An update from Dr. Sandra KurtinitisRE: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Update #2
(Effective March 16 through April 30, 2020)
March 11, 2020
Amid a flurry of class cancellations, college closings and Governor Hogan’s declaration of a State of Emergency due to the Coronavirus, I write to summarize the next immediate level of preparedness designed to lessen the exposure for faculty, staff and students at the college. Although these actions fall short of canceling classes or closing the college at this point, they are designed to restrict potential contact with the virus through college functions. These provisions go into effect on Monday, March 16 and currently extend through April 30, 2020. Depending upon the existing threat level, this period of time could be shortened or extended or replaced quickly by a heightened level of action.
To date this list includes the following key strategies:
1. Implementation of Travel Ban: All international and domestic travel for college employees and students is now suspended although Vice Presidents are authorized to approve travel deemed mandatory for work-related purposes. The college will apply a “hold harmless” approach to employees and students who have prepaid travel expenses for trips, conferences, or meetings for which they are not offered a vendor refund or credit for prepaid expenses. The Finance staff are developing a reimbursement process specific to these transactions.
2. Cancellation (or postponement) of all large (and large-ish) external and internal events to be held at CCBC facilities: To restrict opportunities for infection to spread, use of college facilities for community or college functions will be substantially reduced The Campus Directors and Athletic Directors are compiling a list of all scheduled functions and will reach out directly to affected groups.
3. Preparation for developing/transitioning to an alternative instructional model for course delivery: Whether or not the college remains open, we are seriously considering the need to cancel the bulk of on-site courses. To that end, Interim Vice Presidents McLaughlin and Netzer are working with the academic deans and department chairs to assist both credit and non-credit faculty to access the strategies and tools needed to switch to an online, hybrid, or other alternative instructional mode for class delivery. These measures might include Zoom, Skype, additional Learning Management Systems, or other strategies. They will issue a list of instructions shortly.
4. Preparation for developing an emergency telework strategy: The Human Resource Office is gathering information from managers to determine which functions are site dependent and which can be performed by employees working at home. Although the college does not have a formal telework protocol, the Office of Human Resources is preparing a strategy to enable the college to implement a telework platform should we reach a point of college closure.
Finally, let me continue to remind all of us to practice good hygiene and reasonable social distancing during this time of high infection potential. We are managing this situation relative to the fluid nature of the threat level. If/as appropriate, we will entertain more drastic measures such as accelerating Spring Break, closing the college completely, and implementing a telework model for employees who can work from home.
In the meantime, stay calm, stay healthy; stay flexible.