COVID-19 vaccine

The vaccine is available to all Philadelphia residents 16 and older! Get an appointment or visit the Convention Center or Esperanza walk-up sites.

College and university guidance

College and university guidance

The following is intended as a plain-language summary of rules during the COVID-19 emergency and does not replace the need to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Protections Needed


  • All class participants (students, instructors, staff, teaching assistants) must wear masks at all times while in the classroom and on site except only:
    • As necessary for staff to eat or drink during break times, while at least 6 feet away from others.
      • Students, teachers, and staff are not permitted to drink and/or eat in the classroom.
  • Colleges and universities should provide masks to all faculty and staff for utilization while on campus.
  • Students, faculty and staff must mask whenever they are in public unless they are far away from others. The following should be communicated to all:
    • If you think it might be 6 feet, that’s too close. Keep your mask on.
    • Find light-weight, comfortable masks. Keep enough around that you always have one handy.
    • Wash your mask in the regular laundry each day that you use it.


  • If campus offices, dining halls or other common spaces remain open, install plastic barriers between staff and the students, faculty or staff who are accessing services.
  • Install partitions on tables / study desks in libraries and computer labs to promote distancing and prevent spread of respiratory droplets in situations in which distancing is difficult to maintain.


  • Colleges and universities should have all students, faculty and staff screen themselves for symptoms before entering the campus or going out into public on campus. Anyone with a cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, sore throat, muscle pain, or new loss of taste or smell, should get tested for COVID-19 and be immediately isolated away from others.
  • If a student, faculty or staff member has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, they should be quarantined for 10 days and not go to work/class. Colleges and universities should have a plan for isolating and quarantining students on campus. Isolation and quarantine rooms should be physically separated from other residential student rooms and have private bathrooms. Students who opt to isolate or quarantine at home may do so if they can travel in a private car AND social distancing and maintain CDC infection prevention recommendations in the home.  Students under isolation should avoid going to a private home in which persons with high risk conditions reside.
  • If a staff member or student develops COVID-19 infection or has a positive test, colleges and universities must take additional precautions to stop the virus from spreading further.


  • Restructure work and classroom environments to ensure that people remain at least 6 feet apart.
  • Large lecture classes should be offered online. For instruction that is held on campus, please note that classroom capacity should meet the following criteria:
    • At least 6 feet of distance between students/instructors; AND one of the following:
      • 20 persons (students and staff)/1,000 square feet; or
      • <25% of maximum capacity of classrooms; or
      • A maximum of 25 students per class.
  • Consider staggering class times or continuing virtual lectures, especially for large classes for which distancing would be difficult to implement or for faculty who are at high risk for severe infection.

Reduce crowds

  • Indoor gatherings of non-household members are prohibited. Strongly discourage and make efforts to prevent gatherings of any size, whether on campus or off-campus, and communicate clearly to students that they should avoid such gatherings. In situations where gathering of persons cannot be avoided, enforce strict mask wearing and distancing.
  • Outdoor gatherings may not have more than 10 persons per 1,000 square feet, even with masks and maintaining safe distancing. Masks should remain on at all times, and food and beverages should be avoided.
  • In dormitories and residences, where possible, assign a single student to a bedroom. If two people must share a room, beds need to be placed at least 6 feet apart.
  • Close gathering spaces such as game rooms and student lounges.
  • Dining halls should restrict occupancy to <25% so that diners are at least 6 feet apart and should offer “to go” meal options.


  • Reinforce handwashing with soap and water (or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol) for 20 seconds.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers should be mounted in all dormitory and classroom building hallways and campus common areas.


  • Frequently clean bathrooms and other commonly used areas with disinfectants. See CDC guidance for details.
  • Ensure that high-touch surfaces are regularly cleaned (e.g., doorknobs; handrails; elevator buttons; desks; tables; chairs; counters/surfaces in cafeterias, meeting rooms and offices).
  • Limit use of shared objects (e.g. lab and computer equipment) or clean between use.


  • If possible, increase ventilation in the building by either:
    • Opening windows and/or doors on opposite sides of the building and using fans to blow outside air through the building, OR
    • Optimizing ventilation provided by the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system by:
      • Having the HVAC system checked to assure that it is working properly. If it can be adjusted, the system should be set to provide at least 6 air exchanges per hour.
      • Maximizing the amount of outside air circulated by the system.
      • Installing filters with minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV) of 13, or the highest compatible with the filter rack. It is not necessary to use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or ultraviolet light irradiation systems.
      • Checking that the external air inlet duct is not blocked and that it is at least 15 feet from persons.


  • Educate students, faculty and staff about symptoms and prevention of COVID-19.
  • Ask people who are sick or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 within the past 10 days to stay at home or in their dorms and not enter any campus buildings, common rooms or dining halls. They should follow CDC quarantine guidelines. Students and staff/teachers without any symptoms may end their quarantine period after:
    • Day 10 without testing, OR
    • Day 7 after receiving a negative test result (lab-based or rapid) after day 5.
  • Persons who have been fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine when exposed to someone with COVID-19 if they meet all of the following criteria:
    • They are fully vaccinated, and it’s been at least 2 weeks after the last dose in the vaccine series;
    • They are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series; AND,
    • They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
  • Vaccination is not 100% effective.
    • Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should get tested.
    • Anyone who is positive for COVID-19 must isolate according to CDC guidelines.
    • After vaccination you must still wear a mask, keep your distance, and avoid crowds
  • Post prominent signs at entrances to campus buildings, common rooms, and dining halls:
    • Mandating physical distancing of at least 6 feet.
    • Mandating that all students, faculty and staff wear masks.
  • Identify a college/university representative who can serve as a liaison with a designated contact person at the local health department.

Athletics and fitness centers

See also: