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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

April 23, Operational Update

April 23, 2020 Update (View on YouTube)


President Feinstein (00:00):
Well, good morning everybody. Thursday, April 23, this is our daily operation status report. We had a busy day yesterday. Many of you tuned in for our Board of Trustees meeting in which we discussed the budget. It was a long presentation, almost four hours with Q&A. That entire video is posted online. You can find it from the UNC website. And I believe it's also posted on my page as well. So with that I'm going to turn it over to Dan Maxey, our chief of staff, to get us started and moderate conversations from the coronavirus task force leaders. Dan?

Dan Maxey (00:35):
Thank you, President Feinstein. Yesterday was a long day, but we made it to Thursday. The cabinet and coronavirus task force do not have scheduled meetings today, although several of the task force subcommittees do, and I know that several of them are discussing issues that will come forward to cabinet tomorrow or in the near future. As our daily panel gives reports, I ask that everyone remembers to please unmute your microphones and turn on cameras. First up to the plate, the chair of our coronavirus task force, associate vice president for administration Blaine Nickeson for our developing issues report. Blaine?

Blaine Nickeson (01:06):
Good morning. It sounds like your cat wants to give a report.

Dan Maxey (01:10):
He says the weather is great in Greeley.

Blaine Nickeson (01:12):
Yeah, back to you. Governor Polis gave another press conference yesterday. Some highlights from that: All K-12 schools are officially closed to the end of the year. We have 150,000 test kits that are arriving from South Korea by the end of the week, and 150,000 swabs by the end of May. As I've mentioned, we've been short on swabs and reagents to be able to complete testing. The governor really tried to emphasize that the change coming next week from the stay-at-home to the safer-at-home shouldn't be viewed as a reopening. It's a slight adjustment to allow for some minimal parts of our economy to start providing some services. The guidance that we've gotten on state employees is that if you're currently working from home, you need to continue to work at home. Even though there's an adjustment to the stay-at-home order, it won't look anything close to normal.

Blaine Nickeson (02:06):
To give you an example, I got an email from my dentist yesterday evening. Their office will be reopening on Monday, though with very strict protocols. The waiting room won't be open so you'll have to call when you arrive from outside, and they'll let you in. They'll be taking your temperature, and if you have a temperature above 99.1, they're going to ask you to reschedule. We'll be able to tell whether or not this safer-from-home approach works in a few weeks based upon the data that I report every morning. If folks don't take the restriction seriously, don't wear a mask, et cetera, we'll see a spike in infections and hospitalizations within a couple of weeks, and you can be certain that we'll be back into a lockdown mode.

Blaine Nickeson (02:46):
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's now releasing a wealth of data about hospital situations. For example, total ventilators in use versus available. So as of yesterday there were 444 ventilators in use and 671 available, but 20 hospitals are reporting that they anticipate personal protective equipment or PPE shortages within the next week. For statewide data, there's 10,878 positive cases, that's up a bit over 400 or 4% since yesterday. 2,123 have been hospitalized, that's up about 6%. But again, that's a cumulative number; the current number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 is 859, which is up a few since yesterday.

Blaine Nickeson (03:29):
50,645 tested, up 4%, that's shy of 2000 new tests, so a good day for testing. And as I mentioned at the beginning of the report, the governor has announced a bulk shipment coming in. Sadly, Colorado has eclipsed 500 deaths. We're currently reporting 508 deaths. Weld County is up about 4%, reporting 1,260 cases. We didn't record any deaths yesterday in Weld County, which is the first day that I can remember giving that report, so we'll keep our eye on that. But hopefully we're starting to sort of bend the curve in Weld County. That's all I have for this morning. I'm going to turn it back over to you, Dan.

Dan Maxey (04:08):
Thank you, Blaine. Next, we'll turn it over to our Dean of Students Tuck Tucker for our report on impact to students life. Tuck?

Gardiner Tucker (04:14):
Good morning. I'm going without headphones because I'm going to share a video, and I found that helps to share the sound of it. And one of the student impacts we've been experiencing is the move of future activities online and through the virtual format. So the strategy we're using at UNC is to put upcoming events partially or fully online so that we're ready no matter what the contingency that happens. So today's example is orientation, which is UNC's gateway to our university over the summer. And I want to shout out to the orientation team for being highly adaptive during this time as we go from in-person to online and uncertainty over the summer.

