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6 posts from August 2020

08/26/2020

Traffic Advisory for Saturday 8/29/20 from UPenn

Penn Traffic Advisory - Saturday - 8.29.20

08/25/2020

USciences COVID-19 Task Force Update (8/20/2020)

To: All Staff, Faculty, and Students


The COVID-19 Task Force continues to monitor events in our region and nationally, including some local university closures in our immediate neighborhood.  We will continue to assess our institutional situation and make decisions based on the best evidence available that allows us to continue to deliver, safely, our mission to educate our science and healthcare professions student body.


Review the “Return to Campus Guidelines”

We continue to update the Return to Campus Guidelines as necessary; the updated PDF and webpages are available at Campus Guidelines. This week’s updates include changes to CDC isolation/quarantine guidance and information on the ARC operations and protocols, in addition to information regarding triggers for a transition to expanded or fully remote operations. These guidelines should be your primary and first source for information regarding our return to campus plan. Campus will be alerted when new information is added.


Penn Transit Shuttle

The Penn Transit Shuttle is scheduled to resume service throughout University City beginning the week of Monday, August 24th. Penn Transit has committed to providing safe and healthy transportation, using CDC-recommended products, increased frequency of disinfection, and enhanced attention to high-touch areas. Penn Transit is also being proactive in asking their riders to provide assurances that they are symptom free and have been self-monitoring for exposures and symptoms. University of the Sciences community members will be asked to give a verbal attestation at the time of service of their active self-monitoring for COVID-19 exposures and/or symptoms. Please see the Penn Transit Website for information on routes, ridership requirements, and safety.


Update on campus signage and hand sanitizer stations

Signs with information about face coverings, hand hygiene, social distancing, and wellness checks have been placed in all campus buildings.  Hand sanitizer stations have been mounted on the walls or on stands in public areas of all buildings as well.  Directional floor signage will be installed late this week and through next week in larger classrooms, stairwells, and public areas.


Clinical rotations

Students on clinical rotations, even in other states and regions, must continue to follow USciences guidance related to COVID-19.  This includes wearing of masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing, and self-monitoring.  In addition, students should refrain from accepting food from patients or eating in clinical areas.  The latter is a Joint Commission and OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard, and will reduce the risk of exposure to airborne pathogens while eating.


Face coverings

We remind the campus community that face coverings/masks are required at all times on campus. - whether inside or outside.  The only exceptions to this are a) when individuals are in a single office without risk of being within 6 feet of others, and b) while eating and socially distanced.  

Two masks will be distributed to each student at the beginning of the semester.  Please note that students should arrive on campus wearing their own mask, as both USciences and the City of Philadelphia require face coverings. Additional information on mask distribution to students will be shared closer to the start of the semester.

Most departments have already received delivery of masks for their employees.  Any employees who have not received these masks should reach out to their supervisors. Employees who need face shields (in addition to masks) should reach out to their department head, chair, or dean; this item has been ordered in bulk centrally.  Please note that face shields are not a replacement for masks but should be worn in addition to masks in situations where close contact may not be able to be avoided (e.g., clinical settings or lab work).

Questions regarding housing and residence halls

Any questions related to housing and the student residence halls should be sent or referred to Residence Life at reslife@usciences.edu.  Residential students should monitor their USciences’ email for important information regarding the fall semester move-in process.


USciences COVID-19 Information

  • Updated COVID-19 campus guidelines are available here.

  • Information about the University’s status, FAQs, and links to governmental sites are available on the 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.  

  • Information on Pennsylvania travel restrictions and quarantine requirements are available at the PA Department of Health website.  


The COVID-19 Task Force

 

08/19/2020

A Message from President Paul Katz to our Students

Dear Students, 

I hope that you have had a good and restful summer and are ready for the start of the new academic year and the fall semester. 

As this next chapter opens on August 31, we must adjust to the new normal. But one thing that hasn’t changed is our pioneering spirit to forge ahead and help to mold the healthcare and science leaders of tomorrow. 

As I shared with you last March, we continue to hold true to our primary objectives: the health and safety of our University community and to continue the commitment to our University’s mission to offer an excellent education to our students. Our community has faced many challenges in the past 200 years, but I am encouraged by the flexibility, fortitude, and fidelity I’ve seen during this trying time.   

