekly basis. 

    Everyone should continue to use PennOpen Pass to report COVID-19 symptoms and exposures. PennOpen Pass is still required for access into health care settings, including Penn Medicine facilities, Student Health and Counseling locations, and Penn Cares testing sites. 

    We acknowledge that this health guidance may differ from that provided at a state and federal level, but this guidance is based on evidence specific to our Penn population. Remember that your decisions impact the lives and health of our students, colleagues, and Philadelphia neighbors.

  2. Do I need to continue using PennOpen Pass even if I have been fully vaccinated?

    Starting July 1, 2021, PennOpen Pass is not required for building access. However, students should report all COVID-19 exposures and symptoms to PennOpen Pass for public health guidance and clinical support. PennOpen Pass will support testing compliance and daily symptom checking for the unvaccinated, but it will no longer be used to enter campus buildings starting. The PennOpen Pass team does consider vaccination status when providing guidance on next steps. 

    PennOpen Pass is still required for access into health care settings, including Penn Medicine facilities, Student Health and Counseling locations, and Penn Cares testing sites. 

  3. How should I enter my symptoms in PennOpen Pass in the first 48 hours after receiving my COVID-19 vaccine?

    Do not report symptoms of unusual fatigue, fevers, or chills if you received a COVID vaccine within the past 48 hours. If you have other symptoms or these symptoms persist beyond 48 hours, report as usual. After 48 hours, PennOpen Pass will help distinguish between symptoms related to the vaccine and those which require other clinical guidance.

  4. Now that I'm fully vaccinated, do I still have to wear a mask and follow other public health guidance?

    The University will no longer require the use of masks while outdoors for those who are fully vaccinated. Additionally, those who are fully vaccinated are only required to wear masks indoors if you are:

    • A student in quarantine or isolation living with other people, also known as congregate settings. You are required to wear a mask indoors in your residence.
    • With working with children under the age of 12, such as a school, camp, or childcare setting.
    • Inside healthcare settings, including all Penn Medicine facilities, Student Health and Counseilng Services locations, and Penn Cares testing sites. 
    • Using public transportation, including Penn Transit.

    Being fully vaccinated means that it has been two weeks since the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

    Minors and those participating in summer camps are still required to wear masks while on campus, regardless of vaccination status.

    Effective July 1, individuals who have recorded being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in their SHS Portal will be exempt from weekly Penn Cares screening testing. Individuals who report their vaccination status after July 1 will be exempt thereafter. 

    We recognize that some individuals will choose not to obtain vaccines for medical and religious reasons, and some may choose not to disclose their vaccine status. Students whose exepmtion requests have been approved will be required to continue to participate in daily symptom checks on PennOpen Pass and weekly Penn Cares screening testing, as well as to continue to wear masks indoors. 

    This health guidance may differ from that provided at a state and federal level, but this guidance is based on evidence specific to our Penn population and surrounding communities.

    PennOpen Pass is still required for access into health care settings, including Penn Medicine facilities, Student Health and Counseling locations, and Penn Cares testing sites. 

Testing

  1. What is Gateway, or day of arrival, testing?

    Gateway testing is an important public health measure to quickly assess and minimize the introduction of the virus in our community. Every student who will be enrolled during the fall semester and coming to campus for classes or other academic requirements is required to be tested once upon arrival to campus. This test must be completed through our own Penn Cares testing system in order to be compliant with their Gateway Testing requirement.
     
    For graduate and professional students, this requirement can be met at any time between July 7th  and September 7th . While many students have been tested weekly until the end of June, we are establishing a new baseline as of July 7th . This test is required regardless of vaccination status. Vaccinated students who have submitted their immunization records will be exempt from weekly testing after July 7th, however, a Gateway test is required. Ideally, students should test within 24 hours of on campus, in person academic program start date.
     
    Most undergraduate students will be tested, regardless of their vaccination status, when they arrive on campus between August 9th and September 7th. As a reminder, students do not need to quarantine upon arrival to campus, as had been recommended in our April 22nd communication. 
     
    In the event of a positive Gateway test, students will required to isolate for 10 days and cooperate with our contact tracing efforts, even if fully vaccinated.
     
    All students are invited to schedule their COVID-19 Gateway test online beginning July 26. New students may be unable to schedule their tests until the week of August 6. This test must be completed through our own Penn Cares testing system in order to be compliant with their Gateway Testing requirement.

  2. When should I take my Gateway test?

    All students are invited to schedule their COVID-19 Gateway test online beginning July 26. New students may be unable to schedule their tests until the week of August 6.

