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USciences COVID-19 Task Force Update (10/1/2020)

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students, 

Our USciences  Community has shown great vigilance in the last month since classes resumed as part of our goal of keeping everyone healthy and safe. Unfortunately, it only takes one incident or exposure to put our entire University and our neighbors at risk. As we have seen repeatedly,  COVID-19 moves quickly, and we must act responsibly to help prevent infection and virus dissemination. It is up to us all to ensure we can continue our Fall semester as planned. 

The University asks our community to continue to abide by important health behaviors: 

  • Wear a mask when outside of your home or residence hall room both indoors and outdoors. 

  • Wash your hands often, wash your mask, avoid touching your face, and when needed, use hand sanitizer.

  • Every day before leaving your room, take your temperature, assess any symptoms, and take stock of how you feel. If you don’t feel well, don’t leave!

  • Stay physically distant from individuals who live outside of your home. Have anyone visiting your home or residence wear a mask and maintain 6 feet social distance at all times. 

This week, the Task Force was notified of several new cases among students who are now in isolation and several more who are now in quarantine. The University has performed contact tracing to notify anyone who was in contact with the individuals. Additional cleaning procedures have been implemented. 

Any employee or student who has tested positive, has COVID-19 symptoms, or has had direct exposure to an individual who tested positive or has COVID-19 symptoms is asked to contact Dr. Siebert immediately at b.siebert@usciences.edu for a COVID-19 screening and necessary contact tracing. 


COVID-19 Cases




New cases since 9/24/2020



Total cases since 8/28/2020




While the desire to spend time with friends and classmates is strong, staying committed to physical distancing is the best way to keep our community healthy. This and the other behaviors listed are the only ways to ensure our campus can remain open as planned through the Thanksgiving holiday.

Small, indoor social gatherings have been linked to COVID-19 outbreaks at campuses across the country and were believed to be the cause of COVID clusters resulting in the closure of Temple University in August. On- and off-campus in-person student activities or social gatherings continue to be prohibited and anyone found to be engaged in these risky behaviors will face consequences.

Due to the increase in cases this week, all student organizations need to continue to meet virtually until further notice.

Outdoor activities and keeping a social distance from those who live outside of your household are better options. Tented areas on campus  -- on the Quad and D’Angelo Mall -- are available for studying and physically distant socializing in small groups with a mask worn at all times.

The USciences community must demonstrate how much we value the science behind preventing the spread of COVID-19. It is not just about your safety, but the safety of those around you. In the same way that you are vaccinated to protect against the spread of disease to yourself and others, you must take the proper precautions against COVID-19.

As future healthcare and science leaders and those who support them, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard than our peer institutions.

In order for us to continue with our current Fall plan, there can be no deviation from the University guidelines that are available to everyone. None.

I thank those of you who have been strictly adhering to best practices and guidelines for your support; unfortunately, the failure by a few may impact many.


Thank you for your cooperation and support,




Paul Katz, MD



Wellness during COVID-19

We remind our community of the many resources available for support both during the pandemic and beyond.  

  • Please explore the Office of Health and Wellness site for tips, tricks, and resources.  This is available to the entire community – students, faculty, and staff.
  • Follow SHAC on Twitter and Facebook for tips and helpful links. 
  • Employees may access and explore ESI’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for a variety of resources, including emotional well-being, work-life balance, legal resources, financial education, pet help, as well as a variety of training resources.  

 Please take advantage of these valuable resources!


USciences COVID-19 Information


Thank you for your ongoing attention and support,


COVID-19 Task Force