New required health and safety training for students, faculty and staff as Drexel pushes for hybrid reopening | The Triangle

New required health and safety training for students, faculty and staff as Drexel pushes for hybrid reopening

One requirement all students, faculty and professional staff will need to complete prior to returning to campus will be signing The Dragon Pledge, an agreement to protecting the health and safety of yourself and others. (Photograph by Jason Sobieski for The Triangle.)

All of Drexel’s students, faculty and professional staff will be required to complete a mandatory Coronavirus health and safety training session as the university prepares for a hybrid reopening of its campus in September, President John Fry explained in a statement July 31.

The training session is being delivered through Drexel’s learning management system, Blackboard Learn. Upon completion of the mandatory training, a signature to the “Dragon Pledge,” an agreement to monitor one’s health and safety as a protection for yourself and others, will be required. As outlined in the Dragon Pledge, physical commitments include wearing face coverings over the nose and mouth when inside all Drexel facilities, distancing from others at a minimum of six feet whenever possible, avoiding others who are ill or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and washing hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. Additionally, all will be required to monitor and report their health consistently using the Drexel Health Tracker app.

“Use of the Drexel Health Tracker [app] is required by all members of the Drexel community,” the university wrote on its Response to Coronavirus website. “Students, faculty and professional staff must use the … [app] on a daily basis to ‘check in’ and record any symptoms or note that they are feeling well.”

Geo-tracking is not enabled in the Drexel Health Tracker app to maintain privacy, but users will be required to provide their name, Drexel email address and phone number when registering. The app will also request each user’s age and zip code.

“Your information [shared with the app] will be maintained by MyOwnMed, Inc., the vendor that provides the … app under contract with Drexel,” the Response to Coronavirus website says. “Your information will be maintained in a secure, HIPAA-compliant cloud database, with access limited to authorized Drexel representatives.”

Any guests or visitors to Drexel’s campus will also be required to use the Drexel Health Tracker app to “self-certify [their] lack of symptoms” within two hours of their arrival.

In addition to the use of the Drexel Health Tracker app, mandatory baseline COVID-19 tests at the University’s expense will be required of every person returning to campus, and must be dated within one week prior to returning, Fry said.

“Directions concerning how and when to obtain a COVID-19 test will be sent out in a separate communication,” Fry said on July 31. “[Additionally], members of the Drexel community coming from states listed on the Pennsylvania Department of Health travel page will be asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days prior to arriving at campus.”

According to the Dragon Pledge, once on campus, any gatherings should be conducted in designated, clearly-marked areas of campus while wearing face masks and social distancing.

In addition, procedures and directions posted on signage should be observed, read and followed. This signage, along with tape and barriers, may be used to indicate appropriate seating in classrooms and off-limits areas in buildings.

These requirements and procedures – including mandatory COVID-19 training and testing, use of the Drexel Health Tracker app and following on-campus guidelines – are essential measures to maintain the health and safety of all on campus.

However, as of the first round of course registration August 3, Drexel released its updated fall schedule designating which courses will be offered face-to-face and which virtually. For students and professional staff who do not need to return to campus for face-to-face courses, the requirements and procedures for returning can be disregarded, with the exception of the mandatory COVID-19 training offered through Blackboard Learn.

Many courses within the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, the College of Engineering and the LeBow College of Business are being offered remotely for fall term, utilizing both synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods.

More information about the Drexel Health Tracker app can be found in the FAQs section of the Response to Coronavirus website. The full course schedule for fall term, including which classes will be offered online and which face-to-face, is available on Drexel’s Term Master Schedule.