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5 posts from September 2020

09/15/2020

Traffic Alert: Presidential Town Hall in Philadelphia Tonight

Dear USciences Community,

The President of the United States will be attending a Town Hall hosted by 6 ABC at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia this evening. While the Town Hall will not air until 9pm, the traffic and transit impacts will begin this afternoon. There will be rolling street closures, detours, and mass transit changes. Please see the below link for information regarding the travel impacts of this event.

https://6abc.com/abc-news-trump-town-hall-president-and-the-people-george-stephanopoulos-visit-philadlephia/6423435/

-USciences Department of Public Safety

09/11/2020

Traffic Advisory from Penn Public Safety (9/11/20)

 

The Following is a Traffic Advisory from Penn Public Safety

Public Safety has been notified by PennDOT of the following I-76 lane reductions and road closures beginning Monday, September 14th.

Note the South Street on-and off-ramps closures.

 Beginning at 5:00 AM Monday, September 14, westbound Interstate 76 will be reduced to one lane around-the-clock until the end of the year between the University Avenue and 30th Street interchanges in Center City Philadelphia for reconstruction of the median barrier. 

In addition, the westbound off-ramp to South Street will be closed from 5:00 AM Monday, September 14, through the end of the year, and the South Street on-ramp to eastbound I-76 will close at 5:00 AM Monday, September 14, for approximately six weeks during median barrier construction in that area.

Additional I-76 lane restrictions and ramp closures also scheduled next week include:

·      Monday, September 14, through Friday, September 18, eastbound I-76 will be reduced to one lane at 7:00 PM, then closed completely intermittently* from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning between the 30th Street and University Avenue interchanges for median barrier reconstruction and overhead viaduct painting. Eastbound traffic will exit at 30th Street, follow the detour around 30th Street Station, turn left on Chestnut Street, then right on Schuylkill Avenue to the Walnut Street ramp back to I-76. The South Street eastbound off-ramp also will be closed;

·      Monday, September 14, through Friday, September 18, from 7:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning, westbound I-76 will be closed intermittently* between the 30th Street and Interstate 676 interchanges for overhead viaduct construction. During the closure, westbound I-76, already reduced to a single lane beginning at University Avenue, will be detoured to the 30th Street off-ramp and follow Schuylkill Avenue back to the Market Street ramp to westbound I-76; and

·      From 7:00 PM Saturday, September 19, to 5:00 AM Sunday, September 20, eastbound I-76 will be reduced to one lane between the 30th Street and University Avenue interchanges for median barrier reconstruction. The South Street eastbound off-ramp also will be closed.

*The scheduled full closures of eastbound and westbound I-76 at 30th Street will not occur at the same time. When one side is closed, the other side will remain in a single-lane pattern through the work area.

During the closure of the westbound off-ramp to South Street, motorists will be detoured to the westbound off-ramp at 30th Street and follow the detour signs around 30th Street Station back to South Street.

During the closure of the eastbound off-ramp to South Street, eastbound I-76 motorists will be directed to exit at 30th Street and follow the detour signs around 30th Street Station back to South Street. 

During the closure of the South Street on-ramp to eastbound I-76, motorists will be directed to follow South Street west to 34th Street and the ramp to eastbound I-76.

All scheduled activities are weather permitting.

Drivers are advised to use an alternate route or allow extra time when traveling through the work areas because significant backups and delays will occur approaching the work area.

 

For more information on the construction project, go to www.I76viaduct.com.

More information is also available at www.chestnutstreetbridges.com.

Work on this project will be in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health guidance as well as a project-specific COVID-19 safety plan, which will include protocols for social distancing, use of face coverings, personal and job-site cleaning protocols, management of entries to the jobsite, and relevant training.

 

 

USciences COVID-19 Task Force Update (9/11/2020)

To: All Staff, Faculty, and Students

Thanks to everyone for making the first two weeks of the semester successful!  Walking around campus we see terrific compliance with our mask guidance - so kudos to all of you who continue to work to keep our community safe!  We are hopeful about the coming months, and encourage everyone to continue to be vigilant and adherent to our campus guidelines in order to keep all of us safe and healthy. Conducting daily health checks to monitor your symptoms are an important part of this effort.

What symptoms should I worry about?

As a reminder, there are a number of symptoms that individuals should watch for – especially if you believe you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.  The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, and can be mild.

