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USciences COVID-19 Task Force Update (3/18/2020)

To: All Staff, Faculty, and Students

Today we were notified that a non-residential USciences student has tested positive for COVID-19.  The student has been forthcoming with recent activities, which included attending a social gathering between two Greek organizations believed to have been held at the Pi Lambda Phi off-campus residence on Thursday, March 12.  We are in the process of notifying known direct contacts, following our existing protocols. The student is resting at home and no longer in contact with anyone in the University community. Protecting the anonymity of affected students or employees  is critical, and we ask that you respect this student’s privacy in what is certainly a difficult time.

As in previous messages, we want to reiterate the CDC recommendation for ongoing social distancing (at least 6 feet) and avoidance of gatherings of more than ten people to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.  Any individuals developing respiratory symptoms and fever, with or without known contact with COVID-19 positive patients, should isolate at home and contact their primary care physician.  

We have a few other updates and a clarification for the campus community today.  


Given the ongoing reduction of on-site students and employees, we are reducing dining service hours as noted below to better manage these resources:  

  • Starbucks and TastyDrakes

    • Through Sun, March 22 – Takeout only on a regular schedule

    • Beginning Mon, March 23 - Closed until further notice

  • Wilson Dining Hall

    • Through Fri, March 20 - Takeout only on a regular schedule

    • Sat, March 21 and Sun, March 22 – reduced hours 10 AM through 5 PM (brunch 10 AM – 2:30 PM; Dinner 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM)

    • Beginning Mon, March 23 – 10 AM through 5 PM (brunch 10 AM – 2:30 PM; Dinner 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM)

  • Coffee Lab (STC) and Wilson Express - Closed until further notice.

  • We encourage students to take advantage of the online ordering option for Wilson Dining Hall. 

  • All seating areas remain closed until further notice


Please continue to check the Campus Operations page for hours of operation of these and other campus services.

To clarify yesterday’s messaging regarding working on campus, please note the following:

  • Employees who need to return to campus to pick up items intermittently (e.g., departmental mail pickup) or on a one-time basis to pick up materials for remote use do not need to obtain permission from their VP.

  • Non-essential employees who plan to work on campus routinely (whether full-time or on a specific schedule) should obtain VP approval prior to doing so.  This should be an extremely limited number of individuals, particularly given the City of Philadelphia guidance issued this week.

We have gotten a number of questions regarding refunds for parking, room, and meal plans.  At this point we continue to prioritize the health and safety of the entire campus community and delivery of our educational programs.  However, we will be addressing these issues in the near future, and ask for your patience as we work through the complexities of them. We regret that we cannot respond to individual questions on this topic at this point – but will communicate broadly as soon as we are able in order to ensure the entire community receives the same information.

As stated yesterday in President Katz’ message, no decisions have been made at this time regarding Commencement and Conferment ceremonies, but this decision will be forthcoming. 


Valerie P. Weil, MD

Chief Financial & Operating Officer


Barbara M. Siebert, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC, CNE

Director, Student Health

Student Health and Counseling