Coronavirus Information

News & Updates

News

Updates

    ACTIVE CASES       as of Fri., Nov. 27, 12 p.m.

Active Student Cases: 2
Active Employee Cases: 1
Individuals with positive COVID-19 test currently isolating who were on campus within 2 days of symptom onset or positive test, and within the past 14 days

 

    UPDATE       as of Tues., Nov. 24, 10 a.m.

The PCC Reopening Taskforce has reassessed campus COVID-19 measures in conjunction with ongoing guidance from federal, state, and local agencies. Plans to continue proactive practices in Spring 2021 have been announced with the goal of enabling academic success and continuity. These practices will be subject to change as conditions progress. 


Archived Updates

Friday, August 28, 2020

With the fall semester ready to begin, students have been arriving and moving in this week. New protocols outlined in the PCC Return to Campus Plan have been fully implemented and are obvious throughout campus. As students settle and embrace new routines, we look forward to a healthy semester.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Today we were notified of five confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. Four were Teen Extreme campers who were on campus July 6-10, and one is a student employee.

Potentially exposed individuals in close contact have already been notified to quarantine. Those on campus have been notified to monitor for symptoms and continue to be vigilant about prevention protocol. Those who are careful about social distancing, hand hygiene, wearing a face mask, and other practical protections reduce their risk of contracting the virus.

Standard procedures of notifying the Escambia County Health Department and arranging for disinfecting work and residence areas have been done.

Join us in continuing to pray for the health and wellbeing of our campus community, and for those affected by this virus.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Today we were notified of two confirmed positive COVID-19 cases involving employees. One of the individuals has not been on campus since July 1, and the other since July 8. Both are isolating off campus.

The Escambia County Health Department has been consulted to ensure that appropriate steps are taken. Potentially exposed individuals have already been directed to quarantine. The work area where one individual has been in the past 7 days has been closed, and we have hired a company to sanitize. Activities will be resumed in this area after the sanitization is completed.

We extend our care and support for all those involved.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Today we were notified of the first confirmed positive COVID-19 case on campus involving one of our student employees. This individual is isolating off campus, and has not been on campus since June 24.

The Escambia County Health Department has been consulted to ensure that appropriate steps are taken. Potentially exposed individuals were immediately notified and directed to quarantine. Areas where the individual has been in the past 7 days have been closed, and we have hired a company to sanitize. Activities and occupancy will be resumed in these areas after the sanitization is completed. We extend our care and support for all those involved.

Florida is still in the early part of Phase Two of the governor’s “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step” plan, with no changes to the guidelines listed below since announced in early June.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

This week Governor Ron DeSantis announced initial guidance toward phase two of Florida’s “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step” reopen plan which will go into effect Friday, June 5. Here are changes that affect the PCC community:

Travel

Students may now travel from CT, NJ, and NY for academic work, internships, sports training, and other programs conducted by PCC without a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Any individual traveling from Louisiana is no longer restricted or quarantined upon arrival into Florida. With these limitations lifted, students from these four states can attend PCC without limitation this summer and should begin planning to come for fall.

Gatherings

Small gatherings can increase from group limits of 10 to 50 persons with social distancing protocols allowing the return of limited student activities, shopping shuttles, local outings, etc.

Capacity

Residence Halls currently remain at 50% capacity. All other buildings will continue to operate at 50% capacity while maintaining appropriate social distancing. These facilities include:

  • Dining Facilities (Four Winds, Varsity, The Grille, Common Grounds)
  • Classrooms
  • Recreational Facilities (Sports Center, Commons, Field House, Weight Rooms, Library)

At this time, plans for summer graduate courses on campus and for reopening in the fall are moving forward. In the coming weeks, we anticipate additional announcements from Governor DeSantis moving us further into phase two. PCC will continue to prioritize our college community's health and wellness by being deliberate and responsive in our plans.

Friday, May 1, 2020

This week Governor DeSantis outlined initial steps to a phased reopening in our state. Social distancing, travel restrictions, and limitations on group meetings still apply; however, some limited services may begin to reopen.

On campus, the following will apply beginning Monday, May 4:

All current offices and services will remain open and the Palms Grille will begin to provide dine-in seating up to 25% capacity with at least 6 feet of distancing.

The PCC campus will reopen to guests on a limited basis. Upon arrival to campus, guests will be screened at the gate for illness, potential exposure, and travel in areas restricted by the State of Florida. Only those living on campus will be permitted in residence halls.

Those in the following categories should not come to campus:

  • Experiencing symptoms of fever or respiratory illness
  • Recent exposure to someone with COVID-19
  • Travel from high risk areas identified by Florida/CDC guidelines (NY, NJ, CT, LA, and international countries)

Next week is the final week of the spring semester. Please join us in praying for God’s continued protection and blessing on PCC’s students, faculty, and staff.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Over two weeks ago, the College and Academy transitioned to remote learning. The majority of students have made their way home; all classes have resumed through digital means; and our personnel have adjusted to new measures designed to protect personal and workplace health.

