Return to Campus

Penn Cares Quick Links

Email Communications

Dear SP2 Faculty,

We are in the process of welcoming students to campus this week. With guidance from the University, we are doing everything we can to keep our community safe. Please see information below regarding teaching in-person, classroom space, student/faculty absentee policies, and more to help you prepare for your return to the classroom.


All Penn faculty, staff and students are mandated to have the vaccine.

Most of the SP2 Community are fully vaccinated and/or have received their 1st shot. The % continues to grow as faculty and students return to campus.

Under no circumstances can you ask anyone their vaccination status. This is protected HIPAA information.

Fall 2021 Courses

Penn does not support dual delivery. In this context, dual delivery means teaching online and in-person simultaneously.

In-person instructors who are concerned about teaching this fall should reach out to Dean Bachmann directly to discuss your concerns.

Covid Exposure

The University’s Campus Wellness Team handles exposure notifications and contact tracing as necessary, in addition to providing support and guidance to those who are diagnosed with Covid-19. If a faculty or staff member, or student, learns about a potential Covid-19 exposure in a class or another academic setting they should remind the individual to report their symptoms or confirmed Covid-19 case through PennOpen Pass. Faculty, staff, and students may also contact the Covid-19 Resource Call Center for guidance but should not share the individual’s health status with others, even if the affected individual’s name is not used. The Wellness Team will determine whether the situation in which others may have been exposed meets the criteria for contact tracing and whether notification of classmates or other is warranted.

It is the instructor’s decision to flip the course online for a few weeks if a member of your class is exposed or tests positive.

Covid Absentee Policy

Instructors can expect student(s) to miss up to 2 classes due to a positive test or exposure.

Instructors who are concerned about a student who has exceeded the 2-day absentee policy should consult with Jenn Clinkscales for next steps.


No food or drink in classrooms.

All classrooms have been reserved in locations that meet the capacity of the course.

If you want to request a new classroom please contact our Registrar, Andrea Porter, directly for assistance.  Andrea will do her best to identify a new space, but please note that there are no guarantees your classroom will be moved. The requests are processed by the Office of the University Registrar based on the availability of space.  Requests for a new classroom must be submitted by the instructor.  Requests from students will not be processed.

Class etiquette

The Vice Provost of Education is developing communications to assist you with classroom etiquette. This includes guidance on ensuring masking in classrooms.

Additional information and resources can be found here.

As we near the start of an exciting but challenging year, we are asking for your patience and understanding. We are working closely with the central administration to address the issues that arise each time new information is presented to us, and we are honored to work in an environment that affords each of us kindness and respect as we navigate through the many decisions and reviews required as we begin the Fall semester. This is a challenge for all of us, faculty, students, and staff. We look forward to your partnership as we navigate the ever-changing landscape.


Sally Bachman

Jerel Wohl
Associate Vice Dean,Finance & Administration

Jennifer Clinkscales
Associate Dean, Student Affairs

Andrea Porter
Director, Student Information & Registrar

A Message to the Campus Community On the Start of the Fall Semester from Amy Gutmann, President; Beth Winkelstein, Interim Provost; Craig Carnaroli, Senior Executive Vice President

We are writing to update you on the important additional steps that we are taking since our last communication to help our students, faculty, staff, and postdocs safely navigate the semester and to provide important links to more information and resources.

With the start of the academic year less than a week away, there is great excitement, expectation, and hope across Penn’s vibrant campus. Many programs are already welcoming students through in-person programming and have had very successful classroom and group activities. At the same time, COVID and the Delta variant continue to weigh heavily on people’s minds. We share your concerns and are listening and responding to them, in close collaboration with public health experts and officials.

Requiring Vaccination

We appreciate the tremendous positive response from the Penn community in complying with the University’s vaccine requirement. With 90% of our faculty, staff, and postdocs and 88% of our students reporting being fully vaccinated to date, we remind everyone that all students, faculty, staff, postdocs, and other campus partners are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the Fall 2021 semester. Consistent with the recently revised Philadelphia Department of Public Health guidance, the University will be requiring all faculty, staff and postdocs to be fully vaccinated, except for those with medical or religious exemptions, by October 15, 2021. We continue to offer vaccine clinics weekly. Unless you are granted an exemption, failure to report full vaccination will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. We are monitoring the availability of boosters and guidance on their administration in order to provide them as appropriate in a timely way. More details about vaccinations can be found at the Penn COVID-19 Response website.

Requiring Gateway and Screening Testing

The dynamic nature of COVID requires us to be vigilant, responsive to emerging trends, and mindful of the wider communities in which we live and work. The recent emergence of the Delta variant exemplifies the type of development that merits a reexamination and expansion of our safety measures. Over the past several weeks, we have been closely monitoring the effects of the Delta variant across our region. While we are currently working well together as a community to keep our COVID positivity rates low on campus, the high transmission rates in Philadelphia and surrounding counties are concerning. Until further notice, we are therefore updating our surveillance testing protocols as follows:

  • All students are required to participate in an initial gateway test upon arrival to campus. Today we announce that, beginning September 7, the University will be expanding the gateway testing requirement to include all faculty, staff, and postdocs. Faculty, staff, and postdocs are required to schedule and complete gateway testing by September 17. More information on how to schedule a test can be found in this scheduling tip sheet.
  • In addition, we are requiring all members of our community to participate in a screening test program. Beginning the week of September 13, all students enrolled in an on-campus program will be required to participate in a mandatory screening test program twice a month. All fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and postdocs who are accessing campus for any reason during the Fall 2021 term are required to participate in an ongoing screening test program. Each week, a random sample of those faculty, staff, and postdocs accessing campus will be notified by email if selected and will be required to get tested within two weeks of selection. Faculty and staff in clinical schools, as well as medical students on clinical rotations, will be required to follow their local guidance. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in a RedPass in the PennOpen Pass system. Students, faculty, staff, and postdocs who have not yet reported being fully vaccinated must continue to test twice a week unless they submit vaccine documentation. After October 15, those who have been granted a medical or religious exemption from vaccination will be required to continue to test twice a week.

This screening test requirement is an important step to help us all better understand the rate of transmission among vaccinated individuals on our campus. The testing program will be very similar to the saliva-based program we provided last Spring and will require advance scheduling. In addition, any member of the Penn community who wants to access a COVID screening test for any reason may participate in volunteer testing by scheduling a screening test.

Quarantine, isolation, and contact tracing capacity will also be expanded as needed. We will continue to work closely with public health experts and revise the manner and frequency of testing as the situation evolves. You can always find up-to-date information at the Penn Cares website.

On-Campus Protocols & Guidance
  • PennOpen Pass is again required of all members of the Penn community. We will be requiring all members of the Penn community to participate in PennOpen Pass, the University’s daily symptom tracker designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread within the Penn community.
  • Masks are required indoors for all, even those who are fully vaccinated. Consistent with our August 5, 2021 message, the University requires that all members of the Penn community and visitors wear masks while indoors or in public or shared spaces. Detailed information about the exceptions can be found on our Public Health Guidance page. Information about types of masks can be found at: Universal Mask and Cloth Face Covering Precautions. We have also implemented a process for reporting non-compliance with the mask mandate through a simple online form.
  • Resources and guidance are in place for instructors teaching in-person. The Provost’s Office has developed an FAQ for instructors that includes information about teaching while masked, classroom protocols, and other resources. In particular, faculty seeking a medical accommodation can contact the Office of Affirmative Action (OAA) and Equal Opportunity Programs at 215-898-6883 or
  • Updated guidance on events and gatherings. Special events and large gatherings are strongly recommended to be held outside and with precautions in place. Additional requirements apply to any Penn-sponsored event with visitors, which require attendees to attest to being fully vaccinated and to register their contact information in case follow-up is needed. Further information on events and gatherings is available on the Penn Coronavirus website.
  • Continued updated guidance for Faculty, Staff, and Postdocs. Human Resources maintains a comprehensive guide with policies and protocols for returning to campus work. Faculty and staff are encouraged to be familiar with the guide, which is updated regularly when there are changes to the University’s protocols or policies. Faculty, staff, and postdocs needing workplace accommodations should visit the Office of Affirmative Action.
  • Review of building and facilities compliance. Each building at Penn has specific heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Facilities and Real Estate Services and Environmental Health and Radiation Safety have conducted building-by-building HVAC systems condition and performance reviews. All occupied on-campus buildings are in compliance with the prevailing International Building Code and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers standards for ventilation. More information on your HVAC systems and other facilities resources can be found on the Facilities and Real Estate Services website.

