Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information & Resources

Planning for Summer 2021, Fall 2021 and Spring 2022

One of the challenges all of us are facing during this uncertain time is how will we plan for a robust and fulfilling academic experience for our students, faculty and staff as we look toward fall. Many of you have asked about the University’s plans for 2021-2022 and we wanted to share our best thinking with you at this time. Of course, as we all know, there are many unknowns regarding the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its variants, the progress of the vaccination efforts across the country, and how the pandemic is affecting our community.  

Many members of the Provost’s Cabinet have spent countless hours thinking about and planning for next year’s academic experiences. And, while we wish we had more definitive answers, our plans and operations will be influenced by guidelines and mandates from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the CDC. While the PDPH still has restrictive guidelines for room capacity, we are cautiously optimistic these will be relaxed in the near future.

So, here are how things stand as of March 1, 2021, as we plan for the coming terms:

  • Summer 2021 – will be the same format as Spring 2021
  • Fall 2021 – will transition to more in-person teaching. Our large lectures will likely still be online, but more labs, studios, small classes and group learning sessions will be held in-person (pending approval from the city, and most likely with masks and social distancing).
  • Spring 2022 – we will plan for the “new normal” with in-person education infused with some virtual and technology-enhanced education that will increase engagement and flexibility and ensure that we are teaching our students for the future of work, particularly in a post-pandemic world.

We are asking deans and faculty to plan classes with these assumptions in mind and with the understanding that such plans may still be subject to change. We will have more details in the near future. Please watch your email for updates and invitations to online information sessions.

Thank you.

Mark L. Tykocinski, MD
Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs
Provost, Thomas Jefferson University

COVID-19 Case Dashboard

This dashboard shows the number of COVID-positive cases and number of persons who may have been exposed and are being tested among Thomas Jefferson University students.

Current COVID-19 Summary (since August 24, 2020)*
Data is current as of 4/9/21. 

  • Daily Active PUIs: 35 (East Falls campus: 8; Center City campus: 27)
  • Daily Active Cases: 15 (East Falls campus: 12; Center City campus: 3)
  • Cumulative Cases since August 24th (total, both campuses): 366
  • Daily Positivity Rate: 0.28% East Falls campus; 0.07% Center City campus

Any students who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or are showing symptoms, please reach out to Student Health Services at 215-951-0168 (East Falls) or Jefferson Occupational Health Network at 215-955-6835 (Center City).

Any faculty and staff who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or are showing symptoms, please reach out to Jefferson Occupational Health Network at 215-955-6835.   

Anyone who has been in contact with a Jefferson student who has tested positive will be notified via the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. 

*COVID-19 Case Dashboard Definitions

Daily Active PUIs: Students who are symptomatic and awaiting COVID-19 test result

Daily Active Cases: Students who have a positive COVID-19 test and remain in isolation

Daily Positivity Rate: Total number of students with a positive COVID-19 test among a given population

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

As a number of COVID-19 vaccines are in the process of being approved by the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), Jefferson is diligently working to prepare a phased vaccine distribution plan for faculty, staff and students. For more information, Jefferson faculty and staff should visit myJeffHub for the latest updates and information, and Jefferson students can find COVID-19 vaccine information on Banner.

 

Previous University Updates

Detailed information for students is being shared via email that will also be posted on this site. It is important that you access this information to ensure you are up to date on the latest communications.

April 1, 2021: Holiday Safety Reminder & Town Hall Recap/Replay

To All Thomas Jefferson University Students:

If you’re traveling this holiday weekend, please continue to follow safety protocols including wearing a mask, social distancing and washing your hands frequently.

During our recent University Town Hall, I was joined by University leaders who provided comprehensive details on COVID-19, fall semester, and more.

If you were unable to attend, a playback is now available, which includes these highlights:

  • Updates on Summer and Fall semesters
  • Reminders about safety protocols and guidelines regarding COVID from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health
  • COVID-19 Vaccine status update
  • Resident halls, dining, in-person classes, extracurricular and other indoor activities are expected to resume in the Fall, abiding by government regulations
  • Information on 2021 Commencement Ceremonies

Watch the full playback here.

