In a an email to staff and student Dr. Joe Schaffer, President, Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyoming, said that the school will extend spring break and prepare to move classes online for the remainder of the semester. The changes are in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

The residence hall will remain open, although students residing on campus are not required to return to campus. Students who remain in residence halls will continue to have access to dining facilities.

The college will continue to operate essential core business operations Schaffer said, and encouraged virtual appointments and communications where feasible.

The school will be suspending all institutionally-sponsored travel through May 15. Schafer said in the message that all school employees should continue to report to work as normal, and faculty are expected to report back to work as planned after spring break on March 23.

Full text of the message:

"Dear Campus Community,

As we continue to watch the news about Covid-19 and deal with our first case in Wyoming, we recognize many of you are concerned with the impact the virus is having on educational institutions across the country. Here at LCCC, our primary goals are to minimize the chance of exposure and transmission of the disease, while also mitigating any negative impacts to the College. Therefore, in response to the growing concerns, and in alignment with actions taken by the other Wyoming community colleges, LCCC will be implementing the following response to protect our students, employees and our community members that visit campus. Please bear with me, this message is longer than usual.

First and foremost, the most significant focus should remain on prevention. As I have shared before, we control the spread of Covid-19, and the most basic hygiene practices are encouraged. These include the regular and thorough washing of your hands, keeping your hands away from your face, disinfecting/cleaning areas that are frequently touched, not coming into contact with individuals known to have or have been exposed to the illness, staying home if you are sick, etc.

CLASSES AND INSTRUCTION

We will be extending our spring break for students until Tuesday, March 31. Classes will resume on Wednesday, April 1 and will be moved primarily to an online or virtual format through the end of the Spring semester (May 15, 2020). We are committed to ensuring that students will be able to complete their spring semester courses to the fullest extent possible. Our primary purpose for extending the spring break for students is to provide faculty and staff the time to shift our classes to virtual offerings and prepare for virtual delivery.

Technology hardware assistance will be provided on a limited, and as-needed basis to individuals that have hardships limiting their ability to learn or teach virtually. This equipment will be available beginning April 1 and information regarding distribution will be provided to students and faculty.
Students who are enrolled in lab, “shop” or clinical courses can expect to receive further information regarding course instruction from their faculty member(s) or school dean. That information will be communicated via Canvas.
Students currently enrolled in A8 courses will receive communication from their instructor regarding accelerated course completion.

TRAVEL

We are immediately suspending all institutionally-sponsored travel through May 15.

We are discouraging booking of travel between May 16 and June 30; if you do have travel planned for this time, you do not have to cancel. We will reassess in early May. At that time, we will determine if it will be allowed or need to be cancelled.
Travel guidance from my March 11 update remains in effect regarding personal travel. Personal travel internationally, or domestically to areas with known cases of Covid-19 is strongly discouraged.

EMPLOYEES

All employees should continue to report to work as normal. Faculty will be expected to report back to work as planned after spring break (March 23). Gatherings, meetings or a collection of more than 20 LCCC faculty, staff and/or students, at one time are highly discouraged.

As with previous guidance, employees who believe they have been potentially exposed to Covid-19 should self-quarantine for four (4) days and monitor for symptoms. If symptoms occur, you will be required to take sick leave and remain home, and you are encouraged to see a healthcare professional if the symptoms become severe.

If you need to self-quarantine, are diagnosed with Covid-19, or have a first-degree relation that is diagnosed with the virus, you will be asked to use sick leave during this time. LCCC will help employees without leave who are directly impacted by Covid-19 and unable to work as defined in Procedure 6.6.1P. LCCC will be creating a temporary, modified sick leave donation program. Contact HR for assistance accessing donated leave. To qualify, employees must use all current leave (sick, vacation, personal) first. A maximum amount of donated leave per employee will be 10 working days.

CAMPUS SERVICES

The College will continue to operate essential core business operations. This includes the Children’s Discovery Center, Student and Academic Services, Dining Services (you may experience some limited offerings), Ludden Library, etc. Virtual appointments and communications are encouraged where feasible.

The residence hall will remain open, although students residing on campus are not required to return to campus. Students who remain in residence halls will continue to have access to dining facilities. We have identified rooms in the residence halls that will be used for quarantine purposes if a case is confirmed in our resident population.

GROUPS/EVENTS ON CAMPUS

Following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state/local officials, LCCC will take measures to minimize large group gatherings on campus. Effective March 31, all events where anticipated attendance exceeds 100 individuals, will be prohibited on any of the LCCC campuses. Please note, this date may move up or back depending on the most current guidance.

We will continue to monitor developments related to Covid-19 and adjust this response plan as necessary and prudent. We will also continue to follow CDC and state-level guidance on these plans. Future response actions MAY include:

Partial or full closure of the LCCC campus and locations.
Implementing flexible or virtual schedules of some or all employees.
Cancellation of or moving Commencement to a virtual environment.
Concluding the spring semester early or delaying the start of summer semester.

As more information becomes available and as additional decisions are made, we will continue to reach out to campus with details and provide updates at http://lccc.wy.edu/covid. We are also developing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) to answer more detailed questions that have or will arise. Please also continue to utilize the CDC website for the most current information on Covid-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html."

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