We are grateful to everyone for enabling us all to provide a robust academic environment, to keep students safely on track for their degrees, to sustain an active research enterprise, to care for patients, and to help support our neighbors and local community. As always, we are closely monitoring conditions and consulting with public health experts, and we will continue to adjust our policies as needed based on scientifically informed data. With a shared commitment to keeping our campus as safe as possible, we are confident that Penn will continue to offer an education of the highest quality on one of the most beautiful campuses in America and in a supportive environment filled with exciting opportunities.

A Message to the Penn Community About Campus Readiness for the Fall Semester from Amy Gutmann, President; Beth A. Winkelstein, Interim Provost; Craig Carnaroli, Senior Executive Vice President; Larry Jameson, Executive Vice President, Penn Medicine and Dean, Perelman School of Medicine

This year, more than any before, we look forward to the start of classes and our joyful pre-semester programs and events. We want to update everyone, in light of the ongoing pandemic, about our progress and the measures we are taking to keep our community safe and healthy.

We thank all of you who have provided your vaccination information, which is essential to resuming our campus life together. We expect our community vaccination rates to increase and reach 90% by September. To date, over 84% of our faculty and staff report being fully vaccinated. Even in advance of the start of classes, nearly 80% of our students enrolled in on-campus programs already report being fully vaccinated. We urge everyone to submit your vaccination records if you have not done so already: it is a quick and simple process for existing students, new students, and faculty/staff/postdocs.

Consistent with the June 1 message to the community, the University requires every member of our community to provide proof of vaccination since vaccines remain our safest and most effective defense against COVID-19 and its variants. We also will continue to require regular screening tests for all members of the community who do not provide evidence of vaccination, tests for those who are symptomatic, and gateway testing (and isolating if necessary) for all students as they return to campus this month.

Our highest priorities are the safety and readiness of the Penn community, and we will all need to remain patient and flexible this semester as we respond collectively to the changing public health situation. The University’s Coronavirus Response Team and Recovery Planning Group carefully assess the trajectory of the virus and vaccines, working closely with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. In accordance with the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for areas with high transmission rates, we are now requiring, effective immediately, that all members of the Penn community and visitors wear masks while indoors in public or shared spaces. Exceptions to the masking requirement include single occupancy offices and shared spaces where 6ft distancing can be maintained, with roommates in our college house suites/rooms, and by permission in instructional settings for pedagogical reasons. In addition, we are instituting a required twice-a-week testing program for members of our community who are not vaccinated or choose not to report their vaccination information.We will continue to adjust our plans as public health guidance unfolds.

We are continuing the highly effective mitigation strategies that we put in place over the last year, including: identifying and isolating COVID-19 cases; using PennOpenPass to assess symptoms of and exposure to COVID-19; enhancing cleaning and disinfecting on campus; monitoring buildings to meet national American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers standards for indoor air quality; and optimizing building ventilation by increasing air flow, maintenance, and filtration systems. In addition, we are exploring other public health measures such as wastewater testing and a second COVID-19 screening program for all students at the end of September. All members of the Penn community, regardless of your vaccination status, have access to COVID-19 testing on campus, which can help bring some added peace of mind to those with added concerns such as for vulnerable members of your household.

We have learned a lot over the past sixteen months, and we are enormously grateful to every member of the Penn community for your hard work and steadfast support. We will keep you updated as the situation evolves, and we are excited to see you on campus in the weeks ahead!

A Message to Faculty, Staff, and Postdoctoral Trainees on Returning to Campus from Amy Gutmann, President; Wendell Pritchett, Provost; Craig Carnaroli, Senior Executive Vice President; Beth Winkelstein, Deputy Provost

We are very pleased to announce that Penn will be fully reopening campus for the fall semester, while continuing to be guided by best practices in public health. After 15 months of masking and physical distancing, rearranging your lives to perform work under challenging circumstances, and vaccinating against COVID-19, Penn now has the lowest rate of COVID-19 in over a year. Penn’s low positivity rate is but one component of the broader slowdown of COVID-19 cases in our region and, as of June 11, the City of Philadelphia removed capacity restrictions on our facilities and related occupancy. The safety and wellness of our Penn community are of utmost importance, and this message is intended as a resource guide to help you return to campus with confidence over the next few weeks and months.