As we mentioned during the Town Hall, we will continue to optimize in-person learning and offer a meaningful residential college experience in the fall, while building on the effective digital innovations developed in the past year. In fact, we expect to transition most of our teaching to in-person, particularly for those experiences in labs, studios, small classes and group learning sessions. This will, of course, continue to include safety measures like wearing masks and social distancing. Our larger lectures will likely still be online. Our plans are dependent on the spread of the virus, the progress of vaccination, and the social distancing room capacities mandated by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. We are committed to keeping you updated as we receive more information. Please continue to check your Jefferson.edu email and Jefferson.edu/Coronavirus for the most updated information. Please note the Fall FAQs will be updated in the coming weeks.

I can’t say it enough – I am in awe of how our community responded to the unprecedented situation in which we found ourselves. You, our students, have adapted to new ways of learning and demonstrated an ability to evolve. The coming academic year, we all hope, will be easier. We’ve proven what we can accomplish together in tough times and I have every reason for optimism about the amazing things we will achieve moving forward.

Thank you.

SENT ON BEHALF OF:
The Office of the Provost

To All Thomas Jefferson University Faculty, Staff and Students

This week, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced that the “Safer at Home” regulations and restrictions for Philadelphia have been extended through January 15. This means that all in-class instruction on any of our campuses between January 4 and January 15 will be held online. Clinical rotations will continue as normally scheduled. Classes on the East Falls Campus will be offered using the flexible approach (in-person or online, or a hybrid of both, or Hyflex) as in the fall and will begin on January 20. 

As a reminder to all students, please quarantine for two weeks before returning to campus. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please contact Jefferson immediately*.

To stay safe and enjoy your time during this holiday season, we urge you to follow CDC guidelines and caution you to remain vigilant in doing your part to minimize any spread of the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Please avoid social gatherings with those outside of your household, remember to socially distance, wash your hands and wear a mask. 

Students returning from Europe:

  • Please quarantine for 10 days from the date of arrival to the US regardless of adherence to social distancing and mask use while traveling. 
  • If you remain asymptomatic throughout this 10-day quarantine, you may return to class on day 11 after receiving clearance from student health (numbers listed below). 
  • If you develop symptoms during your quarantine period or have had a known exposure during travel, please call student health for evaluation and testing if needed. 

*Students on the Center City Campus, as well as faculty and staff: Contact JOHN at 215-955-6835

*Students on the East Falls Campus: Contact the East Falls hotline at 215-951-0168

Expanding on the process we put into place for the fall semester, there will be an ongoing student COVID testing screening and surveillance regimen for the spring semester. Details about our process for the spring semester will be shared with you as soon as possible.

A Reminder

Please note that as of December 9, we have made significant changes to our Relaunch Guide which reflect how we will operate for the spring semester. It is important that you read these updates before the beginning of the spring semester. Now called the Thomas Jefferson University Playbook Spring 2021, this guide is available to faculty and staff on the myJeffHub Workplace Guidance page. Students can access the playbook on BannerWeb. The situation regarding COVID-19 is continually evolving, so changes and updates may be required and will be communicated as needed. Please stay up-to-date by checking your Jefferson.edu email regularly.

Vaccine Distribution

As shared in previous communications, Jefferson’s vaccine distribution process follows a tiered and phased approach that aligns with CDC guidance. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • The first groups now receiving the vaccine are those who are working in the highest risk environments for COVID-19 exposure such as in our EDs, ICUs, and COVID units. Individuals within these groups have also been prioritized by age. Vaccination within these groups will be staggered and will include front-line employees and clinical students.
  • Our current supply of vaccine is limited, but as we receive additional supply, we expect to make the vaccine available to all non-clinical employees and students over the coming months.
  • When you are eligible to receive the vaccine, you will receive an email from COVID.Vaccine@jefferson.edu with a unique link to schedule your appointment. Please check your Jefferson.edu email frequently as invitations are sent daily. 
  • Individuals within departments in the same tier may be notified at different times to maintain staffing levels. 
  • Receiving the vaccine is voluntary.

