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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

March 22, Operational Update

March 22, 2020 Update (View on YouTube)


Andy Feinstein (00:00):
Well. Good morning everybody. Sunday, March 22nd this is our daily operations report. I wasn't sure what the attire was today. I know that yesterday many of you folks were wearing baseball caps, so I brought my baseball cap for this morning just in case, but like to ask Dan Maxey now to start us on our daily update. Dan.

Dan Maxey (00:23):
Love the ball cap, Andy, thank you.

Andy Feinstein (00:25):
Thank you.

Dan Maxey (00:26):
The cabinet coronavirus task force and its subcommittees have not formally met over the weekend. However, a number of people were focused on the response yesterday as variety of new responses for assistance that come in from the state and community. Naturally, we are also continuing efforts related to the university response, so thank you to everyone who has been engaged in that work. Within the end spring break, we will convene a brief meeting of the president's leadership council on Tuesday morning before this call. Information about that call will be sent out to the PLC this morning with details on how to join that meeting. That meeting will be conducted over teams, much like this call, so I know that we're all getting to be more familiar with this format as each day goes on. As individuals give reports today, I'll ask you to please unmute your microphones and turn on your cameras. I'm going to start the call today by turning the floor over to Blaine Nickeson, associate vice president for administration and the chair of our coronavirus task force for a report on a daily developing issues.

Blaine Nickeson (01:24):
Good morning everybody. Thanks Dan. As I usually do all report on the numbers we have from the state. Colorado has 475 positive tests. That's up 112 or 31% day over day, which is the same percentage gain as the day before. Have done 4,550 tests. Up 24% day over day. 49 individuals are hospitalized and the death toll has ticked up from four to six. The state reports 21 positive cases in Weld County up to 15 the day before, but the latest info directly from Weld County public health is actually 31 positive cases and a reminder that those case counts are point in time the state is gathering versus the more real time information from the county.

Blaine Nickeson (02:11):
I want to emphasize based on looking at the spread of the cases within Colorado here that COVID isn't just a virus that affects the elderly. Based upon the Colorado case counts, 56% of the cases to date are for folks under the age of 50 and one out of six are for people ages 10 through 29. So our students can certainly get COVID and be impacted by it. Actually right now, the leading group of people with cases is the age 40 to 49 with 20% of the cases. So for me, that gives me a lot of pause and reinforces why I'm taking this so seriously.

Blaine Nickeson (02:51):
New Jersey's governor yesterday, issued a stay at home order. It allows essential businesses to continue to operate and people to shop there using appropriate preparedness and safety. But those are places like grocery stores and pharmacies. This follows other states like California, Illinois, Connecticut, and Colorado will likely follow suit to be honest. So be prepared. There's no need to panic buy. There's no need to rush your stores, but be prepared that we're likely going to be asked to shelter at home and work from home like many of us are doing. Thank you, Dan. That's all I've got for this morning.

Dan Maxey (03:32):
Thanks Blaine, I appreciate those updates. Next I'm going to ask Provost Mark Anderson to give his report on impacts to the academic mission, particularly in the light of the fact that we'll start alternate delivery this coming week.

Mark Anderson (03:47):
Thank you, Dan. As Dan said, we're going to start alternate delivery this week. Monday, Tuesday are times to finalize preparations for moving classes to an alternate delivery format. The instructional design folks have done an investigation of Canvas usage and for those classes that have had no or minimal content on their Canvas shells, IDD is inserted a template with instructions for adding basic content, and this is to help individuals get their courses into an online format using Canvas as the delivery mechanism.

Mark Anderson (04:34):
We also want to remind people that we are encouraging folks to work from home all of next week, but we'll have normal key card access to buildings for the entirety of the week. So really want folks to go to their office, not to work, but to collect items they'll need to continue their instruction as well as their scholarship activities from home. Beginning at 5:00 on Friday the 27th the buildings, we'll move into only essential personnel will have access to buildings. So we need people to collect everything they need is for their instruction and scholarship sometime before 5:00 on Friday. We're collecting with the deans essential personnel for each of the colleges and or are accumulating that list and are working with Kirk Licklider to assure that folks who are essential personnel and can be justified will have access to buildings beyond Friday. So that's all I have Dan.

Dan Maxey (05:47):
Mark, do you know when a decision will be made on those requests for essential personnel that are coming from the colleges?

Mark Anderson (05:55):
We've targeted Wednesday.

Dan Maxey (05:59):
Okay, great. Thank you. Next I'm going to ask Vice President for Facilities Management, Kirk Leichliter to give a report on impacts to our facilities. Kirk, are you there?