Gardiner Tucker (04:56):
So as we all know, orientation is an exceptional experience for our new and transfer students, and our team is preparing to move to that virtual format, and part of the team that works on that are the orientation leaders. And they would have been having groups of 10 to 12 in-person, and now they're going to work virtually with those groups and with the individual incoming students, helping with advising and orientation and helping to build community in a virtual format. So shout out to the team, Dr. Erin Datteri-Saboski, who is the associate director of New Student Experience, Paige Johnsen, who is assistant director of the New Student Experience, and Kelly Gates, coordinator of New Student Experience.

Gardiner Tucker (05:38):
Now there are four of the seniors, students or OLs, who are returning and helping to coordinate the summer program, and one of the Orientation Leaders put together a video to honor them. This person is a senior, she's majoring in Audiology and Speech-Language Science, and minors in American Sign Language and Special Education. So she's very busy. So I'd like to play that video for you. And let me know if you can hear this.

Video (06:53):
(singing) bye.

Gardiner Tucker (06:58):
So that shows the creativity and dedication of our students as they work through all the changes that we're going through, and we're certainly proud of them. And thank you to Paige for sharing that video with us. So good job OLs, and here we go for summer orientation. And that concludes my report.

Dan Maxey (07:18):
Great. Thank you, Tuck. Next I'll turn it over to Provost Mark Anderson to give his report on the impacts to the academic mission. Mark?

Mark Anderson (07:26):
Thank you, Dan. First of all, I'd like to thank all the faculty and staff who participated in the Board of Trustees meeting yesterday. A lot of great questions, a lot of thought-provoking questions, and really helped us to understand where people were at. Also, the faculty who participated in the faculty meeting on Tuesday evening. Dan and I are working on completing answers to all the questions that came out that we weren't able to answer during that period of time.

Mark Anderson (07:57):
Quick shout out to the University Libraries. A lot of questions have come up from faculty as we transition from the end of the spring into the summer session. Many faculty, when given the opportunity following spring break to go into their offices, collected materials with the expectation that we would eventually get back to our offices, and so they just had enough to complete the semester.

Mark Anderson (08:21):
Some faculty were asking about getting some additional materials so that they could complete the final exams and to get ready for the summer session, and so the University Libraries, particularly Jayne Blodgett and Sarah Vaughn, are setting up some times to gather things from the University Libraries. They will be available for library materials pick up on Tuesdays and Fridays, beginning next week, Tuesdays 11:30 to 1:30 and Fridays 2:00 to 4:00. And you'll only be able pick up physical items: books, journals, those sorts of things, as opposed to scanned-in items for the time being. And this will be at the Michener Library, it'd be to pick up materials from both the Michener Library as well as the music library.

Mark Anderson (09:12):
They're also working on a returning of laptops, so the university loaned out to students, faculty and staff approximately a hundred laptops. And for the weeks of May 4 to May 11, there'll be times to drop off laptops that people no longer need. If people have borrowed a laptop and they need to continue to use it through finals or into the summer, you don't have to return it. But we would like to know where people are at, and we're just giving people an opportunity to return the laptops if they're done using them. So again, thanks for everybody who participated in the all-faculty meeting on Tuesday, as well as everybody who participated in the Board of Trustees meeting yesterday. And that's all I have for today, Dan.

Dan Maxey (10:01):
Thank you, Mark. We have no Facilities or Human Resources reports today, but remember that tomorrow is hat day. We'll also have Heather Helm back tomorrow as a guest presenter. For hat day tomorrow, I pulled out an oldie but goodie out of the dusty corners of Carter Hall last night, so tune in for that. Thank you to everyone who's tuned in live for the recording. I'll turn things back over to President Feinstein.

President Feinstein (10:27):
I don't think digging up a dusty hat tomorrow is going to help you, Dan.

Dan Maxey (10:32):
It might not.

President Feinstein (10:37):
Well, thanks everybody. Thanks to our presenters. Thanks for everyone who tuned in, greatly appreciate that and as always, stay safe, be healthy. We'll see you here again tomorrow morning with your hat on at 9:00 AM. Take care everybody.