This story was last updated at 12:35 p.m. on July 4. Please check back for new updates.
Libraries, museums, and indoor malls allowed to reopen this weekend in Phila.
Updated at 12:35 p.m. on July 4
After a recent uptick in coronavirus cases in Philadelphia County, the city entered a modified green phase on Friday, with plans to enter the full green phase on Aug. 1, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. In the modified green phase, schools, libraries, museums, indoor malls, and casinos will be allowed to reopen. Outdoor sports and small outdoor performances can also resume.
Businesses allowed to open will need to follow health and safety guidelines. Face masks are now mandatory in public throughout the state after Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued an executive order on Wednesday.
Indoor restaurants, gyms, theaters, religious gatherings over 25 people, and large outdoor events will be allowed on Aug. 1 if the city meets its target of fewer than 80 new coronavirus cases per day.
Pennsylvania reports biggest spike in COVID-19 cases in six weeks
Updated at 8:58 p.m. on July 3
Pennsylvania reported 832 cases, its highest daily mark, on Thursday, while Philadelphia showed a slight increase with 143 new cases, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Thursday was the fifth time in six days the number of daily new cases in Pennsylvania topped 600, The Inquirer reported. Pennsylvania's seven-day average of new cases has been experiencing an upward trend since June 19.
Nearly 100 teenagers tested positive for COVID-19 the week of June 14, more than double the number of new cases for the previous two weeks, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said.
Undergraduate calculus courses will be taught remotely this fall
Updated at 7:03 p.m. on June 30
Calculus courses Math 103, Math 104, Math 114, and Math 240 will all be taught remotely for fall 2020, Department of Mathematics Undergraduate Chair Dennis DeTurck wrote in a memo emailed to all undergraduates enrolled in fall calculus courses on June 30.
Students will meet virtually with an instructor once per week for an hour in groups of 60 for active learning or problem-solving. Before each week's live virtual class, students will be expected to watch about 80 minutes worth of short video lectures and complete related homework assignments that will be automatically graded through Canvas.
There will be no midterms for these courses this fall. Instead, three out of four Fridays per month will involve a less-than-hour-long remote quiz covering the week’s material. There will still be a final exam.
“These changes are not minor; they are significant and require a great deal of work on the part of the faculty,” DeTurck wrote.
Phila. to restrict indoor dining and gyms from reopening July 3
Updated at 2:21 p.m. on June 30
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced today that it will scale back the city’s transition into the ‘green’ phase of reopening that starts on Friday, July 3.
Due to increased cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia, the city will now have a modified, restricted 'green' phase. Indoor dining and gyms will be closed until at least August 1, according to a city press release.
Health Commissioner Thomas Farley reported 142 new cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon, increasing the total confirmed cases to 26,133.
Low-risk activities are permitted to reopen on Friday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. These include libraries, museums, indoor shopping malls, and small indoor and outdoor gatherings.
Phila. will continue to offer coronavirus rental assistance to city residents
Updated at 12:14 p.m. on June 30
The city of Philadelphia is offering a second round of rental assistance to residents impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Residents of the city may apply for aid starting Monday, July 6. Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, and assistance is limited to $750 per month per household and $4,500 over six months, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
To qualify for rental assistance, applicants must be Philadelphia residents and must have lost at least 30% of household income due to the pandemic or become unemployed after March 1.
The Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation administers the program for rental assistance, which is funded by the money given to the state by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Over 13,000 residents applied for the initial round of rental assistance. Around 10,200 households met the requirements, but the city ran out of money after aiding only 4,000 residents. The funds are expected to aid about 6,300 more city households in this second round, The Inquirer reported.
The program is to continue until Sept. 30, or when they run out of funding.
All undergraduate Communication classes 'highly likely' to be held virtually this fall
Updated at 3:15 p.m. on June 29
It is “highly likely” that all undergraduate Communications classes will be held virtually for the Fall 2020 semester, the Annenberg School for Communication's Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies Felicity Paxton wrote in an email to undergraduates majoring or considering majoring in Communications.
Although the email was sent to undergraduates on June 29, a final decision will not be announced for another week.
“Stay tuned for more details asap,” Paxton wrote in the email. “We appreciate your patience as we navigate these challenging times and strive to do so in ways that maximize the wellness and resilience of our community as a whole.”
Pennsylvania reports more than 1,100 new coronavirus cases over weekend
Updated at 12:09 p.m. on June 29
The number of coronavirus cases is on the rise in Pennsylvania as the state reported more than 1,100 new cases this past weekend, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The statewide total is now 85,496 cases, the eighth-highest number in the country.
On Saturday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 621 new cases, which was the greatest single-day increase since June 12. On Sunday, Pennsylvania reported another 505 cases.
