As COVID-19 positivity rates decrease across campus, Penn is initiating a friendly competition to encourage undergraduate students to complete three goals by Feb. 28, according to an email sent to the Penn community by Interim Provost Beth Winkelstein on Feb. 9.
If 95% or more students from any class year upload their booster shot and flu vaccine information and complete their biweekly surveillance tests by Feb. 28, the class will receive $25,000 toward Penn traditions. If the goals are achieved, the prize money will go toward Feb Club for the Class of 2022, Hey Day for the Class of 2023, U-Night for the Class of 2024, and Spring Fling tickets for the Class of 2025. Any class that achieves the three goals will receive the $25,000 prize.
Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé told The Daily Pennsylvanian that the incentives were created to encourage "good behaviors and smart choices" and to further foster a "community of care." Dubé added that the Wellness team strove to create an offering that would help Penn students come together to collectively achieve something that benefits everyone.
"We know how important traditions are at Penn," said Executive Director of Public Health and Wellbeing Ashlee Halbritter. "We are very hopeful that we will get to release and remove restrictions, which is why we are hopeful that the events we tied the money to will happen."
An email sent to the Penn community on Tuesday noted that the campus COVID-19 positivity rate last week was at 0.97%, prompting University officials to lift the restriction requiring double-masking or wearing a KN95, KF94, or N95 mask in campus buildings. Community members are still required to mask inside campus buildings and facilities. This announcement followed a series of loosened restrictions on indoor social gatherings over the past several weeks as positivity rates dropped on campus.
Other restrictions on campus have also been lifted, as self-serve options returned to dining halls on Monday for the first time since the pandemic began.