COVID-19 Information and Digital Resources

Remote Resources & Activities

The University of Pennsylvania has instituted mitigation practices and policies in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the University's Fall 2020 Semester Plans and coronavirus information and resources


The Grad Center is committed to supporting graduate and professional students during this challenging time. We are working with campus partners to provide resources and opportunities for virtual engagement to help you stay connected and academically successful while on-campus operations remain limited. 

Grad Center Resources    Campus Resources  

Virtual Activities     Public Resources

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Grad Center Resources and Support

The Graduate Student Center remains closed at this time, in accordance with state and University policies and guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Grad Center staff are available to provide assistance and support to all Penn graduate and professional students. Email gradcenter@upenn.edu or use this form to connect with us.

We encourage you to sign up for our newsletter and follow our social media accounts, where we regularly share information, resources, and activities to help you make the most of your graduate education and stay connected while on campus activities are limited. 

Twitter     Instagram      Facebook      Newsletter Sign-up

In addition to the resources on this page, the Grad Center website has a wealth of resources for graduate and professional students. Check out our Resource Guide for helpful information, links, and resources related to ​​​ Student Wellness & EngagementStudent Wellness & EngagementAcademic Policies and SupportFunding & Finances; and more! 

last updated: June 20, 2020

Campus Resources and Information
University Information and Services

Fall Semester 2020 Information and Resources 
The University will allow many students to return to campus for Fall 2020 in a limited and careful way by incorporating online and virtual learning with on-campus classroom instruction where it can be provided safely and when it is essential to the academic needs of the course curriculum.

University Fall 2020 Semester Page 

University Coronavirus Information Page  

FAQ for Students   

Academic Issues and Resources

FAQ for Current International Students

Research Resumption Plans and Resources 

March 21, 2020: The University has suspended all on-campus operations except for those that are life-sustaining. Most campus departments and offices are continuing to provide services remotely. Please check official websites for the most up-to-date information. 

Safety 

Unfortunately, bias-motivated attacks have been reported in Philadelphia and around the country. Penn’s Division of Public Safety supports the physical and emotional wellbeing of all Penn communities. Should any member of our community receive any threatening messages or become the victim of a criminal act, or see suspicious activity that should be indicative of a future act of violence, regardless of the location of the occurrence, please call the Division of Public Safety’s Emergency Communications Center immediately at 215-573-3333

Request a Walking Escort: Penn Public Safety and the University District Ambassador Program are available to provide Walking Escorts from 10:00am until 3:00am between 30th & 50th and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue. Students can call 215-898-WALK (9255) 

Facilities and Basic Services

Penn Transit and Parking
Penn Transit is operating on a limited schedule. The Penn Parking campus office is closed but garages and lots remain open. For more information, go to: https://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/transportation/coronavirus-information

Penn’s on-demand Evening Shuttles and Penn Accessible Transit services will continue to operate as normal. Shuttles provide free transportation from campus stops to anywhere in the service boundaries between 20th & 50th and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue.

Students who purchased Spring Semester Penn Transit Passes should visit http://septa.org/pass-refund-info.html for instructions and additional information about requesting a refund.

Penn Libraries 
All Penn Libraries buildings, including Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, remain closed until further notice. 

Beginning July 7, Penn Libraries will launch a number of essential services to support research and connect Penn faculty, students and staff with the libraries' physical collections. Learn more about phased library service availability. Visit the COVID-19: Libraries Access and Support page for the most current information. 

Penn Dining 
Penn Dining is open and is providing limited service. Visit the Penn Dining Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources page for the most up-to-date information. Please be aware that hours and locations are subject to change. 

Penn On-Campus Housing 
Information and resources for campus residents can be found at https://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/residential-services/coronavirus-information

last updated: June 24
Health and Wellness

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
CAPS is offering counseling sessions by phone or video conference, as well as in person. Students are encouraged to call in advance to schedule an appointment. Dial 215-898-7021 and press 2 to speak to the Front Desk (M-F, 9am-5pm) or you can press 1 to talk to a clinician 24/7. For more information, visit https://caps.wellness.upenn.edu/

Your Mental Health and COVID-19: Tips and resources to help you cope with COVID-19, including dealing with issues of bias, coping skills, and more.  

last updated: March 24

Extended Health Insurance Coverage for Recent Graduates
All graduate and professional students who are graduating in May or August of this year will be eligible to remain on the Penn Student Insurance Plan through December 2020. The University is currently working with Aetna (our health insurance provider) and state regulators to finalize the details, which we will share as soon as they are available in an email, on the Graduate Student Center website, and via the Vice Provost for Education’s newsletter.