Kirk Leichliter (06:12):
Good morning. First I'd like to thank everybody who helped us evaluate the Bank of Colorado Arena for use as a potential cold weather shelter. That was very helpful yesterday. It's my understanding that Andy and the City Manager have negotiated an alternate solution for that. The only other update I have is that the state has asked us for an inventory of our gymnasium type facilities, so we've been getting that information together for them as well. I don't believe I have anything else today.

Dan Maxey (06:46):
Thanks Kirk. We have no new human resources updates today. So I'm going to skip over Marshall on today's agenda. Our final report today is going to come from Dean of Students Gardiner Tucker. Tuck.

Gardiner Tucker (07:03):
Good morning everybody. I have three student impacts I'd like to focus on today. The first one is our students are impacted by the uncertainty of their academic success in alternative delivery courses. So what I mean by that ... Hold on just a second. What I mean by that is using alternative course delivery and with everything else happening, students are stressed about whether they're going to be able to be academically successful for the remainder of the semester. So one of the strategies we're doing to address that is policy changes for the registrar. So for example, the registrar has addressed individual withdrawals from courses. They've extended the individual withdrawal deadline to April 17th which is the same deadline for your total withdrawal from the semester. So this extension should help students have time to get the rhythm of coming back to classes and their own academic success. And it gives them kind of an exit clause just in case they feel uncomfortable in a class. That information will be posted in the student FAQ tomorrow on Monday. So in terms of dealing with uncertainty of academic success, the registrar has made some policy changes to help our students.

Gardiner Tucker (08:27):
The second student impact I'd like to focus on is off campus student housing, particularly with leases and rent, because in this time of uncertainty students may be moving away from Greeley or changing their circumstances or having various challenges paying rent. So one of the ways that we're addressing that, the strategy is to offer professional legal advice to students for landlord situations. Now this was in the letter that Andy and Katrina sent to all students last week, but I just wanted to bring attention to that because our student legal services is still available by Skype or by phone. And you can set up an appointment by emailing the dean of students office. So dos@unc.edu to set up that consult. Now the consultation is free. You get to get advice from our attorney Brandon.

Gardiner Tucker (09:23):
So the third student impact I'd like to focus on is our own housing and to do that, I've asked Jenna to report on our housing. Jenna.

Jenna Finley (09:36):
Good morning everyone. We are still continuing to get re-survey responses. I will post an update later this morning, but the last update I had, we have three 337 students indicating they wish to return to the residence halls and 183 to Arlington Park. Today marks the end of spring break, so they will start to return to their normal assignments today. We have 56 resident assistants who have agreed to return to help us for the rest of the semester, which a very large kudos to that staff because when you put it into the perspective of they could have stayed home and received some pay or come back and put themselves in a little bit of risk and continue to work and just to get a little bit of extra pay, it says a lot to our students.

Jenna Finley (10:38):
We have processed approximately 160 checkouts at this point in time. Please keep in mind that those numbers lag a little bit because we are not going through and checking rooms until three days after the room is vacant, so the paperwork will not be reflective of the actual number of checkouts until we get to the end of semester. We have a couple of students who are reporting some flu like symptoms that are self-isolating at this point. One reported yesterday trying to get tested and not being able to meet the criteria, so we referred them to the health center Monday morning. But students who are self-isolating are receiving meals and seem to be in pretty good spirits. So I think that's all I have. Thank you.

Gardiner Tucker (11:37):
That concludes my report. Thank you.

Dan Maxey (11:39):
Thanks. I was going to comment on your great sweatshirt there Tuck, then Jenna came on and I wanted to comment on her really comfy looking couch so.

Gardiner Tucker (11:48):
Well next time I need my hat so to match you Andy.

Dan Maxey (11:50):
All right, thank for those updates. We appreciate, again, the amount of work that's going into helping us prepare, continue services for students and to particularly address those students who are either in the residence halls or trying to check out. So thank you for all of that. I want to thank everyone who's tuned in live or to the recording this weekend. I'm going to ask president Feinstein to say some final words to close our meeting today.

Andy Feinstein (12:17):
Thank you Dan. So it looks like it's going to be a nice day out there today. If you have a chance to step outside and get some sunshine and get some air, I suggest you do that. I know we do have a busy a week coming up with classes being taught remotely, starting on Wednesday. Today might also be a good day to visit one of our local restaurants. Pick up some food to take home or to have it delivered to your house to support our Greeley local restaurants if you can. Last, stay safe, be healthy, and we'll see you here again tomorrow at 9:00 AM. Take care.