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Coronavirus Response FAQs

Web pages with answers to frequently asked questions may be helpful as we approach the fall semester. Several pages are in development and will be added here soon. For now, you can find answers to several common questions below.

October Return FAQs


How did PC develop its guidelines and rules?
The College is following the advice of national and state health experts, and its guidance is similar to that of just about every other college and university.

When do I have to wear a mask?
Any time you leave your own residence hall room.

What else do I need to do to help keep myself and others safe?
Do your best to stay six feet from others at all times (classrooms, common areas, and dining facilities are set up to help with that) and wash your hands regularly. Soap and water are best, but hand sanitizer is fine, too.


What is the symptom monitoring protocol?
PC is providing every student with a daily text and email prompt, pointing to a website asking a series of questions about whether you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. If you’re not, the app will display a check mark and you’re good to go. If you are, call the Student Health Center (401.865.2422) and stay in your room.

What if I begin to feel sick during the day?
Return to your residence hall room or off-campus residence and call the Student Health Center. Staff there will tell you what to do. Above all, do not leave your room.

Will I be tested again after the semester begins?
PC is testing each student once per week for the remainder of the fall semester.

What is the test like?
The tests on campus are self-administered in a controlled, observed setting. The test involves a minimally invasive nasal swab. Results are expected within 24 hours.

What will happen if I test positive?
In the event that you test positive, you will enter the isolation protocol, and you will be placed in on-campus isolation space, where you will receive medical care and attention and food will be delivered to you. If you feel well enough, you will continue classes remotely. Isolation will be for a minimum of 10 days with the last 24 hours fever-free without fever-reducing medication and with symptoms resolved.

What if my roommate or someone close to me tests positive?
That person will provide a list of their close contacts (people they have been within six feet of for 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Those close contacts will enter a period of quarantine for 14 days, which is to close contacts what isolation is to those who test positive.

Will personal counseling and other health services be available?
Yes. The College has created a separate health center for COVID-19, so the original clinic will remain available for more routine matters, but by appointment only. Please do not arrive at the health center unannounced, unless it is an emergency. Personal counseling services will be provided remotely.


Can my family visit me on campus?
The College is discouraging all visitors from coming to campus during the fall semester, including students’ families. During the time between now and Thanksgiving, the best way to stay in touch with family members is by talking on the phone or connecting using video conferencing technology.

Can I leave campus for weekend?
While it is not possible to prevent resident students from leaving, the College is asking those students to stay on campus. Similarly, PC recommends that students who live off campus refrain from traveling. Leaving to visit family or friends could expose you to the virus and open the door to the possibility that you might bring it to campus and infect others, even unknowingly. Instead, keep in touch with family and friends by phone or video calls, connect with others in your residence hall, and take advantage of the safe social activities the College will create.

What if I want to head downtown?
Like trips home or to visit friends, a RIPTA ride to downtown could expose you to the virus, with potentially detrimental effects on the campus community, so trips into Providence are discouraged. The College has worked hard to make sure that students have access to everything they need, right here on campus, to help limit the potential of virus spread in our community.

What do I need to know about traveling from hot spot states?
Students traveling from states on Rhode Island’s hot spot list must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island. It is important to remember that RI Department of Health rules for college students are not the same as for others and are not always published on the RIDOH website.


What kinds of academic services are offered remotely, and what is in-person?
Certain services, such as academic advising, tutoring, and writing assistance have shifted to remote modalities through the fall semester.

Is the library open?
Yes, the library is open, but there are some safety precautions in-place. Library staff have worked tirelessly on providing a wealth of remote resources to help you with your course work and your research. Also, the Office of Academic Services and Information Technology have built a collection of services for students seeking tutoring, writing, technical, and other forms of support.

Are there spaces available to study?
Yes, we have created common spaces – including outdoor spaces when the weather is cooperative and any unused classrooms – for students to engage in academic work. In addition, the library has opened with all the requisite safety and distancing measures in place.

What does academic advising look like this semester?
All faculty advisors and dean’s office staff are conducting advising meetings by appointment, as usual. These meetings will be held remotely for the most part but will remain focused on helping you achieve your academic goals.

If I have remote courses, does the College offer me technical support?
Yes, the College’s Information Technology Helpdesk is well-staffed and offers technical support through its website and through a ticketing system.

If a student chose to study remotely, can they access their in-person/hybrid classes?
Students who study remotely have access to all of their classes via various technologies.

What have faculty done to prepare for this semester?
Faculty have had the opportunity to participate in numerous trainings offered by the College’s Center for Teaching Excellence, Instructional Technology Development Program, and Information Technology. These have included sessions on delivering content and giving tests and quizzes through various technologies.

What do students need for technology capabilities this semester?
After the Thanksgiving break, all students will be finishing the final two weeks of the semester and the one-week final exam/assessment period remotely. Students should have access to a reliable computer (desktop, laptop, or quality tablet) and internet service.

What do classrooms look like?
The College has done an in-depth inventory of all its learning spaces and has made noticeable changes to how each functions. All classrooms are following state and federal guidelines regarding physical distancing and disinfecting/cleaning. Other spaces, such as designated outdoor classrooms, various green spaces, and common areas, also are being used.

How can I meet my professor for office hours?
Your professors are holding office hours this semester. Most will probably be held remotely. The times and format will be posted on your syllabi.

Will the Office of Career Education and Professional Development still be assisting students with internships, résumé writing, and other services?
Yes, the office will continue to offer its full suite of services throughout the fall.

Student Life

Student life on the Providence College campus in Fall 2020 will be different from any other semester. We are asking students to do things that are inconvenient, uncomfortable, and even difficult. Nobody wants it to be this way, especially our students, and we get it – it is a lousy deal. But we ask that you think about a few things as you make decisions, day-to-day and minute-to-minute. Here are some answers to the most common questions we’ve been receiving. Check back often for updates and visit the Reopening Providence College website for more information.