This upward trend in the number of coronavirus cases comes as all Pennsylvania counties, except for Lebanon County, have moved into the more liberal “green” phase of reopening. Lebanon County plans to move into the green phase on Friday.
“As nearly the entire state is now in the 'green' phase, we must remain committed to protecting against COVID-19,” Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said in a statement, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Philadelphia to enter modified 'green' phase of reopening on Friday
Updated at 6:39 p.m. on June 27
Upon the city’s transition from its 'yellow' phase to 'green' phase, restaurants, bars, theaters, and malls will be able to open at half-capacity, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Businesses that operated at half-capacity throughout the city’s 'yellow' phase will now be allowed to operate at 75% capacity as well.
However, not all restrictions will be lifted. Masks will still be required in public spaces, and large gatherings of 250 people or more will still be prohibited.
The easing of further restrictions on Friday will mean that all counties of Pennsylvania have now entered the 'green' phase of restrictions, with the exception of Lebanon County, which is experiencing a delay due to an increase in coronavirus cases reported in the area.
Philadelphia to require masks indoors and outdoors when near others
Updated at 1:46 p.m. on June 26
The City of Philadelphia will require people to wear masks indoors, and outdoors when fewer than six feet from others or talking to someone outside their household, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said the order comes as new case counts of coronavirus in Philadelphia have stopped decreasing.
The city's cases have been increasing, at more than 100 new cases per day, The Inquirer reported. Cases have spiked in the 16-19 age range, and seem to be related to social gatherings resuming.
Police will not enforce the order, The Inquirer reported.
As part of Penn's Student Campus Compact, students who choose to return to campus in the fall will be required wear a mask at all times in public spaces.
Penn will invite students back to campus for hybrid instruction in the fall
Updated at 12:00 p.m. on June 25
Penn will invite students back to campus for fall 2020 under a hybrid instruction model, with in-person instruction for “courses across those curricula that demand them.” For students who elect not to return to campus, all courses will be offered through remote formats, Penn President Amy Gutmann, Provost Wendell Pritchett, and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli wrote in an email to the Penn community on Thursday morning.
The upcoming semester will begin as scheduled on Sept. 1, with an end to in-person operations on Nov. 20 before Thanksgiving break. Classes will be offered online on Monday, Nov. 23 and remain online through the remainder of the semester, including final exams. Fall break, which was scheduled to take place on Oct. 1-4, has been canceled.
The University will only guarantee housing for first years, sophomores, and transfer students. Every student will live in a private bedroom with a maximum ratio of six students per shared bathroom. Housing will encompass University college houses as well as additional off-campus space for juniors and seniors who requested on-campus housing.
Students will be required to agree to a Student Campus Compact, requiring all students to wear facial coverings in public, practice six-feet physical distancing measures in public and in classrooms, and avoid large gatherings of 25 or more people. Students participating in clubs, performances, and recreational activities must comply with physical distancing guidelines and safety protocols.
Students will be tested as they arrive on campus in August, in addition to regular tests and daily symptom checking on a mobile app throughout the semester. If students test positive, they will be required to quarantine in Sansom Place West.
Penn will have testing available for students, faculty, and staff in the Hall of Flags in Houston Hall throughout the year.
Pennsylvania lags behind most of the country in coronavirus testing
Updated at 4:47 p.m. on June 24
Pennsylvania is performing fewer coronavirus tests per capita than all but six states and Puerto Rico. Philadelphia, however, continues to provide widespread testing, which is stopping the state's rate from falling even lower, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
An analysis by Johns Hopkins University found that Pennsylvania conducted 5,215 tests per 100,000 people through Wednesday. Without Philadelphia, the rate would be 4,800 tests per 100,000 people, which would leave Pennsylvania only ahead of only Idaho, Puerto Rico, and Wyoming, the Inquirer reported.
Lately, Pennsylvania's statewide positivity rate has hovered around 4%, which meets the World Health Organization recommendation for reopening, The Inquirer reported.
As Phila. surpasses 25,000 COVID-19 cases, the city announces plan to reopen July 3
Updated at 3:05 p.m. on June 22
While Philadelphia prepares to enter the final 'green' phase of reopening on July 3, the Department of Public Health reported 275 new coronavirus cases on Monday, increasing the city's total to 25,116 confirmed cases of COVID-19, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Officials say that the number is likely higher due to people choosing not to get tested.