Enter Your COVID-19 Vaccination Information / Schedule Your Test

As we first wrote on June 1, all faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The deadline for proof of vaccination is August 1, 2021. (Note that employees of Penn’s health schools must follow any additional school-specific guidelines.) Proof of vaccination status will be conducted in Workday@Penn; recording your COVID-19 vaccination status is secure, confidential, and easy by completing a simple online form. Those who record their full vaccination are exempt from regular COVID-19 screening tests, as well as the daily completion of PennOpen Pass.

Individuals who choose not to vaccinate against COVID-19 for medical and religious reasons or choose not to disclose their vaccination status will be required to do the following for the public health of the Penn community: use PennOpen Pass on a daily basis to check for COVID-19 symptoms, complete weekly Penn Cares screening testing, and wear a mask while indoors. While the University requires mask use indoors by unvaccinated individuals, we also support mask use by vaccinated individuals who choose to wear one. No assumptions should be made about the vaccination status of colleagues who choose to wear a mask indoors.

Review Your Return to Campus Guide

Normal University on-campus operations will resume on September 7. We acknowledge that some members of our community may be observing the Rosh Hashanah holiday and will not return until later in the week. Deans, University Officers, and other senior administrators will have the flexibility to make individual arrangements accommodating remote work in our Schools and Centers based upon business and operational needs and job duties for the fall semester. Each School and Center has developed plans to achieve this phased return to campus between July 6 and September 7.
The University has developed a comprehensive guide for the return to in-person work, which will continue to be updated as needed.

Check Validity of Your PennCard

In support of the University’s return to campus, PennCard has created a special web page with general information, including hours of operation, office contacts, and guidance on obtaining replacements for lost, damaged, expired, and non-working cards. Please note that pre-scheduled appointments are required and that, for individuals sponsored through University departments, the PennCard office will need to receive an authorization form in advance before it can issue a PennCard. The office’s normal hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm. Be sure to bring your current PennCard and a valid US or state government-issued photo ID or a valid passport. In addition, each School, Center, and department will be responsible for developing its own policy for using PennCards for access to in-person meetings in Penn buildings.

Plan Your Commute (Parking/SEPTA)

The Commuting at Penn portal offers detailed information about discounted public transit and bike commuter options, how Penn Transit can serve commuters who live near the University, campus parking options, information for parking patrons with suspended monthly permits, and other valuable resources and updates. The Penn Transportation and Parking Office is open Monday-Friday from 9 am-4 pm.

What to Expect on Campus this Fall

Facility Preparation: The University is preparing a deep clean of all facilities in anticipation of the return to campus, including rigorous and regular disinfecting of offices, conference rooms, bathrooms, lobbies, classrooms, labs, libraries, fitness centers and locker rooms, dining halls and college houses, and common spaces. Each building at Penn has specific heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC). We have conducted building by building HVAC systems condition and performance reviews by Facilities and Real Estate Services and Environmental Health and Radiation Safety (EHRS). All occupied on-campus buildings are in compliance with the prevailing International Building Code and ASHRAE standards for ventilation. EHRS has also developed building and workplace signage, tips, and suggestions.

Changing “Work From” Address for Tax Purposes: Please note that as of September 7, 2021, the “work from” address will once again be our Philadelphia campus (if that was your primary place of work prior to the pandemic). For questions or exceptions to this policy, please contact your Human Resources Representative.

Policies for Penn-Affiliated Travel: The University has lifted its travel suspension and implemented restricted travel guidelines for all domestic and international Penn-related travel. Faculty, staff, and postdoctoral trainees must enter their vaccine information in Workday@Penn, the University’s system of record for Human Resources and Payroll.

In order to avoid any health-related challenges or complications, especially when traveling abroad, Penn recommends that all travelers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before initiating travel. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to delay travel until they are fully vaccinated.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated who must travel should follow CDC guidance and be tested 1-3 days before their trip, adhere to strict masking, distancing and handwashing protocols while traveling, and be tested 3-5 days upon their return. This is also consistent with our campus public health guidance for unvaccinated individuals.
Faculty, staff, and students may travel domestically or to countries rated CDC Level 1 and Level 2 without a petition. Penn-affiliated group travel will be permitted starting July 1, 2021. Penn Travel Guidelines and Procedures apply to Penn-affiliated travel only. Personal travel and commuting are not considered Penn-affiliated travel and will continue to be governed by city, state, and federal guidelines.

