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Announcements

Reopening and COVID-19


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Announcements 
COVID-19 Information and Resources

The following announcements are part of our ongoing efforts to keep the PCOM community informed of important updates regarding College operations. Students, faculty and staff are also advised to check your PCOM email account and the "COVID-19 Information and Resources" section of my.pcom.edu for additional information.

[12/3/2020] Mandatory Usage of #CampusClear

Dear Members of the PCOM Community:

As COVID-19 cases surge across our nation, I remind you that the College mandates that all PCOM faculty, staff and students conduct and self-report daily symptom checks via #CampusClear—whether or not you are on campus. Usage includes weekends, holidays, vacation days—each and every day even if you are not planning to be on campus.

As a diagnostic tool, #CampusClear works by tracking the onset and progression of COVID-19 symptoms across communities, keeping tabs on possible cases of infection and exposure and providing authorized College leaders with guidance and concrete steps on how to manage a public health response to any outbreak detection. National research data shows that consistent and collective symptom screening is indeed effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

I also remind you that compliance with health and safety guidelines is a condition of study and work at the College. You will not be admitted to campus—for any reason—if your self-assessment does not clear you to go to campus or if your self-assessment is not completed prior to arrival.

In less than 10 seconds each day, you can do your part to protect the health of our community and help the College move forward with plans to return to campus safely.

If you haven’t downloaded the #CampusClear app yet, click here to download from the Apple App Store, or here to download from Google Play or here for desktop/laptop computers. Turn on your #CampusClear app notifications for a friendly reminder each day. Use the app faithfully. Should you have any technical problems with the app, contact support@pcom.edu.

Thank you for your continued dedication to protecting the health and safety of our College community.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81
President and Chief Executive Officer

[9/4/2020] Wear Your Mask and Take Care of Each Other

Dear Members of the PCOM Community:

I am writing with a simple and direct message: wear your mask whenever on campus, follow social/physical distancing guidelines, wash and sanitize your hands, and conduct and self-report daily symptom checks via #CampusClear. Follow our College’s health and safety guidelines. Think of the practice as good hygiene and common courtesy.

These measures—when combined—have been proven to be effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. They protect your health; the health of your fellow faculty and staff; the health of our students; and the health of your loved ones, your neighbors and people you don’t even know.

As a College, we teach and practice medicine and the health sciences. Let’s observe and follow our mission.

Significant time and resources were allocated to allow for faculty, staff and students—in limited numbers—to return to campus safely. Many people, across our College, continue to work around the clock on our COVID-19 response. Our plans follow directly from CDC, state and local guidelines.

I remind you that compliance with health and safety guidelines is a condition of in-person enrollment and work.

Please, let’s band together to protect the health and well-being of our College community so we may move forward with our return to campus and re-establishing a sense of normalcy for this semester and beyond.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81
President and Chief Executive Officer

 

[8/27/20] Working to Mitigate the Effects of COVID-19

Dear Members of the PCOM Community:

Please be reminded that as we return to campus, we all need to continue to work to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. Follow social distancing guidelines, wear your mask and be smart.

As you know, the College is requiring all faculty, staff and students—whether or not you are planning to return to campus at this time—to use #CampusClear. If you have not already, make a point to download, install and use #CampusClear today. #CampusClear, a mobile/web app, enables users to self-report to the College daily on whether they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

It takes less than a minute to self-screen. Based on your answer, #CampusClear will assign you a “clear” designation or a “not clear” designation.

You cannot come to campus if your self-assessment does not clear you to go to campus or if your self-assessment is not completed prior to arrival. And effective September 8, 2020, you will have to show PCOM Public Safety the green screen/no symptoms smiley face on your smartphone or a screen capture/printed image of your green screen to gain access to any campus building.