    Students arriving to campus in August/September for the Fall 2021 semester: schedule your Gateway Test to take place within 24 hours of your arrival to campus. 

    Students who have remained on campus throughout the summer, and will be on campus for the Fall 2021 semester: schedule your Gateway Test to take place as soon as possible. 

    Students arriving after September 7 should schedule their Gateway Test as soon as possible upon arrival to campus.

    If you do not yet have a Penn Account to log-in to the scheduling system, you can wait to schedule your Gateway Test until your account is set up. 

  3. If I am fully vaccinated, do I need to participate in Gateway Testing?

    Yes, all students on campus for the Fall 2021 semester are required to participate in Gateway Testing, regardless of vaccination status. 

  4. What happens if I test positive during my Gateway Test?

    If you test positive during Gateway Testing, you will be required to isolate for 10 days and cooperate with our contact tracing efforts, even if fully vaccinated.

  5. What is screening testing?

    Screening is intended to identify COVID-19 positivity even if there are no symptoms or known exposure. Screening testing is a critical part of our overall public health strategy to monitor the positivity rates of COVID-19 in our University community. At Penn, we will administer the saliva based PCR test.

    For the Fall 2021 semester, those students who have an approved exemption from COVID-19 vaccination must participate in weekly Penn Cares screening testing. 

  6. What are the guidelines for scheduling a screening test?

    Screening testing is by appointment only; the nature of this test does not allow us to accommodate walk-ins. Students with an approved exemption from COVID-19 vaccination must participate in weekly Penn Cares screening testing.  

  7. What is saliva-based screening?

    Saliva-based testing allows the University to dramatically increase our screening testing capacity. Through our partnership with Penn Medicine, we can offer as many as 40,000 screening tests per week. This FDA-approved, saliva-based assay protocol is effective. 

  8. What method is used for SARS-CoV-2 testing in the Penn Cares program?

    For SARS-CoV-2 testing, the Penn Cares program uses a saliva-based assay manufactured by Fluidigm (Advanta Dx SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR Assay). This test is specific for SARS-CoV-2 and does not detect other common respiratory pathogens. 

  9. Does the test method used in the Penn Cares program have an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

    Yes, the Fluidigm Advanta Dx SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR Assay has an EUA from the FDA.

  10. Why are we testing saliva for SARS-CoV-2 and how does it compare to nasal swab?

    Saliva is an ideal sample for SARS-CoV-2 testing for many reasons. For one thing, it is easy, safe, and non-invasive to collect. It also compares favorably to nasal swabs in terms of detection rate. The University’s new Saliva COVID-19 Testing Laboratory performed verification studies with more than 1,700 paired nasal swab and saliva samples collected from the University population in the fall of 2020. The saliva and nasal swab results were equivalent in over 99% of cases.

  11. What does a “Not Detected” result mean?

    A “Not Detected” result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the evaluated saliva sample. However, it is possible for this test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative) in some people infected with SARS-CoV-2. Some possible reasons for such a false negative result include:

    • The level of virus may be too low to detect, which may happen during early or late infection.
    • A variant virus with mutations in one or more gene targets may affect detection. 
    • Biologic variation of infection in different individuals
    • The specimen may be suboptimal which could impact detection (see inconclusive results below)

    Based on currently available data for the asymptomatic University community population, a negative result predicts a greater than 99% likelihood that the participant was not infected with SARS-CoV-2 at the time of sample collection. There is almost a 0% probability of having COVID-19 with consecutive negative results. The Penn Cares program helps minimizes the impact of false negative results by using recurring scheduled testing, which is why the University requires participants to comply with screening requirements.

  12. What does a “Positive” result mean?

    With a positive test result, it is very likely that the tested individual is infected with SARS-CoV-2 and may have COVID-19, whether or not they show any symptoms. The University has procedures in place when a student tests positive or a faculty or staff member tests positive. A smaller possibility exists that this test can give a positive result that is wrong (a false positive result) particularly when used in a population without many cases of COVID-19 infection.

  13. How are false positive results managed?

    The testing program is by design a mass screening program to protect the University community by keeping the infection rate low when combined with masking, physical distancing, and hand washing.  The mass screening of an asymptomatic population means rare false positive results for an individual may occur but are balanced by the need to detect true positives to keep the infection numbers down for the good of the overall community. A great deal of effort goes into handling the samples with care and attention to detail through all stages of collection, transport, and testing to minimize false positives. Since a false positive cannot be distinguished from a true positive, all positives are treated the same. Except under certain rare circumstances, repeat or confirmatory testing is not indicated.