Important changes to PSIP in response to the COVID-19 outbreak

Please contact the Insurance Office at 215 746 3535 or vpul-shsinsur@pobox.upenn.edu with any questions.

last updated: April 17

Student Health Services
Student Health Services remains available for students in need of medical services. Visit their website for more information: https://shs.wellness.upenn.edu/ 

Students with medical emergencies should utilize emergency medical services and dial 911. 

last updated: March 14

HELP LINE
One call to the HELP LINE can assist you in finding personal and mental health support, 215-898-HELP.

last updated: March 14

Campus Recreation and Fitness Centers

Effective Monday, March 16th, all Campus Recreation facilities and programs will be suspended until further notice. For more information, visit: https://recreation.upenn.edu/news/2020/3/15/Covid-19.aspx.

Campus Recreation has developed a remote resource hub to help keep the Penn Community active and connected to favorite Philadelphia area studios, Penn Alumni and more! 

Please contact Campus Recreation directly by emailing DRIA-pennrec@pobox.upenn.edu.

last updated: March 16

 

IT Support & Software Access

Internet and Phone Service 
Information about free and  low-cost internet & wi-fi access and updates made to mobile phone service plans to help support individuals during the COVID-19 crisis.

Penn Information Systems & Computing (ISC) has put together a Remote IT Support Guide to assist students with accessing and using virtual instruction and software. 

Please click on a link below to jump to a section in the guide: 

Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides a range of guides, tutorials, and support services to help with virtual classes.

The Penn Libraries software guide includes tutorials and information on virtual meeting platforms — including Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Zoom

The Using Electronic Resources provides information on accessing e-resources, optimal browser settings, as well as common connection problems and solutions.

Technology Grants 
Need-based grants to support technology expenses incurred by full-time graduate and professional students as a direct result of disruptions to the Spring 2020 semester. Deadline: April 20

Adobe Creative Cloud 
Adobe is giving free temporary access to its Creative Cloud apps to students who only have access on-campus. The move comes at the request of educators, who are rightly concerned about their students continuing their education during this crisis. Speak with your school IT department for more details. 

Support for Specific Populations

International Students

For international students who have questions about travel and visas please contact ISSS directly to schedule virtual advising:   https://global.upenn.edu/isss

International Student & Scholar Service's (ISSS) in-person services are suspended until further notice. ISSS advisors are available by email or virtual advising appointment. For instructions, visit https://global.upenn.edu/isss/advising.

ISSS has created a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID-19 at https://global.upenn.edu/isss/coronavirus-FAQ and is scheduling a series of virtual town halls (https://global.upenn.edu/isss/news/isss-virtual-town-halls).

Students leaving the United States do not need a travel signature on your I-20/DS-2019 before exiting the country. Before you return to the US, please complete the Travel Signature request form in iPenn. Once your request has been approved, please complete the Shipping Request form and your document will be mailed to you. 

last updated: March 14

Students and Postdocs with Children 

The Family Resource Center facility will be closed for the remainder of the spring semester. Family Center staff remain available to advise and meet with students, postdocs, and campus partners via phone, email, or Skype. 

All in-person events at the Family Center have been cancelled. Virtual content will now be delivered via the Family Center newsletter, social media accounts, and Virtual Resources Page with special resources for parents and families during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

  • Strategies to Explore Careers, Write Resumes, & Navigate Tricky Interview Questions as a Parent
    The Family Center and Career Services partnered to create this video series, which provides actionable advice for current and prospective parents on networking, informational interviews, resume tips, and interview strategies, along with information on career-relevant resources you can access as a Penn student or postdoc.
last updated: March 16

Students with Disabilities 

Student Disabilities Services is currently offering virtual support services for students in online classes. While the physical office is closed, SDS staff members are available by phone and email to answer questions from members of the University community about accessibility and accommodations.

For information about how SDS will provide the most common support services in the virtual classroom environment, visit www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/sds/. Contact SDS directly by email or phone (215-573-9235) with any additional questions or concerns.

last updated: March 16
Social and Cultural Engagement

Penn Cultural Resource Centers Weekly Virtual Chats

LGBT Center Wednesdays at 3:00 PM ET via BlueJeans

Makuu Fridays at 1:00 PM ET via Zoom

La Casa Latina Fridays at 3:00 PM ET via BlueJeans

Information for Student Groups 
The Office of Student Activities has put together a Frequently Asked Questions page for Student Groups in response to altered University operations for remainder of Spring 2020 Semester. https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/osa/spring2020faq.php

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and in accordance with University of Pennsylvania guidelines, ICA is now temporarily closed to the public until further notice. All public events taking place at the museum through April 17 have been canceled. ICA staff will have remote office hours Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., also until further notice. You may experience some delays with publication orders and archival requests. We thank you in advance for your patience.To reach an ICA staff member please email hello@ica.upenn.edu

last updated: March 17

Penn Museum
The Penn Museum is temporarily closed to the public and all public events through April 17 have been postponed or cancelled. However, from YouTube videos to the online collections database, there is always something to discover at www.penn.museum/collections. The museum will be sharing objects from their collections, links to lectures, & more on social media with the hashtag #VisitFromHome.

Check out the Penn Museum's Facebook page for the Digital Daily Dig.Virtually tour their galleries here: https://bit.ly/397aeWW.

