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USciences COVID-19 Task Force Update (10/9/2020)

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students, 


As discussed last week, the University was notified of a number of new COVID-19 cases in our student population. Through our contact tracing process, several additional individuals who were exposed have been identified and have been placed in quarantine. 


Our investigation has found a number of recognized high-risk activities that have contributed to the spread among the affected individuals in our community, including:

  • Small groups studying together, indoors, without social distancing or masks

  • Recreational group athletic activities 

  • Casual interactions between residence hall or apartment neighbors without social distancing or masks


While we understand the desire to participate in these types of activities, we are now seeing the impact of ignoring protective guidance on the health of our community.  As we have seen repeatedly elsewhere, and now here, COVID-19 moves quickly.  While we hope to be able to complete the Fall semester as planned, we are reassessing our ability to do so in the face of increased positive tests among our campus community.  We are monitoring the situation daily with our Philadelphia Department of Public Health partners and will share any changes in campus schedules and plans with the community promptly.


We ask our community to continue to abide by important health behaviors: 

  • Wear a mask whenever outside of your home or residence hall room. Masks and social distancing is necessary when participating in social activities. Specifically, this includes when you may be studying or in the presence of other students who do not reside in your living unit.

  • 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. 


We encourage student organizations to continue to meet virtually. Plans for limited outdoor in-person activities will be reviewed beginning next week, and are subject to approval from the Director and Coordinator of Student Activities.  We are working with our athletic conference and are having ongoing discussions regarding Spring semester athletics, particularly in light of recent COVID-19 cases  within our campus community.  We expect to have a decision on participation soon.


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. 


If a faculty or staff member becomes aware of a student with symptoms or with known contact with a positive case, please notify Dr. Siebert and include the student’s name and email address.


COVID-19 Cases




New cases since 10/1/2020



Total cases since 8/28/2020





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