The #CampusClear mobile/web app can be downloaded for free on your Apple or Android device using the links provided below:
 
Links for Mobile Apps (Recommended):

Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/app/campusclear/id1516163872
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.campusclear
 
Link for Web App 
(For Desktop/Laptop Computers):

Web App:https://web.ivy.ai/app/campusclear

Once installed, you will go through a one-time secure registration with PCOM; all information will be held confidential. Thereafter, every day, including weekends and holidays and vacation days, you will use #CampusClear to communicate the results of your self-assessment regardless of your intent to come to campus.

Should you have any questions troubleshooting or downloading the app, please contact support@pcom.edu. Human Resources can address any questions regarding app usage policy: humanresources@pcom.edu.
 
Thank you for helping to protect the health and safety of our College community. 

Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81
President and Chief Executive Officer

[8/10/2020] PCOM Guidelines for Health and Safety While on Campus

Dear PCOM Community,

Attached you will find the revised PCOM Guidelines for Health and Safety While on Campus.

The changes below outline the changes in the guidelines. These changes help to better clarify the notification process if you have been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19.

  1. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 symptoms, or if you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has any COVID-19 symptoms, you must stay home, seek medical advice, and immediately provide notifications as follows:
    1. Faculty and staff must notify their supervisor that they are unable to return to campus and email covidnotice@pcom.edu to inform PCOM officials.
    2. Students must notify their program director and email covidnotice@pcom.edu.
  2. When sending an email to covidnotice@pcom.edu, please include:
    1. Your name
    2. PCOM campus
    3. Department or program
    4. Name of supervisor or program director
    5. COVID-19 information: positive test or symptoms; or close contact with someone with positive test or symptoms
  3. Your cooperation in reporting is essential to helping your colleagues and classmates stay safe from infection.

These guidelines can also be found on my.pcom.edu.

[6/30/20] Return to Campus Delayed

Dear Members of the College Community:

Pennsylvania and Georgia are presently seeing an uptick of COVID-19 cases. So as to safeguard the health of all members of our community, I am writing to advise that the College will not be reopening—beyond essential services/essential personnel—any of its locations on Monday, July 6.

All non-essential faculty and staff are to continue to telework/work remotely until further notice. This delayed opening decision does not impact the reopening schedule for the PCOM Healthcare Centers.

I feel your frustration as we had hoped to move into new phases of our Return to Campus Framework following the Fourth of July holiday, but it is imperative that we open our facilities cautiously and carefully. I promise to keep you abreast of revised return plans. In the meantime, departments should continue to file Return to Campus plans and paperwork. Any questions may be directed to the Office of Human Resources.

Even as we are dealing with the evolving situation each day, we are looking ahead to the fall semester, and what comes afterwards. I trust we will all be together soon.

Be well. Be safe.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81
President and Chief Executive Officer

[6/11/20] Return to Campus

Dear College Employees:

As we work through the uncertainty of the coming months, our primary goal is to continue to safeguard the health of all members of our College community while providing an outstanding academic experience for our students.

To that end, we have convened a Return to Campus Task Force. This group has been charged with navigating a path forward for our College to meet its critically important missions of education, research and patient care while coexisting with COVID-19. The task force has created a Return to Campus Framework to begin—in phases—to transition employees back to their respective College locations. Students and their return to academic instruction will be addressed through plans crafted by individual deans/programs.

The framework is aligned with local, state and federal public health guidelines; PCOM locations may be coded differently depending on regional virus data. A color code system coordinates and integrates operational procedures across the institution. Each level defines a different set of work criteria, rules, regulations and plans.

I ask you to please visit myPCOM (COVID-19 Return to Campus tab) to review the Return to Campus Framework and the Individual Employee Checklist, understanding that the return process is highly dependent on the evolution of COVID-19. The College will have the ability to determine if we need to remain in any phase for an extended period of time or if we need to revert to a prior phase due to a resurgence of the virus.

In addition, soon you will receive a link to a SafeColleges training module, which all employees must complete before returning to campus.

To find our way ahead to the fall semester and beyond requires us to continue to adapt to change, to adopt new approaches, and to act always with the safety and well-being of our College community foremost in mind. Cooperation and communication are crucial, now more than ever.