The COVID-19 Task Force, which comprises more than 30 representatives from throughout campus, has been hard at work to prepare the campus for the start of the semester and beyond. Their work includes the creation of safety plans for all on-campus operations which are detailed in the Return to Campus Guidelines as well as contingency planning. I know that there is a lot of detail in these pages, however, I encourage you to carefully review these guidelines as they are important to ensure that we can continue to safely continue our on-campus activities. Similarly, the weekly message from the COVID-19 Task Force is packed with valuable and current information.

These campus safety measures - including signage, increased cleaning procedures, and occupancy limits - are consistent with state and local regulations as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The timeline for signage placement, plexiglass deployment, and much more is Included in last Thursday’s Task Force message. My sincerest thanks to the Task Force and the many others who have been working diligently to prepare the campus for our safe return.

As a reminder you are asked to:

  • Conduct a daily health check before coming to campus. This includes taking your temperature and monitoring symptoms. 
  • Wear a mask everywhere on campus, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Keep your distance: stay six feet from others, even if you are outdoors or wearing a mask. 
  • Practice good hygiene: wash your hands with soap and water, use hand sanitizer when hand washing isn’t available, avoid touching your face, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. 

We are all responsible for the health and safety of one another during this time. 

Stay Strong. Stay Safe. Stay Connected. 

Paul


Paul Katz, MD

President

A Message from President Paul Katz

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

I hope that you have had a good and restful summer and are ready for the start of the new academic year and the fall semester. 

As this next chapter opens on August 31, we must adjust to the new normal. But one thing that hasn’t changed is our pioneering spirit to forge ahead and help to mold the healthcare and science leaders of tomorrow. 

As I shared with you last March, we continue to hold true to our primary objectives: the health and safety of our University community and to continue the commitment to our University’s mission to offer an excellent education to our students. Our community has faced many challenges in the past 200 years, but I am encouraged by the flexibility, fortitude, and fidelity I’ve seen during this trying time.   

The COVID-19 Task Force, which comprises more than 30 representatives from throughout campus, has been hard at work to prepare the campus for the start of the semester and beyond. Their work includes the creation of safety plans for all on-campus operations which are detailed in the Return to Campus Guidelines as well as contingency planning. I know that there is a lot of detail in these pages, however, I encourage you to carefully review these guidelines as they are important to ensure that we can continue to safely continue our on-campus activities. Similarly, the weekly message from the COVID-19 Task Force is packed with valuable and current information. We will share more information about the plans at our upcoming Faculty and Staff Town Hall on Wednesday, August 19 at 3 p.m. 

These campus safety measures - including signage, increased cleaning procedures, and occupancy limits - are consistent with state and local regulations as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The timeline for signage placement, plexiglass deployment, and much more is Included in last Thursday’s Task Force message. My sincerest thanks to the Task Force and the many others who have been working diligently to prepare the campus for our safe return.

As a reminder you are asked to:

  • Conduct a daily health check before coming to campus. This includes taking your temperature and monitoring symptoms. 
  • Wear a mask everywhere on campus, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Keep your distance: stay six feet from others, even if you are outdoors or wearing a mask. 
  • Practice good hygiene: wash your hands with soap and water, use hand sanitizer when hand washing isn’t available, avoid touching your face, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. 

We are all responsible for the health and safety of one another during this time. 

Stay Strong. Stay Safe. Stay Connected. 

Paul


Paul Katz, MD

President

08/13/2020

USciences COVID-19 Task Force Update (8/15/2020)

To: All Staff, Faculty, and Students

Please carefully read these important updates from the COVID-19 Task ForceWe are excited to come together - both remotely and in person - as we finalize preparations for the fall semester in the coming weeks. This will certainly be an unusual semester and year, and we know that our university community is ready to fulfill our educational mission for our new and continuing students.  As an institution committed to educating science and healthcare professionals for the future, we are confident that our students, faculty, and staff will do everything they can to maintain the safety of our community; our future colleagues and patients will expect no less.  Together as a community we are ready to rise to this challenge!  

Review the “Return to Campus Guidelines”

Last week the Task Force updateUSciences’ Return to Campus Guidelines; the updated PDF and webpages are available at Campus Guidelines. These updates include additional detail on processes for isolation and quarantine for students, new information on student move-in procedures, clarification on classroom and laboratory occupancy, as well as information on dining services.  These Guidelines should be your primary and first source for information regarding our return to campus plan. You will be alerted when new information is added.

