Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Penn Engineering thanks everyone for their continued vigilance in adhering to the public health guidelines for the fall semester. In an effort to consolidate multi-sourced information in a single location, the topic areas provided below should succinctly address specific questions from students, postdocs, faculty and staff:


The School is now in a screening testing program, where undergraduate and graduate students are tested every two weeks. Faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows are tested randomly, where a new random testing cohort is selected each week. The frequency of this screening testing can be adjusted as the COVID-19 conditions change. LEARN MORE


As of early September, our community campus vaccination rate exceeded 95%. LEARN MORE


We require masking in all of our indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status and the distance between individuals. In private offices, an individual may remove their mask. Masks are not required outdoors. LEARN MORE


Individual eating areas are clearly marked throughout the complex; unmarked areas should not be used for indoor eating. Indoor eating must be done with 6-foot distancing in place.

Outdoor eating spaces are available throughout the complex. Group eating can occur in outdoor eating areas. Tents will remain available until November 18, 2021. LEARN MORE


Indoor events are allowed; masking is required of all attendees.

Effective Monday, October 25th, indoor events with food will be allowed. The following guidelines are strongly recommended:
  • Food should be grab and go, or individual plating/portioning/boxed meals.
  • No self-serve buffets. Plating of buffet style by a vaccinated catering company server is permitted.
  • Beverages are allowed, but alcohol should not be served.
  • Unless actively eating and/or drinking, event participants must mask at all times.
  • Eating and drinking should be done with 6’ distancing

Tents will remain available for outdoor events with food until November 18th.

Visitors: Event organizers must require all non-Penn attendees to attest to having been vaccinated, register their contact information in the case that follow-up from contact tracers is needed, and be present to supervise the event. PennOpen Campus must be used for this purpose. Visitors may learn how PennOpen Campus works by visiting the Participants in Penn Programs page.

No additional approval is required for sponsoring these enhanced events. However, please work with to schedule the spaces that you desire for your events. LEARN MORE

Student Illness

In the event that a student becomes sick or is in isolation over the course of the semester, the instructor should work out a plan with the student to maintain the student’s progress in the course. The plan should consider the health of the student and the possible duration of the illness. The instructor may decide to record their lectures, to use pre-recorded lectures, or to develop an alternative method to maintain the student’s satisfactory progress. LEARN MORE

PennOpen Pass

PennOpen Pass should be filled out by each of us, every day of the week, regardless of whether we come to campus. LEARN MORE

Using PennOpen Pass

Instructors and TAs may choose to ask their class or recitation to show their green Open Pass. However, students should not be singled out in a class to show their Open Pass. As a courtesy to the students, instructors and TAs should show students their green Open Pass if they ask students for proof of a green Open Pass. If a red Open Pass is discovered, instructors and TAs should ask the student to leave the building.

Staff meeting with students in offices may ask the student to show their green Open Pass. As a courtesy to the students, staff should show the student their Open Pass when asking students to show their Green Pass.

Visitors + Penn OpenCampus

A vaccination, symptom check, and exposure reporting tool designed to reduce the risk of visitors spreading COVID-19 within the Penn community, PennOpen Campus is for use by University program participants, occasional visitors, vendors who are not regularly on campus, and non-badged contractors. LEARN MORE

Remote Instruction

Undergraduate and graduate classes must be delivered using an in-person instructional format. Remote lectures can be used for students in isolation, and technologies are available for instructors to record their lectures under these circumstances.

Workplace Accommodation

Staff who desire special accommodations in the workplace should contact their supervisor and seek guidance. Students who desire special accommodations should contact their faculty mentor or supervisor for advice on how to proceed. Faculty and postdocs who seek special accommodations should discuss their situation with the department chair for guidance. For teaching accommodation, faculty should consult the provost guide. LEARN MORE

Contact Tracing

A person tests positive. Once the positive result is known, an interview is conducted by contact tracers. During that interview, contacts are gathered and activities (on and off campus) are assessed for risk. Once contacts are known, risk level for exposure is assessed (e.g. mask use, duration of contact). Those with identified risk are notified and offered guidance. Spaces on campus where the person who tested positive may have been during their infectious period are identified. The spaces are also assigned risk levels and EHRS is notified for cleaning. Not all people who test positive are on campus during their infectious period. If at any time someone believes they have been exposed but have not been notified, they can and should report that exposure to PennOpen Pass so contact tracers can offer guidance and next steps. While testing is not always recommended based on exposure risk, it is available as a benefit to the Penn Community. The person who tests positive is offered isolation guidance and next steps (e.g. notify manager/faculty/advisor). Close contacts are notified and provided guidance and next steps. LEARN MORE

Current Guidelines for Penn Engineering

Guideline Inside Outside
Masking required if fully vaccinated1 yes no
Physical distancing required (no food) no no
Physical distancing required (while eating) yes no
Meetings and events allowed yes yes
Serving food at meetings or events2 yes yes
Eating spaces available yes yes
Visitors allowed3 yes yes
Undergraduate work/research4 yes yes
High School work/research yes yes

1: Fully vaccinated means you are at least two weeks past your last vaccine dose.
2: Please see “Events” above for information on serving food at indoor events.
3: Please see “Visitor Information” below.
4: These activities require pre-approval by Associate Dean Russ Composto. Participants must be fully vaccinated.

Building Access Information

All of our buildings are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. You will still need your valid PennCard ID to enter buildings via card readers.

Visitor Information

Penn Engineering remains a School within a University that welcomes visitors from all areas of the world. Members of the Penn Engineering community who invite visitors should work with those individuals to adhere to the guidelines below.

At no point should visitors be required to provide their vaccination card, either to the host or any other person in the community.

Single-day Visitors

1) Visitors must provide contact information prior to their visit, including their name, an email address, a phone number, and the name(s) of people they will be visiting. In addition, visitors must complete an attestation form that indicates they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Acceptable vaccinations include:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Johnson and Johnson/Janssen
  • AstraZeneca
  • Covishield
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

The form containing this information is found through this link.

2) On the day of their visit, the visitor must complete the symptom check on Penn OpenPass to receive a green pass. The visitor must show their green OpenPass to their host upon arriving.

3) Visitors must wear Penn-approved facemasks and wear them at all times during their visit. For more information on Penn-approved facemasks, please see guidance provided by the Penn Environmental Health and Radiation Safety (EHRS) office.

Infrequent Daily Visitors (no more than one visit per week)

The guidelines used for single-day visitors will apply, where visitors will need to obtain a green OpenPass for each visit date. They must provide contact information and attestation of vaccination. Use this link.

Frequent Visitors

1. If the individual will be visiting for a period of less than 6 weeks, they should fill out this form to describe the nature and frequency of their campus visits. All guidelines used for less frequent visitors apply.

2. Longer-term visitors, including scholarly visitors, adjunct faculty and national/international research collaborators, must follow all of the public health guidelines prescribed for daily visitors. If the visitor is unvaccinated, they must complete a vaccination regimen and work remotely until fully vaccinated. They must complete this form prior to their arrival on campus.

Visitors + Penn OpenCampus

A vaccination, symptom check, and exposure reporting tool designed to reduce the risk of visitors spreading COVID-19 within the Penn community, PennOpen Campus is for use by University program participants, occasional visitors, vendors who are not regularly on campus, and non-badged contractors. LEARN MORE

Academic Program Information

All students are required to be vaccinated and upload their vaccination information. All pre-pandemic policies and procedures for both undergraduate and graduate student programs will be in place for the Fall 2021 semester.

Page last updated: Oct 22, 2021 @ 9:56 AM