For more information, go to: https://www.penn.museum/alert/

last updated: March 19

 

Academic and Research Support

Academic Resources and Support

COVID-19 Related Academic Resources and FAQ 

We encourage students in coursework to look at the University's Student FAQ for Taking Courses Remotely.

All Penn students have unlimited data storage via Penn+Box, a cloud-based collaboration service for securely managing and sharing files and folders within the Penn community and externally. Users can access, create, manage, and distribute content across various device types and operating systems. 

Used to using a whiteboard for teaching or research? CTL has some low- & medium-tech solutions you can use in live and recorded sessions! Many also recommend  low-cost tablets for simulating whiteboards

Penn Libraries 
Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides the information you’ll need to access digital content, collaborate with research partners, and directly consult with librarians. They have been working with academic publishers to make additional virtual content openly available. In addition, subject librarians are standing by to support online teaching, research, and learning throughout the rest of the semester.

Using Electronic Resources provides information on accessing e-resources, optimal browser settings, as well as common connection problems and solutions.

Biomedical Library's guide on COVID-19 with important local, national, and campus resources for biomedical researchers.

Check out the Libraries lists of free or reduced price online journals & ebooks and streaming video

Additionally, the Penn Bookstore is pleased to announce that Penn students now have access to an expansive catalog of eTextbooks through the remainder of the Spring semester. 

Weingarten Learning Resources Center 
The Weingarten Center staff is working remotely but will continue to support students by providing academic assistance (e.g., individual consultations with learning instructors, tutoring) through virtual platforms and by overseeing implementation of accommodations for students with disabilities.

  • The Office of Learning Resources (OLR) is offering virtual access to academic support resources and advising. Students can schedule 50-minute virtual  meetings or sign up for 25-minute virtual drop-in sessions with a learning instructor to discuss their study strategies and approaches to a variety of academic assignments and assessments. More details at www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/lr/

  • Student Disabilities Services staff members are available by phone and email to answer questions from members of the University community about accessibility and accommodations. For information explains how SDS will provide the most common support services in the virtual classroom environment, visit www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/sds/. Contact SDS directly by email or phone (215-573-9235) with any additional questions or concerns.

Contact the Weingarten Center at 215-573-9235 to get updated information about Student Disabilities Services, Office of Learning Resources, and Tutoring Services and to be connected with a staff member who can address your needs.

Writing Center 
The Writing Center will be providing online video consultations beginning Monday, March 23rd at 9am. Schedule appointments at upenn.mywconline.com.  

A guide to scheduling and attending online writing consultations is available at http://writing.upenn.edu/critical/wc/files/Online_Appointments.pdf 

Those students in timezones not well-suited to Writing Center hours should contact Stacy Kastner, PhD, Associate Director of The Writing Center.   

For more information about the Writing Center and available appointment times, visit:  http://writing.upenn.edu/critical/wc/schedule_appointment.php 

last updated: April 10
Support for Teaching Remotely

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Online Learning Initiative (OLI) have partnered to provide a guide to strategies and tools for teaching remotely. Check out the guide to teaching remotely at www.ctl.upenn.edu/resources-and-strategies-teaching-remotely.

CTL is also offering a series of online workshops related to teaching remotely. More details at www.ctl.upenn.edu/events

Used to using a whiteboard for teaching or office hours? CTL has some low- & medium-tech solutions you can use in live and recorded sessions! Many also recommend  low-cost tablets for simulating whiteboards

Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides a range of guides, tutorials, and support services to help with virtual classes.

The Penn Libraries software guide includes tutorials and information on virtual meeting platforms — including Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Zoom

The Using Electronic Resources provides information on accessing e-resources, optimal browser settings, as well as common connection problems and solutions.

last updated: March 22
Professional Development

Build Your Network 

  • QuakerNet is a database of Penn graduates and is searchable by industry, employer name, major, degree, student clubs, and more. Update your profile and connect with Penn alumni in your field(s) of interest. Wharton alumni may also wish to access the Wharton Alumni Directory to connect with the global Wharton alumni newtork. 
  • Over 42,000 Quakers have joined the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Group on LinkedIn. This site is a great resources for connecting with classmates, engaging in career-related discussions, learning about job opportunities, and joining Penn school and industry-specific subgroups.

Career Services continues to support students with their career development during their time away from campus, and can be helpful to students who are beginning to explore a broader range of career paths as they plan for the upcoming months. Students can schedule 30-minute video/phone appointments, or one of our same-day phone drop-ins, through Handshake, and make use of our many digital resources for Master’s Students and PhDs and Postdocs that can help with career exploration, networking, creating effective application materials, and interviewing. Jobs and internships are still being posted on Handshake, and there are many ways to explore remote internship and job opportunities. For more information, visit https://careerservices.upenn.edu/.

