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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

The Office of Student Affairs continues to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Please review the following for answers to frequently asked student questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 on operations at PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia.

Return to Campus

Will summer term classes resume as scheduled?

Ultimately, 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.

We are pleased to report that as of today, over 1,500 of our students and 500 of our employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19. This demonstrated voluntary support for vaccination across all three of our campuses demonstrates our understanding, as health care professionals that broad immunization will help stop the current pandemic generally and protect our PCOM community from COVID-19 specifically. 

Widespread immunization as well as continuation of our other safety measures such as masks, distancing, surveillance testing and #CampusClear will allow us to follow through on our plans to return to on-campus classes, events and activities as soon as possible. 

To help enable a safe return to campus for the fall semester, as of July 12, 2021, all incoming and returning PCOM students will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. 

This policy will also ensure our students will be prepared to meet the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements of their experiential and clinical education rotation sites. Students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for valid medical or religious reasons by filling out and submitting an exemption request form that will be available starting June 1 on myPCOM. Students who are granted such exceptions will be required to be tested for COVID-19 periodically.

With the extra protection of widespread vaccination, our PCOM community will be able to resume more activities and operations sooner, leading to a more engaged educational and professional experience.

View details in the College's April 14 announcement and within myPCOM.

Housing

Do I need to find housing?

We recommend securing housing as you normally would. Despite programmatic changes in attendance requirements, There will be mandatory small group activities or skills labs within the various programs.

If your original plan was to obtain housing before COVID-19, you may want to follow that plan. If you do not live within a feasible driving distance from the college, you should strongly consider moving closer to campus. If you are within driving distance from the College, you may want to stay home and come in on the days that are mandatory. This is a choice each student will need to make.

Are reservations being taken for PCOM on-campus housing?

PCOM on-campus housing will be available for Philadelphia students starting during the summer 2021 term.

COVID-19 Related Questions

How do I obtain an academic accommodation for issues related to COVID-19?

In the event that a student is exposed to and/or contracts COVID-19, the first course of action must be to contact covidnotice@pcom.edu and copy the Student Affairs Office at your campus as well as the course director.

The Office of Student Affairs will work with your academic department to address identified concerns and coordinate a response that is tailored to the needs of the individual student.

What should I do if I recently traveled internationally?

After you travel internationally:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, please email covidnotice@pcom.edu and copy the Student Affairs Office at your campus as well as the course director.

What do I do if I’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19?

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, you must stay home, seek medical advice, and immediately notify your program director and email covidnotice@pcom.edu. Also copy the Student Affairs Office at your campus as well as the course director.

When sending an email to covidnotice@pcom.edu, please include:

  1. Your name
  2. PCOM campus you attend
  3. Program you are enrolled in
  4. Name of program director
  5. COVID-19 information: positive test or symptoms; or close contact with someone with positive test or symptoms

Your cooperation in reporting is essential to helping your colleagues and classmates stay safe from infection.

These guidelines can also be found on myPCOM.

Facilities

Are there restrictions for access to College buildings?

As some students begin to transition back to in-person learning, access to College buildings will continue to be limited, based on local restrictions.

Additionally, all students are required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms via the #CampusClear app. You will have to show PCOM Public Safety the “no symptoms” smiley face on your smartphone or a screen capture/printed image of your green screen to gain access to any campus building.

PCOM community must also provide notice of any symptoms to covidnotice@pcom.edu. Anyone who reports symptoms of COVID-19 will not be granted access to campus and should consult the Office of Student Affairs to determine next steps.

Periodically the College will randomly test a percentage of unvaccinated PCOM students. This will allow us to identify any hotspots and determine an appropriate course of action.

Students will still be able to access the on-campus food pantries during these difficult times.

  • 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

How will this affect PCOM on-campus events?

All on-campus events will be canceled or postponed until further notice.

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.

Are there guidelines for meetings and gatherings?

PCOM strongly discourages in-person meetings and gatherings (other than academic classes) of any size, whether on-campus or off-campus.

While preference should be given to virtual meetings and gatherings whenever possible, meetings and gatherings of no more than 10 person indoors or 25 person outdoors are permissible, provided there is strict compliance with the following:

  • Masks must be worn.
  • Physical distancing guidelines must be observed at all times.
  • Pre-registration is required. A list of all registrants must be sent to covidnotice@pcom.edu AND (for student events) studentaffairs@pcom.edu. Persons who are not registered may not attend.
  • All attendees have to use and be cleared the day of the meeting or gathering through the #CampusClear App.

Can I use the study space or the library?

As of June 11, 2021, patrons at PCOM's three locations who are vaccinated will no longer need to wear a mask or maintain social distance in the PCOM libraries. In addition, reservations are no longer required, and all are welcome to visit the library during the hours listed below:

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Note: The PCOM Georgia Library closes at 6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

Saturday and Sunday
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Effective Monday, June 14, 2021, 24/7 after hours access will be available when the library is closed by swiping the keypad adjacent to the library entrance.

Can I use the fitness facilities on campus?