Whether virtually or in-person, know that I am here for you. You are welcome to contact me at any time.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81
President and Chief Executive Officer

[5/14/20] July Commencements Moved to Virtual Ceremonies

Dear Students:

I am writing to inform you that the College’s traditional Graduate Programs Commencement (Philadelphia) and Pharmacy, Biomedical Sciences, and Physician Assistant Studies Commencement (Georgia) will be moved to virtual ceremonies that will be broadcast online.

We, at the College, feel the need to protect the health and well-being of you, our graduates; your families and friends; and the larger community during this uncertain time. While some states are beginning to reopen for business after coronavirus lockdowns, CDC guidelines recommend that we do not convene such large gatherings throughout the summer months.

Know that we are incredibly proud of the Class of 2020, of all that you have achieved. We promise to honor your years at the College and welcome you to the ranks of PCOM alumni.

Please look for event details to follow from the Office of Student Affairs.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81
President and Chief Executive Officer

[4/27/20] Message to Faculty and Staff

Dear Members of the College Community:

I am writing regarding a few updates to our PCOM Coronavirus Action Plan, which can be found on my.pcom.edu. These updates focus on the extension of our original projected date of May 1, 2020.

  • Pennsylvania has mandated that colleges and universities may not resume in-person instruction or reopen their physical locations until the governor permits them to open or lifts the closure of non-life sustaining businesses. Georgia has issued a similar executive order, requiring all schools to remain closed through the duration of this academic year.
  • Delivery of all classes and labs—at all College locations—will remain in a virtual, online instruction environment (consistent with other medical and graduate schools) until further notice.
  • Until further notice, all individuals who can work remotely are required to work remotely unless deemed an "essential employee."

The guiding priority of our College, from the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been to protect the health and safety of our faculty, staff, students and other community members. This priority continues and will continue.

I thank you for your patience and support, and I will continue to keep you updated as the situation moves forward.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81
President and Chief Executive Officer

[4/14/20] A Note of Thanks From Dr. Feldstein

[3/30/20] Message to Faculty and Staff

Dear Faculty and Staff:

While the impacts of COVID-19 have affected many aspects of the life of our College, I remain in awe of the dedication, resilience, creativity, and kindness you have displayed.

Across our three campus locations, you have worked collaboratively to accomplish what seemed to be an impossible task. In mere days, you transferred doctoral and graduate program courses to online instruction; approximately 200 faculty from 25 academic programs transformed over 300 face-to-face spring courses online. And you moved clinical clerkships for third- and fourth-year students to online teaching modalities encompassing all core specialties: family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, surgery, emergency medicine, and psychiatry.

You shifted the medical practice at our PCOM Healthcare Centers to a telehealth model so we can continue to serve vulnerable populations even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, PCOM Family Medicine is averaging 30 to 40 tele-health visits each day.

Together, we made tough decisions on matters we never dreamed about addressing, the latest being the cancellation of our traditional Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Doctor of Pharmacy Commencement Exercises. In this—and in all decisions—you have shown compassion and empathy for our students whose lives have been disrupted, who are encountering unique challenges, stresses, and anxieties. Your work has embodied the very tenets of osteopathic medicine, the unified perspective that mind, body and spirit are interconnected, lending us a unique ability to heal the whole person.

On a personal level, you have adapted to this time of crisis. You are now working from home, balancing the responsibilities of your job and care for your families, including schooling young children. A few of you continue to perform essential, life-sustaining services onsite.

Finally, many of you are engaged in philanthropy, volunteerism, and/or advocacy as a part of your personal approach to navigating the pandemic. On behalf of our College, you have donated our supply of PPE materials—N95 respirators, surgical masks, gowns, and gloves—to be used by health professionals in Philadelphia, Gainesville, Lawrenceville. Albany, and Moultrie.