Career Services provides access to a number of free and subscription resources to support career exploration and planning, including: 

  • ChemIDP: An online tool for chemists to help them explore career options and create a plan for their own professional and career development.
  • Imagine PhD: Developed specifically for humanities and social sciences PhDs, this free, online resource provides self-assessment tools to help you evaluate your skills, interests, and values, and compare these against a wide diversity of job families that value a PhD. You can use the individual development plan tool to identify key next steps as part of your academic/professional development.
  • iBiology: A library of online videos and resources related to the professional and career development of scientists, and information on careers in education, industry, government, and more
  • InterviewStream: Create customized, online mock interviews to practice answers to industry-specific questions. Watch recordings of yourself to develop more effective interviewing approaches.
  • MLA Connected Academics: An online resource demonstrating how doctoral education can develop students’ capacities to bring their expertise in advanced humanistic study to a wide range of fulfilling, secure, and well-compensated professional situations.
  • myIDP: Developed specifically for STEM PhDs, this free, online resource provides self-assessment tools to help you evaluate your skills, interests, and values, and compare these against a diversity of careers that value a STEM PhD. You can use the individual development plan tool to identify key next steps as part of your professional development.
  • Vault Career Insider: Vault provides in-depth intelligence on what it’s really like to work within an industry, company, or profession—and how to position yourself to launch and build the career you want.
  • Versatile PhD: Career Services subscribes to this web-based community so you can explore the broad diversity of careers that value a PhD and gain job-search relevant skills. Take advantage of the PhD Career Finder Tool to investigate common career paths taken by PhDs across disciplines. This tool includes Options 4 Success, an online career development program designed to help graduate students identify viable career paths, understand the link between their degrees and the professional world, and confidently manage the transition from university to high-quality professional careers
  • Where Historians Work: An interactive, online database that catalogues the career outcomes of the 8,523 historians who earned PhDs at US universities from 2004 and 2013.

Please click the buttons below for information about need-based COVID-19 Emergency Funding and Technology Grants

COVID-19 Emergency Fund      Technology Grants

Public Resources and Information
Public Assistance Programs

Benefits.gov Coronavirus Resources
On Benefits.gov, you can find government benefits related to unemployment assistancehealthcare, and food and nutrition. You can also use the Benefit Finder to find additional benefits for which you may be eligible. 

To learn more and stay up to date about the steps you can take to keep safe and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, refer to Coronavirus.gov, offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House. You can also visit USA.gov to learn more about the government's response to the outbreak. 

Public Benefits for PA Residents 
Individuals in Pennsylvania who lost a job or have reduced hours due to coronavirus may be eligible for food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, cash assistance, or assistance with utilities. Visit https://clsphila.org/public-benefits/benefits-coronavirus/ for more information. 

Assistance for Philadelphia Renters and Homeowners
There are resources available to help Philadelphia renters and homeowners facing housing issues during the pandemic. For more information, visit: www.phila.gov/2020-03-20-help-with-housing-during-covid-19/

  • Philadelphia COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program
    Applications accepted: May 12 at 10am to May 16 at 5pm (ET).
    The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program will make rent payments for people who have lost income because of COVID-19. The application opens Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 10 a.m. The deadline to apply is Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 5 p.m. To be eligible, renters must: 1) Rent an apartment or house in Philadelphia; 2) Have a valid and current written lease signed by landlord; 3) Have lost income because of COVID-19; 4) Meet income guidelines. Renters do not have to have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to be eligible. Additional resources for renters and homeowners can be found at www.phila.gov/2020-03-20-help-with-housing-during-covid-19/

  • Rental Agreements + Roommates leaving early
    By law, all individuals named as tenants on a lease are responsible for the terms of the lease they signed, whether or not they have relocated. If your roommate has departed, they are still responsible for paying their portion of the rent. If the departing roommate is a Penn student, the departing roommate should apply for assistance for duplicate rents or housing costs. Off-Campus Services (OCS) can assist you and provide resources related to the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, addressing issues related to off-campus living, legal resources, and subletting your apartment.

  • Moratorium on evictions and foreclosures
    Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order to prevent foreclosures and evictions until July 10. Homeowners concerned about potential foreclosure can call the Save Your Home Philly hotline at (215) 334-HOME (4663). Learn more about the postponements and resources to help Philadelphia renters and homeowners.

Unemployment Resources 
If you are facing unemployment or a lapse in employment due to the coronavirus, the following resources may be available to you:  

Under the Federal CARES Act, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expanded eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits. Individuals covered under PUA include the self-employed, those unable to start a new job, those seeking part-time employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits.

To apply for unemployment assistance, please contact your State Unemployment Assistance Agency. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Unemployment Assistance Page

Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks)
According to the IRS, stimulus checks will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Eligible taxpayers, who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents will receive $500 for each qualifying child. Visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment Page to learn more. 

For more information specific to Social Security during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit the U.S. Social Security Administration's Coronavirus Disease Page

Resources for Families in Need
For families requiring temporary assistance during the outbreak, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program can help provide financial assistance and related support.

