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Health Guidelines

Last updated: 8/27/2021

Personal health responsibility

  • Monitor your symptoms daily. If you are not feeling well, stay home. Submit a disclosure form to the University. Have questions? Email
    • Students: Contact your instructor(s) to make alternative arrangements.
    • Employees: Contact your supervisor(s) to make alternative arrangements.
  • As a community, we need to take responsibility collectively to follow the necessary guidelines and protocols to keep our community as safe as possible. All faculty, staff, students, residents, and visitors to campus must follow a set of personal health responsibility guidelines.
  • Recognizing that our University is part of a residential neighborhood, it is important that members of the University community abide by these guidelines when they are on and off campus to help protect and respect the health and safety of our community neighbors.
  • We are all mutually accountable for personally adhering to these health guidelines, as outlined, and reminding our colleagues and classmates to do similarly. We are all in this together, because #ExplorersCare.The guidelines below apply to the following populations: students, faculty, staff, visitors, contracted vendors, and residents.
  • All students, faculty, and staff will be required to complete an online training prior to returning to campus for the semester.
  • To report an incident of a student not abiding by these guidelines, please submit an incident report on the portal. To report a faculty or staff member not abiding by these guidelines, please speak with your supervisor or department head.
Daily self-monitoring
  • All faculty, staff, students, residents, and visitors (guests, parents, prospective students and families, vendors, contractors, external service providers, etc.) should self-monitor their health daily.
    • Regarding campus visitors: It is incumbent on the designated hosts to share with their respective campus visitors these guidelines and the University’s expectations regarding personal health responsibility. See the Events and Visitors section of this plan for more detail.
  • Be alert for symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. (Review the CDC’s list of COVID-19 symptoms.)
  • All faculty, staff, and students will be asked to complete a Daily COVID-19 Check-in every day before leaving their residence.
    • As part of the daily check-in, you should take your temperature each morning before leaving your residence. If your temperature is 100.4 degrees F/ 38 degrees C or higher, do not enter campus or leave your campus residence. The check-in response will direct you to contact your health care provider first and complete the COVID-19 Disclosure Form. See theIdentifying Positive Cases section of this plan for more details on what to do if you are symptomatic.
Respiratory etiquette
  • Since the primary source of transmission for COVID-19 is through respiratory droplets, all students, faculty, staff, visitors, and residents are asked to pay particular attention to their respiratory etiquette to minimize the spread of droplets. 
  • If you are not wearing a mask, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw it away. Wash your hands afterward. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow. 
Face coverings
  • According to the CDC, COVID-19 is spread most frequently through respiratory droplets. Cloth face coverings are critical in helping to stop the spread of the virus. Remember, by wearing a face mask, you are protecting those around you. It is a simple step that can prevent you from unknowingly spreading the virus to others (even when you do not have any symptoms).
  • A cloth face mask must be worn when inside all campus buildings, including classrooms and laboratories, on-campus residence halls and living communities, dining halls, library, and all other university offices and buildings.
    • Ensure that the mask is covering your mouth and your nose.
    • Face masks should only be removed indoors when you are eating or drinking or when you are in your individual office or living area at times when there are no guests* present.  *For residential students – guests are defined as anyone who is not your assigned roommate.
    • Face masks are not required outdoors on campus for those who are vaccinated.
    • For students living in off-campus housing or commuting to campus, it is particularly important to always bring a mask to campus and wear it whenever you enter a campus building.
    • Face masks with an external valve or vent are not acceptable.
  • To report an incident of a student not abiding by these guidelines, please submit an incident report on the portal. To report a faculty or staff member not abiding by these guidelines, please speak with your supervisor or department head.
Personal hygiene
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently throughout the day. This is especially important after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Hand washing with soap and water is the method of sanitizing your hands that is proven more effective than the use of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer.
    • Increase your use of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer when soap and water is unavailable. Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (6/29/20) recommends against the use of particular types of hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when sick
  • If you or someone in your household is experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, stay home.
  • Leaving home when you are sick, or have suspected exposure to COVID-19, puts the entire University community at risk.
  • Students are required to notify faculty when they are missing class due to suspected COVID-19-like symptoms. (See the Self-Reporting section of this plan for further guidance.)
  • University-sponsored and University-supported travel
    • Guidance for employees:
      • All University-sponsored and University-supported travel will require approval through standard internal approval processes.
      • Employees wishing to travel on University-sponsored domestic trips should carefully research and comply with health guidance provided by the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
      • Employees are required to comply with any restrictions imposed in the location(s) to which they are traveling.
    • Guidance for employees and students:
      • University-sponsored and University-supported international travel is suspended until further notice.
      • Domestic travelers must sign a waiver relative to the risk of travel during the pandemic.
      • For all domestic travel:
        • Re-entry to the University community will require a negative COVID-19 test result within three to five days, regardless of vaccination status.
        • The University will accept a submitted test result from an outside provider within the three- to five-day window to report upon return.
        • Unvaccinated members of the University are required to quarantine for seven to 10 days upon return, based upon testing results.
  • International travel
    • Currently (07/06/2021), the CDC lists almost all countries as a “Level 3 or 4: COVID-19 Risk is High or Very High” due to the global impact of COVID-19.
  • Domestic travel
    • The CDC cautions that all travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick is to avoid all non-essential travel.