Summer 2022 COVID FAQs for Instructors
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This page provides information about academic issues and resources for instructors related to the COVID-19 pandemic for the Summer 2022 semester.
For the latest public health guidance and more information, visit coronavirus.upenn.edu.
The University continues to monitor the evolving public health situation and this guidance will be updated as needed.
Last updated: May 31, 2022
As of May 18, 2022, masks are strongly recommended in all indoor spaces including the classroom. Masking is always an option for anyone who chooses to mask for any reason. Individual instructors may decide to require students to wear masks in their classroom and those who do should make that clear on their syllabus and to their students in the classroom. See the latest Public Health Guidance for more information.
Individuals should use a high-quality, well-fitting mask. The Penn community should wear a surgical mask, KN95/KF94, N95, or EHRS-recommended Aries mask as opposed to a single layer cloth mask.
Instructors who choose to require students to wear masks should enforce this requirement as they enforce other classroom behavioral expectations (e.g., no laptops). Often a simple reminder to mask can be an effective way to address this situation.
Instructors should make it clear to their students if they are requiring masking in the classroom and the steps to take if students forget to mask. Students should be reminded if this is an expectation and directed to procure a mask before returning to class as per the instructor’s guidelines.
Classrooms and Attendance
Faculty should not come to campus if they are ill or experiencing symptoms (including flu and other illnesses). Faculty are expected to follow all the guidelines set out by HR for working safely on campus and the current Public Health Guidance, such as complying with the vaccine and booster requirement, using PennOpen Pass, and all other public health guidance.
Policies and procedures to support faculty who become ill or unable to teach during the semester remain in effect. Faculty should discuss their individual circumstances with their Dean or Department Chair. In certain cases, faculty may be given an exception to teach remotely for a limited period of time if necessary.
Refer to the Classroom Exposure FAQ for more information about contact tracing and the risk of exposure in classrooms.
The Center for Teaching and Learning has developed guidelines for how to support students who may need to quarantine or isolate and combining structure and flexibility in courses.
The University is requiring all students, faculty, staff, postdocs, and other campus partners to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. See more information at coronavirus.upenn.edu.
Instructors are not allowed to ask students about medical information. The University maintains all such information securely, with access limited to those individuals engaged in health and safety functions for Penn on a need-to-know basis.
It is up to the discretion of the instructor if they will check the status of PennOpen Pass for their class. However, if instructors decide to check students’ PennOpen Pass status, they should check all students and not single out a particular student.
Individuals can receive a Red Pass for a variety of reasons as described in the PennOpen Pass FAQ. Individuals who receive a Red Pass will be provided instructions on what they need to do next. Instructors should direct students to follow up with the directions they are given on the pass and return to class when their pass is Green. Instructors should also provide information for the student on how they can make up any material they miss. The Center for Teaching and Learning has developed guidelines for how to support students who must miss class.
Individuals should not come to work or class in-person if they are sick or feel unwell, even if they have a Green Pass. Students should contact their health care provider for further guidance and complete PennOpen Pass. The Center for Teaching and Learning has developed guidelines for how to support students who must miss class.
Instructors who are concerned about a possible exposure risk but have not been contacted by our contact tracing team may identify this exposure through PennOpen Pass or schedule a COVID test through the Penn Cares testing site.
Current public health guidelines do not require distancing in the classroom. In person classes are operating at 100% capacity in their assigned rooms for the Summer 2022 semester. Information on what we are doing to keep our facilities safe can be found in the Facilities Resumption FAQ.
The University continues to monitor the evolving public health situation.
Instructors are permitted to hold class meetings outdoors at their discretion. However, please note that tent spaces are not able to be reserved and are intended for informal use by the Penn community.
No, the University is not mandating that classes be recorded. Check with your department or school for additional information.
The University does not recommend dual-delivery of in-person courses from a pedagogical standpoint. CTL has developed guidance on how to support students who may need to miss class due to quarantine or isolation and combining structure and flexibility in courses.
Technology needs and capabilities vary across classrooms. For more information about technology options, talk to your local IT support provider. Instructional technology support can work with instructors to address individual concerns about amplification depending on the classroom.
Please also note that the Center for Teaching and Learning has developed guidance on teaching with a mask which includes non-technological solutions.
Each building at Penn has specific heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Facilities and Real Estate Services and Environmental Health and Radiation Safety have conducted building-by-building HVAC systems condition and performance reviews. All occupied on-campus buildings are in compliance with the prevailing International Building Code and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers standards for ventilation. More information on your HVAC systems and other facilities resources can be found on the Facilities and Real Estate Services website.
The University continues to monitor the evolving public health situation.
The Center for Teaching and Learning offers a wide variety of support and resources for instructors, including workshops. If you need help using technology in the classroom, contact instructional technology support for your school.
Students wishing to request an accommodation should contact Student Disability Services.
Information about the University testing program and instructions for scheduling a test are available on our Penn Cares Testing Program page. All University community members must schedule their Penn Cares test online here: covidscheduling.upenn.edu/.
Faculty seeking a medical accommodation should contact the Office of Affirmative Action (OAA) and Equal Opportunity Programs either by calling 215-898-6993 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once received by OAA, the medical information provided is treated as sensitive and confidential and only shared as necessary with those who have a need to know in order to review the request for the accommodation. OAA serves as the facilitator between the faculty member and their department/school to determine if the accommodation can be granted. Any accommodation must be aligned with the University’s commitment to in-person undergraduate teaching.
Of note, a request for accommodations under the ADA requires reviewing medical information so it is best to centralize the intake.
Faculty should discuss other concerns and questions about their individual circumstances with their dean or department chair.
For Penn-affiliated travel, Penn Global provides COVID-19 travel guidelines and procedures for both domestic and international travel.
Penn has a comprehensive website on wellness and work-life with programs, resources, and information for faculty and staff. For information about COVID-19 related resources, courses, events, and more available to faculty and staff, visit the Well-being Resources for Times of Transition page. Penn’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides eligible faculty and staff and their families access to free, confidential, 24/7 counseling and referral services for personal and professional life issues from any location.