Drexel, Penn issue booster requirements; Cheltenham High School goes virtual

Local schools are sending notices on booster shots, virtual classes and COVID-19 testing.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Penn issues booster requirement
All University of Pennsylvania students, faculty, and staff are required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot by January 31, 2022.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A sharp rise in cases locally has forced schools in our area to make some changes.

Students at Cheltenham High School will switch to remote learning on Wednesday and Thursday.

The school will begin its winter break Thursday afternoon.

RELATED: Several school districts report sharp increase in new COVID cases among students and faculty

Some School District of Philadelphia schools are on pause after several students and faculty members tested positive for COVID-19.

There have recently been five schools within the School District of Philadelphia placed on a 10-day pause, and one school put on a two-day pause, after several students and faculty members tested positive for COVID-19. That essentially means they temporarily went virtual.

But, as of Tuesday, there is no plan for moving the entire district to virtual when winter break is over.

SEE ALSO: Finding your nearest COVID-19 testing site in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware

Free COVID-19 testing is available Wednesday and Thursday for students of Olney Charter High School.

It's happening between 9 a.m. until at least noon, at the entrance on the Front Street side of the campus at 100 West Duncannon Street.

The testing is open to the high schoolers and their families.

Students must bring their school ID. A link to sign up is available on the school's website.

Alayna Thach, a senior at the school, died from COVID last week.

Dozens of teachers at the school later walked out, demanding better COVID safety measures.

Aspira, the private company that runs the school, says proper measures are in place.

RELATED: Dozens of Olney Charter High School teachers call out sick after student's COVID death

The latest wave of COVID-19 infections has teachers at a Philadelphia school demanding more be done to protect them in the classroom.

University Changes

Both Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania sent out notices to their respective campus communities on Tuesday concerning the rise in COVID and booster shots.

Drexel University says there will be no in-person classes when the term resumes in January.

All students will be switched to remote learning beginning January 3.

The goal is to return to the classrooms on January 10.

The school also announced that all eligible students and staff will be required to be vaccinated by the start of the new term.

Schools, including colleges, across the Philadelphia area reacting to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

"All eligible Drexel faculty, staff and students are now required to get a COVID-19 booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the Winter term," Drexel's statement read.

The University of Pennsylvania will require students, faculty and staff to receive a COVID-19 booster shot by January 31.

Anyone who is not yet eligible for the booster by then must receive the shot within 30 days of becoming eligible, once the recommended waiting period after getting their primary vaccine doses.

Students enrolled in Penn's online program are also required to receive the COVID-19 booster.

"The Penn community should remember that our decisions impact the lives and health of students, classmates, colleagues, and our West Philadelphia neighbors," Penn said on its COVID-19 Response site.

The College of New Jersey has moved all its Winter Session classes to remote.

"Although the majority of Winter Session classes were already scheduled as a remote or online course, some classes were planned to be in-person or to employ a blended modality. These in-person and blended courses will now be delivered entirely remotely," TCNJ said in a letter.