Penn's undergraduate COVID-19 case count remained low for the third consecutive week, as a total of 20 undergraduate students tested positive.
The number of cases among undergraduates from April 18 through April 24 increased by one from last week's 19 cases. Director of Campus Health Ashlee Halbritter said the continued low case count was good news and urged students to continue following public health guidelines as the end of the semester nears.
"We know warm weather makes everyone want to be outside and gather, but we need to remember we're still in a pandemic, masks are still recommended, [and] one dose of a vaccine does not make you fully vaccinated — unless it is Johnson & Johnson and it has been two weeks," Halbritter said.
Penn community members are still required to wear a mask, wash their hands, and socially distance, even if they are fully vaccinated, as much of the Penn community remains unvaccinated. These guidelines will stay in place for the remainder of the spring semester, Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé said, even after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened mask-wearing guidelines for fully vaccinated people.
Last week, Penn announced that all students will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus for the fall semester, which the University is planning to hold in person. Halbritter encouraged students to get vaccinated at the University's on-campus vaccine clinic, as long as they will be in Philadelphia to receive the second dose, in preparation for the fall semester.
All members of the Penn community are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Gimbel Gymnasium as long as they can show a green PennOpen Pass and a Penn ID.
Halbritter encouraged students to continue acting responsibly, especially as seniors prepare for commencement, which will be held in person with no guests at Franklin Field.
"There is a lot to celebrate and this has been a long year and a long semester," Halbritter said. "We are so close to the end. Just hang on a little longer."
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