Students at clinical sites

We remind students who are participating in clinical rotations that, regardless of location, all students are still required to abide by USciences COVID-19 guidelines and University policies.  This includes wearing of face coverings at clinical sites (even if local regulations are less stringent), as well as protocols for students with potential exposure.  As a reminder, students who have been isolated or quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure or infection MUST obtain permission from the Director of Student Health prior to either returning to campus or to any clinical site.

Faculty, Staff, and Student Worker Safety Trainings & Attestation

Ensuring the health of our campus community remains our top priority. As a reminder (or as an FYI for those now returning) all faculty, staff, and student workers are required to complete safety-related training and a COVID-19 Individual Responsibility Statement and Attestation before returning to campus.

Re: Training

All full-time benefits-eligible faculty and staff are to complete training through BizLibrary prior to coming on-site, via https://usciences.bizlibrary.com or by going to https://usciences.onecampus.com. Just enter BizLibrary into the search bar and click on the heart to make it a favorite. There are two video lessons posted in your queues (“The Basics of Covid-19” and “Safe Re-entry during COVID-19 for employees”), that will take no longer than 30 minutes to complete. Thank you to everyone who has already completed the training. 

All adjunct staff, student workers, or other part-time staff are to access the training through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP)  via  https://www.theeap.com as follows :  Go to the top of the page and click on Employees and Families.  Create a username and password.  Click on "Trainings" which will bring you to the BizLibrary Training Center.  Enter "Re-Entry During Covid-19 for Employees" - this is the only training that needs to be completed. Keep a copy of your certificate (see note below). 

Student workers will receive an additional notification from Student Affairs. New GSIs/GRAs will also receive a notification from their leaders with some special instructions as well. 

Re: COVID-19 Individual Responsibility Statement and Attestation

All individuals must complete the COVID-19 Pandemic Individual Responsibility Statement and Attestation found here in advance of coming to campus. This process should take you no more than 10 minutes to complete, and confirms your commitment to our safety and health priorities. Students will also receive this link from Student Affairs. 

Notes on Compliance/Tracking

Human Resources has posted a master list of participation re: all FT faculty/staff on the home page of the HR Google drive, which is updated daily. Supervisors/Department Leaders should check the list to ensure that those who plan to be on campus have completed these items.

Student Workers should show or provide copies of both their training certificate of completion and confirmation of the attestation to their supervisors prior to their first on-site shift.

Adjunct Staff and TAs with on-site assignments should provide the same materials to the following representatives in each college:  

Samson - Deb Zayon (d.zayon@usciences.edu)

PCP - Kiara Cam (k.cam@usciences.edu)

Misher - Sarah Robinson (s.robinson@usciences.edu)

The Task Force and the entire University Community thank you for your cooperation and attention to these matters. Again, ensuring the health of our campus community must remain our top priority and it will require our commitment to these items to be a reality.  

Cleaning protocols

The Task Force has fielded a number of questions related to protocols for cleaning campus, so we are providing an overview here – with additional detail to be added to the Return to Campus guidelines shortly.

High touch areas (including, but not limited to doorknobs, handrails, bathroom fixtures, water fountains, study room tables, keyboards) will be disinfected by custodial services five times per 8 hour shift (day and evening).  Each classroom will have gloves and disinfecting wipes for use by students/staff/faculty so that individuals may wipe down their desks before use.  

Hand sanitizer stations will be placed at entrances/exits of all buildings, with additional stands placed in high traffic areas in our larger buildings.  These stands will all be in place by the end of August.

Dining hall tables will be wiped down at least every 20-30 minutes and after usage.  

If any campus community member notes a low supply of hand sanitizer, wipes, paper towels, or other critical cleaning supplies, a work order should be submitted through School Dude (available in the OneCampus portal).

 

Additional information on cleaning protocols is available in the Return to Campus Guidelines.

 

Campus status updates

In response to a number of questions about timing of installation of various protective measures, please see the below update:

  1. Informational signage (face coverings/hand hygiene, etc.) - already in place on most doors; remaining signage in public spaces to be posted by the end of next week (8/21)

  2. Directional/distancing signage on floors - in place in Dining Hall/Starbucks/Tasty Drakes.  Additional floor markings will be installed by the end of next week (8/21)

  3. Disinfectant wipes/buckets - Will be distributed to classrooms/teaching labs by 8/28.

  4. Hand sanitizer stations - Wall-mounted hand sanitizer stations already in place in a variety of campus locations including dining hall.  Additional stands delivered 8/11 and will be assembled and in place by 8/21.

  5. Woodland Avenue signage - Large sandwich boards being delivered 8/12 and will be placed on sidewalks at the end of August

  6. Plexiglass shielding - installed at all requested high-traffic locations; additional plexiglass available for new requests.

  7. Dining tent - to be installed in the Quad beginning 8/24. See the Dining Services video to check out specific changes in Wilson Dining Hall and Starbucks.

  8. All air filters in campus buildings will be changed the week prior to the start of classes (week of 8/24).

 

Questions regarding housing and residence halls

Any questions related to housing and the student residence halls should be sent or referred to Residence Life at reslife@usciences.edu.  Residential students should monitor their USciences’ email for important information regarding the fall semester move-in process.

 

USciences COVID-19 Information

  • Updated COVID-19 campus guidelines are available here.

  • 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.  

  • Information on Pennsylvania travel restrictions and quarantine requirements are available at the PA Department of Health website.  

 

The COVID-19 Task Force

USciences COVID-19 Task Force Update (8/6/2020)

Updated “Return to Campus Guidelines”

The Task Force has updateUSciences’ Return to Campus Guidelines; the updated PDF and webpages are available at Campus Guidelines.  There is now included additional detail on processes for isolation and quarantine for students, new information on student move-in procedures, clarification on classroom and laboratory occupancy, as well as information on dining services.

Appointments, please

Many of USciences’ offices are now available for on-campus services.  However, in order to reduce crowding and assure safety of all of our campus community, many services require appointments in advance.  Student Affairs, Student Health and Counseling, and the Registrar’s Office all require appointments.  Please contact those offices directly to schedule.  If students are unsure of how to contact a particular office on campus they can call the main line of Student Affairs at 215-596-8950 and will be transferred appropriately.

Please check the Campus Operations site for updated information on offices requiring appointments.

Parking survey

All employees received a parking survey last week from Director of Public Safety Michael Lapotasky, with the deadline for completion today (8/6).  Please complete this survey so we can assure adequate and appropriate parking.  Students will be receiving a separate parking survey shortly.

Curbside pickup is now available at the J.W. England Library!

Curbside pickup is a way to get materials, while keeping students, faculty, and staff safe. Interested in getting material from the library?   

  1. Go into your account (https://library.usciences.edu/) and place holds on the material you need. Only 5 holds are allowed at a time.  

  2. For same day pickups, please place holds by 12 pm.  

  3. Pick-up times are Monday through Thursday (through August 14th) and Monday through Friday (after August 15th) from 10 am to 3 pm. We are not able to lend on the weekends currently.  

  4. When ready, head over to the library!  

  5. Look for the designated marked area outside the library and call the circulation desk at 215-596-8960 

  6. Please have your ID ready and read it to the circulation member.  

  7. We will verify you, check out your items, and place them in the designated basket for you to pick up! The books will be wrapped in brown paper.  

    Reminders:

  • Please stay in the marked area until staff has gone back inside the building.  

  • The library building is still closed. We are not able to allow entry currently but hope to be open soon!   

  • All material needed must be placed on hold. We will not be circulating kits, models, games, and other objects at this time.  

  • For returns, please use the designated basket. We are not taking items by hand.  

 

Questions regarding housing and residence halls

Any questions related to housing and the student residence halls should be sent or referred to Residence Life at reslife@usciences.edu.  Residential students should monitor their USciences’ email for important information regarding the fall semester move-in process.

 

Ongoing travel restrictions

At this time, the University is following recommendations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regarding quarantine after travel to states with high incidence of COVID-19.  The recommendation is for a 14-day home quarantine upon return.  This guidance covers all campus community members.  Please see the PA Department of Health website for the most up to date list.  

USciences COVID-19 Information

  • Updated COVID-19 campus guidelines are available here.

  • 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 COVID-19 Task Force