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19 undergraduate students tested positive for COVID-19 from April 11 through April 17, a near low for the semester. 

Credit: Max Mester

Penn's COVID-19 undergraduate case count remained near a semester low for the second straight week.

A total of 19 undergraduate students tested positive for COVID-19 from April 11 through April 17, up from the 14 undergraduates who tested positive from April 3 to April 10. Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé said the low positivity rate is a testament to continued adherence to public health guidelines, and he urged students to continue to wear masks, socially distance, and wash their hands.

"The temptation to let our guard down gets stronger by the week, but we have to resist the temptation," Dubé said. "We have a good thing going here, and we do not want to mess that up."

As the weather becomes warmer, Dubé said students who want to socialize should be sure to do so outside and to wear a mask. 

Director of Campus Health Ashlee Halbritter previously told The Daily Pennsylvanian that even after students are fully vaccinated, they must continue to participate in the University's testing program and follow public health guidelines, as Penn will not be modifying its guidelines for vaccinated people for the remainder of the spring semester.

Penn has begun vaccinating students at its on-campus vaccination site in Pottruck Health and Fitness Center's Gimbel Gymnasium, and vaccines have become more accessible in Philadelphia.

Penn community members who are vaccinated at Gimbel Gymnasium on Wednesday will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which requires three weeks between its first and second doses. Penn's COVID-19 vaccination site has been administering Moderna vaccines since it opened on April 14, but the type of vaccine will change on a week-to-week basis depending on what the City of Philadelphia is able to provide.

Those who are vaccinated on Wednesday will receive the second dose on May 12, which is a relief for students in on-campus housing, who are required to move out by May 13 and now have the chance to be fully vaccinated before leaving for the summer.

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