  • Fever or chills (temperature over 100.4 degrees F) - temperature should be taken with a thermometer, not assessed using inaccurate, non-quantitative measures such as feeling with the back of the hand
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle/body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion/runny nose
  • Diarrhea

Faculty and staff members who develop any of these symptoms should notify their supervisor/department head who will then contact the Office of Human Resources as soon as possible, and then contact their primary care provider for further assessment, and should NOT come to campus until symptoms have resolved per the Return to Campus guidelines.

Residential students with these symptoms should remain in their rooms and non-residential students should remain at home until they speak with a SHAC clinician to determine whether self-quarantine or isolation is indicated.  Students can call 215-596-8980 or email student-healthinfo@usciences.edu.

COVID-19 FAQs

We encourage everyone to take a look at our updated COVID-19 FAQs, which has information relevant to the fall semester. 

Staying healthy isn’t just about COVID-19

As the fall semester begins for the University, many of our community members also have children returning to school - whether virtual or in person.  Others may have stress related to the health of their parents or other family members, and others may be concerned about their finances.  Whatever, the underlying stresses, it’s important for all of us to make sure we are caring for ourselves.  

For USciences employees, there are many resources available through our EAP provider,  including wellness care, assistance finding child care options, and many other employee benefits. We encourage employees to explore the website and take advantage of their offerings.

For the entire USciences community - students, faculty, and staff, we offer a lot of information and wellness resources and programs at our Office of Health & Wellness website, including information on mindfulness and meditation, healthy eating, and staying fit.  Please take a look!

Finally, we encourage you to look out for each other, and reach out often!

Contractors/Third parties on campus

As a reminder to any departments who have contractors come to campus, please remind all individuals that they MUST wear face coverings and maintain social distancing (and abide by all of our campus guidelines) while on campus.  This guidance is in place to ensure safety of all of our campus community members.

Direct deposits for students

Are you a student expecting a refund from your student financial aid package?  The fastest way to get those funds is via direct deposit.  If you haven’t yet signed up for direct deposit, we encourage you to do so using this linkSimply click on “Bank Information” and enter your routing and bank account information.

Student Handbook

The 2020-2021 edition of the USciences Student Handbook is available at: https://www.usciences.edu/student-life/student-handbook.pdf.  

Updated Reporting Procedures

As an educational institution with a focus on science and healthcare, we expect that all members of the University community will abide by recommendations meant to promote and protect the health and welfare of others. However, individuals observing behavior inconsistent with the Return to Campus Guidelines have several options for reporting.

  • Employees may report violations of the guidelines either to a supervisor or to the Director of Human Resources (rroberts2@usciences.edu).
  • Student Violations
    • To report student misconduct, that is actively occurring, please contact the Department of Public Safety by calling 215-596-1117. Where appropriate, Public Safety may respond on-site and file an incident report with the Office of Student Conduct. 
    • To report student misconduct that has previously occurred, please use the COVID Incident Reporting Form.

Anonymous reporting is also available for students, employees, or third parties through EthicsPoint via the web or toll-free telephone at 888-266-0218.

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.
  • Urgent 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.  

Thank you all for your efforts to keep our campus safe and healthy,

COVID-19 Task Force

09/03/2020

To: All Staff, Faculty, and Students

Welcome back to all!

We hope you had a healthy, restful and relaxing summer, and are ready to embark on the new academic year!  If you’ve been on campus this week, you’ve likely noticed many changes. In addition to welcoming everyone back, the COVID-19 Task Force wants to share some additional information about adjustments to campus operations and important information on reducing the risk of transmission.

Many universities across the country have had outbreaks as students have returned to campus, including some within the City of Philadelphia.  The institutions of higher education in the City have been in contact with both each other and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health throughout the summer and as the semester starts, in order to share learnings and minimize the risk for additional transmission - both on our campuses and across the City.

The good news is that classrooms and on-campus settings have not been found to be areas of significant transmission - at least in Philadelphia.  However, outbreaks do seem to be driven both by students living in off-campus settings as well as smaller, more intimate social gatherings - as small as 3-4 people.  Asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission appears to be a significant source of infection.  Given this, each of us need to behave as if everyone is potentially infected.  This is the same message that we shared in the spring - and reinforces our guidance to wear masks at all times unless you are in your own private office or room.  Challenging as it may be to maintain for the long haul, face coverings/masks, physical distancing, and good hand hygiene are critical to limiting the transmission of COVID-19 until a vaccine is widely available - even in an off-campus apartment or house.