Thankfully, on campus we have not yet had any faculty, staff, or students confirmed to have the novel coronavirus; however, across the country and our state, the number of cases has risen dramatically. Governor Ron DeSantis has issued an order for Floridians to stay at home for the next 30 days and only leave their homes to provide essential services or for permitted activities.

As an educational institution with thousands of K-12 and college students learning at a distance, we are considered an essential service in Florida. From the beginning we have been proactive in our response, and the aggressive steps we have previously taken to stop the spread of the virus on campus are already in alignment with the governor’s order. However, our Response Taskforce has reviewed the updated guidelines and made recommendations which President Shoemaker approved effective immediately.

Students

We are committed to completing a successful spring semester. Online courses will not be interrupted. Faculty and staff will continue support through instruction, advising, and services.

Students on campus and locally should abide by the governor’s order and only go to off campus destinations for essential items and permitted activities. The executive order encourages outdoor exercise like biking, running, or hiking as long as social distancing is observed. Dining hall and common area procedures have also been adjusted to maximize protective distance.

Guests and Travel

Unfortunately, we are unable to permit guest visits to campus during the month of April; and for Easter weekend, the “safer at home” order means that faculty, staff, GAs, and students are strongly encouraged to follow the executive order to limit travel.

Commencement

We still want to celebrate Commencement, so we will host a virtual commencement event on May 8, at 9:30 a.m. (The same date and time graduates would have marched.) A traditional on-campus ceremony will also be held sometime in the months to come when it is safe to do so.

Our leadership team is striving to make this a distinctive and memorable celebration to honor the accomplishment of graduates. More information will be sent through e-mail.

Employees

Faculty, staff, and GA’s have demonstrated such care in serving so many. In addition to Academy and College students, Abeka homeschoolers have continued to receive support, plus an additional 100,000 Christian school students who are receiving free Abeka video to help their schools finish the year.

We have instituted major initiatives for many personnel to work from home. This remote work option aligns with the “safer at home” order. Most of the remaining on-campus work is considered essential and will of necessity continue to support education and care for operational and residential facilities.

Strong caution is expressed for older employees and those with underlying health conditions. You are safer at home and encouraged follow the governor’s order to remain at home to protect your health.

All of us have a responsibility to those we serve and to our community in limiting travel to home, work, essential stops, and permitted activities.

Encouragement

President Trump has cautioned that the weeks ahead will be difficult. Let’s be serious about taking precautions to protect our health and that of others. There are many things to be thankful for, including the jobs we enjoy. We are thankful that God allows us to continue working and have great confidence that nothing is a surprise to Him. Remember that together we can move forward with a deep reliance on our God. He is good, and He is with you even now. He knows what you need today and in the days to come.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Watch Dr. Shoemaker's update video

Since the last update on PCC’s COVID-19 response, things have changed, but our promise to place priority on the safety and well-being of our students and personnel has not changed. Accordingly, it is clear that the time is right to take the next step in our response.

There still have been no presumed or confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus in the Pensacola Christian College community. However, Friday afternoon President Trump declared a National Emergency which could potentially affect domestic travel in the future. With PCC students from all 50 states and many countries, that is a major concern. Late Friday afternoon, Florida’s Department of Education recommended that schools close for at least two weeks.

Our PCC Response Taskforce immediately began to implement this new course of action:

  1. To give students the ability to do what is in their best health interest, students may return home for the remainder of the semester.
  2. To provide academic support to complete all college courses, PCC will transition to online instruction immediately.
  3. To protect our campus community, PCC will limit gatherings until further notice.
  4. To help faculty, graduate assistants, and staff, we will ensure that employment is not disrupted and that consideration is given for protection and care for employee and family health needs.

Parents, thank you for the privilege to have served your family. Please allow us to continue to serve you through this transition. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns, and we will do our best to meet your needs.

Students should begin preparations, but do not have to feel rushed or pressured to have a plan immediately. PCC is not closing down campus and we are not pushing everyone out. Students should begin now to make travel arrangements, talk over plans with parents, and pack. Student Life staff will help through the process of checking out to go home. Students who leave will pay room and board through the date of their campus departure.

Some students, whose homes are overseas or in an area that may be unhealthy, do not have a place to go. For this reason, students may choose to stay on campus for the remainder of the semester. Additional student employment opportunities are available.

It is expected that by Friday, March 20, everyone should be either traveling home or permanently in residence on campus.

Classes will not meet March 16–20 while students are transitioning to their final residence and faculty are working toward getting all courses into the online platform. Academic studies will resume online through Canvas beginning Monday, March 23, with flexibility extended for students still traveling.

Every student will be equipped to fully meet the requirements for each course without having to stay on campus. This includes those in internships and preceptorships. Graduate assistants will remain employed on campus and continue academic studies online too.

Students may access classes from anywhere through Canvas any time of the day or night as personal schedules allow. Faculty will post presentations, projects, quizzes, and tests. Students will be guided to complete coursework according to the deadlines faculty provide.