Philadelphia residents who are pregnant or caring for an infant or toddler: see a list of resources and free supplies available to you and your family during COVID-19.

Food and Nutrition
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves millions of people annually, ensuring that they and their families have access to nutritious food options. The SNAP for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides for the special dietary needs of nursing and pregnant women, infants, and children under the age of five.

Additional federal programs can be found on the Benefits.gov Food and Nutrition Page. See additional food assistance programs and food banks in the "Other Assistance Programs" box on this page. 

Utilities
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps provide low-income families with their heating and cooling energy costs. See a state-by-state list of utility assistance programs on the  Benefits.gov Housing and Public Utilities Page 

  • PECO
    Customers experiencing challenges in paying their bills or who have a disconnect notice can contact PECO at 1-800-494-4000. PECO is also working to help customers determine if they are eligible for assistance programsEffective March 13, 2020, PECO is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges through at least May 1, 2020.
     
  • Philadelphia Water Department
    Effective, March 16, PWD and the Water Revenue Bureau will work together to restore water service to all delinquent residential and commercial customers through Friday, May 15, 2020, and the restoration fee will be waived. Residential customers who have been shut off for meter non-compliance will also have their water service restored until May 15, 2020. Read more.
     
  • Philadelphia Gas Works
    Effective March 13, PGW is suspending non-payment terminations until May 1, 2020. PGW also plans to waive new late payment charges. Read more.
Other Assistance Programs & Discounts

Banking and Credit
Some banks and credit card companies are waiting fees on missed credit card payments or waiving early withdrawal penalties for those who are out of work and need access to money. Visit official websites for more details 

Wifi, data and internet. 
See information about free and low cost Internet and Phone Service available to local residents. 

Comcast is offering unlimited data for customers, and making its wifi hotspots free for everyone. Customers can sign up for the service by visiting www.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

Numerous Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have signed an FCC Agreement stating that from March 13 until May 12, 2020, companies will not terminate service for customers, will waive late fees, and will open access to public WiFi hotspots.

Many ISPs are making additional accommodations to assist customers. Offerings may change, so please check with your provider(s) for current promotions and be sure to check their eligibility requirements, terms, and conditions.

Free meal services in Philadelphia
While schools are closed, the school district is coordinating with the City’s Office of Children and Families, Parks & Recreation, and many other departments and nonprofit partners to provide meal service in safe spaces throughout the city.

Food Assistance 
Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services offers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to help low-income households get more food. Applications can be submitted online  or filed in person at your county assistance officeFor additional information and resources, visit the Department of Human Services website.

The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger connects people with food assistance programs and nutrition education; provides resources to a network of food pantries; and educates the public and policymakers about responsible solutions to food insecurity. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity, you can call the WHY Hunger Hotline at 1-800-5-HUNGRY or visit http://www.auntbertha.com

  • Philadelphia 
    The City of Philadelphia and partners are providing free food for households and students at sites throughout the city.  
     
  • Montgomery County 
    Visit MontCo Anti-Hunger Network for latest information on food pantries in Montgomery County.

As of March 18, the following area food banks were still operating. Many have adjusted or limited hours. Please call in advance.  Many food pantries and banks are also accepting volunteers and donations. 

  •  Philabundance
    3616 South Galloway Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19148
    215-339-0900
     
  • Food Bank of South Jersey 
    1501 John Tipton Blvd.
    Pennsauken, NJ 08110
    856-662-4884
     
  • Share Food Program 
    2901 W. Hunting Park Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19129
    215-223-2220
     
  • Mary's Cupboard
    100 Levittown Parkway
    Levittown, PA 19054
    215-945-2550
City of Philadelphia

Official Information & Updates

Statewide: visit the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Guide at www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/

Visit the city's COVID-19 website for more information about Philadelphia services: www.phila.gov/COVID-19

  • COVID-19 Text Alerts: Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
  • Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline: Call the 24/7 helpline to speak with a health care professional. 1-800-722-7112

Schools
The School District and City of Philadelphia have announced a plan to provide grab-and-go meals and drop-in activity spaces for all Philadelphia students while our schools are closed. Details, including the list of sites, are available here

The School District's coronavirus information web page for families: https://www.philasd.org/coronavirus/ 

Transit
SEPTA, PATCO, and NJTransit are all running, though with cancellations and changes due to decreased ridership and staffing issues. All transit authorities are taking preventive steps by boosting cleaning efforts.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike will stop accepting cash and credit for tolls at 8 p.m. on March. 16. All tolls will be collected by E-ZPass or “toll by plate.”

Utilities and Essential Services 

Learn more about city services and support for individuals.

All non-essential City of Philadelphia government operations have halted, and all City government buildings are closed to the public. Find out which essential City services are still open and how you can get them.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is still operating on a regular schedule, and is reviewing and revising its contingency plans.

The Free Library of Philadelphia is closed. The Montgomery County Libraries are closed. If you have a library card, you can access a number of materials for free online.