All travelers are expected to follow local and state guidelines regarding quarantine, testing, masking, etc. and should be prepared for changes and modifications. As government restrictions and guidelines pertaining to domestic and international travel continue to evolve, we encourage anyone planning to travel to consult the Penn Global Travel Guidelines for the most up-to-date information. For questions about policies related to visitors to Penn, please see Expectations of Campus Visitors below.

Gatherings & Events: Consistent with guidance from the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the University is lifting the restriction on campus gatherings and events. Organizers and sponsors of gatherings and events must follow University safety and masking protocols. See our Events and Gatherings Guidelines for the complete policy.

  • Gathering size limits are lifted for outdoor gatherings.
  • Indoor gatherings may occur at up to the full capacity of a given indoor space, including work, classroom, and research spaces.
  • Off-campus activities may resume.
  • Individually packaged food and drink are allowed at gatherings.

Expectations of Campus Visitors: Visitors may include prospective students, Penn event attendees, and family or friends visiting campus. While most visitor restrictions have been lifted, except for summer camps, visitors to Penn’s campus must adhere to the University’s safety protocols, including masking indoors. See our Visitors Guidelines for the complete policy.

A Vibrant University City and Campus: One of the great benefits of working for Penn is that, regardless of what type of facility we work in – a lab or a dining hall, an arena or an office – we all belong to one of America’s most beautiful campuses: 300 acres of greenery with inspiring buildings, sculpture, and architecture. We encourage you to visit your favorite Shop Penn cafes, restaurants, and shops, which have been awaiting your arrival back to campus, as well as our vibrant arts scene, where there is always something happening, or our recreation and fitness centers to take advantage of the array of workout options. The University City District also maintains a robust calendar of events in and around University City.

Additional Questions/Information: If you have additional questions about what to expect on returning to campus, we invite you to:

  • Visit the Penn HR Health and Safety website, which has extensive resources.
  • Contact the COVID Resource Call Center at (215) 573-7096 or by email at
  • Access the FAQ that will be coming soon to help assist you in your personal strategy for returning to in-person campus work.

We are grateful that, because of expert medical care, strategic public health policy, and the determined behavior of our fellow citizens, nearly 800,000 Philadelphians are vaccinated. A great sense of hope is present that we are able to safely, albeit carefully, coexist with the virus. We are poised to return to our public life and activities and to help reignite the economy. After 15 months of being distant and remote, it is truly exciting to welcome faculty, researchers, students, and staff to campus for in-person instruction, hands-on research, and the personal provision of critical University services. From Penn Dining and Libraries, to tutoring and financial aid counseling, athletic coaching and performing arts, IT support and facilities management, what makes Penn a thriving campus community is when we can integrate these activities in pursuit of our shared campus mission. We greatly look forward to seeing all of you back on campus in the months ahead.

In order to make obtaining replacement PennCards as efficient as possible for the large number of faculty and staff who are returning to campus and need replacement PennCards, the Office is pre-printing cards for individuals with an active faculty (FAC) or staff  (STAF) affiliation in Workday whose cards expired before June 21, 2021.  [Note – this does not include temp (TEMP) and contingent worker (CTWK)].

We have communicated to these cardholders that replacement cards will be available after July 5 and so it is particularly important to update WorkDay records for faculty and staff who are no longer affiliated with Penn. The replacement cards will match the previous card unless the affiliation has changed since the previous card was issued and, unless the records are updated, these individuals will continue to have access to buildings on campus.

Sponsored Individuals

Academic affiliates (such as adjunct and visiting faculty and visiting scholars) along with guests of the University and contracted employees have always been able to obtain or replace a PennCard provided that a PennCard Request Form has been submitted to the PennCard office from their sponsoring Penn department, school, or center.