I’ve never been more proud of a College community. I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart. I wish you and your families continued health and safety.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81
President and Chief Executive Officer

[3/25/20] Commencement Update

Dear Members of the PCOM Community:

It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that our traditional Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Commencement Exercises, to be held this May in Philadelphia and in Georgia, will be canceled. PCOM Georgia Biomedical Sciences students, who are on a different academic schedule, will receive notification about alternative Commencement plans. Given the directives of public health and government agencies regarding the coronavirus outbreak, it is inconceivable that we could convene such a large gathering this spring.

I am truly saddened that we had to make this decision, but we feel the need to protect the health and well-being of our graduates, their families and friends, and the larger College community during this uncertain time.

It will be a little longer before we know the details, but we do intend to give the Class of 2020 as full a celebration as possible. The College is in the process of working with student representatives to develop alternative celebratory plans. We will be communicating updates soon.

Now is a difficult moment. Thank you for working together to do what is right even though it means altering traditions we all cherish. Change does not take away the pride we hold as we recognize our graduating students and their countless successes and profound contributions to the life of our community.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81 
President and Chief Executive Officer

Additional information is available at pcom.edu/commencement.

[3/23/20] Healthcare Centers Update, Evans Hall Closure, Clinical Clerkships Notice

Dear Members of the PCOM Community,

Every single one of us has the responsibility and the power to keep our community safe. Please continue to take steps to keep yourself and those around you safe, especially those most vulnerable.

As we begin a new week, I have a few updates to share:

PCOM Healthcare Centers Implementing Telehealth/Tele-visit Appointments
  • Effective immediately, all PCOM Healthcare Center facilities will be physically closed. However, the centers will continue to serve their patients through telehealth/tele-visit appointments. PCOM Healthcare Center physicians remain committed to serving vulnerable populations every day, and that commitment will not waiver in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Staff will work to inform and educate patients about telehealth/tele-visit appointments.
  • For the purpose of public notification, College security will place signs at the PCOM Healthcare Center entrances to notify patients/the public of the temporary move to telehealth/tele-visit appointments. The signs will also include instructions on how to contact center personnel.
Closure of Evans Hall, PCOM
  • Effective immediately, Evans Hall, PCOM, will now be closed. There will be an exception to this closure for a few select researchers whose access to ongoing projects is critical. Security has a list of essential personnel (provided by supervisors) and will be carefully monitoring the building entrance. *If you are essential personnel your supervisor has told you this.
Continued Suspension of/Changes to Clinical Clerkships and Experiential Learning Opportunities
  • Until further notice, all clinical clerkships and experiential learning opportunities (practicums, but not psychology internships) are suspended. Students should continue to communicate with their program directors. Other clinical teaching modalities have been implemented.
  • PCOM pharmacy students will continue to have strict restrictions on direct patient care experiential learning opportunities.
Point of Clarification: May 1 as End Date
  • The College’s COVID-19 Action Plan (available on myPCOM, updated frequently) lists May 1 as an end date. This date is fluid. It is impossible to determine when the pandemic will reach its peak and when restrictions will cease. We are monitoring the situation daily, following national and local guidance; furthermore, we urge all students, staff and faculty to abide by all local, state and national public health directives. The safety and well-being of our community is paramount.
  • Until further notice, the College has suspended all operations performed onsite except those that are life-sustaining (only essential employees—those whose work directly involves the safety of human life or the protection of property—will be allowed onsite). Faculty and staff will continue to work from home and students will work virtually. 

Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81
President and Chief Executive Officer
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

[3/20/20] Emergency Covid-19 Telework Guidelines

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all employees are temporarily authorized to work at home (also known as "telework" or "telecommuting") unless they have been specifically designated as essential to on-campus operations. Supervisors are responsible to ensure to the extent possible that their departments perform critical work to care for the PCOM community and maintain operations to the appropriate extent communicated by the College. While employees at home are expected to work at home to the extent reasonably possible, it is recognized that all or part of the job responsibilities for some employees may not be able to be accomplished remotely.