Information for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and others needing public assistance. Please check the Assistance Programs section of this page for additional assistance available to those in need. 

Helplines and Crisis Services 

  • Philadelphia’s mental health and addiction services hotlines are operating.
  • The Community Behavioral Health hotline is open 24 hours a day at 888-545-2600.
  • If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call the city’s 24-hour crisis hotline at 215-685-6440.
  • If you need immediate help with opioid addiction treatment, call the NET Access Point, the 24-hour service that connects people with treatment, at 844-533-8200 or 215-408-4987, or visit their website.
  • If you need intellectual disability services, call 215-685-5900.
  • The city also has a website providing free online behavioral health screenings, available 24 hours a day.

Grocery Stores 
Many grocery stores are providing designated shopping hours for those over 60 and/or immunocompromised, including:

  • Giant: 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. every day, for 60+ and the immunocompromised. Find your local store at giantfood.com/store-locator.
  • Acme: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. every weekday, for people over 60 and those with compromised immune systems. Find a store at local.acmemarkets.com
  • Target: An hour before normal store opening every Wednesday, for seniors and people with health conditions. Find your local store at target.com/store-locator
  • Whole Foods: An hour before store opening time. Find your local store at wholefoodsmarket.com/stores.

Protections from abuse and domestic violence 

  • Legal advice and support related to domestic violence
    During normal business hours, residents can call the Women Against Abuse Legal Center at (215) 686-7082 and leave a message with a safe number for an advocate to call them back.
     
  • The Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline remains open 24/7. For help, call at (866) 723-3014.
     
  • Protection from Abuse Orders
    Residents can file for emergency Protection from Abuse Orders (PFAs) at the Stout Center for Criminal Justice. Services are available 24/7 at:
    Stout Center for Criminal Justice
    1301 Filbert St., Room B-03
    Philadelphia, PA 19107

The Women’s Law Project has information about protection from abuse orders and other domestic violence resources.

Southeastern Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

Statewide
Visit PA.gov's COVID-19 page for statewide alerts and notices. https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

Individuals in Pennsylvania who lost a job or have reduced hours due to coronavirus may be eligible for food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, cash assistance, or assistance with utilities. Visit https://clsphila.org/public-benefits/benefits-coronavirus/ for more information.

Montgomery County 
Visit the Montgomery County Alert Center for updates on COVID-19 related alerts. https://www.montcopa.org/AlertCenter.aspx

Delaware County
Visit the Delaware County Coronavirus web page for updates on closures and restrictions. https://www.delcopa.gov/ich/resources/coronavirus.html

Bucks County
Visit the Bucks County COVID-19 web page for updates on closures and restrictions. https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/

Chester County
Visit the Chester County Alert Center for updates on services, restrictions, and notices. https://chesco.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?CID=1

Southeastern New Jersey

Statewide
Visit NJ.gov's Health website for COVID-19 information https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml or call the hotline: 1-800-962-1253 

Camden County
Visit the Camden County News Page for updates and information. https://www.camdencounty.com/news/

Virtual Activities and Programming
Ways to Help

The best thing everyone can do right now is stay home. Beyond this, we encourage you to identify established organizations addressing community needs and to get creative about identifying needs and opportunities you can participate in remotely. 
 

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
In order to be there for anyone else, you have to first take care of yourself. 

DONATE or share VIRTUAL SUPPORT 

  • PHL COVID-19 Fund
    The PHL COVID-19 Fund will rapidly and equitably deploy solutions and resources to help our nonprofit community navigate near-and longer-term challenges from COVID-19 and ensure that critical resources remain available for those in our community who need it most.

  • Donate PPE and Supplies to Penn Medicine
    Penn Medicine is now accepting donations of personal protective equipment and supplies from the community. For more information, visit https://www.pennmedicine.org/coronavirus/donations

  • Penn Medicine Spread the Love Campaign
    Send notes of gratitude to front line staff at Penn Medicine. Leave your messages of support, encouragement, and gratitude, and they will be spread system-wide and delivered to our staff. No name or contact information is required but if you'd like to sign your first name and location, you're more than welcome.

  • Support local small businesses (safely) 
    Though their locations have closed, you can still safely support your neighborhood shops and restaurants during this difficult time. Suggested things you can do right now to support local businesses:

  • Donate blood to support scientific discoveries
    The purpose of Wistar's phlebotomy service is to collect blood from healthy donors to be used for conducting biomedical research that impacts many areas of human health, particularly cancer and infectious diseases. An experienced phlebotomist coordinates the collection, performed under protocols approved by The Wistar Institute Institutional Review Board.
     

VOLUNTEER and HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS
Please note: the University has suspended student involvement in community outreach for the safety of students and community members. Additional information and resources on COVID-19 is available at  https://coronavirus.upenn.edu/.

There are many established organizations in Philadelphia seeking volunteers. Students are not required or encouraged to engage in any of these initiatives. These opportunities are completely voluntary. Please contact the sites directly to sign up or with any questions.