To increase the efficiency of the process, a new online PennCard Request Form has been created to make it easier for departments to provide the sponsorship information to PennCard. This new web-based form replaces the previous paper form that departments were required to complete and provide for the sponsored individuals. Once the form is processed, the designated contact within the department will receive communication via email which they can then forward to the sponsored party with instructions on obtaining the new/replacement PennCard.

Additional Information

In addition to the above form, and in support of the University’s return-to-campus efforts, PennCard has instituted several enhancements to make this process easier both for administrators and for the individual card holders, including those that are being sponsored:

  1. A newly implemented online application process to accommodate online photo submission for faculty, staff as well as Penn affiliates. who will be receiving their first PennCards. This alleviates the need to have the photo taken at the PennCard Office.
  2. An on-line appointment scheduling system which allows patrons to choose the most convenient pick-up time during PennCard’s normal hours of operation (M-F, 8:30 am-5 pm).  (Given the high volume of card creation as a result of campus reopening, pre-scheduled appointments are now required.) All applicants will also need to bring either a current PennCard, a valid US or state government-issued photo ID, or a valid passport with them.
  3. A special webpage which provides quick access to information relative to all PennCard’s ID services.

Please share this information with any of your colleagues who have responsibilities for updating WorkDay records and/or requesting PennCards for sponsored individuals.

We very much appreciate your support. If you have additional questions or concerns, you may contact the department directly at


PennCard Office

Dear SP2 Colleagues,

The return to campus and normal operations is near. To help protect you and those around you from the spread of COVID-19, the University is requiring current and active faculty, staff, and postdoctoral trainees to be fully vaccinated or to participate in weekly Penn Cares screening tests.

Faculty, staff, and postdoctoral trainees must enter their vaccine information in Workday@Penn, our system of record for human resources and payroll. This includes those who are in Workday for pay purposes. The information you enter is secure and confidential. The Workday process is not intended for student workers. Students will follow their customary process for uploading their immunization records through the Student Health Service portal.

Workday will send you an inbox notification and reminders. An announcement also appears on your Workday home page. Please access a video demonstration or follow these simple instructions to enter your vaccine information.

Log in to Workday@Penn
  • Go to
  • Provide your PennKey username and password. Workday requires secure, two-factor authentication, so please have your mobile device or other method readily available if required.
Go to Your Profile
  • Navigate to your profile by clicking the blue cloud icon in the upper right corner of the Workday home screen and click on your name.
  • Click on the “Personal” menu on the left-hand column.
  • Choose the “Individual Vaccination” tag along the top of that screen.
  • If you are an academic affiliate, enter “Affiliate Vaccinations” in the search bar. Your process is then the same.
Add Vaccination Information
  • Click the button marked “Add Vaccination.”
  • Fill in these fields: Date, Type, Manufacturer, and Dose. Dose will appear after you choose the manufacturer.  Lot Number, Site/Location, and Proof of Vaccination are optional fields. If you choose to upload an image of your vaccination card, we recommend you add it only once after you complete the doses (some manufacturers require two doses separated by two to three weeks).
  • Review the terms/attestation; click the link to review the privacy policy if desired.
  • Check the box indicating your agreement.
  • Click Ok.

If you make a mistake, delete your entry, and start over by clicking “Delete” at the far right of the entry line. If your vaccine required a second dose, you must repeat these steps to upload the information for each dose separately.

Workday Assistance (PennKey Required)

Please contact the Penn Employee Solution Center at 215-898-7372 or if you have any questions about the Workday process or HR policies.

Why Report Your Vaccinated Status?

Effective July 1, those who have submitted their information on being fully vaccinated will no longer be required to schedule and take part in weekly Penn Cares screening testing or complete their daily screening questions through PennOpen Pass.

Additionally, beginning July 1, a Green Pass will not be required to enter University buildings or board Penn Transit. Penn Medicine will continue to require a Green Pass for health care facility entrance.

Those who do not enter their information on being fully vaccinated into Workday will be required to schedule and take part in weekly Penn Cares screening testing and complete their daily screening through PennOpen Pass. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals are considered to be fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or
  • 2 weeks after a single dose, such as the Johnson & Johnson’s Janseen vaccine.

On August 1, the University campus will be fully open; by this point, you must either provide your information on being fully vaccinated or begin/continue to participate in Penn Cares testing.

