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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

March 30, Operational Update

March 30, 2020 Update (View on Youtube)


President Feinstein (00:00):
Good morning everybody. It's Monday, March 30th. And this is our daily operation status report. I have a few quick updates before I ask Dan Maxey to step in. The Army Corps of Engineers will be on campus today or possibly tomorrow looking at some of our housing facilities for possible use in the future for hospital patients that may be displaced by coronavirus-infected individuals at our local hospitals, or for use by healthcare workers. Nothing has been decided at this time. And they're just here to assess our inventory. We'll get a little update on that when Kirk Lechleiter talks to us in just a moment. I'm also going to be meeting with the deans today to check in on how they're doing and have a conversation so that they can update me on what's happening in their world. I also have this afternoon, a city wide meeting with the Chamber of Commerce, as we work to develop and implement a Greeley business response and recovery plan for our community.

President Feinstein (00:57):
And this is a follow-up meeting from last week, and it included business leaders and city officials in a discussion, a robust discussion, about what we can do to support our local business community. And also think about in the future, for when this is over, what we can do regarding recovery efforts. And this afternoon, we're also going to have our first virtual Faculty Senate meeting. And I'll have an update for you tomorrow regarding that. And that's all I have for right now. So now I'm going to ask Dan Maxey, our chief of staff, to moderate the coronavirus task force updates. Dan.

Dan Maxey (01:33):
Thank you, President Feinstein. The Coronavirus Task Force and Cabinet will resume meetings today. Each of them meets as well as several of the task force subcommittees. We, I'll just go ahead and turn it over here to Blaine Nickeson for the daily emerging updates. Blaine.

Blaine Nickeson (01:53):
Thanks, Dan. Thanks, Andy. Good morning, everybody. Happy Monday. I'm hope folks were able to recharge a little bit over the weekend. Last night, the White House announced that they are extending their social distancing guidelines for a month through the end of April. This was the original 15 days to slow the spread plan that did certain things like prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. So from the federal level, we're starting to see some more recognition that this is going to be at least initially here a little bit longer of a flattening the curve process. So again, through the end of April. Colorado 2,307 positive cases, up about 15% since yesterday. Four more deaths, up to a total of 48 deaths. Cases are now in 47 counties in Colorado. So every day it seems like we're adding a couple more counties. 326 folks are hospitalized, which is up 19%. And 14,470 are tested, which is only up about nine percent, so we're seeing hospitalizations up 19%, positive cases up 15%, testing up 9%. So would really, really like to see that testing number move faster.

Blaine Nickeson (03:10):
10 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital healthcare facilities. So these would be nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, that that kind of thing. Weld County is reporting 216 positive cases up from 182 the day before. So that's up 19% which is a little higher than the positive case rate for the state, which I said was up 15%. we've had nine deaths in Colorado, or I'm sorry, in Weld County. Weld County is now is still the second highest county for deaths.

Blaine Nickeson (03:41):
Despite the escalating health crisis in Colorado and in the U.S., believe it or not, we'll soon have to pivot and start thinking about recovery and phase for resumption of activities. So that's something that I and the task force will start thinking about this week is building a structure around that as we start thinking about and getting guidance from our partners about what recovery might look like. So that's what I have for this morning. We'll turn it back over to you, Dan.

President Feinstein (04:07):
Hey, Blaine, quick question for you. One of the things I was reading is that Weld County has had a more significant spike in coronavirus cases than even Denver. I don't know if it's just as a percentage of population, but do you have any information on that?

Blaine Nickeson (04:27):
Yeah, there's, I don't know if the, it's not helpful for folks that are on the video, but within the chat function, at the end of the call yesterday, I included a link to the state's sort of data platform. But yes, Weld County, when they look at the rates per 100,000 people in each county, Weld County is just slightly over Denver County for all of the sort of the big metro counties. So Larimer, Weld, Boulder, Adams, Arapahoe, Jeffco, Denver, Douglas, down to El Paso and Pueblo. The only place, the only county with higher case rates are the ones up in the high country. So Gunnison, Pitkin, Eagle, because of their populations, they have a much higher incidents rate. But yeah, Weld County is in a place that is not a good distinction we want to have right now.

President Feinstein (05:22):
Thank you.

Blaine Nickeson (05:22):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dan Maxey (05:22):
Thank you, Blaine. Next I'm going to turn to Provost Mark Anderson for his report on impacts to the academic mission. Mark.

Mark Anderson (05:28):
Well, good morning. We're starting the second week. I would imagine that instruction will hopefully turn from getting used to the alternate delivery to really focusing on the business of instruction and learning. This week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we continue interviewing for Assistant Vice President for Strategic Enrollment. We have two people here Monday, Tuesday, and Tuesday, Wednesday here in the sense that the interviews are all being conducted via Teams. We have four people total, two last week, two this week and so I encourage everybody to participate. If you are not familiar with the schedule, let me know, and we'll get that to you.

Mark Anderson (06:20):
Blaine talked a little bit about planning for recovery. We have on beginning April 6th, so one week from today, the beginning of summer registration. Summer represents about $17 million in revenue to the university, so we have to be aware of that and really working to maintain a robust summer enrollment.

Mark Anderson (06:44):
We really have to this week decide whether or not we're going to try to have normal delivery or alternate delivery. The first summer session starts May 18. That's the beginning of the 12-week summer session as well as the first six-week summer session. I think the deans as well as the faculty and I need to have a conversation. My sense is that it would be very difficult to plan for regular delivery beginning then. That's just outside of the eight week CDC recommendation for alternate delivery. And by all indications from what I've seen over the weekend in particular, it's probably unlikely that we'll be able to offer face-to-face courses beginning May 18. The eight-week session starts June the eighth. I think that that is probably just outside of where we are with respect to moving back to normal. I don't know that we necessarily have to make a decision on delivery techniques for June 8th, but I think we have to be planning for any contingency at that point.

