9-17-20 Urgent Actions Affecting All Students

Dear Members of the Providence College Community,

We recently completed a meeting with the Rhode Island Department of Health and apologize for the late-evening email. I wish to provide an update as we work to navigate a difficult period of managing the spread of the coronavirus on our campus, in the surrounding community, and in the state of Rhode Island.

We have seen more than 80 students test positive over the past two days, with a large concentration involving off-campus students. In consultation with the Rhode Island Department of Health, we are taking the following actions: 


Beginning tomorrow, Providence College will shift to total remote learning at least through Saturday, Sept. 26.


Upon direction from the Rhode Island Department of Health, we are issuing a stay-at-home order for ALL students during this time-period. All students living on campus will be tested during this time. Further information will follow.

  • On-campus students may not leave campus during this time. Off-campus students may not leave their apartments. (Food will continue to be delivered. Those who chose the PC Cash option will continue to have that option available to them.) There must be no indoor or outdoor gatherings of any kind.  There must be no travel whatsoever to bars, restaurants, clubs, or neighborhood businesses. 
  • Violations will result in immediate interim suspensions. College staff, in conjunction with the Providence Police Department and private security, will be monitoring PC houses in the off-campus neighborhood on a 24/7 basis.
  • All students who normally would be student teaching in the community or engaged in internships or clinical placements must do so on a remote basis. 


Per direction of the R.I. Department of Health, students living off-campus who test positive or who have tested positive (required to be in isolation) or who are close contacts (required to be in quarantine) must be relocated. Those who are able to return home should do so. All others will be relocated to a space provided by the College.

We recognize how serious and difficult these directives are, but this is our last chance to remain together in person for the fall semester. Between these actions and the serious steps we already have taken – especially in the past few days – we have used virtually every tool at our disposal. We are out of options.  If we are not successful, we will have no alternative other than to shut down our campus for the remainder of the fall semester. This also will likely affect our ability to reopen for the spring semester.

These strategies have worked at other colleges and universities, so we have a fighting chance, but it will take commitment and discipline on the part of everyone in our community. I have confidence that we can summon the collective will to regain our footing, and I pray that each of you will join me in doing all we can to get back to the point where we can resume communal campus life.


Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, O.P. ’78 & ’82G

College President