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Penn continues to stand by its initial announcement for the upcoming fall semester.

Credit: Melanie Hilman

All students returning to campus will be required to take a minimum of two COVID-19 tests regardless of whether they are living on or off campus. 

Provost Wendell Pritchett and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli sent an email to the Penn community on Friday afternoon writing that "the University’s planning has evolved on several fronts" since officially announcing its fall semester plans on June 25. While colleges across the nation are reversing their fall plans, the University continues to stand by its initial hybrid instruction model. The vast majority of undergraduate fall classes will be held online, the statement read, with very few in-person offerings. 

The University will send all domestic undergraduate students a package containing a COVID-19 test that they must self-administer within 14 days prior to arrival on campus. Students will again be tested upon arrival on campus and will be required to self quarantine until they receive a negative test. Students must confirm their address on Penn InTouch by August 2 at 5 p.m. EDT.

All testing will be paid for by the University.

International students and students coming to Penn from states that are designated as hotspots by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have to take an additional third test within five to seven days from their first on-campus test. Penn also recommends these students self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Philadelphia.

Tests will be processed by private third-party testing laboratory, the email read. Additional testing will be held in the Hall of Flags in Houston Hall throughout the semester.

Penn will require all students returning to campus to enroll in the PennOpen Pass program, a mobile app daily symptom checker developed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the Penn community. Upon enrolling, users will select a time to receive a reminder to complete a survey each day. The app will enable student access to campus buildings.

Students who show no symptoms and have not been in recent contact with someone who may have COVID-19, will receive a Day Pass to enter Penn buildings. Otherwise, the app will not allow students access to Penn building and will direct them to next steps.

Students will be expected to abide by the Student Campus Compact, a set of guidelines for safe behavior on campus. Guideline violations will be brought to a Compact Review Panel, which will then assess and determine the appropriate response for each case.

“If you are unable or unwilling to follow the requirements of the Compact, you should not return to Penn – whether living on- or off-campus. Failure to follow the requirements of the Compact may result in students being sent home," Pritchett and Carnaroli wrote. 

For Nursing undergraduates, the only in-person course work will be clinical simulations, experiences in the hospital, and clinical settings, as previously announced on June 29. For students in Wharton, Engineering, and the College, a minimal number of courses will be held in person, only where it is "essential."

The Wharton School, as well as some individual departments such as Communication and Creative Writing, previously announced specific policies for how classes — regardless of size — will be conducted.

Penn first-year international students can request a support letter from their academic school to confirm Penn is holding classes under a hybrid model to comply with ICE regulations

The University will continue to be "flexible in adjusting to circumstances as the pandemic evolves."

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