On June 26, Philadelphia suburbs including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties will move into the green stage of reopening, while the city will delay an additional week, according to the Inquirer. By June 26, salons, spas, barber shops, residential pools, private swim clubs, and outdoor areas of zoos are permitted to open in Philadelphia. Small indoor social and religious gatherings of up to 25 people will also be allowed.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced that if the city reaches its coronavirus targets, it will be able to reopen further on July 3, the Inquirer reported. Outdoor group recreational and sports activities, schools, colleges, libraries, museums, gyms, indoor exercise classes, and restaurants with indoor seating, with occupancy restrictions, are some of the activities permitted to open.
Princeton cancels 'Early Action' applications due to COVID-19
Updated at 7:31 p.m. on June 19
Princeton University announced on Thursday that they will only offer one application deadline for the 2020-21 cycle due to the coronavirus pandemic. Prospective students must apply by Jan. 1, 2021 to be considered. Princeton is the first school in the Ivy League to announce changes to their application deadlines.
In previous years, Princeton has had two deadlines: Single Choice Early Action, due by Nov. 1, and Regular Decision, due by Jan. 1. Princeton's Early Action program does not allow students to apply early to other private universities.
Princeton also announced a test-optional admissions policy for the 2020-21 cycle. All of the Ivy League universities, including Penn, will be test-optional this year.
Philadelphia to enter green phase by early July
Updated at 4:55 p.m. on June 18
Philadelphia is on schedule to begin the ‘green’ phase of reopening by early July, CBS Philly reported. On Thursday, Mayor Jim Kenney said the city is on track to advance to the next phase of Pennsylvania’s reopening schedule if citizens continue to follow preventative measures such as social distancing.
“As you’ve seen in other areas of the country, that irresponsibility has set them back, so let’s not go there.” Kenney said, according to CBS Philly.
The green phase entails the opening of more businesses, including gyms, schools and colleges, libraries, and shopping malls. It also means a step toward normalcy for restaurants as indoor seating will be permitted with some occupancy restrictions. This next phase will also allow for small outdoor events up to 50 people.
Governor Wolf said mask wearing will continue to be considered essential throughout all phases of reopening.
Eight Pennsylvania counties plan to move to the green phase of reopening on June 19
Updated at 10:17 p.m. on June 14
Eight counties — Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Luzerne, Monroe, Perry, Pike, and Schuylkill — will be allowed to ease most coronavirus restrictions on June 19. These counties will join 46 others that have already been permitted to enter the ‘green’ phase, lifting most of the enforced restrictions on businesses and patrons.
Despite this, Philadelphia and its suburbs will remain in the ‘yellow’ phase, for now, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. In the ‘yellow’ phase, public spaces such as gyms, salons, and restaurants remain closed. Thirteen Pennsylvania counties remain in the ‘yellow’ phase, with many of them being the most highly populated areas of the state.
The easing of restrictions in these counties is a part of Governor Wolf’s plan to gradually loosen social distancing measures and other safety precautions that inflict economic problems, most notably for small businesses that needed to close for a period of time due to the pandemic.
Governor Wolf asks Pa. Supreme Court to uphold shutdown
Updated at 5:57 p.m. on June 14
Governor Tom Wolf asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to intervene in his dispute with Republican lawmakers who are trying to terminate his coronavirus emergency declaration. Republican majorities in the state House and Senate — along with a few Democrats — voted to end the pandemic restrictions Wolf imposed in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus, NBC Philadelphia reported.
Wolf said in a press release that his gradual reopening plan is working, citing a downward trend in new coronavirus cases in the state.
Senate Republicans went to court this week asking Wolf to abide by a resolution that would end the shutdown, as they believe the emergency has passed and continuing pandemic restrictions is no longer necessary.
On Friday, the state attorney general's office accused Republicans of trying to circumvent the state constitution and upend Pennsylvania's reopening process. Wolf's lawyers asked the Supreme Court to declare the proposed resolution legally invalid.
By asking the Supreme Court to take the case, Wolf could get a final decision more quickly, although he would also pass over the Commonwealth Court, where Republicans hold the majority, to reach the Supreme Court, where Democrats outnumber Republicans five to two.
Philadelphia officials release options for outdoor dining
Updated at 5:30 p.m. on June 12
Restaurants can apply to use the sidewalk area in front of the business for restaurant seating, convert curbside parking into an outdoor dining or take-away area, convert parking lot spaces into restaurant seating, or temporarily close streets for shared restaurant dining. Applications will be reviewed starting June 15.
Restaurants that reopen for outdoor dining are required to follow existing health safety measures for restaurants and guidelines for outdoor dining. Hours of operation are limited, tables must be a minimum of six feet apart, and employees and customers must wear masks.
