Dear Girard Families, Faculty and Staff, 

On Friday, we learned that a Girard student interacted with students that recently returned from an international trip where a case of COVID-19 has been confirmed. Our Girard College student participates in a program off-campus with other students from a local school. 

Although the student presented no symptoms, we immediately sent the student home while we gathered additional information. We since learned the students at the other school did not have direct contact with the sick individual and are considered low risk, making it unlikely that our student would contract the illness. Nonetheless, we contacted the Philadelphia Health Department where they offered the guidance that the student is not considered at risk and there is no risk posed to the greater school community. 

The Administrative team at Girard College continues to monitor closely the situation concerning coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). As stated in our communication last week, Girard College is following the guidance of the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. State Department, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding travel restrictions and current medical thinking about this outbreak.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has issued the following guidance to K-12 schools:

If a student, teacher or faculty member have returned from Iran or China: 
  1. The health department will be alerted by CDC and will contact the individual(s) 
  2. Stay home and self-isolate yourself for 14 days after travel 

If a student, teacher or faculty member have returned from Italy or South Korea: 
  1. They need to call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) to let the health department know about their travel 
  2. Stay home and self-isolate yourself for 14 days after travel

For more information, see the COVID-19 Information for K-12 Schools document from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

We want to remind all community members to follow these best practices to keep Girard healthy:

  • If you or a member of your household has been exposed to anyone diagnosed or suspected to have the COVID 19 virus, please notify Girard immediately.
  • Stay home and seek medical attention if you are not feeling well, especially if you are experiencing a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other flu-like symptoms.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (20 seconds of scrubbing) or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water is not readily available. Be sure to cover all surfaces and rub until dry.
  • Cough/sneeze into a tissue. Dispose of used tissues immediately into a trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hands. Then wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, which accelerates the spread of infections.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Do not share glasses, eating utensils, water bottles, lipstick/makeup, etc.

Please note, if a student at Girard presents with a fever of 100.4 or greater, they will be sent home and not allowed to return to school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without medication.

Since our first communication on this virus, the College has taken the following additional steps: 

  • Working with our housekeeping staff to thoroughly clean all school buildings and dorms, with special attention to desks and surfaces
  • Ordering and distributing additional supplies of soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes 
  • Developing remote learning plans should we need to close school for a period of time

As this situation remains fluid, we will update you whenever we learn new information relevant to our community. 

Please direct any questions to Mr. Jon Tucker, Vice President of Operations, at jtucker@girardcollege.edu.

Thank you.