**UPDATED** Fall 2020 Semester and the Coronavirus

In-Person Instruction Resumes August 31

August 19, 2020

The PFIC offices and the Dominican Theological Library will be open to faculty, staff, and students currently enrolled in PFIC classes beginning Thursday, August 27th. Please note the following:

Facility Improvements

  • Classrooms have been reconfigured to provide for social distancing between commuter students and each other, and between them and the Dominican Friar students. As the Dominican Friars live in community together, they are being treated as a “family unit” and will not be seated at any distance from each other, though they will be distanced from commuter students. This will allow us to meet the requirements of distance for the health and safety of all. Signage in each classroom will indicate where students are to sit.
  • The podiums or tables that professors will use are clearly six feet from the nearest student and will be marked off as such.
  • There are a few classes in pastoral studies that may not be able to observe strict social distancing, but this will be determined by the professors of those classes.
  • We have upgraded the filters to our HVAC system from those that had a MERV 8 rating to ones that have a MERV 13 rating. While these stronger filters are still not HEPA filters (as most commercial HVAC systems don’t support HEPA filters), these new filters will nonetheless give more protection, if not perfect protection, from airborne contagions.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be spaced throughout the building so faculty, staff, and students can regularly sanitize their hands.

Face Masks

  • In compliance with the DC Mask Order (found here), all faculty, staff, and students are expected to wear face masks that cover both mouth and nose whenever they are in the hallways of the Academic Center or in the faculty office wing. There can be no exceptions to this rule but those identified in Section IV of the DC Mask Order above. If you have an exception, please email me.
  • Additionally, students must keep their masks on whenever they are in class.
  • Given the distance between the professor and the students, and the need to be understood when lecturing, professors may remove their masks to teach. This is in compliance with the DC Mask Order section IV.1.h.
  • When meeting with any person in an office, face masks will need to be worn, unless all the participants in the meeting are Dominican Friars.
  • Persons should use their own face masks, but a disposable face mask will be provided for any one who does not bring a mask with them.
  • Signage will be posted to remind us all to wear our face masks.

Seating Charts

  • On the first day of class, professors and staff will create a seating chart for the purposes of contact-tracing should any student or professor experience COVID symptoms or test positive for the illness.

Student Lounge and St. Rose Hall

  • The student lounge will be limited to four persons at any one time. One person may sit at each of the tables, while a fourth may be in the service area.
  • St. Rose Hall in the faculty office wing will be reconfigured as an alternate seating and study area for an additional four to five students. Food and drink will be permitted in the room.
  • Of course, the masks can be removed when eating or drinking.

If you experience symptoms

  • If you experience any of the symptoms of COVIDdo not come to school. Inform the Dean or the Registrar of your illness. If necessary, we can arrange for you to participate in class by Zoom while you recover.

Access to the Academic Center Building

  • Faculty, Staff, and Students enrolled at the PFIC will need to use their fobs to enter the building. All others will have to ring the bell to be admitted, including WTC students.
  • The hours of the library beginning on August 27th can be found here. Students’ fobs will admit them to the building during these hours.
  • Students enrolled in classes may use the library when it is open. Students may also email library2020@dhs.edu to request scans of chapters and articles they need for research or class.

Access to the Priory and Priory Liturgies

  • Access to the priory is limited to the Dominican Friars. This does not include the second floor of the priory, which is the PFIC faculty office wing. Remember to wear a mask when in that hallway as well.
  • From an abundance of caution to protect the Dominican Community, the priory has not yet reopened to the general public for Mass or the Divine Office. We will update you when this changes.
  • There will be no public Mass of the Holy Spirit on Monday, August 31st and no dinner reception for faculty and students.

Please remember that we should all be prudent in our interactions so as not to endanger the great good of gathering in person in the pursuit of knowledge and truth.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Father Thomas Petri, O.P.

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