Pa. lawmakers approve resolution ending Governor Wolf's COVID-19 emergency declaration
Updated at 4:27 p.m. on June 11
Republican lawmakers, joined by a couple of Democrats, gave final approval to a resolution to terminate Governor Tom Wolf's coronavrius emergency declaration. With Democrats and Republicans divided on the issue, the governor said the only option was to take the issue to court, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Democrats said the state constitution gives Wolf the power to reject the resolution, which he considers "disastrous," according to the Inquirer. Republicans, however, said state law requires Wolf to end the declaration since a majority of lawmakers approve of the resolution.
The disaster emergency was declared in March, and has allowed Wolf to suspend regulations, command military forces, and order mass evacuations. Wolf told the Inquirer that ending the declaration would rescind protections put in place to fight the pandemic and its economic consequences, such as suspending licensing requirements for healthcare workers and putting a temporary moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.
"Ending the disaster declaration would not reopen anything. It just wouldn't," Wolf told the Inquirer. "And anybody who says differently is wrong."
Philadelphia businesses and churches partially reopen during the first weekend in ‘yellow’ phase
Updated at 4:36 p.m. on June 7
Philadelphia began its ‘yellow’ phase of coronavirus reopening plan on Friday, June 5. This phase permits businesses to reopen, following legal restrictions on capacity, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Roman Catholic Churches resumed in-person mass and religious services as well. Families of parishioners are required to wear masks, keep a distance of six feet from one another while seated in mass, and refrain from making physical contact with one another during the Sign of Peace.
Philadelphia-area residents continued to join in on peaceful protests against police brutality on the Benjamin Franklin parkway throughout the weekend. Many wore masks and attempted to remain a safe distance from other protesters to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
Philadelphia officials share COVID-19 guidance for protesters
Updated at 11:14 a.m. on June 7
Philadelphia officials shared coronavirus guidelines with protesters on Sunday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Officials are concerned "there may be an increased likelihood that participants may have been exposed to COVID-19" due to the large numbers of protesters.
Those who attended protests, even if they wore a mask, must monitor their symptoms and try their best to stay away from other people for 14 days.
Seven days after having been in a crowd, individuals should get tested for COVID-19. They do not need to state that they were at a protest, but should instead say they were near someone who may have had the virus.
Philadelphia and its suburbs enter 'yellow' phase of reopening
Updated at 5:11 p.m. on June 5
Philadelphia and its suburbs moved to the ‘yellow’ phase of reopening today, as the city has seen decreasing coronavirus cases, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. For the first time in over two months, retailers, day care centers, and offices are permitted to reopen on a limited basis in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.
Businesses must place barriers between cashiers and shoppers, who must wear masks in stores at all times.
Despite the new reopening status, many city offices will not be reopening until early next week. Although citywide protests may contribute to an increase in coronavirus cases, Chairman of Medicine for Main Line Health Lawrence Livornese told the Inquirer they shouldn't prevent the region from transitioning to the yellow reopening phase.
Protests have, however, postponed plans to provide outdoor seating to restaurants that do not typically have it in order to reopen safely, the Inquirer reported. Authorization for outdoor dining in restaurants has also been delayed to next weekend.
Philadelphia’s shift to this phase is mostly in alignment with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s plan for reopening the state. While the state’s guidelines for reopening include permitting gatherings of up to 24 people, the city has not authorized this.
Mayor Kenney unsure if Philadelphia will enter 'yellow' phase on June 5
Updated at 3:20 p.m. on June 4
Mayor Jim Kenney expressed hesitation about Philadelphia’s plan to move to the “yellow” phase of partial reopening on Friday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health recorded an additional 126 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 23,160, which includes 1,324 deaths.
As protests continue in Philadelphia, large crowds have left little space for proper social distancing measures.
“I’m a little concerned, though, what might happen with 3-, 4-, 5,000 people close together without a mask for days on end," Kenney said, according to The Inquirer.
Partial reopening plans will depend on what happens today and tomorrow, Kenney said.
Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley has warned that a large increase in the number of cases could mean the city will not partially reopen as scheduled, the Inquirer reported.
Farley did not mandate how many cases it would take to delay the yellow phase.
Schools in Pennsylvania allowed to reopen for in-person instruction starting July 1
Updated at 3:10 p.m. on June 3
The State Education Department announced that Pennsylvania teachers and students in counties that have reached the "green" or "yellow" phases of reopening will be permitted to return to schools beginning in July, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Schools and colleges, however, are not required to resume in-person instruction.
Schools must adopt their own health and safety procedures if conducting in-person teaching, including maintaining six feet of separation between students.
“Schools can then personalize those expectations based on the needs of their classrooms,” Education Secretary Pedro Rivera said, according to the Inquirer.
Local districts must approve schools' plans to conduct in-person instruction, according to the Inquirer.