The following emergency guidelines related to working at home are effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. Given the Covid-19 emergency situation, these guidelines should be applied flexibly with the best interests of the health and safety of PCOM's employees and their families in mind. Telework does not change the terms and conditions of employment, change an employee's classification, compensation, or benefits, or alter PCOM's expense reimbursement policies unless otherwise stated. The accrual and charging of PTO and EST time is subject to the same policies and procedures applicable to non-telecommuting employees.

These guidelines will be updated as necessary depending on the duration of the Covid-19 emergency and to otherwise meet changing conditions. Nothing in these guidelines overrules or supersedes the emergency directions of governmental authorities related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Employees who are working at home are required to:

  • Be in regular communication with PCOM generally and your supervisor specifically via email, telephone, and other modalities.
  • Fulfill the expectations of your supervisor regarding your work at home, including but not limited to:
    • Duties, responsibilities, assignments and tasks while working at home.
    • Hours of work, including when you are expected to be reachable. Overtime will only be authorized in extraordinary circumstances, and then only by way of a specific authorization.
    • Times and frequency of contact (in both directions).
    • Communication of work assignments and personal needs, including reporting absences of work due to injury, illness, or caring for a family member.
    • Methods of contact (such as dedicated phone line, voice mail, email, videoconference, etc.).
    • The use of PCOM equipment and materials.
    • Reporting your inability to attend at work as you would on a non-telework day.
  • Protect confidential information by following all PCOM information security, software licensing, and data protection policies; if in doubt, consult your supervisor. To avoid HIPAA, FERPA or PCOM policy compliance issues, do not exchange or transmit protected or confidential information by unencrypted email.
  • Inform your supervisor and Human Resources of any disability or safety issues that prevent you from fulfilling the expectations of your supervisor.
  • Maintain a safe and secure environment in which to work and report any occupational injuries in accordance with PCOM workers' compensation policies. PCOM will not be responsible for injuries to others that occur at home.
  • If you do not have and it is essential that you have a printer, headset, camera or other computer or telecommunications equipment to telework, notify your supervisor and they will attempt to get you one.
  • Specifically with respect to printers, upon notification to your supervisor you may buy and set up one yourself and submit a one-time request for reimbursement of up to $100 for the printer and printer paper. 

Christina Mazzella, MS, sHRBP
Chief Human Resources Officer

[3/19/20] Changes Effective March 20, 2020

As we continue to monitor the progression of COVID-19, we want you to know that your safety, health and well-being are important to us.  This is going to be a longer period than originally thought, but we have come together and are utilizing the modalities of communication that are critical in these times.  

A few updates and changes that need to happen to ensure safety for all, these are effective as of March 20, 2020:

  1. All individuals that can work remotely are required to work remotely unless deemed an "essential employee".  (The operations cease to move forward if not on site)
  2. Essential employees should report to work in person. If you are unsure if you are essential, please check with your supervisor.
  3. As before, anyone who is COVID-19 symptomatic should NOT report to work, even if deemed an essential employee. Please contact your supervisor or HR at 215-871-6503 if you have any questions before coming to work in person.
  4. Distribution Services has reduced their days for mail distribution and pick up to Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  5. Printing Solutions department has closed.

Any questions, please email humanresources@pcom.edu.

Department of Human Resources
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

[3/17/20] Action Plan Extended to May 1, Cafeterias and Libraries to Close

Dear Members of the PCOM Community,

I am writing to share a number of updates with you:

  • Effective immediately, the end date of our PCOM Coronavirus Action Plan will extend to May 1 (rather than the initial date of March 27).
  • Effective tomorrow, March 18, the cafeterias/snack areas and libraries at all campus locations will close. All three campus locations will close to students (with the exception of students engaged in active research).
  • Students will still be able to access the food pantry at their respective campus location:
    • PCOM – Main security desk in Rowland Hall
    • PCOM Georgia – Security desk at the back of the Main Building
    • PCOM South Georgia – Main entrance security desk
  • Faculty and staff are still able to come to their respective campus location as needed. Please adhere to social distancing guidelines and proceed with an abundance of caution.
  • All gatherings of 10 or more (changed from 25 or more) must be canceled or postponed through May 1.
  • At this time, discussions continue regarding 2020 Commencement Ceremonies. The College asks that families and friends hold on making advanced travel plans and reservations.

