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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

April 7, Operational Update

April 7, 2020 Update (View on YouTube)


Mark Anderson (00:00):
Welcome. It's Tuesday, April the 7th. Tuesday of Masters week, so the second day of practice rounds. Should have gotten started today, but I'm in withdrawal from Masters golf, so you'll have to excuse me. Andy is not feeling well today. He asked me to step in for him. He also asked me to assure everybody that he's just not feeling well. He has no symptoms of coronavirus. I think it's probably just effectively working continuously for about the last three weeks from home probably caught up with him. I know it's catching up with me.

Mark Anderson (00:42):
So, daily update. I will turn the floor over to Dan Maxey.

Dan Maxey (00:49):
Thank you, Provost Anderson. I hope that everyone is getting some rest. It's important to make sure that you are catching up with sleep, getting resting, hydrated. The cabinet and coronavirus task force are not meeting today. Both have now gone to Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedules as have a number of the subcommittees. I know that Blaine will give a little bit of a report on what that means for task force activity.

Dan Maxey (01:17):
I should report also that the President's Leadership Council is meeting this morning to discuss a couple of issues. As our daily panel gives reports, please remember to unmute your microphones and turn on your cameras. I'm going to turn things over to the chair of our coronavirus task force, Associate Vice President for Administration, Blaine Nickeson, for our developing issues report. Blaine.

Blaine Nickeson (01:42):
Hi Dan, and thanks to the great music to start us off this morning. I don't know why, but I really needed that. As you mentioned, the coronavirus task force has stepped down to meeting three times a week along with most of its subcommittees, but there's still a lot of work that continues to happen in the background. Chairs of the different subcommittees are interacting directly. We're having smaller group meetings to help do some of the work that needs to continue to be done as we respond to and prepare to recover from this pandemic.

Blaine Nickeson (02:17):
Last evening, Governor Polis addressed the state in a rare statewide address carried on TV and radio stations. As widely expected, given the situation, he extended the state's stay at home order until April 26th. Other municipalities such as Denver have already extended theirs until April 30th. The Colorado Convention Center in Denver's being converted into a 2,000 bed field hospital, which is pretty remarkable. Governor repeated his directive that people should wear a face covering when they leave their homes, whether that be a bandana, a no-sew T-shirt mask that you can make a that if you go to the CDC website, they've got directions on how to do that very simply or a more complex sewn mask. My wife and I have been sewing masks for our neighbors and friends for them to be able to pick them up or for us to drop off at their houses.

Blaine Nickeson (03:13):
5,172 cases, which is up 5% since yesterday. Just shy of a thousand people who have been hospitalized. That's up from 924 the day before. Little shy of 27,000 folks have been tested. That's up 4%. the Governor did say yesterday in one of the briefings that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Lab is scaling up its testing capability. It started out at 140 tests a day. It's now into the, I think six or 700 range per day, and they're hoping to get to 1,500 a day soon.

Blaine Nickeson (03:49):
On top of that, private labs, universities, hospitals, et cetera are really ramping up their testing capabilities. That testing capacity is going to be critical for us to have any ability to sort of return to a back-to-normal type of situation because short of having a vaccine, the ability to rapidly test and trace cases is going to be really important in allowing us to go back to a normal sense of life.

Blaine Nickeson (04:18):
There are 150 deaths, which is up 10 in Colorado. Weld County has 534 cases, up 11%, and 26 deaths, which is up one from the day before. Weld County has the fourth-highest number of patients among Colorado counties. And just as a reminder as to why it's important for everybody to take this threat so seriously, 75 cases of those Weld County ones are in patients that are in their 20s or younger. That's 29 years old or younger. So stay home. If you have to leave the house for a critical need or for critical work, make sure you wear a homemade mask. And Dan, I'll go ahead and turn it back over to you.

Dan Maxey (04:58):
Great. Thank you, Blaine. Appreciate those updates. Next up, Dean of Students Gardiner Tucker will give his daily report on impacts of student life. Tuck.

Gardiner Tucker (05:07):
Good morning, Bears. The first thing was I went out for the first time with a mask yesterday, and it's a new experience. Not everyone is complying, so sometimes you're the only one in an area that has it, but I think it's worth trying it out so that we all get used to it, and it's not a new experience for us. Two, I sent Blaine an email yesterday saying, "Hey, can you help me understand this one issue?" And he sent back a reference to the FAQs where the answer was already there. So I need to remember, and I'm advising everyone that a lot of the information we want is already in the FAQs. So check those out first if you get a chance and then if you can't find it there, we can always help.

Gardiner Tucker (05:51):
One of the student impacts is that our award ceremonies are no longer in person, so we to find other ways to select awardees and acknowledge them. So, for example, the Student Employee of the Year is one of our annual awards, and there's still time to nominate. Actually the deadline has been extended to this Friday, April 10th. So, please get your nominations in. I'll post the website in the chat, and maybe we can have that up with the report later. Nominees all receive a letter from our president, Andy Feinstein, as does the Employee of the Year. So it's still a very exciting award, and it's all online now.