Penn cancels all fall 2020 study abroad programs
Updated at 2:33 p.m. on June 3
Penn Abroad has cancelled all study abroad programming for the upcoming fall semester due to global travel restrictions and health risks caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
On June 2, students in study abroad programs received an email from Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager Jacob Gross announcing the suspension of fall study abroad. The email outlined four options for affected students to consider for the fall semester.
Students registered for fall 2020 abroad programming may withdraw their Penn Abroad application entirely, defer their study abroad program to the spring 2021 semester, study abroad in the spring 2021 semester with a different study abroad program, or defer to the fall 2021 semester. The deadline for students to make a decision is June 30.
Philadelphia will not set firm coronavirus reopening metrics
Updated at 4:58 p.m. on May 28
Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said city officials will not set firm COVID-19 metrics the city must meet before moving into the first phase of reopening, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Farley added that he expects the city to be ready to begin reopening when Philadelphia moves into the "yellow" phase of reopening on June 5.
Farley told the Inquirer that city officials will release guidelines for residents and business on Friday.
Governor Tom Wolf announced last week that all counties will move into the "yellow" phase on June 5, regardless of whether they meet a metric for the rate of new cases previously set by his office.
Farley told the Inquirer that a large number of cases could cause him not to move the city into the yellow phase, but did not comment on how many cases it would take.
Philadelphia lifts bans on food trucks and walk-up food ordering
Updated at 3:10 p.m. on May 26
Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said on Tuesday that patrons may walk inside of restaurants to order food with lines no longer than 10 customers, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Food trucks, which Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney banned in late March, are also now allowed in the city.
Farley called these restriction lifts “the first step toward a new normal," according to The Inquirer.
Kenney issued a stay-at-home order on March 23 to limit the spread of coronavirus and plans to ease some pandemic restrictions beginning on June 5.
All Pennsylvania counties to move to "yellow" phase of reopening by June 5
Updated at 4:35 p.m. on May 22
Pennsylvania counties currently under coronavirus restrictions, including Philadelphia county and its surrounding suburbs, will enter the "yellow" phase of reopening by June 5, Pa. Governor Tom Wolf announced Friday morning.
Forty-nine out of Pennsylvania's 67 counties have already moved into the yellow phase, The Inquirer reported. Eight Pa. counties will transition from the red to yellow reopening phase beginning May 29, while the remaining 10 Pa. counties, including Philadelphia County, will transition the following Friday.
Counties must meet certain metrics for testing capacity and declining hospitalization rates, including reaching only 50 new cases per 100,000 residents over the course of 14 days, in order to move from the red to yellow phase. Southeastern Pa. counties, however, have not met these metrics as of yet, according to the Inquirer.
While gatherings larger than 25 people are still prohibited in the yellow phase, most businesses will be able to reopen with restrictions in place, including allowing employees to work from home when possible.
Restaurants will remain closed to in-person business and retail stores will be expected to continue their delivery and curbside pick-up options. Health and wellness facilities, entertainment venues, and indoor malls must also remain closed to the public under the yellow phase.
University outlines four possible scenarios for fall 2020
Updated at 8:22 p.m. on May 21
The University administration sent an email to the Penn community on May 21 outlining four possible scenarios for the fall semester in response to the pandemic, stating a specific decision would be finalized by the end of June.
The scenarios under consideration are a combination of virtual and in-person classes, as previously suggested in an April 27 announcement, a shortened in-person semester, increased 2021 summer course offerings, and entirely online learning for the fall semester.
The University also outlined various potential efforts to ensure campus safety, such as enforcing facial coverings in public, six-feet physical distancing measures, regular COVID-19 testing abilities, and traffic-reducing measures in dorms, dining halls, libraries, and other aspects of student life.
Penn is also looking to resume research in three distinct phases, according to the email. All non-essential research was shut down in March, along with most other on-campus operations.
Penn Admissions designates SAT subject tests as optional for 2020-21 cycle
Updated at 8:10 p.m. on May 21
In mid-May, Penn Admissions decided SAT Subject Tests will be optional, neither required nor recommended, for applicants in the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. Applicants who do not submit the tests will not be disadvantaged in the admissions process. In previous years, all applicants were recommended to submit SAT Subject Tests. Students are still required to self-report SAT or ACT scores when applying.
Penn Medicine will begin phase I of research resumption on June 1
Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer of the Perelman School of Medicine Jonathan Epstein announced on Twitter Wednesday evening that Penn Medicine will enter the first phase of research resumption on campus on June 1.
Phase 1 aims to increase prioritized research with enforced population density restrictions and telework, according to the Research Resumption Strategy Master Plan. Population density in laboratory and research buildings will not exceed 20% of normal operations, and University-sponsored travel will continue to be prohibited.