  14. What does an “Inconclusive” result mean?

    An inconclusive result is one that was neither clearly positive or negative or for which testing was not successful despite repeat attempts. This could be due to the consistency of the saliva or the presence of a substance that inhibits the test (such as food or other materials in the saliva). When providing the next sample after an inconclusive result be sure to follow stated guidelines to not eat, drink, chew gum or put anything in your mouth for 30 minutes before testing. In addition, the ideal saliva sample is collected by drooling rather than spitting into the tube. Excessive bubbles, mucus, and phlegm can affect the ability to perform testing.

  15. What is diagnostic testing?

    Diagnostic testing is intended to identify COVID-19 when there is a reason to suspect that an individual may be infected, such as having symptoms or suspected recent exposure, or to determine resolution of infection. PennOpen Pass will continue to help those who need testing based on symptoms or a notification of exposure to COVID-19. The University administers the nasal PCR test.

  16. Does the testing method used for Penn Cares detect currently known circulating variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus?

    Yes, the testing method used for Penn Cares saliva-based testing is predicted to detect the B.1.1.7 (UK), B.1.351 (South African), and P.1 (Brazil) variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, the assay does not differentiate between these variants. If other notable variants are identified in the future, their impact on the testing method will also be assessed.

  17. When can I cancel or reschedule a test?

    Make every effort to reschedule or cancel your test appointment 24 hours prior to the testing time. If it is less than 24 hours, please make a new test appointment so that you are compliant with your particular testing protocol.

  18. How safe are the testing sites?

    One of the criteria used for selecting the testing sites was how well the space could support public health recommendations. Information continues to evolve on guidelines for indoor spaces, but all testing sites comply with the following guidelines:

    • at least six feet of distance between participants,
    • one-way circulation through the sites,
    • reduced occupancies,
    • mask wearing,

    Ventilation systems of all the sites were evaluated by a third-party mechanical contractor in January 2021. The results were reviewed by Penn’s Environmental Health and Radiation Safety. All sites have been optimized for increased ventilation following guidelines, as of January 2021, provided by the City of Philadelphia for ventilation of indoor environments.

Contact Tracing

  1. What happens to close contacts?

    Close contacts who are identified to be at-risk of exposure to a confirmed case are notified to quarantine and offered post-exposure testing. It's important to follow public health guidance on testing, because testing too soon post-exposure may result in inaccurate test results.

  2. I just found out I may have been exposed to a potential or confirmed COVID-19 case. What do I do now?

    Don’t panic. There are a couple ways you may find out about a potential exposure to a case.

    • First, understand how you can be exposed. Exposure most commonly occurs through close contact. Close contact is defined as housemates, roommates, intimate partners, and those who spent 15+ minutes within 6 feet of a confirmed case.
    • If you learned of a potential exposure and have not been contacted by a contact tracer, please use PennOpen Pass to report your exposure.
    • If you have been notified by a contact tracer, it is important to follow all the instructions provided. Pay close attention to your testing, quarantine, or isolation dates.

    It's important that you do not get tested right away. It may take time for the virus to take form in the body and show up on a test. Testing too early may lead to an inaccurate test result.

    Students should reach out to Student Health Services (SHS) if they develop symptoms or if symptoms worsen. If Campus Health and SHS are aware of your exposure, they will reach out frequently throughout your quarantine to check in on your health and offer support. 

  3. My peer is a confirmed case, why hasn’t anyone contacted me?

    Your name likely did not come up in the investigation. Close contacts are identified as housemates, roommates, intimate partners, and those who spent 15+ minutes within 6 feet of a confirmed case. The risk level of each contact will be assigned after the completion of a case investigation where detailed information about the exposure will be collected from the case or PUI (person under investigation).

    If you feel you fit this description, please complete your PennOpen Pass, marking “yes” for contact with a lab confirmed case of COVID 19, and follow the instructions given. This will likely include calling the PennOpen Pass Call Center at 215-573-6355.

Life During Quarantine and Isolation

  1. How long do I need to quarantine if I have exposure?

    Along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Philadelphia Department of Public Health public health guidance, and based on our experience, the quarantine length is a minimum of 10 days. 

    We require continued screening testing for University members who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and meet the testing criteria. While vaccines protect individuals from developing serious illness, it remains unknown whether vaccination will prevent them from transmitting the virus should they be exposed. Please continue to use PennOpen Pass, which remains an important tool in protecting the entire community.