At this time College fitness facilities at PCOM and PCOM Georgia remain closed. PCOM South Georgia students have access to fitness facilities at a location near the College. Please check with that facility as to availability.

Please be aware that the fitness staff is providing online fitness classes and resources.

Will the cafeteria be operational when we return to campus?

As of May 3, College cafeterias/dining facilities will be reopened in a limited capacity.

Take-out services will be available; seating will not be available in the cafeteria/dining facilities.

Computer Equipment/Internet Access Requirements

Which computer should I purchase?

Visit the Information Technology Services new users page to view computer recommendations including hardware specifications.

Do I need access to the internet?

A high speed internet connection with a connection speed of 5 Mbps (download and upload) or better. If the internet connection is being shared by multiple devices a faster connection speed may be required. The use of satellite and cellular connections (hot spots) may result in slowness or errors (timeouts, access problems) when accessing the classroom and course materials. The use of public internet access (for example, at restaurants and public institutions such as libraries) is not recommended.

Practicum/Clerkship/Internship Information

What should I do if I have safety concerns about my practicum/clerkship/internship site?

Students with COVID-19 related safety concerns at their site should report concerns immediately to their site supervisor, the clinical training director of their program as indicated below and PCOM’s Chief Occupational and Environmental Safety Officer.

How will this affect clinical placement, internship or practicum (DO, PA Studies and psychology programs)?

Clinical clerkships and experiential learning opportunities for osteopathic medicine and physician assistant studies students will be reopened at the discretion of individual sites. As students are called back to their clinical sites, they should confirm the site follows applicable Pennsylvania Department of Health and CDC safety guidelines. Students should continue to communicate any questions or concerns with their program directors. Additionally, other clinical teaching modalities have been implemented.

Psychology students returned to their practicum experiences in the summer term. In response to COVID-19, practicum sites should follow applicable Pennsylvania Department of Health and CDC safety guidelines.

Students with COVID-19 related safety concerns at their site should report concerns immediately to their site supervisor, the clinical training director of their program (below) and PCOM’s Chief Occupational and Environmental Safety Officer.

How will this affect clinical placement, internship or practicum (Pharmacy)?

Effective immediately and until further notice, students in the School of Pharmacy, will have restrictions on all direct patient care experiential learning opportunities.

For additional details please refer to communication from Dr. Shawn Spencer or contact him at shawnsp@pcom.edu.

How will this affect clinical experiences (Physical Therapy)?

PCOM's DPT department is working with clinical partners to ensure all students have access to quality clinical rotations while making sure to respect the difficult situation our clinicians are facing during this time. PCOM greatly appreciates all the help our clinical partners have offered our clinical education program.

For more information, please contact either Dr. Jenny Wiley or Dr. Melisa Smith.

Resources Available to Students

What academic support services are available for students when they are off campus?

PCOM will continue to provide academic support online, through email and the use of online video platforms. Students can direct any questions to the academic support specialist on their campus:

What counseling and support options are available to students?

The college personal support counselors will be working remotely and are available to students. Please continue to email them with questions or concerns.

In addition, please know that the Carebridge Assistance Program is available to students.

About the Carebridge Assistance Program

Identify yourself as a student at PCOM. PCOM's access code is: R5SAF.

These services are available at no cost to all PCOM students and their dependents.

Remember: Carebridge is not replacing the comprehensive support services you receive from the Office of Student Affairs. Carebridge is an additional resource option for those who wish to utilize confidential resources, if you are away from campus, or if you need emergency confidential assistance when PCOM is closed.

What financial hardship support options are available to students?

PCOM has announced the creation of the Student Emergency Fund (SEF) in an effort to provide relief for students having financial hardships. This fund was made possible by generous donations from the PCOM Alumni Association, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of PCOM.

The SEF is designed to provide relief to students who need assistance with unexpected and additional costs related to basic needs such as housing, food, travel, healthcare and other personal expenses incurred as a result of personal or a national emergency such as COVID-19. The Offices of Student Affairs and Financial Aid ask that if you are in hardship, please complete the PCOM Student Emergency Fund Application. Please note that completion of the application does not guarantee funding will be provided; however, every effort will be made to assist the student.

On-Campus Food Pantry

Students are able to access the on-campus food pantries during these difficult times.

  • 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

Financial Aid/Tuition

Will this affect tuition or financial aid?

Please visit the Office of Financial Aid’s frequently asked questions page for information relating to tuition, loan disbursements and other financial aid questions.

Will students be charged for the comprehensive fee and parking this spring?

PCOM facilities will continue to comply with governmental guidelines and limit student access to common areas (such as the cafeteria, labs and gym). As a result, PCOM will not charge the comprehensive fee for the spring term. Parking fees will also be waived.

This decision will be evaluated on a term-by-term basis.

Deferral and Leave of Absence

How do I request a deferral?

Accepted students who have paid the required admission deposit(s) are eligible to request an enrollment deferral by submitting the request via email to the Office of Admissions for Faculty Committee consideration.

How do I request a leave of absence?

For more information, please visit the Leave of Absence information page.

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