Skip to main content

COVID-19 Information and Frequently Asked Questions

To report a positive test result, please call 215-746-WELL (9355) and choose option #3 to be connected to the Public Health and Wellbeing team. 

If you are feeling sick and need medical care, you can schedule an appointment through your Wellness Portal or call 215-746-WELL (9355) and choose option #1 to be connected to the medical care team.

Below are frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19. 

I tested positive for COVID-19. What now?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please begin to isolate immediately and wear a high-quality mask or respirator when around other people. Please refer to CDC guidance for isolation recommendations and other precautions:

  • Please isolate for 5 full days and mask diligently for an additional 5 full days. During the five days of masking following isolation, you should eat alone, maintain social distancing, and avoid in-person meetings when able.  
  • Isolation timelines are calculated using the date of symptom onset, or date of testing if asymptomatic, as Day 0. Day 1 should be your first full day of isolation and you should remain isolated until Day 6, and continue to mask diligently until Day 11.
  • Isolation means staying at home. Do not travel, go to class, work, or participate in any in-person social activities. Limit the sharing of bathrooms and common areas (e.g. kitchens, living rooms) with others, and stay in your room alone as much as possible. Wear a mask anytime you are outside of your bedroom. Do not host friends or small gatherings. Do not attend small gatherings.
  • If you are an immunocompromised individual, you may be required to isolate for up to 21 days. This prolonged isolation period is based on evidence that immunocompromised individuals may remain infectious for longer. Please contact Student Health and Counseling's medical providers at 215-746-WELL (9355) for care and continue to isolate until cleared by a provider.
  • All students are expected to isolate in place. Students in isolation should order food in or ask a friend to drop off groceries. If you are isolating in your on-campus residence, you can go to the Dining Halls, masked, to pick up your pre-ordered meal. For more information on ordering food, go to
  • Connect with your school’s academic advising office about your absence and notify them that you will be missing class for the duration of your isolation period.
  • Before you can return to campus, you must be without a fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications AND your symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) must have improved.

If you have new, worsening, or continuing symptoms, contact our Student Health and Counseling’s medical care providers 215-746-WELL (9355). Counseling and medical care is available 24/7. For questions regarding public health guidance and recommendations, please call Public Health and Wellbeing at 215-746-WELL (9355).

Staff seeking COVID pay can report their COVID-19 diagnosis to the Public Health and Wellbeing team by calling 215-746-WELL (9355) or emailing

I was exposed to someone with COVID-19. What now?

If you were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, please refer to the CDC's guidelines for exposure (, regardless of your vaccination status.  

Be sure to:

  • Mask around others for 10 days. Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19, and day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure.
  • Monitor for symptoms. If symptoms present, test right away. Possible symptoms include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Wait 5 days after an exposure to test. If symptoms present, test right away. If you test negative, continue taking precautions through day 10. If you test positive, begin to isolate immediately.

Call Student Health and Counseling to speak with a medical provider if you have questions about your symptoms 215-746-WELL (9355).

Are there masking guidelines on campus?

The University no longer requires mask wearing in classrooms and buildings. All students, staff and faculty are encouraged to wear a mask whenever they choose to do so and for any reason. Masks may still be required in healthcare settings. 

Where can students still access testing?

At-home antigen tests are available for purchase at pharmacies such as CVS and RiteAid, which may also provide on-site PCR testing. Additional PCR and rapid testing may be available locally through myDoc, Vybe Urgent Care, and Philadelphia Department of Public Health locations. The University testing site is permanently closed.

At-home tests are available for free to students as medically indicated at the Student Health and Counseling medical care office (3535 Market Street, First Floor), and students do not need an appointment to pick up an at-home test. Students may access PCR testing at Student Health and Counseling. More information, as well as hours of operation, can be found by visit the Student Health and Counseling page. Appointments are available for those who are symptomatic and would like to be seen by a provider. 

What other COVID-specific resources does the University offer? 

Students are encouraged to reach out to Student Health and Counseling 215-746-WELL (9355) for questions or concerns regarding their symptoms, or Public Health and Wellbeing 215-746-WELL (9355) to discuss any questions regarding isolation guidance or for any other public health-related information.

Penn Dining will continue to arrange for students on meal plans to pick up to-go meals while in isolation. More information on the sick meal procedure can be found at

Will vaccination requirements change for students?

Penn has resumed its pre-pandemic immunization requirements for the 2023-2024 academic year. More information on general immunization requirements can be found on the Immunization and Insurance Requirements page

For more information:
Wellness at Penn: Communicable Diseases
CDC: COVID-19 Guidance