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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

March 29, Operational Updates

March 29, 2020 Update (View on Youtube)



President Feinstein (00:00):
Well. Good morning everyone. Sunday, March 29th this is our daily operations status report. As we did yesterday, I'm going to ask Dan Satriana our general counsel to start us off with a little bit of music and then I will ask Dan Maxey, our chief of staff to moderate conversations and updates from our coronavirus task forces. So Dan, Satriana take it away.

Dan Satriana (00:23):
Thanks, Andy. We've got a couple of different takes on social distancing today, one by Paul Simon and the other by Billy Joel. That's what we got for this morning. Back to you, Andy.

President Feinstein (01:30):
Thanks Dan S. Dan M. why don't you begin the conversations with the other task force participants.

Dan Maxey (01:37):
Thanks Andy and thanks Dan, I was looking for Stan Luger's reaction to make a new plan, Stan, but he doesn't appear to be on the call with us this morning, so I'm sure we'll hear that later. The coronavirus task force and cabinet will not formally meet today, although their members remain engaged with response related efforts throughout the weekend. Yesterday, we practiced our contingency plans for the transition of incident command responsibilities, but today we have Blaine Nickeson, associate vice president for administration and chair of our coronavirus task force back with us for a report on developing issues. As always, if you're giving a report, please be sure to unmute your microphones and turn on your cameras when it's time for your report. Blaine.

Blaine Nickeson (02:16):
Thanks Dan, thanks Andy. I want to thank Kirk for filling in for me yesterday and for cabinet support for our succession planning. Appreciate that. Yeah. Colorado has doubled its number of diagnosed cases in the last three days and the U.S. death toll has doubled in the last two days. So things are ramping up. Testing is mostly limited to those that are hospitalized. Healthcare workers or first responders and people who are high risk or have some other type of complicating factor. We've surpassed 2000 diagnosed cases, 2061 positive cases here in Colorado up from 1,734. Forty-four deaths up from 31 from the prior day, 274 hospitalized up from 239 from the day before and little over 13,000 tested, 13,276 up from 11,600 the day before. Weld County is reporting 182 positive cases up from 147. So that's up about a quarter seven deaths in Weld County. So that's the second highest among counties.

Blaine Nickeson (03:31):
Weld County, when you look at the cases per capita across the state, weld County has actually ticked slightly above Denver County and is now the leading county all up and down the front range. The only exception were for higher case ratios are up in the high country, but everything along the urban corridor, Weld is leading there. So really we'll be interested to see what happens over the next couple of days. That's my update this morning, Dan and I'll the kick it back to you.

Dan Maxey (04:05):
Thank you Blaine. Unfortunately, not a place where we want to be in the lead.

Blaine Nickeson (04:08):

Dan Maxey (04:09):
Next I'm going to ask provost Anderson to give his daily report on impacts to the academic mission. Mark.

Mark Anderson (04:16):
Thank you, Dan. I mentioned yesterday CDHE had provided some guidance with respect to grading. They also had some guidance with respect to use of standardized exams for admissions. That won't impact us this year, but potentially next year. As well as guidance on AP credit and some other things impacting students and finally some guidance on tenure and promotion and tenure clock delays. I shared that with the deans. I'm just posting it now into the chat so everybody has access to that now. I'm just getting ready for week number two. That's all I have this morning. Thank you.

Dan Maxey (05:09):
Great, thank you. Mark. Quick question. I know you mentioned that you circulated that to the deans. Do you know when we may see any decisions come out of those discussions?

Mark Anderson (05:24):
Our goal is to have some recommendation by Tuesday, Wednesday of next week. We want to make sure that all the academic colleges, the faculty leadership, have a chance to have those conversations. Some colleges already had the end of last week. Others were planning on that for the beginning of the current week. So we want to get the faculty input, particularly on the grading. The grading issue is the most pressing at the moment. So Tuesday, Wednesday next we should have recommendation.

Dan Maxey (05:58):
Great. Thank you Martin. Next up-

President Feinstein (06:02):
Dan actually, maybe we can get that CDHE document posted on the coronavirus website as well.

Dan Maxey (06:09):
Yeah, we'll link it there. We'll also link it at the top of the transcript for the call today for anyone looking for it on the recording today. Next up, we have assistant vice president for facilities management, Kirk Leichliter, who's going to give us a report on facilities impacts, Kirk.

Kirk Leichliter (06:25):
Good morning, everybody. Welcome back, Blaine. I hope you got to breathe a little bit yesterday. Yesterday we had a meeting with Andy, Michelle, Katrina, Tobias, and a state architect regarding trying to identify residence halls at the state level for use as an alternate care facility. The architects being tasked with trying to identify 100 bed blocks throughout the state between hotels and they have facilities like our residence halls. We expect to hear from the corps of engineers tomorrow for possible meeting to review what the alternatives are might be here. This is similar to what we've been working on with the county and it's unclear yet whether that's coordinated or not.

Kirk Leichliter (07:18):
We are in lockdown as before. If there's any issues with access for essential staff, please notify the service center and UNC PD can help with urgent one-time access needs. Final note is building automation has set back the temperature in many of the campus buildings that are theoretically unoccupied. There's buildings that we have long standing agreements to leave alone. But I think we're set up there so I believe that's all I have today.

Dan Maxey (07:54):
Thank you. Kirk. Next up we have Marshall Parks, director of human resources for our HR related impacts. Marshall.

Marshall Parks (08:00):
Good morning, Dan. Thanks. Thanks for having us this morning. Tucks been doing a really good job of sharing stories about how our students and faculty are adapting to all of the changes. And I'd like to share a story this morning that I heard interestingly at a virtual FAC on Friday night. So one of our professors audiology, Dr. Jenny Weber sent this message out Wednesday night to our class of around 60 and it read.