I encourage you to continue to check your email for updates and refer to our website, which has a FAQ that will also be updated regularly.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81
President and Chief Executive Officer

[3/16/20] Facility Closures/Shortened Cafeteria Hours

Dear Members of the PCOM Community:

I am writing to update you about facility closures/reductions in food service hours at our Philadelphia and Suwanee campuses.

Effective today, the PCOM Activities Center and PCOM Georgia Fitness Center will close.

Cafeterias at PCOM and PCOM Georgia will have reduced hours (see schedule below). Self-service food areas will be closed where feasible; grab-and-go options will be available.

PCOM: 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
PCOM Georgia: 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Also, please remember to follow social distancing guidelines while in the cafeteria and other common campus areas (e.g. the library). Thank you for your continued understanding as we keep the safety and health of our community at heart.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81
President and Chief Executive Officer
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

[3/15/20] Temporary Suspension of Clinical Clerkships, Experiential Learning, Changes to Pharmacy Direct Patient Contact

Dear College Faculty and Staff:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, so has the situation across the United States. I am writing to inform you that effective tomorrow, Monday, March 16 – Sunday, March 29, we are temporarily suspending all clinical clerkships and experiential learning opportunities (practicums, but not psychology internships). Students are not to report to their assigned clinical sites (hospitals, physician offices, inpatient units, outpatient clinics, correctional settings, therapeutic schools, etc.).

Also, effective immediately until further notice, PCOM pharmacy students will have restrictions on all direct patient care experiential learning opportunities. Preceptors are being notified that PCOM student pharmacists are not permitted to engage in direct patient contact. Consistent with regional health-systems, all ambulatory-care experiences may only continue with telemedicine appointments; in-patient rotations will be confined to the pharmacy department (and not round in patient rooms or the ED). Community pharmacy experiences must avoid immunization requests and fever/respiratory consults.

The College has been tasked with decision-making regarding the content and delivery of clinical clerkships and experiential learning opportunities, keeping at utmost priority, student safety.

This is not a decision we take lightly. We are committed to providing students—in all programs—with continuity of educational qualifications with the least possible disruption. Alternative educational modalities are currently under development with further information forthcoming later this week.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81
President and Chief Executive Officer
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

[3/13/20] Coronavirus and Important Changes to Our Operations Temporarily

Beginning on March 16, we are making major changes—temporarily—to our operations. We are determined to ensure that our essential educational and patient care missions continue to be carried out without interruption:

  • The College will move to a virtual instruction model; academic and curricular labs will be suspended. Faculty will communicate individual course processes and set curricular expectations. Classes that cannot be taught online will be held on campus. The deans of our academic schools will guide this process.
  • Students on clerkships and electives will follow COVID-19 guidelines as determined by the hospital/health system/private practice where they are currently engaged. The Office of Clinical Education will guide this process.
  • Staff will begin to work remotely—in conjunction with their supervisors. PCOM Human Resources will guide this process.
  • PCOM Healthcare Centers will remain open with normal staffing and business hours at this time.
  • The College will remain open (including the library and cafeteria); hours may be reduced. Security will be present 24/7.

Read the full announcement from President Jay S. Feldstein, DO, and Provost Kenneth J. Veit, DO, MBA.

[3/11/20] Urgent Reminder - Reporting Travel

To the PCOM Community:

As a reminder, if you have returned from spring break or vacation, and visited a COVID-19 hotspot—for example, China, South Korea or Italy—you must report your trip to the following:

Students
PCOM Student Affairs
studentaffairs@pcom.edu
215-871-6500
Faculty and Staff
PCOM Human Resources
humanresources@pcom.edu
215-871-6500

You are required to self-quarantine for 14 days as stipulated by the CDC guidelines.