    The quarantine guidance for vaccinated individuals is as folllows:

    People who are vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to quarantine after being exposed to a confirmed, non-household case of COVID-19 if they meet all of the following criteria:

    • They are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine),
    • They are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series, and
    • They do not present with symptoms of COVID-19 and have a green PennOpen Pass

    People who are fully vaccinated and who experience a household exposure to COVID-19, which is known to be the highest level of exposure risk, should:

    • Quarantine for 7 days from time of positive test of their household contact,
    • Undergo testing on or around Day 7; if negative, they may return to campus, and
    • Continue to utilize PennOpen Pass after the quarantine period to report symptoms or future exposures.


    People will be required to provide vaccination information.

  2. Can I see and be around anyone else living in my home during my quarantine?

    A recommendation to quarantine includes the advice to stay home, limit the sharing of bathrooms and common areas (e.g. kitchens, living rooms) with others, increase cleaning of common areas, and physically distancing from others in your home or apartment as much as possible. Penn community members who are asked to quarantine should not travel, go to class, work, or participate in any social activities. They should not host friends or gatherings, and they should not attend gatherings. They should also wear a mask or face covering anytime you are not alone.

  3. How are you going to monitor off campus students to ensure they stick to quarantines?

    All students in quarantine or isolation will have regular check-ins from the University. Penn expects all students to adhere to the same public health requirements and follow the Campus Compact, regardless of whether they live on campus or off campus.

  4. I have previously tested positive; do I still need to be tested and/or quarantine/isolate?

    It depends. If you have tested positive within 90 days, you should make sure you upload a copy of your positive lab result to your Student Health Portal for review. If you tested positive, but it was more than 90 days ago, you are required to enroll in the University’s screening program and adhere to quarantine and isolation guidance provided to you based on exposures or future positive tests

  5. What support will be available for me during my quarantine, whether I live on campus or off campus?

    Penn resources (Student Health 215-746-3535 and CAPS 215-898-7021) are open and reachable for any student in need during their required quarantine.

    In all instances of quarantine and isolation, students will receive continued care and support from Wellness at Penn through COVID Navigator, an automated, text-based support program that monitors students and connects them with wellness resources based on a student's individual needs.

    The Wellness resources include:

    • Medical care through Student Health Service
    • Mental health services through CAPS
    • Quarantine and isolation guidance and support through Campus Health
    • Resources for those needing help with food access, academic support and more through the Social Needs Response Team (SNRT)

    Find out more about the COVID Navigator program.

  6. What happens to my meals if I am on the dining plan?

    During COVID-19 it is important that students on a dining plan understand how to access their meals when they are sick, in quarantine or isolation or have a Red PennOpen Pass due to noncompliance. Only students with a Green PennOpen Pass are allowed to enter dining facilities. Students with a Red PennOpen Pass can follow instructions on the Penn Dining site.

  7. If I live on campus and test positive for COVID-19, where will I spend my isolation period?

    Students who reside on campus and test positive for COVID-19 are reassigned campus housing for the duration of the isolation period. 

  8. If I live off campus and test positive for COVID-19, where should I be isolating?

    Students who live off campus are expected to spend the duration of their isolation period in their place of residence. All people in isolation should order food in or ask a friend/family member/roommate to drop off groceries or a meal. Masks or facial coverings must be worn anytime you are outside of the bedroom. Do not travel, go to class, work, or participate in any social activities. Do not host friends or gatherings. Do not attend gatherings.

Travel

  1. What is the University’s travel quarantine policy?

    As of June 24, 2021, for the Fall semester, students are no longer required to quarantine after travel, even if unvaccinated. It is recommended that those who have traveled undergo screening testing 3-5 days after returning to campus.

    Traveling remains a high-risk activity. All travelers, even those who are vaccinated, should continue to wear a mask while traveling, distance when possible, and practice good hand hygiene. 

    Travel guidance is fluid and changes frequently based on city, state and federal guidance. 

  2. Why won’t the University provide me travel documentation?

    The Penn Cares testing program screens members of the University community who fit defined criteria and display no symptoms for the presence of COVID-19. The program is a public-health intervention, a data-driven way for the University to reduce the risk of spread among those who are regularly on campus. It requires consistency across the campus population and is not provided as an on-demand personal service. University testing, both screening and that provided for symptomatic/close contacts, may not meet diverse and changing travel requirements of commercial airlines and domestic or international governments. Commercial entities which offer testing are equipped and intended to help individuals meet travel-documentation requirements.