Our semester calendar will end in May so that every student will be able to finish each course, earn grades and credits, and finish the semester on time. Students will be responsible to keep up with daily coursework and tuition payments. Of course, if illness causes a hardship, academic deans and chairs will assist with extension requests.

We promise to support students academically. This will be an adventure we will take together. It is unknown whether PCC will be able to have a graduation ceremony in May. That will be determined later since conditions in May are yet unknown. PCC is proud of graduating seniors and applauds what they will do in the weeks ahead to finish strong.

Until further notice, we will be working to avoid large group gatherings. The concert scheduled for Saturday, March 14, is canceled. Campus Church has canceled all in-person activities for the upcoming week, including church services. Pastor Redlin will be delivering a message, by livestream on Sunday, March 15 at 10:15 a.m. Future event changes for church will be sent out on Realm, the church website, email, and social media.

Faculty, graduate assistants, and staff are asked to assist with this transition so that it limits disruption and provides exceptional service. PCC’s employees have embodied excellence and service this year; but the task is not done. Together we will look for ways to make it easy on the people we serve, and be empowered to do what is necessary to meet those needs. While many job sectors are in fear of layoffs and shutdowns, PCC and affiliates recognize that employees need the security of continued employment, even if an employee’s usual responsibility is related to serving students. With some student workers leaving, the shape of jobs may change, but we will adjust together to meet the need.

We continue to be committed to a healthy working environment, applying prevention and containment protocol throughout campus. New sick leave policies and workplace options will be announced as needed in the future to allow greater flexibility for employees to take care of themselves and their families.

Pensacola Christian Academy has suspended classes until March 30. After that time, PCA is prepared to either resume classes or transition to Abeka Academy videos so there are minimal disruptions. Childcare arrangements for staff families will be announced soon.

Day by day, we have seen God’s faithfulness and strength for each step. Let us each continue to find comfort through God’s Word. Philippians 4:6–7 admonishes, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Thursday, March 12, 2020

There is increased nationwide concern over the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and how it may impact our lives. Naturally PCC students and their parents are also concerned.

We received a call from a parent yesterday indicating they heard we had a case on campus. To be clear: there have been no instances of presumed or confirmed COVID-19 in our PCC community. Nonetheless, this is a very serious situation, and the health and safety of our students is first and foremost our top priority.

Every school and every state is grappling with determining the best course of action. Some states have advised that schools continue to meet as usual; others have advised differently. You may have heard in the news that state universities in Florida are moving to online learning for a period of time and asking students not to return to campus until two weeks after spring break. In those schools, only faculty, staff, and student workers would be required to come on campus. This makes sense since students are traveling and universities want to avoid risk of bringing illness back to campus after spring break. Two weeks provides the needed time to know if anyone is infected, so students in those 12 universities will need to find somewhere else to go and will have to receive their instruction online.

At PCC, our Easter break is not until April so the need to take that kind of step is not imminent for us.

Here is what we are doing:
Per executive order in Florida, schools and colleges (the ones not part of the university system) are to work with their local county health departments to establish protocols. We have done that and have been working directly with the Escambia County Health Department. Our county’s director, Dr. John Lanza, told us yesterday that at this time he does not advise us to close or eliminate face-to-face instruction.

Very likely that advice is based on the fact that the Surgeon General of Florida has stated that there is currently no community transmission of COVID-19 in Florida. As of this morning, there were 31 total cases in the entire state of Florida, and 2 deaths.

In a memo yesterday to Florida College Presidents, it was noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have ruled Florida’s student population is at low risk. At this time in Florida, there is no limitation on large group gatherings, and school systems and college systems are still meeting.

President Shoemaker has consulted with PCC’s Board of Directors and Response Taskforce. For now, we will continue on our schedule while exercising appropriate precautions. We will advise should the situation change.

If it doesn’t make sense for students to travel and return to campus, then it also does not make sense that large groups of guests should travel to campus. So, in abundance of caution, for the next two weeks all guest events are canceled including March 18–20 College Days and the pastors advisory panel.

Students have invested much into their education this year; and are concerned about how to finish academically. Some students are eager to finish so they can graduate this year! Whatever happens, we are committed to fulfilling our academic promise. Our entire faculty has been asked to finalize preparations for alternative delivery of instruction. If at any time we cannot meet face-to-face, we will provide each student with online instruction and assessments so that they can finish what they’ve invested so much in.

We are committed to students’ safety and well-being, to continuity of academics, and to each student personally. For example, if the situation warranted sending everyone away from campus, there are many students who may have no place to go, and we want to help them as well. Even if we change modes of instruction, campus will remain open to help.

There is a possibility of changing our mode of instruction. Easter break isn’t until April, so between now and then we’ll be considering best options related to Easter break. There may also be future impacts on graduation ceremonies.

For now, we will continue practicing prevention and containment. We have increased cleaning and disinfecting (and ask students to do the same in their rooms), encouraging covering a cough, maintaining awareness, and not going to class if sick.

We are taking this a day at a time and continually re-evaluating, will seek to do what is in the best interest of our students, and will continue to provide updates as changes occur.