Penn’s undergraduate COVID-19 case count decreased for the third straight week from April 4 through April 10, nearing a semester low.
A total of 14 undergraduate students tested positive for COVID-19 between April 4 and April 10, down from the 31 undergraduate student cases between March 28 and April 3. Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé and Director of Campus Health Ashlee Halbritter both said the continued decrease in cases was encouraging, but emphasized that members of the Penn community must continue to be vigilant, even after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Even after receiving your vaccine, you need to remember to continue to follow public health guidelines: wear your mask, keep socially distancing, and wash your hands,” Halbritter said.
Penn will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to a select group of Penn community members on April 14, and to all students on April 19, at Pottruck Health and Fitness Center's Gimbel Gymnasium.
Penn community members who are fully vaccinated must continue to participate in the University's testing program and follow public health guidelines. Halbritter said the University will not change these guidelines for the remainder of the spring semester, as there is still not enough evidence to prove that vaccinated people cannot transmit the virus.
There is early evidence, however, that the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines prevent cases as well as transmission of the virus in a recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dubé said the study was “extremely promising,” but added that conclusions cannot be extrapolated to the entire population until the study, which focused on a limited subject group, is replicated on a larger scale.