Jefferson is extremely proud of our faculty, staff and students for rising to the challenge of fighting this pandemic. From nimbly adjusting to a different education model and developing innovative solutions to protect our frontline hospital staff, to volunteering your time to help with the vaccination process—the collaborative spirit and commitment to help and serve others shines through. That is what makes Jefferson so special.

We wish you a happy and SAFE holiday season, and look forward to seeing you in January!

SENT ON BEHALF OF:
The Office of the Provost

To All Thomas Jefferson University Faculty, Staff and Students:

Please note that, as of December 9, there have been significant changes made to our Relaunch Guide, which has been renamed the Thomas Jefferson University Playbook Spring 2021. These changes have been updated to reflect the upcoming spring semester.

Faculty and staff can access Playbook on the myJeffHub Workplace Guidance page. Students can access the Playbook on BannerWeb.

Please familiarize yourself with these updates before returning to campus after the holidays. Some important changes to note include:

Students:

  • Transition to double occupancy in residence halls is detailed in the “Housing” subsection
  • New subsection on “Recreation Facilities” after “Athletics”

Academics:

  • Updated calendar information from Fall 2020 to Spring 2021, as well as space and scheduling details based on revised regulations from the Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health
  • New subsection on “Clinical Rotations” after “Requests for Taking Online-Only Courses”

Faculty & Staff:

  • New subsection on “Guidelines for Gatherings” after “Remote Work Considerations”

Other:

  • Minor changes were made in the Research section to reflect that plans that have been operationalized
  • Minor changes in Facilities operational details and the Isolation and Quarantine Housing operational details

Travel Guidance
All faculty, students and staff should refer to the Travel Guidelines sent via jefferson.edu email. Prior to returning to campus for the spring semester, faculty, students and staff coming from within the United States should follow the guidance in the section titled, “Return from Travel.” Students who will be returning from international locations should, immediately upon arrival in Philadelphia, contact the Jefferson Occupational Health Network (JOHN) at 215-955-6835 if their academic program is at the Center City campus, or the East Falls Student Health Service at 215-951-0168 if their academic program is at the East Falls campus, for evaluation and instructions before coming to campus. Students coming to Philadelphia from international travel should be aware that there may be a required quarantine period before being allowed to come to campus. Faculty and staff returning from international travel should contact JOHN upon arrival in the United States for guidance.

As you know, the COVID-19 situation is continually evolving, so changes and updates may be required and communicated as needed. To stay up-to-date, please check your Jefferson.edu email regularly.

Thank you. 

TO ALL UNIVERSITY STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF

SENT ON BEHALF OF:
Mark L. Tykocinski, MD
EVP and Provost
Thomas Jefferson University

As you are aware, our plan for the remainder of the fall semester was to move to all-online learning as of Thanksgiving. On Monday, however, the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced new “Safer at Home” restrictions that will alter our plans by a few days. These guidelines, intended to fight the rise of COVID-19 cases, include, but are not limited to, restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings. As a result, the following changes will be in effect from Friday, November 20, 2020 to Friday, January 1, 2021:

  • Colleges must move to online instruction only, with the exception of clinical instruction for students in health sciences. 
    • Studio instruction will transition to 100% virtual.
    • Laboratory instruction will transition to 100% virtual.
  • The Gutman and Scott libraries will be closed for general use.
  • All employees who are able to work remotely must continue to do so until further notice.
  • Use of Gallagher Center facilities is suspended.

What is not changing:

  • Clinical rotations will remain in-person.
  • Research will remain in-person.

Students with questions should reach out to their program director. Faculty and staff with questions should reach out to their direct supervisor. The university will continue to review and update policies as necessary. These changes will continue to be communicated via your Jefferson.edu email. 

In addition, be sure to clean out any food or beverages in your offices or residence halls before you leave.

As a reminder, please follow the city’s safety checklist to help reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • #MaskUpPHL to block the virus from spreading and require others to wear them.
  • Use barriers such as sneeze guards or plexiglass screens. 
  • Keep people who may be infected away from others (ideally at home).
  • Practice social distancing (6 feet!).
  • Reduce crowds. 
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep surfaces clean (don’t forget your cell phone!).
  • Communicate with staff, customers and others taking part in permitted activities and ensure everyone understands and follows this Safety Checklist.