New hires, those who are returning from leaves of absence, and those who are not yet fully vaccinated can continue to upload their vaccine information on a rolling basis. Once your information on being fully vaccinated has been recorded, you will be exempt from ongoing Penn Cares screening testing.

For additional information about PennOpen Pass and Penn Cares screening testing, visit Visit the University’s Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about vaccine safety and efficacy.

Thank you for doing your part to create a safe return to campus.


Jennifer J. Clinkscales, DSW, LCSW (she/her)
Associate Dean of Student Affairs

A Message to Faculty, Staff, and Postdocs on Vaccination Status and Return to Campus

from Amy Gutmann, President; Wendell Pritchett, Provost; Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President

As we look ahead to a vibrant fall semester, with a full resumption of in-person teaching, research, and University operations, maintaining a safe and healthy environment for the entire Penn community remains our highest priority.

Vaccine Requirement

The single most important measure each of us can take to protect ourselves along with those on campus and in our surrounding communities is to get vaccinated against COVID-19. With well-grounded confidence in the safety, effectiveness, and broad availability of COVID-19 vaccines, we previously announced that all students are required to be vaccinated for the fall semester with exemptions provided only for medical and religious reasons.

Today we are announcing that all current faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than August 1, 2021. Employees of Penn’s health schools must follow any additional school-specific guidelines.

In the next two weeks, we will launch a simple process in Workday for all employees and post-doctoral trainees to record their COVID-19 vaccination status securely and confidentially. Vaccinated faculty, staff, and post-docs should enter their vaccination information by July 1. When the process launches, you will receive step-by-step instructions and reminders on how to complete this task in Workday. New hires and those vaccinated after July 1 should update their record as soon as possible.

Effective July 1, individuals who have recorded being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in their Workday record will be exempt from regular Penn Cares screening testing. Individuals who report their vaccination status after July 1 will be exempt thereafter. Penn Cares testing remains a highly effective public health tool on campus. We thank those of you who have been participating diligently throughout the fall, spring, and early summer semesters.

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. Faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees who are not fully vaccinated 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.

Vaccine Availability

There is clear evidence that vaccines are both safe and highly effective at stopping the spread of COVID-19. More than 1.7 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide and half of the adult population in the U.S. are vaccinated. The protection provided by the vaccines is proven to be very high. Unvaccinated individuals, however, still have a high COVID-19 case rate.

COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available through most retail pharmacy chains such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. You can also visit to find a location near you or use a link on your Green PennOpen Pass to call the Penn Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Hotline for assistance.

Other Safety Measures

As we previously announced, for gatherings, classes, meetings, and returning to the office, we will follow the guidance of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. The City of Philadelphia will lift physical distancing restrictions tomorrow, June 2. Accordingly, classrooms, labs, and other University spaces will be used at 100 percent capacity.

While requirements for mask use while outdoors on campus for those who are fully vaccinated were lifted last week, mask use has been shown to be an effective disease prevention tool. Eventually, mask use will not be required indoors, but it will remain an effective preventative measure, especially during cold and flu season.

Beginning July 1, use of PennOpen Pass will be required just for employees who have not reported their vaccine status. PennOpen Pass will support testing compliance and daily symptom checking for those individuals, but it will no longer be used to enter campus buildings. Vaccinated individuals should expect to return to pre-pandemic conditions while on campus. We are actively evaluating when we can phase out other campus health measures instituted in the wake of the pandemic. These timetables will depend upon the widespread vaccination of our employees.

For more than a year, we have all worked tirelessly to fulfill our mission of delivering exceptional education and research, while keeping the Penn community and those around us safe from illness. We have followed the science and the guidelines established by federal, state, and local authorities. Vaccines have proven to be safe and highly effective in preventing hospitalizations, death, and the spread of the virus. Getting vaccinated and recording your vaccination status are the next and most critical steps in our collective efforts to end this crisis and return to normalcy.

We look forward to seeing you on campus very soon.

Return to Campus Plan

From Tuesday, July 6th through Tuesday, September 7th, we will begin a phased return to full operations at SP2. SP2 has created a plan to provide detailed information about the return to campus for SP2 staff. Topics covered in the Return to Campus Plan include:

  • Message from the Dean
  • Emotional and Physical Wellness at Penn
  • Return to Work with Transition Months
  • COVID‐19 Safety and Testing
  • Transportation and Parking
  • Penncard
  • Flexible Work Options
  • Facilities Changes
  • Emergency Reminders
  • Travel Information

To download the Return to Campus Plan, click the link below.