OTHER WAYS TO HELP

  • Call or leave a note for your neighbors, particularly seniors and those who live alone. Help them get the essential supplies they need. 

  • Remind others of social distancing guidance, including young adults and teens who may still feel inclined to hang out with friends. 

  • Order take-out or delivery from a locally-owned eatery.

  • Wear a mask and sew masks to donate to neighbors or essential employees. 

  • Post  drawings/art, or words of thanks or encouragement in your window and/or offer a wave of thanks when you see essential employees, especially our healthcare workers and first responders .

 

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT  
In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak and the shared crises caused by it, there are two important ways to stay civically engaged in the democratic processes that affect our lives – Do the U.S. Census and Prepare to Vote.

  • COMPLETE THE CENSUS
    The results of the U.S. Census 2020 shape public decision-making for the next decade. Help shape your future by doing the Census online.

    The U.S. Census Bureau counts students at their college or university residence. Despite changes to your learning environment as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, all Penn students who would have been living on or near campus for the Spring 2020 Semester should count themselves in Philadelphia.

    ON-CAMPUS RESIDENTS:  If you were a resident of Penn’s on-campus housing for the Spring 2020 Semester (the 12 college houses, Sansom Place, and the 24 University-operated Greek chapter houses), you are counted in the Census by the University by a process called Group Quarters Enumeration. Congrats! Devote the 10 minutes it would have taken you to fill out the Census report to tell five friends to participate in the Census. Remind your parents not to count you when they complete their Census questionnaire.

    OFF-CAMPUS RESIDENTS:  If you were a resident in off-campus housing for Spring 2020 Semester, go to my2020census.gov to self-report using your off-campus address. You do not need a Census ID to self-report. Only you can provide this information. Your landlord cannot report it for you. Remind your parents not to count you when they complete their Census questionnaire.

    NON-U.S. CITIZEN STUDENTS: Penn students who are foreign citizens living and attending college in the United States on April 1, 2020 are encouraged to participate in the census. If you live on-campus, you are counted. Congrats! If you live off-campus, go to my2020census.gov to self-report using your off-campus address. You can complete the 10-minute questionnaire in any of 59 languages.
     

  • PREPARE TO VOTE
    In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Governor Tom Wolf and the state legislature moved the date for the Pennsylvania Primary Election and expanded mail-in voting access to minimize in-person voting. Go to votespa.com to prepare to vote in the Pennsylvania Primary Election on the new date – Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

    REGISTER to vote or CHECK YOUR REGISTRATION by May 18, 2020 at votespa.com. Enter your Spring 2020 address for Item 5. Enter your current mailing address for Item 6. 

    REQUEST a mail-in ballot by May 26, 2020

    • If you have a Pennsylvania Driver’s License or PennDOT ID, apply for a mail-in ballot online at VotesPA.com/ApplyMailBallot.
    • If you do not have a Pennsylvania Driver’s License or PennDOT ID, download and print the mail-in ballot application form. Send the application via U.S. Mail to Philadelphia County Board of Elections, Room 142 City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107
       
  • VOTE and RETURN the mail-in ballot.
    Post it in the mail in time to be received by the Philadelphia County Board of Elections by June 2, 2020.


    Penn students can connect to nonpartisan voter resources from Penn Leads The Vote (PLTV) at pennvotes.org.

    The University of Pennsylvania Office of Government and Community Affairs is available to answer any questions from our campus community related to Census 2020 and the PA Primary Election. Email ogca@pobox.upenn.edu or phone 215-898-1388.
Virtual Skill Share

Want to learn something new?

The Grad Center is launching a series of Virtual Skill Share videos and live sessions led by members of the Grad Center team and Penn graduate community! Check out videos on social media or our blog and see upcoming sessions on our events page! 

Share Your Skills!

Do you teach yoga, knit/crochet, or have another hobby or skill you think other grad students would be interested in learning? Share it with the Penn graduate community in a virtual program or video or through one-on-one skill sharing.  Use this form to get started:

Share skills

 

One-on-One Skill Sharing
Connect with other Penn graduate & professional students for one-on-one skills sharing!

Have a skill, passion or interest you want to share with a fellow Penn graduate student one-on-one over a virtual coffee or call? Use this form to share your skills, talents or interests with others. You don’t need to be an expert – just passionate and excited to share with others!

See a database of available skill-shares and peer mentors starting Friday, April 24.

Build Academic and Professional Skills

We understand that the disruptions and uncertainty of this period make it difficult or even impossible to balance life with school and work obligations. We encourage and support you in prioritizing your own wellness and relationships at this time.

The resources and suggested activities below are provided for those who wish to dedicate some time to academic and professional development or who are seeking concrete ways to continue learning and growing while research or other developmental activities are suspended. 

Online Learning Platforms, Open Courseware, and MOOCs

  • Coursera
    hundreds of free courses taught by top instructors from world-class universities and companies, on a wide range of academic, professional, and personal development topics. Free courses give you access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums. 