[3/4/20] Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - Limiting Exposure to Acute Respiratory Illnesses

To the PCOM Community:

We wanted to update you on how COVID-19 is impacting our campuses. While PCOM leaders have been working to ensure the safety and welfare of our students, faculty and staff, it is important to note that no one at any of our campuses has contracted COVID-19, and no PCOM student on clinical rotations anywhere in the world has come down with the illness, as far as we are aware.

However, in light of the changing situations, we have made the following decisions to prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

If you are sick:

  • Students, faculty, and staff who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness should stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).
  • Effective March 2, 2020, based on the guidelines from the CDC, any employee that is exhibiting symptoms should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick. You will be able to utilize your Extended Sick Time effective immediately and until further notice. This also applies to employees that have sick household members with the COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Students, faculty, and staff who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to campus or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and students and be sent home immediately. Sick students and employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
  • Students, faculty and staff that are diagnosed positive with COVID-19 will follow the direction of their healthcare provider. In order to return to work you must provide a physician note stating that you are clear to return.

If you have sick household members:

  • Students, faculty, and staff who are well but who have a sick household member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor or academic administrator and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

If you have traveled or plan to travel:

  • Students, faculty, and staff who have traveled to a country with a CDC Warning Level 3 Travel Advisory or a Department of State Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory for the Coronavirus should voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 calendar days upon return to the country.
  • If you plan to travel out of the country, check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel.
  • Check yourself for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify your supervisor or academic administrator and stay home if they are sick. If you become sick while traveling notify their supervisor or academic administrator and promptly call a healthcare provider for advice.
  • Students traveling on an international clinical rotation will not receive credit for the curriculum until further notice and should consider plans for alternate clinical rotations.

PCOM infectious disease procedures:

  • If a student, faculty or staff member is confirmed to have COVID-19, PCOM will take action to notify those with a possible exposure to COVID-19 and provide further guidance.
  • Employees will be authorized to use extended medical leave to cover any absence from work to care for themselves or household members.

Respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene:

  • As always, please ensure you are using good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene including:
    • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Clean your hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95 percent alcohol. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Visit the coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information.

[2/28/20] PCOM Coronavirus Update

Dear PCOM Community:

While the CDC considers the Coronavirus as a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 to the general American public is considered low at this time and there remains no identified risk to the PCOM community.

As of yesterday’s report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there have been 14 confirmed cases in the US. An additional 45 individuals tested positive, though some remain asymptomatic, after being repatriated from China or from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship. At present, there are no cases within the PCOM community or in Pennsylvania or Georgia. For more information regarding locations where COVID-19 cases have been identified, Johns Hopkins University has mapped all of the global confirmed cases at this link.

If you are planning spring-break travel, the CDC’s travel health notices are a good source of information on risks and precautions to take as you prepare for your trip. The CDC also provides specific health information for travel to other destinations not under the CDC Travel advisories for COVID-19 destinations not specifically affected by the COVID-19.

We encourage everyone to pay special attention to hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding contact with anyone who is sick. We also remind you that as the virus shows signs of spreading elsewhere in the world, members of our community may be worried about friends and family in those areas and could benefit from a little extra support and kindness.

PCOM leadership continues to monitor all available information about the virus and follow all public health recommendations from the CDC and state and local departments of public health.

[2/19/20] Coronavirus Information

We, in the medical community, are keenly aware of a Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), initially detected in Wuhan, China. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are closely monitoring the evolving situation. PCOM leadership is actively monitoring the coronavirus situation and will make every effort, working in conjunction with federal, state, and local health authorities, to provide information and implement policies intended to ensure the continued health and safety of our communities.

For a more local look at what is happening in Georgia and Pennsylvania, please click on the links below:

Georgia - https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus

Pennsylvania - https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

You can also access links to the CDC Novel Coronavirus and the World Health Organization.

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