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USciences COVID-19 Task Force Update (6/4/2020)

To: All Staff, Faculty, and Students


It’s been a difficult week for many of our community members, and we hope the resources that the University offers will be of help to some or all of you.  We did want to continue to provide updates in this communication focused on the coronavirus pandemic and the University’s response.


The City of Philadelphia today confirmed that it will align with Governor Wolf’s recommendation to move to the YELLOW phase as of Friday, June 5 - more details are here.  However, at this point, the City has also extended the mandatory citywide curfew from 8:00pm through 6:00am Friday (details here).  


The transition to YELLOW in the City does not allow gatherings at this time, nor does it change recommendations on face coverings and social distancing.


Residence Hall Student Belongings Retrieval


  • Unfortunately, due to the current civil unrest in the City of Philadelphia, we will need to delay retrieval of student belongings.   All students who were scheduled to pick up belongings this week will unfortunately have to reschedule.  Residence Life has contacted these students and will create additional time slots as necessary.

  • Residence Life will continue to monitor the situation and reach out to students if additional future time slots are impacted.

  • If you have not yet signed up for a time slot, please note the below:

    • a limited number of students will be permitted to check out at one time (maximum of one per floor in each residence hall). 

    • Click here to sign up for a date and 2-hour time slot to retrieve your belongings. You must select a time slot that corresponds to your building/floor. If there is no slot that corresponds to your floor under a given time, it means that the time slot for your floor has already been taken.

  • Please refer to the separate communication sent by Residence Life for additional information about item retrieval and safety precautions being implemented throughout this process.  

  • All questions should be directed to reslife@usciences.edu.


Clinical Education

  • PA sites: students can go to clinical sites in Pennsylvania now. We should be able to resume limited, in person instruction on campus in our clinical programs after the University opens back up for limited operations. June 29th is our target date for this, subject to change if local or state guidance is amended.

  • NJ sites: a request for a waiver was sent to New Jersey last Friday afternoon. All students scheduled for NJ sites are paused at this point and any students currently at these sites have been recalled pending notice from the State. Updates will be sent as soon as we hear from NJ about the waiver application.

  • Outside of PA/NJ: if the region or state is not yet “open,” fieldwork coordinators will need to review local guidance for students in fieldwork. If there is no specific guidance, students may participate in this educational activity. (For those states or regions that are “open”, e.g., Florida, if local guidelines permit students to do fieldwork or are silent on the topic, students may continue to their assigned clinical sites.)

  • REMINDER FOR ALL CLINICAL SITES:  University guidance does not permit students to have direct contact with patients who test positive for active COVID-19 (i.e., active viral load). They may (and are encouraged to) work on teams that are taking care of COVID-19 patients, as long as direct contact does not occur.


Return to Campus Planning

  • The COVID-19 Task Force continues to update procedures for limited reopening of campus in the summer (after June 28th) and expanded opening into the fall.  The City of Philadelphia issued guidance for institutes of higher education in the City on Friday, May 29 and the State issued guidance yesterday. We are incorporating this into our internal documents. We anticipate releasing the plan to the campus in the coming weeks.

  • As previously noted, we do not envision any reopening for non-essential personnel prior to June 29, with the potential for some limited on-site operations after that date.

  • Governor Wolf’s current and updated guidance for the state is provided here.

  • The City of Philadelphia’s guidance will be shared when it is public.

  • The Task Force and academic leadership continue to plan for modified on-campus delivery of the fall semester; more information will be shared with the release of our Return to Campus guidelines in the next several weeks.


CARES Act Funding for Students 

  • Students who applied for CARES Act funding by the May 31 deadline will be notified in the coming weeks of whether they will receive funding.  We expect to distribute the majority of these funds before June 30, 2020.


USciences COVID-19 Information

  • Information about the University’s status, FAQs, and links to governmental sites are available on our COVID-19 webpage.

  • COVID-19-related campus messages are posted at the USciences Public Safety Emergency Blog.  

  • Status of campus operations, as well as tips for working and studying remotely are posted at the Working Remotely website.  


The University's Wellness Resources are available to students, faculty, and staff.  Please don't hesitate to take advantage of them.


The COVID-19 Task Force