Gardiner Tucker (06:32):
The other student impact is again, the loss of smaller in-person communities. So today I wanted to highlight the Center for Women's and Gender Equity (CWGE) led by Yvette Lucero-Nguyen, the director. Now, what they're doing is they're posting daily blogs with issues around current women's issues and gender issues and how they're being impacted by the COVID virus. So, a lot of social forces are being impacted by the virus, and they're blogging about that, and they're also advertising resources for students that are still available though not through the center because the center is closed, but through local resources.

Gardiner Tucker (07:11):
Examples are access to free pregnancy tests, menstrual hygiene products and contraceptive barriers. If you want to know where you can find those in Greeley, those sources are listed there. The second part of the CWGE is the Stryker Institute for Leadership Development. Their mission is to support the personal, social and academic achievement of women from underrepresented groups at the University of Northern Colorado. So they've sent out a questionnaire to their students to identify what the current needs for connection are, what the issues they're facing are as students. They're establishing weekly community gatherings online with topics centered around experiences all of us are having moving off of campus and moving into new environments, like struggling with how to have a social justice conversation with our families or with our friends in new areas. How to parent, be a student, teach your kids all simultaneously, and how classes are going and other kinds of support things.

Gardiner Tucker (08:09):
The curriculum for the leadership program is going online, so it's all on Canvas for the first- and third-year cohorts. There's still doing one-to-ones with all their scholars. And finally they're supporting, facilitating the community connection with each other because they used to see each other on a regular basis. And now that's all online. So, kudos to them for getting all of their program online and helping our students on a day-to-day basis.

Gardiner Tucker (08:34):
Now, my final section is on Rowing, Not Drifting for students, which is looking at the future. So, for major fall '20 events, we have Family and Friends Weekend, and that's coming up on September 25th through September 27th, Friday through Sunday. And we have all sorts of activities for you and your family to enjoy and friends to enjoy, so please join us for that. We have lots of sports. For example, football is playing Northern Arizona University at that time on Saturday, so please mark that on your calendars. And that concludes my report.

Dan Maxey (09:12):
Thank you, Tuck. Appreciate those updates. Next, I'm going to turn the floor back over to Provost Mark Anderson to give his report on impacts, the Academic mission. Mark.

Mark Anderson (09:20):
Thank you, Dan, and thanks everybody for being here once again today. Over in the chat, Laura Connolly asked about the satisfactory, unsatisfactory grade option and when communication will go out about that. We've been working on a communication most of yesterday and into the evening, and I think we're just about finalized. We need to make sure that all of the parties who need to be engaged in the process of implementing the SU are all ready to go for when the announcement goes out. So students will be able to make the change as soon as they possibly can. And so we anticipate that the communication will go out probably mid-afternoon today as we check in with everybody who needs to be part of that communication. So, be on the lookout for that.

Mark Anderson (10:20):
Tuck mentioned that one of the student impacts is the lack of the honors and recognition banquets that we're having in the School of Art and Design. That includes senior shows. And so Lynn Cornelius, the interim director for the School of Art and Design; Pam Meadows, the director of Galleries; Jane Monson, digital initiatives librarian; and Rachel Dineen, the art design librarian, have worked together to allow students to have their final senior show online, and that will be through the Scholarship & Creative Works @ Digital UNC website, and so we're looking forward to students showing their artwork through a different venue this spring so that we can do that.

Mark Anderson (11:19):
We're in the middle of registering for this summer semester. We've communicated out to students that summer terms will be all online with the hope that towards the end of the summer we can have some face-to-face, particularly for field studies or hybrid courses where they had a short, intense face-to-face period. So, I want to thank all faculty for all the work they're doing to facilitate student learning this term. I want to thank everybody for helping students to understand the challenges that they face and working with them to assure that they can continue their learning journey. And then all the faculty, some of whom I've just mentioned, who are really facilitating those extra experiences that students have, particularly at the end of the academic year to really showcase their work. And so hopefully everybody will have an opportunity to go to the website, Scholarship & Creative Works @ Digital UNC and really view the work that these students have put a lot of effort into this year.

Mark Anderson (12:28):
I think that's all I have for this morning, Dan.

Dan Maxey (12:32):
Great. Thank you, Mark. Next, Kirk Leichliter, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Managemen, does have a brief facilities report this morning. Kirk.

Kirk Leichliter (12:41):
Good morning, everyone. The only real update I have is that we are working with the City of Greeley and Housing to identify quarantine space for first responders in our community. Other than that, things are normal at this point. Thank you.

Dan Maxey (12:59):
Great. Thank you very much, Kirk. Marshall Parks has no Human Resources reports this morning, so I'm going to turn the floor back over to Provost Anderson for some final words. Mark.

Mark Anderson (13:11):
Well, again, we want to thank everybody for all the work that you've been doing. As Blaine indicated earlier, Governor Polis extended the social distancing executive order through April 26th, and I think we can probably assume that it will be a little bit longer than that as well. What I'm hearing is that they're anticipating the peak, and social distancing is having the appropriate impact and then it's flattening the curve. So we really appreciate all that everybody is doing. We want to thank you for your efforts, and go Bears. Have a great day.