You can obtain more information about the city’s new restrictions here.

Thank you students, faculty and staff for embracing and following guidelines, and coming together as a team to make this fall semester so successful. We will be providing more information about the spring semester at next week’s all-university information session on Monday, November 23 at noon. Register for the information session here

Be well and please stay safe.  Thank you.

 

SENT ON BEHALF OF:
Charles Pohl, MD 
Vice Provost, Student Affairs, Thomas Jefferson University
Vice Dean, Student Affairs & Career Counseling, Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Henry Humphreys, PhD 
Dean of Students, East Falls Campus 
Thomas Jefferson University

To All Thomas Jefferson University Students:

As you make plans to return home for the holidays, continuing to follow the mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing guidelines will help to ensure you and your families are safe. Students should continue to attend their regular classes, but avoid social activities and social contacts between now and your departure from campus (14 days). 

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health also recommends you:

·       Be vigilant in universal masking at all times outside of your rooms.

·       Continue to socially distance by maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between you and others, both indoors and outdoors.

·       Not attend any social gatherings and limit all contact outside of your campus household (roommates and housemates).

·       Avoid dining with others and take advantage of grab and go dining options to reduce contact with others.

·       Defer travel until after your isolation/quarantine period has been completed.

To stay safe and enjoy your time at home, we encourage you to continue to follow the PDPH guidelines – we look forward to seeing you in January.

If you are feeling ill or have had a known exposure, please contact Jefferson immediately. Students on the Center City campus should contact Jefferson Occupational Health Network at 215-955-6835. Students on the East Falls campus should contact Student Health Services COVID line at 215-951-0168.

Don’t forget to download the COVID Alert PA mobile app, whether you live on or off campus. The app provides timely alerts and can reduce the risk of unknowingly spreading the virus to your friends, family, and larger community. COVID Alert apps may also be available in other states – so be sure to download it while home. Additionally, yesterday you received an invitation to an Information Session on 11/23 where we will share updates pertaining to the spring semester. Please be sure to register and submit your questions in advance. 

Thank you for continuing to do your part to keep each other safe. We are so proud of our students and wish you well as you wrap up the end of this historic fall semester. Please enjoy your time with your family during the holidays. We look forward to seeing you back on campus in the spring.

 

SENT ON BEHALF OF:
Mark L. Tykocinski, MD
Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs
Provost, Thomas Jefferson University

To All Thomas Jefferson University Faculty, Staff and Students:

As we begin the second half of arguably the most unique fall semester in the history of higher education, I want to provide you with some details regarding our approach for the spring semester. While there are still many details to be worked out, our plans to date are focused on allowing more time for faculty, staff and students to quarantine after the holidays and prior to returning to campus. As of this date, the plan for spring semester is as follows:

  • All East Falls programs (with the exception of Athletic Training) will start the spring 2021 semester on January 20, one week later than originally scheduled. This necessitates the cancellation of spring break in 2021All other programs will also follow this schedule, unless there are noted constraints, in which case they will remain on their original schedule. Colleges and programs will follow-up with faculty and students shortly.
  • Programs that are already operating remote-only will remain on their original spring schedule.
  • Graduate programs that are research-intensive will remain on their original spring schedule.
  • The scheduling of clinical rotations will not be impacted.

While we understand that some may be disappointed in the elimination of spring break for this year, it is important that we take all steps that diminish the probability of traveling to and from campus, and potentially increasing chances for exposure, infection and transmission.

Please note, there will be no changes to the end of the semester and final exam schedule. In addition, we are currently planning for courses to operate using the same hybrid model approach as we did for the fall semester.

After careful and detailed consideration and as other universities and colleges have done, Jefferson has also made the difficult decision to continue the suspension of our in-person Study Away programs for spring 2021. All Study Away applicants and academic programs have been notified. Students are encouraged to reach out to their academic advisor to revise your schedule for spring registration.

You can expect to hear more details relating to the spring semester schedule directly from your college. As updates become available, we will continue to provide them via email and on Jefferson.edu/Coronavirus. Please continue to check your Jefferson.edu email frequently.

If you have any questions, please contact Peter Miller, Senior Associate Provost, at Peter.Miller@jefferson.edu.