Will all students be tested for COVID-19? How will testing work?

Yes, we do intend to test students and staff for COVID-19 before school re-opening. We’d also like to test throughout the school year.

Update February 2021:

Students who are coming to campus for in-person instruction and boarding will be tested for COVID-19 using rapid antigen tests every two weeks.

Staff will be tested for COVID-19 using rapid antigen tests once per month.

What happens if my child gets sick?

Our Health Services Team has worked with our Crisis Team and our medical director to thoughtfully consider changes necessary to treat students at the College in the midst of the pandemic. Health Services is adding more observation rooms and has updated access protocols to reduce risk of exposure to students and staff. Residential Advisors will monitor student well-being with daily checks. If a student feels ill they should contact their Residential Advisor.

What happens if my child tests positive for COVID-19?

Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be isolated on-campus until they can depart campus to go home or to their family, which is required within 6-hours. If a student tests positive for COVID-19 and has severe symptoms, they will be transported to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment. The College has arranged for a very limited number of on-campus isolation spaces in the event that a student cannot go home or to their guardian/family due to extenuating circumstances.

How will the community be notified of confirmed COVID-19 cases?

In the event of a diagnosed case of COVID-19 within the Girard community, staff and families can expect timely and appropriate communication from the Head of School or the Pandemic Coordinator. The privacy of personal health information will be respected at all times.

See our COVID-19 Communication Protocols

What does "close contact" mean?

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “close contact” means:

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
Who needs to quarantine?

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

People who have been in close contact (see above FAQ) with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine.

Is the College requiring a flu shot this year?

Because of the highly infectious nature of COVID-19, the usual risk of influenza outbreaks in congregate living settings such as dormitories, and the significant overlap between symptoms of influenza and COVID-19, Girard College will require an influenza vaccine this school year for all students who do not have a medical contraindication or religious/moral objection substantiated by their primary care providers. It is imperative that our community take every step available to ensure the health of our community.

What should I do if I am having trouble scheduling a physical for my child?

Health Services understands that it may be particularly difficult this year to obtain a physical examination appointment at your child’s doctor’s office. It is acceptable to obtain a sports physical examination at your local urgent care facility as an alternative to ensure that physical forms are completed by August 1, 2020. However, we do need completed health forms for allergies, medications, etc. that are signed by a student’s primary care physician. Students will be unable to enroll if all health forms are not received by this date.


How will physical distancing be practiced in classrooms?

Classrooms are being reorganized and rearranged to support physical distancing. We are spacing out and removing furniture, assigning seats, adjusting the number of students to the size of the classroom.

How will physical distancing be practiced in the residence halls?

Dormitory rooms are also being reorganized and rearranged to support physical distancing. We are removing furniture to accommodate these needs in the sleeping areas and section/lounge areas. Dormitories and sections will have significantly fewer students.

Will I be able to visit my child/children on campus and will making special arrangements change?

Generally, in an effort to maintain a healthy campus, we will limit campus visitors and departures. Special arrangements are limited to medical visits at this time.

Will campus events occur this fall?

Pennsylvania and CDC guidelines for gatherings will be followed.  As of now, and to limit exposure to our students and staff, all large fall campus gatherings have been cancelled. We will update the campus community if guidance changes.

Will students be able to take SAT and ACT tests on campus this year?

Girard College has arranged for Seniors to take the SAT on September 23 and the ACT on October 6 here on campus. It is required for all students to test on both dates.

Due to COVID-19, weekend SAT and ACT test dates at nearby schools are not guaranteed.

Any questions regarding SAT and ACT tests can be directed to Ms. Tammi Schulman, College & Career Counselor at tschulman@girardcollege.edu

Will students leave campus for a college visit?

In an effort to maintain a healthy campus, we are trying to limit campus departures. We also believe that colleges may prohibit prospective student visits this fall. As such, at the present time we are not anticipating students will be allowed to leave campus for college visits in the fall. Virtual college visits are currently being organized by Ms. Schulman. We will re-evaluate this restriction as the year progresses.