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COVID restrictions ease across the US, Philadelphia, Drexel | The Triangle

COVID restrictions ease across the US, Philadelphia, Drexel

Photography courtesy of Toa Heftiba at Unsplash.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced a further relaxation of the current Safer-at-Home restrictions due to the  COVID-19 pandemic beginning May 21.

With the exception of mask requirements, all COVID-related restrictions will subsequently end in the city come June 11.

In the interim, restaurants may operate at 50 percent maximum capacity, or 75 percent maximum capacity if they can meet enhanced ventilation requirements, which include stipulations related to HVAC systems, standalone ventilation systems and windows, according to the Philadelphia city government website.

Despite President Biden’s announcement last week that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks, in Philadelphia, offices, retail stores, bowling alleys, museums and libraries will be allowed to operate with no density limits; however, mask requirements are still in effect.

President Fry sent a message to the Drexel community on Tuesday addressing the new CDC guidelines for vaccinated people and what easing of local COVID-19 restrictions means for the university.

“We are currently experiencing the lowest number of infections among campus community members since we began testing last year,” Fry said. Because of this, Drexel will move forward with reopening plans by first easing existing COVID-19 protocols.

The three pillars of COVID protocols include testing, masking, and social distancing.

While face masks will still be required in all Drexel buildings, fully vaccinated individuals have the option of no longer wearing face masks outdoors.

Mandatory testing will end for all fully vaccinated students on May 30. Students must upload proof of vaccination through the Drexel Health Checker App in order to stop testing.

COVID testing will remain available to all students and employees.

“Drexel plans to reopen all face-to-face academic programs at full occupancy in the fall. Spring and summer revisions to occupancy in Drexel research, office, instructional and recreational spaces will be announced soon,” Fry said. “We appreciate your patience as guidelines are reviewed alongside the latest public health science.”

The Drexel community continues to ease into a more healthy and familiar life — although the message urges students and faculty to remain cautious, and to schedule a vaccine appointment if necessary through Drexel or the city of Philadelphia.