 

Study Spaces

  • We will continue to offer spaces on campus for students to study or to stream remote courses. When students are utilizing study spaces on campus they must:
  • Wear a mask at all times - even when in a private study room
  • Maintain social distancing of 6 feet between individuals
  • Keep occupancy of study spaces to no more than 25% of pre-pandemic capacity (updated maximum capacity signage has been placed in public and study areas)

As a reminder there are several locations on campus that have been identified as places where students can study:

  • J.W. England Library
  • Athletics Recreation Center (ARC) Lobby
  • STC Atrium/Study Rooms
  • 2nd floor above Tasty Drakes
  • Quad Dining Tent - *available only outside of dining hours or scheduled programming*
  • Outdoor tables throughout campus - Parenti Plaza, D’Angelo Mall, LLC Courtyard, Patio @ the ARC
  • Whitecar/McNeil 2nd floor Terrace 

Alumni Hall Testing Center (commuter students only)

The Alumni Hall Testing Center is prioritized for students who are commuting to campus. We ask that Residential Students use spaces within their residence halls or any of the other identified locations for group or individual study.  

 

Disinfecting/cleaning materials

Custodial services has placed disinfecting wipes and gloves in each classroom.  These are available to wipe down your personal space within the classroom.  We ask that you do not remove these materials from the classroom, so they may be available for fellow students and faculty to protect themselves as well.  

 

]Dining Services

It’s hard to miss the new dining tent that’s now in the Quad.  This is available for socially distant dining (minimum of 6 feet between individuals) as well as for study outside of dining hours).  Please do not relocate chairs and tables in this area, as they have been placed to maximize distance between diners. Listing of hours for the various food service locations (including the Wilson Dining Hall, Wilson Express, Coffee Lab, and Starbucks) around campus is here.  

 

Dining Reimbursements from Spring ‘20

All students with a meal plan in Spring ‘20 (Ultimate 700, 11MP,  5MP or 3MP) were given refunds that included their unused declining balance. There were no funds that rolled over to  Fall ‘20 for these meal plans.

All students with all DCB plans in Spring ’20 (250DCB, 450DCB, or 850DCB) who did not graduate had all unused funds rollover for Fall ‘20.

Any questions related to meal plan funds should be directed to Mary Policastro, Assistant Director of Auxiliary Services at m.policastro@usciences.edu

 

Griffith Hall Traffic flow

Our campus buildings now all have directional signage designed to maximize one-way traffic flow and minimize cross traffic during “rush hour” between classes and at the beginning and end of the day.  Most of these directional signs are self-explanatory, but Griffith Hall is one of our more complex buildings to navigate, so we wanted to provide some additional guidance to campus.

The Griffith Hall Main Entrance (by the circle) is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. At this entrance, those entering the building should use the center doors. Those exiting the building should use doors to either side to exit to the circle.

The doors at 43rd Street and D’Angelo Mall are for entry only.  After 5 p.m., when the Main Entrance doors are closed, please exit via the back stairways that lead to the Griffith/Griffith Annex Alley near IT/Kline and the EHRS/Chemical Stockroom.

ADA access to Griffith Hall is located at the ramp in the Griffith/Griffith Annex Alley just off of the Griffith Hall parking lot.

In an emergency situation, and in all campus buildings, please exit via the closest safe exit, regardless of COVID-19 traffic patterns.

Screen Shot 2020-09-03 at 9.14.10 PM

Student Handbook

The 2020-2021 edition of the USciences Student Handbook is available at: https://www.usciences.edu/student-life/student-handbook.pdf.  

 

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.
  • Urgent 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.  

Thank you for your ongoing attention and support,

COVID-19 Task Force

USciences Public Safety - Tornado Watch Until 10p

This is a message from ReadyPhiladelphia.

Tornado Watch in effect until 10 PM. Conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms with possible tornadoes.

This watch means that conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms with possible tornadoes.  Hail and strong winds are also possible.  Persons in the watch area should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings.

For additional updates and weather information, visit http://www.weather.gov/phi

For all current NWS Watches, Warnings, or Advisories, visit http://goo.gl/xfexUk

For further information on emergency preparedness, visit http://www.phila.gov/ready