"We know from our own studies that PPE and distancing and hand washing work," Epstein wrote. "Everyone is responsible for our communal health. Keep your lab mates safe!"
Prioritized research includes relevance to the coronavirus pandemic, deliverable deadlines, and effectiveness of social distancing plans, according to the research resumption plan. Graduate students and postdoctoral students are not required to participate in on-campus research activities, but can opt in if they choose to do so.
Health Commissioner Thomas Farley told 6ABC Action News that the city of Philadelphia reports approximately 200 cases a day compared to its 500 cases a day one month ago.
Philadelphia mayor issues stay-at-home order to slow spread of coronavirus
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced on Sunday a stay-at-home order for the city of Philadelphia effective Monday at 8 a.m., NBC10 Philadelphia reported.
Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy said the order prohibits gatherings outside a household unless related to essential business, according to NBC10 Philadelphia. CBS Philly reported that walk-in takeout orders at businesses and food trucks are also prohibited.
Kenney said too many people were not taking previous guidelines set forth to enforce social distancing seriously, NBC10 Philadelphia reported.
On Sunday CBS Philly reported 11 new COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia, brining the city's total number of cases to 96.
Provost clarifies University is not ordering students who live off-campus to leave
Provost Wendell Pritchett wrote in an email to Penn undergraduate students Wednesday morning that the University regrets any confusion about students being forced out of their private residences. Penn strongly encourage students who live off-campus to return home or to practice social distancing if students decide to stay, Pritchett wrote.
In a March 15 email sent to Penn parents, Pritchett previously announced that Penn was looking to move students living off campus away from their residences.
"We instructed all residents of University housing to leave by Tuesday March 17 and expect off-campus students to vacate their residences by the same time," Pritchett wrote in the March 15 email. "We have communicated Penn’s position to local landlords and asked them to work with their tenants to support this public health necessity."
But both Campus Apartments and The Radian, two of the largest off-campus landlords, said they haven't heard from the University about moving their tenants out. The Radian also asserted that Penn has no right to tell their tenants to leave and expressed surprise at the University's announcement.
Penn will open drive-through coronavirus testing
A drive-through coronavirus testing site for people sent by their doctor will open on Monday, according to CBS Philly.
Judith O'Donnell, a Penn Medicine professor specializing in infectious diseases at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, told The Washington Post that the drive-through will help Penn Med decide which patients to test.
University suspends non-essential on-campus research activities
Provost Wendell Pritchett wrote in an email to all graduate school professors on Sunday evening that researchers must discontinue all non-essential on-campus research activities by March 17 to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Staff, students, and postdocs, however, will continue to receive funding.
According to the email, labs will only permit essential personnel to perform critical procedures or processes that require regular attention beginning March 18.
Research efforts to combat coronavirus will continue, Pritchett wrote.
Penn emails parents saying the University expects off-campus students to leave their homes
In an email to Penn parents on Sunday afternoon, Provost Wendell Pritchett announced that Penn was looking to move off-campus residents away from their residences.
"We instructed all residents of University housing to leave by Tuesday March 17 and expect off-campus students to vacate their residences by the same time," Pritchett wrote. "We have communicated Penn’s position to local landlords and asked them to work with their tenants to support this public health necessity."
But Campus Apartments, one of the largest off-campus landlords, said they haven't heard from the University about moving their tenants out. David Adelman, chief executive officer of Campus Apartments, wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian that the company has "received no communication from the University."
"The Provost’s letter indicates that students must move out of their university college house or fraternity and sororities by Tuesday, March 17 at 8 p.m.," Adelman wrote. "This does not include non-university properties such as buildings owned or managed by Campus Apartments and other landlords in University City."
Penn alerts students that any on- or off-campus group gatherings will be shut down by Penn Police
The University emailed the Penn community on March 14 reminding students to practice social distancing as a part of the school's efforts to combat the coronavirus.
Signed by Provost Wendell Pritchett and Vice Provost for University Life Valerie Swain-Cade McCollum, the email mandated student groups cease all on- and off-campus group activities such as parties and other events. Students found to be congregating on or off campus will have their events shut down by the Penn Police.
According to the email, students who violate the University's social distancing directive may face consequences such as referrals to the Office of Student Conduct.
Residential Services can no longer process requests to remain on campus in 24 hour period
According to the Penn Residential Services website, students who have submitted an application to remain on campus should no longer expect a response within 24 hours due to the number and complexity of requests that have been received.
Residential Services previously sent an email on Thursday morning to on-campus residents that students who are unable to travel home for personal reasons or because they live in an area that is affected by travel restrictions may fill out an application to remain on campus. Students would receive a response within 24 hours, the email read.