SP2 is pleased to present this video about the Return to Campus Plan. Watch below to hear from public safety, Penn’s chief wellness officer, human resources, Dean Bachman, and more.

Information for Faculty

Course Delivery

The University does not support hybrid learning i.e. Zooming students into an in-person course.

The University does not mandate recording of classes. More importantly, SP2 does not have the IT support to record classes.

SP2 Faculty have the option to temporarily move their course online only due to COVID related absences. If an Instructor decides not to move the course online the COVID related absence should be excused.

Student Absences

SP2 encourage students to talk to their faculty if they test positive for COVID to create a supportive academic plan. If a student reports a positive COVID test, the student will have to quarantine, which will result in 1 or 2 class absences. Consult with Program Directors regarding field placement, practicum and internships COVID-related absences. Depending on the level of an exposure/close contact, Student Health Services (SHS) may require a student to be absent for 1 class.

Encourage the student to contact SHS or use PennOpen Pass to report symptoms. SHS and/or the Contract Tracing Team will contact the student and necessary individuals. COVID absences should be excused. Students should not be penalized for COVID related absences.

Instructor Absences

If an Instructor tests positive for COVID, please contact the program director ASAP to create a plan for class i.e. substitute instructor, move online, reschedule class during makeup period. SP2 faculty/instructors have the option to temporarily move their course online only due to COVID related absences.

Contact SP2 IT if you need Zoom support. Makeup classes may be scheduled between Tuesday, December 14th and Wednesday, December 15th.

Instructor FAQs & Teaching Resources

The Center for Teaching and Learning offers tips to help students stay on track when they must miss class.

The VP of Education has FAQ for instructors that provide specific COVID related guidance on teaching.


Students and Instructors are required to wear masks at all times during indoor classroom instruction. Penn Wellness encourages double masking (a surgical mask + a cloth masks); N95 are not recommended.

ONLY vaccinated Instructors can request an exemption for pedagogical reasons only. Requests are subject to approval by Penn Wellness, the Vice Provost of Education and SP2.

Instructors can request a microphone to project their voice in class.

PennOpen Pass

A Green Pass is not required to enter campus buildings. Faculty have the option to check students’ Green Pass on PennOpen Pass before class.

The Penn Community is encouraged to use PennOpen Pass daily to track symptoms to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading within the Penn community.

Vaccine Hesitancy

Produced by Motion, Inc., the ad below features Tichianaa Armah, MD, CHC’s Chief of Psychiatry, who recounts her search for answers about the COVID-19 vaccine. As a Black woman, physician and scientist, she struggles with her own doubts about the safety of the vaccine. Her research convinces her not only that the vaccine is safe, but she becomes a vaccinator so people of color will see her giving the shot and feel comfortable.

Travel Guidelines & Procedures

Beginning May 18, 2021, Penn will move from suspended to restricted travel.  All domestic and some international travel will no longer require a petition or other risk based pre-approval, if the travelers are fully vaccinated.

Below are the most important changes for departures on or after May 18th, 2021:

  • COVID-19 vaccination will be required for Penn-affiliated travel, both domestic and international, unless an exception has been granted for medical or religious reasons. Schools, centers and trip leaders may not ask the vaccination status of a Penn employee or student. At this time, the vaccination requirement is based on the honor system.
  • Non-vaccinated people with plans to travel on a Penn trip should reach out to for additional guidance.
  • Faculty, staff and students may travel domestically or to countries rated by the CDC as Level 1 and Level 2, without a petition.
  • All travelers are required to submit a petition for travel to countries rated by the CDC as Level 3 or Level 4.
  • Group travel (defined as 5 people or more traveling on the same itinerary) cannot commence before July 1, 2021.

More details, including FAQ’s, petition procedures, and other important notifications can be found on Penn’s Travel Guidance website. Questions pertaining to the updated guidance should be directed to

Concur Approvers: for questions about booking travel or approving travel, please contact Travel Services at or (215) 898-9662. For expense reimbursement questions, please contact the Concur Expense Help desk at

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