  • edX
    Supporting learners at every stage, whether entering the job market, changing fields, seeking a promotion or exploring new interests, edX delivers courses for curious minds on topics ranging from data and computer science to leadership and communications. 

  • Alison 
    Alison is one of the world’s largest free learning platforms for education and skills training. It is a for-profit social enterprise dedicated to making it possible for anyone, to study anything, anywhere, at any time, for free online, at any subject level. Through our mission we are a catalyst for positive social change, creating opportunity, prosperity, and equality for everyone.

  • CodeAcademy
    Basic coding lessons are free 

  • LinkedIn Learning
    Online tutorials and courses on a wide selection of topics, including software products widely used on campus such as the Microsoft Office suite, Google Analytics, and Drupal, as well as topics to enhance key business skills such as project management, marketing, and collaboration. 

Learn (or practice) a language

  • Grad Center Language Chats 
    The Grad Center’s popular language chats are moving online! If you are interested in facilitating or joining a virtual language chat, please fill out this form and we’ll connect you with other students for informal conversation and language practice in your selected language! Learn more and see currently-scheduled chats at  https://gsc.upenn.edu/graduate-life/chats.

  • Mango Languages
    Mango uses semantic mapping to help you learn languages through conversations, movies, and other exercises. Access Mango Languages with your Pennkey and password.

  • Duolingo
    Learn a language by translating webpages. Duolingo provides free language courses; you provide the web with translations while you learn.

  • BBC Languages
    BBC Languages offers courses, interactive videos, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and exercises. Listen to the BBC World Service news in 27 languages.

  • Visual Link Languages - Learn a Language
    Created by the U.S. Institute of Language, Visual Link courses offers free language lessons, games, vocabulary, and cultural information.

         See additional language learning resources at: https://guides.library.upenn.edu/c.php?g=476057&p=3255637

Writing Skills and Progress 

  • Sign up for an appointment with one of the Writing Center's Graduate Writing Consultants, for a one-on-one consultation to get feedback on your writing!
  • Create or join a Writing Accountability Group 
  • Participate in the Penn Weekly Writing Challenge 

Teaching

  • Schedule a remote, one-on-one consultation with CTL to get guidance on how to improve your virtual teaching practice or to get feedback on teaching statements and demos. 

Career Development 

  • Complete an Individual Development Plan or explore skills and career paths using resources from Career Services 
  • Reach out to someone in the area to receive input on the career of interest
  • Participate in workshops on skills needed for the career of interest
  •  
  • Book a virtual appointment with one of Career Services graduate advisors or graduate advisors in your school. They specifically work with graduate students, and with them you can discuss strategies for identifying and achieving your career goals!
Get Moving

Social distancing doesn't have to mean staying indoors.
Explore new parts of the city or visit one of Philadelphia's many urban parks! 

Feeling restless or missing your regular workouts? 
Try out these online fitness routines and streaming workouts you can do from home! 

Just for Fun

Pick up a new Hobby

List of 100 Things for Kids (and Students) to Virtually Tour by UpgradedPoints

Watch Animal Webcams 

Visit the Zoo 

Host a Virtual Party or Game Night with Friends

Crossword Puzzles

Online Puzzles:

Sudoku:

Creative, Performing, & Fine Arts

New York Metropolitan Opera
The Nightly Met Opera Streams, which start at 7:30 p.m. (EST), pull from the renowned opera house’s award-winning Live in HD series, which includes encore presentations such as 19th-century French composer Georges Bizet’s Carmen. The recordings will be available to view for free on the Met Opera homepage for 20 hours after they’re streamed.

Color Our Collections 
Over 100 libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world have shared free coloring sheets and books based on materials in their collections. Download, print, and share your favorites!

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems! 
Join Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence at Home for a live daily doodle lesson at 1:00 PM EDT.  Videos will be available after live on the Kennedy Center YouTube channel. 

Join the McHarper Manor weekdays on Facebook for a daily art project tutorial. Art projects will range from watercolor paintings to chalk art to canvas painting and will take place live at 1:00 PM EDT. Videos will be available after the live class on the McHarper Manor Facebook page.  

Penn Coloring Pages 
Alumni Relations has created Penn print-at-home coloring pages for adults and kids, alike! 

Many museums and galleries provide virtual tours of their collections or special exhibits. Explore new and inspiring art from around the world. 

Google Arts & Culture Virtual Tours
Digital collection of over 1,200+ museums and galleries that anyone with wifi can peruse at their own leisure. Depending on the museum, viewers can scroll through select images from renowned collections, and, in certain cases, navigate a “street view” of the gallery space, functioning as a virtual tour.

Explore the outdoors and beyond, from national parks to the surface of Mars!

Mindfulness and Meditation
Offline Activities

Need a break from staring at screens? Try some of the activities below! 

Calendar of Events 

This section is updated frequently. Be sure to check back often! 
Have a suggestion for resources or activities you'd like to see offered? Let us know