The application must be completed by 12 p.m. on March 13, according to the March 12 email.
All clinical sites for Nursing students are canceled for two weeks until further notice
Clinical sites, which include Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, are currently restricting Nursing students from clinical experience for a minimum of two weeks.
Penn Medicine Nurse Practitioner and Penn Nursing lecturer Christine Reger sent an email to students in NURS 390, "Leadership in the Complex Healthcare System," a course offering clinical experience to seniors, on Friday afternoon. Reger notified students that administrators are working to find ways for students to make up the clinical hours that are state-mandated for graduation.
Pediatric Nursing assistant professor Sharon Y. Irving wrote in an email to students enrolled in NURS 225, "Pediatric Nursing", offered to juniors, on Friday morning that the clinical component of the class has been canceled for the semester. Didactic and simulation components will be delivered through remote learning, she wrote.
Provost Wendell Pritchett and President Amy Gutmann previously wrote in an email to the Penn community on March 11 that Medical, Dental, Veterinary, and some Nursing students would continue their clinical rotations.
Office of Student Affairs cancels all student-organized events
The OSA announced in an email on Friday afternoon to leaders of student groups that all student-organized events have been canceled for the remainder of the semester.
OSA Executive Director Katie Bonner and Associate Director Rodney Robinson wrote that all social events sanctioned by student groups will be prohibited. They wrote that the Office of Alcohol and Other Drugs will not be registering social events for the rest of the semester. Student groups who host social events will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
Bonner and Robinson urged student groups to cancel in-person meetings. They wrote that groups who need to meet should do so virtually.
College of Arts and Sciences announces changes to academic schedule
Dean of First-Year Students and Director of Academic Advising Janet Tighe sent an email on Friday afternoon to all College students announcing changes to the academic schedule.
The last day to change a grade type has been extended from March 20 to March 27. The advance registration period for fall 2020 has also been moved to Mar. 30 through Apr. 12. The advance registration period was initially from March 23 to April 5. The last day to withdraw from a course has been moved from March 30 to Apr. 13.
The College Office will move to remote appointments on March 16 and will not be open for in-person meetings, Tighe wrote.
Penn Dental Medicine suspends all student-delivered patient care
Penn Dental announced in an email sent to third and fourth-year dental students that Penn Dental will not be opened to any students beginning on Monday.
Provost Wendell Pritchett and President Amy Gutmann previously wrote in an email to the Penn community on March 11 that Medical, Dental, Veterinary, and some Nursing students would continue their clinical rotations.
Penn recommends employees work remotely
In an email to University faculty and staff on Friday, Penn urged remote work beginning March 16 until at least March 31.
Penn encouraged supervisors and senior leaders to begin planning to support off-campus work. Employees whose jobs do not allow them to work remotely should coordinate off-site duties with their supervisor, according to the email.
The email read that no paid employee will be relegated to unpaid status.
Penn Medicine bans most hospital visitors due to coronavirus
Penn Med issued a strict visitation policy Friday morning at all Penn Med hospitals and outpatient facilities to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
For inpatient visits, visitations will be granted under special circumstances, including to visit a patient nearing the end of life, a child in an intensive care nursery, a partner in labor, and a patient discharging from the hospital.
For outpatient appointments, one visitor will be allowed to accompany a patient for an ambulatory visit or if the patient undergoes a same-day surgery. A child under the age of 12 years will not be permitted to visit outpatient facilities.
If a visitor is allowed by exception, Penn Med will conduct health screening procedures.
Penn extends mandatory move-out by two days
President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett announced in an email to the Penn community on Thursday evening that students who are already on campus will now be expected to move out of their on-campus residences by March 17 at 8 p.m.
Gutmann and Pritchett originally announced in an email on Wednesday that students living on campus must move out by March 15 at 8 p.m.
Penn identifies students and faculty who may have been exposed to coronavirus
Student Health Service emailed over 100 Penn students, faculty, and staff Thursday afternoon alerting them that they may have been exposed to an individual with coronavirus.
In an interview with The Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn's Director of Campus Health Ashlee Halbritter said out of the over 100 cases of potential exposure Penn identified, none of the cases were high risk.
Out of the over 100 cases, Halbritter said more than three-quarters were low-risk cases and the rest were medium-risk cases. A high-risk case is when someone who was exposed to another person with coronavirus reveals symptoms of coronavirus, Halbritter said.
Medium-risk cases include instances where someone could have shared a meal with an individual with coronavirus or where someone studied with an individual with coronavirus in close quarters, Halbritter said. Low-risk cases could include individuals spending time in the same room with someone who has coronavirus for around 10 minutes, but never within six feet of the individual.