Mark Anderson (07:52):
The second six-week summer session starts on June 29th. Hopefully by then we will in fact be returning to normal, but again I think to err on the side of caution, we need to have contingency plans for that as well. So we'll be talking a lot about summer over the next week with really we need to have a decision on delivery mechanisms before students register beginning on Monday, one week from today, so that they register with a sense of understanding of what's coming up.

Mark Anderson (08:24):
I sent out, again, through the chat link last time and I believe, Dan, you are going to post on the coronavirus FAQ, guidance from CDHE with respect to a lot of different aspects of operations. But including and perhaps most importantly right at the moment is grading policy. So if you haven't looked at the, excuse me, if you haven't looked at that, I'd encourage you to and I believe Dan posted it to the coronavirus FAQ. And that's all I had for this morning.

Dan Maxey (08:58):
Thank you, Mark. Next up is Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management, Kirk Leichliter, with the report on impacts to our facilities. Kirk.

Kirk Leichliter (09:06):
Good morning, everyone. As Andy mentioned, we did hear from the state on Saturday doing significant investigation about alternative care facilities. They're tasked with identifying 100 bed blocks of space throughout the state in hotels and places like our residence halls. Have not heard from them yet today, but we kind of expect that they will come. And if we hear from them, Tobias and I will probably be the ones that are meeting with them and trying to figure out what the possibilities are on campus.

Kirk Leichliter (09:43):
Buildings are in lockdown. We've had a few issues this morning. The Service Center and Steven are getting them resolved as they arise. Building automation has set back temperatures in many of the buildings as well as some of the lighting. Thanks to Jane for checking up on the library lighting with us to make sure we pick that up because I don't think we had planned on it. But lots of savings opportunity there. Otherwise, building checks are continuing, normal service calls, custodial still doing their thing. I believe that's all I have to update today.

Dan Maxey (10:24):
Great. Thank you, Kirk. Next Marshall Parks, Director of Human Resources, will share human resources-related impacts. Marshall.

Marshall Parks (10:30):
Good morning, everybody. I want to provide you a quick staffing update. We did an inventory last week of where our employees are working, and as of last Friday we have 1,422 employees working remotely or about 84% of our faculty and staff. We currently have 247 employees still reporting to work on campus on a regular or somewhat regular basis, or about 15% of our staff. We have 24 employees who are fully on administrative leave because they can't perform their duties remotely. And so of the staff still on campus are primary located in housing and dining, police and dispatch, custodial and facilities including the utility plant. I think that we don't actually have 247 people on campus any one day. Dining is beginning a rotation of staff that is appropriate for the number of students we're serving. So some of their staff are working on campus for one week and then doing 14 days off.

Marshall Parks (11:31):
As a result of the harder campus lockdown Friday, as Kirk kind of mentioned, he'll continue to be adjusting his staffing and custodial and some facility areas as we have fewer buildings occupied and we'll continue to manage that as that evolves. I'll update again these numbers again next week as we can continue to kind of adapt to our new environment.

Marshall Parks (11:51):
One very odd report I have to make this morning, hopefully the most odd I'll give, is the Department of Labor considers our 12 employees who we have working on H1-B visas on campus to have changed their working location from the campus location to home. And they've issued a regulatory requirement that requires them to post notices in their home announcing their change of position. So again, makes absolutely no sense. But we're sending an email with instructions today with a customized posting for each of our 12 employees. And hopefully that is the strangest thing I have to report on. And if any of your faculty or staff are impacted by this and wonder what's going on, please have them give me a call, and we'll walk through the regulatory requirement for them. And that's all I have today, Dan. Thanks.

Dan Maxey (12:42):
Thanks, Marshall. The final report today comes from Dean of Students, Gardiner Tucker. So I'll turn it over to Tuck.

Gardiner Tucker (12:48):
Good morning. The first student impact that I wanted to cover are, again, students are missing the smaller communities that they have on campus where they got support, mentoring, were able to connect with other people. And so our strategy across campus is to develop smaller communities so that students can engage online. So today's example is the Marcus Garvey Cultural Center, led by Talia Carroll. So she has put together a regular distribution of the Marcus Garvey newsletter to students. On Facebook, they're posting highlights of notable African American women during Women's History Month. They're doing virtual study tables, bringing students together to study at the same time virtually. They're doing social hours, wellness sessions, and then the director, Talia, is doing one-to-one meetings with scheduled meetings with students and then open office hours where students can drop in and just chat online with her. So those are great breakthroughs to create those smaller communities.

Gardiner Tucker (13:53):
The second student impact I wanted to cover today is in-person communication has gone away obviously. So the strategy is to move all of our communication to alternate formats, and the Student Senate elections are an example of that. So taking a chance here, I am going to share my screen again, but I think I've learned how to unshare it. So this is an example on Facebook of one of our candidates. She said, "I hope you're having a good time at Zoom University. I'm proud to announce my campaign for Senator at UNC. Elections are April 1st through 3rd on Ursa." And then she gives some tips on wash your hands, apply hand sanitizer. And in her hand she's carrying a UNC emblem there. So it's very exciting to see our students continue to do their work online and move our activities online. So good job to the students in it. And that concludes my report.

Dan Maxey (14:55):
Great. Thank you, Tuck. I appreciate those updates and appreciate hearing the various creative ways our students are responding in these situations, too. I want to thank everyone who's tuned in live or to the recording. I'm going to turn it over to President Feinstein.

President Feinstein (15:09):
Thanks, Dan. And thank everyone for their updates today. Greatly appreciate that. And as always, stay safe, be healthy, and we'll see you here again tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. Take care, everybody.