Marshall Parks (08:28):
"Hi everyone. Great job getting through exam two. This may have been your first online test for many of you, making it even more of a challenge. Some of you have asked about extra credit opportunities, which I know plan to incorporate each week. Each opportunity may only be a small amount of points, but I think it will help everyone keep engaged in this course. I know between the virus, courses going online, trying to keep up with assignments and the uncertainty of what's going to transpire daily. It's been difficult to maintain a sense of calmness right now. Focusing on maintaining good mental health during this pandemic can be vital to your physical health, also. Balancing both mental and physical health is extremely important right now for your overall wellbeing. With that being said, I'm presenting this week's extra credit opportunity. I'd like each of you to take a break and engage in a mental health activity.

Marshall Parks (09:20):
Do something that puts a smile on your face. This can be going for a hike, walking the dog for 30 minutes. Journaling gratitude, an online yoga class, drinking more water, or having a consumption goal for the day for water and hitting it. Baking cookies for your neighbor, a motivational Ted Talk, et cetera. Do something to take your mind off the negative right now and focus on the good and the positive. Once you've completed your task, please post what you did on the discussion board assignment, mental health, extra credit. Your posts can be simple. Describe what you did or even just post a picture of your activity. I don't care. Let's share what we're doing to stay well right now. I believe sharing with everyone on the discussion board will all help us keep connected as a class. Keep it positive. We'll get through this together."

Marshall Parks (10:02):
And the next day. Dr. Weber shared, it had been almost 12 hours since I posted the assignment and 37 of the 60 students have responded so far. They are all so positive. They are awesome. Somewhere students are sharing what they're doing to stay mentally healthy, pics of their dogs, they take for regular walks, recipes on how to flavor water with detoxifying cucumber and lemon. Pictures of art that people have painted or created. One specific one she shared with me read this way. It said, "Thank you for the opportunity Dr. Weber. I think this is such a great idea. The extra credit, of course is welcome, but I lay in bed this morning just waiting for the rain in the snow. I had already put into my head that I would not be walking my dog today. Then I see your post and I immediately got my life together to take my dog out. I'm sure he appreciates you and I appreciate the jumpstart. So I don't spend the day wallowing in bed."

Marshall Parks (10:55):
Great work by Dr. Weber, encouraging a good physical and mental health with our students in a way that also builds community. We've got a lot of great faculty and staff doing really exceptional work. Rising to the occasion right now for our students and it's much appreciated. That's all I've got today, Dan. Thanks.

Dan Maxey (11:15):
Great. Thank you Marshall. And those are good reminders. I think we could all be doing that as our daily lives are disrupted quite a bit recently to maintain our individual health and to take care of one another and look out for one another. Our final report today comes from Dean of students, Gardiner Tucker, Tuck. I'll turn the floor over to you.

Gardiner Tucker (11:36):
Good morning everyone. I want to build on what Marshall is saying. I want to draw attention to Andy's supervisor Clara, who is sitting behind him, his cat and how important pets are for getting us through the times like this. So Marshall, great story that you shared. So first off yesterday I mentioned the community development models. So I'm trying out new technology here. So I just wanted to share my screen so that you can see. So here's the example of the community development model. When we're building online communities, it starts with getting to know each other. Communication like this call is about communication and building trust in what we're doing and showing our commitment. So it has a variety of aspects of this community development cycle.

Gardiner Tucker (12:26):
And it's really important for us to keep in mind how to address all five of these so that we continuously work to help students feel like they belong to our Bears community no matter what the conditions we're under. On my report, the thing that I want to emphasize today is part of the community development model is we have lost our in-person exercise facility and exercise classes. So our strategy to deal with that is to provide exercise and learning options online instead of face to face. And the recreation center has moved certain activities online. So for example, thank you. For example, they've moved their weekly fitness challenge to online, their workout of the week, their stretch and body awareness, their group fit and their health and wellness tips.

Gardiner Tucker (13:19):
The outlets they're using are threefold. They're using Instagram, Facebook, and what's known as Instagram TV. Now I didn't know what Instagram TV was, so I had to download that last night. So I'm still learning how to use it. But it's longer videos of exercise programs and things that they can put there. Now they've even put on intramurals and competitive sports. So they have the ability to put on competitive sports. So let's see if I can find that. So here, if you look online, this is the recreation center website or the division of student affairs. So if we go to the recreation center, here we can see that you can register for intermural sports online. They have instructions for people who are running the teams and here are some of the online gaming teams that you can join. Super Smash Brothers, Rocket League, Major League Baseball, NBA, UNC running challenge and FIFA 20.

Gardiner Tucker (14:20):
So these are the options they have for our students to learn to do intramurals online with each other. And they even have a great way of telling who wins by, you have to send in a screenshot of your victory. All fees are eliminated for these. They're all free and registration is this week. So they will even be offering intermural champ shirts for anyone who participates in these sports. So it's exciting to see recreation center build community online. And that concludes my report.

Dan Maxey (14:55):
Thank you, Tuck and thank you to everyone whose given reports today, tuned in life or is watching the recording today. President Feinstein, I'll turn it back over to you.

President Feinstein (15:04):
Thanks Dan. And I appreciate Tuck recognizing Clara is in the background. That's my supervisor and she keeps me company throughout most of the days when I'm on conference calls. And so great presentations again today and as always, stay safe, be healthy. And we'll see you here again tomorrow morning at 9:00 A.M. Take care of everybody.