Penn Summer Abroad canceled for summer 2020
All Penn Summer Abroad programs for summer 2020 have been canceled due to travel restrictions and health concerns associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
Penn Summer Abroad sent an email to students planning to study abroad this summer on Thursday afternoon informing them of the cancelation. The email read that students who submitted a $500 deposit will be refunded in full.
All Penn students currently studying abroad in Europe, the United Kingdom, and Ireland are being encouraged to return home as soon as possible.
In a Thursday evening email to Penn students abroad, Provost Wendell Pritchett announced the recommendation and wrote that it was linked to the United States' government travel restrictions on non-U.S. citizens traveling from Europe. Pritchett wrote that Penn would provide financial assistance with flight costs.
Students on campus must move out this week and students off-campus not permitted to return
On-campus residents who left Penn for spring break are being urged not to return to school to retrieve their belongings, and students who remained on campus must move out of their dorms by March 15 at 8 p.m.
Penn Residential Services sent an email to on-campus residents on Thursday morning outlining new housing policies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Residential Services, the Division of Public Safety, and the College Houses will secure the belongings of students living in the College Houses, Sansom Place, and University-recognized Greek houses who left campus for spring break. The University will contact students when they deem it is safe for students to retrieve their belongings, according to the email.
Residential Services wrote that there are no options to retrieve important items including laptops, course materials, and personal effects. If a student believes they have an emergency situation, they can email email@example.com to attempt to retrieve their item.
For students who are still on campus, Residential Services staff will assist with move out by providing carts, assisting with check out, and answering questions.
Students who are unable to travel home for personal reasons or because they live in an area that is affected by travel restrictions may fill out an application to remain on campus. The application must be completed by 12 p.m. on March 13. Students will receive a response within 24 hours, the email read.
Residential Services wrote that the University will issue a partial refund or credit for future housing or dining plans for students living on campus and students on a meal plan. An application process will be announced later in the semester, Residential Services wrote.
Students expressed frustrations with the University's lack of clarity and short notice for moving out after Penn announced on Wednesday afternoon that all classes would move online for the spring semester to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Wharton senior Rosie Nguyen described the four-day notice as "ridiculous," particularly for first-generation, low-income students, international students, and students who live far from Penn.
Wharton first-year Jianan Zhang said she plans to fly back to Philadelphia tomorrow to bring her belongings home to Miami but is unsure how she will find storage on such short notice for the items she cannot bring on the plane.
Penn will continue paying work-study students
Work-study students can submit their regularly scheduled hours for payment each week for the rest of the spring semester, according to an email from Student Registration and Financial Services to The Daily Pennsylvanian.
SRFS wrote that work-study students are not required to work remotely in order to receive payment.
Global travel bans and the uncertain fate of Penn's classes and dormitory availabilities have left first-generation, low-income students unsure of where they will live and how they will pay for housing and meals.
College first-year Jesse Soto, who identifies as an FGLI student, said the University must consider how remote instruction affects low-income students who may rely on Penn for meals, housing, and internet access.
“For me, one of my biggest fears is food insecurity. I know that without the dining plan, I would not be getting two to three meals a day,” Soto said.
He said although he qualified to receive a laptop from the University and has internet access at home, he knows other students who do not have equal tools at home.
"[Online learning] bars so many students from continuing their education and, quite frankly, that’s not what we came to these institutions for," Soto said.
International students from countries not designated Level 3 by CDC are required to return home
Director of International Student and Scholar Services Rodolfo Altamirano sent an email to all international students Wednesday afternoon instructing all students from a country not designated Level 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to return home. Students from China, Iran, Italy, or South Korea may return home but are not expected to do so.
Altamirano wrote that students' visas will not be terminated early if they leave the United States now. For students remaining at Penn or in the United States, U.S. government guidance will allow students to continue their study online, the email read.
International students who anticipate difficulties in completing courses online from their home country due to insufficient connectivity or other technological challenges should contact their ISSS assigned advisor, Altamirano wrote.
All classes will move online beginning March 23
Penn will extend spring break for one week and move all classes online beginning March 23 to the end of the spring semester, in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Provost Wendell Pritchett and President Amy Gutmann sent an email to the Penn community on Wednesday, instructing students who are off campus for spring break not to return. The email instructed students on campus to move out by March 15, adding that University staff will be available to help departing students.
Coronavirus patient in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
A patient who has tested positive for coronavirus is being treated at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The individual is in critical condition and is a Montgomery County, Pa. resident, health officials announced on Monday.
Later Monday afternoon, CBS Philadelphia reported that the patient at HUP is a Children's Hospital of Philadelphia cardiologist. The doctor works at the King of Prussia Specialty Care and Surgery Center, CBS Philadelphia reported.
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