Penn is cutting off all University-related travel and banning large on-campus events for more than a month in an effort to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
Provost Wendell Pritchett announced the new measures in an email to the Penn community Tuesday morning. There was no definitive announcement on whether the University would shift to online classes. As The Daily Pennsylvanian reported last night, Pritchett wrote that Penn is preparing for possible online classes after spring break. A further update on remote instruction will come later this week, Pritchett announced.
To mitigate against spreading the virus, both domestic and international University-related travel is banned until April 17 — unless specifically approved by the provost. Pritchett also discouraged individuals from personal travel — a message that comes as a substantial number of Penn students are away from campus on spring break vacations.
The email to the Penn community also urged organizers to cancel or postpone on-campus meetings of more than 100 people until April 17 at the earliest. Pritchett wrote that meetings with international attendees should be called off even if they are smaller than 100-person gatherings.
Penn Medicine is barring all faculty, students, post-docs, and staff in the Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System from attending large gatherings like conferences.
"We are committed to sustaining our core educational mission even in the face of this unexpected global health crisis, and we are confident that we can count on every member of our Penn community to work alongside us," the email read, which was also signed by Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé, Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli, and Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Ezekiel Emanuel.