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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

March 31, Operational Update

March 31, 2020 Update (View on YouTube)



President Feinstein (00:00):
Good morning. Today is Tuesday, March 31st. And this is our daily operation status report. I'd like to begin by thanking our students for your patience, and for sharing your insights and feedback as we navigate through these uncertain times. And I'd like to remind you to continue to use the feedback forum at unco.edu/feedback. Or we also have an FAQ submission form at unco.edu/coronavirus. And you can also always email me directly at Andy.Feinstein@unco.edu. I read and my team reads every single response, every email. And we see you, and we hear you. And we're here to provide support. So, reach out if you need help. If you need help, contact us immediately.

President Feinstein (00:59):
So, we're all navigating this change together. And there's some difficult things that we're going to be going through and continue to go through. And we're not always sure what's going to happen next or how things will unfold. But we are working hard to get it right. And we're collecting information from you and others, and that's vitally important to ensure that we do the right thing.

President Feinstein (01:22):
So, speaking of changes, this morning you're going to see how we've changed up our updates from our coronavirus task forces. And we're going to start with our student impact update first. For more information on how we're restructuring these presentations, I'm going to hand this over to Dan Maxey, our Chief of Staff, to get us going. Dan.

Dan Maxey (01:44):
Thank you, President Feinstein. The cabinet and Coronavirus Task Force as well as its various subcommittees will meet today. As our daily panel gives reports, please remember to unmute your microphones, turn on your cameras, and show us those sweet headphones, if you've got them. First up, we will have Blaine Nickeson, Associate Vice President for Administration and chair of the Coronavirus Task Force go first. But, following Blaine, we've moved the student reports up to follow. And we'll go from there. Blaine, will you start off with the report please?

Blaine Nickeson (02:20):
Sure. Thanks, Dan. And no headphones for me, just the AirPods. Glad I bought these before the shutdown happened. Yesterday, Governor Polis held a lengthy press conference, went about an hour and a half actually. And he indicated that Colorado had seen some limited success in slowing the spread. We're now seeing the impact of the closures of schools, and bars, and restaurants from a few weeks ago. We won't see the impact of the stay at home order for about another week. That's the lag of how this process works.

Blaine Nickeson (02:53):
Through CDOT and looking at our highways, measured vehicle traffic is down 60%, which is good. But we'd like to see that number more near 80%. And note, we're seeing way too much traffic headed up to the high country, particularly through the Johnson and Eisenhower Tunnels. Officials really want to reinforce this is not a vacation. It's not a time to drive two to three hours up into the high country.

Blaine Nickeson (03:18):
Part of the press conference was a doctor that leads the pulmonology and critical care departments for the medical school at CU. And he said that they're seeing patients both young and old needing ventilators. And that, for some people, the speed of moving from some early symptoms to critical care can be just a matter of hours. So, to reinforce, the best thing that you can do is stay home and stay safe.

Blaine Nickeson (03:41):
We have 2,627 positive cases, up about 14% since yesterday. Three more deaths, up to 51. Excuse me. 414 hospitalized, that's up 27%. And 15,364 were tested, only up 6%. So, hospitalization is up 27%, positive cases up 14%, and testing up 6%. Here in Weld County, we're reporting 254 positive cases, that's up 18% day over day. Nine deaths in Weld County. Weld has moved up, I've talked in prior days about sort of our per capita rate amongst other counties in the state. And Weld County has ticked up one. So, we're now the fifth highest county in the state for per capita.

Blaine Nickeson (04:32):
Yesterday, Larimer and Weld Counties partnered to do a drive-up test site at the Ranch in Loveland for first responders and healthcare workers to be tested only. And there'll be another one of those on Friday, but it's critically important that we take care of the people who are taking care of us. And we want to make sure that we can identify those folks that are high priority for testing, so that they can get treatment and stop the spread. That's the update that I have this morning. