March 12, 2020
Dear NCC Colleagues,
As we continue to monitor the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), our first priority remains the health, safety and security of our students, faculty, staff and community. Out of an abundance of caution, we are extending spring break for on-ground students through Sunday, March 22, on-ground classes will resume on Monday, March 23. Online classes will resume as scheduled on March 16. This will allow our faculty to prepare for possible remote instruction while ensuring the college undergoes substantial cleaning of surfaces and common areas.
Faculty and staff are expected to report as usual on Monday, March 16, to receive essential instructions and training for teaching and working remotely if the College needs to close. Community Education will continue operating on a normal schedule.
As this is a rapidly evolving situation, we are regularly updating the College’s website to share news, information and recommendations for our community. Updates about COVID-19 will be communicated on a regular basis via email, on our website, and the NCCGo app.
As of March 12, there are no suspected or reported cases of coronavirus at any NCC location. To better prepare our college, and to ensure we can move quickly to minimize disruption to the campus, the College has taken the following steps:
- Academic Affairs is working with deans, faculty and our online colleagues to assess the feasibility of moving coursework online, if necessary. The Office of Online Learning & Educational Technology has created a quick start Blackboard tutorial for faculty to use to assist in posting a syllabus, utilizing the gradebook, and providing live interaction opportunities
- Faculty and staff should contact the Student Health Center on the Bethlehem Campus (regardless of your home campus or site) if you have been diagnosed with any contagious disease, or have traveled abroad since March 1, 2020.
- Student Affairs is communicating with students about the extended spring break, in addition to healthy hygiene measures, and what steps to take when a student feels ill. Our Housing and Residence Life staff have received additional training, and we have resources available from the Student Health Center on campus. Our Athletics staff have also created a protocol for our athletic teams as they travel for competitions.
- Communications with updates, best practices, and precautions have been sent to parents of students who use our NCC Children’s Center.
- International travel has been suspended, while domestic travel will require VP approval. If you intend to participate in such domestic travel, you’ll need the appropriate approvals from Dr. Carolyn Bortz, Vice President, Academic Affairs (faculty travel) and Jim Dunleavy, Vice President, Finance and Administration (staff travel). Student groups, clubs, and organizations must seek the appropriate approval from Dr. Sedgwick Harris, Vice President, Student Affairs and Enrollment.
We remind you to remain diligent in protecting yourself and minimizing the risk to others, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, stay away from those who are sick, stay home if sick yourself, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, do not share any food, drinks cups, utensils, etc., and cover your cough or sneeze.
Faculty and staff should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick. Eligible employees are highly encouraged to sign up for the Capital Blue Virtual Care program, an online telemedicine program offered through the college’s health insurance program. Information was sent out last week and is available from Samantha Schaible, Benefits Manager, in Human Resources
Leaders across the college are continuing to plan for the short- and long- term actions we need to take to best support the health and wellness of our community. NCC is well positioned to deal with this situation and we are taking appropriate, proactive actions to support the health and safety of our community members, following the recommendations of the CDC.
We understand that this is a challenging situation and new information emerges on a daily basis. Please know we are monitoring it closely and doing everything we can to protect the health and well-being of us all. Please use good hygiene and common sense to help do your part as well.
Dr. Mark H. Erickson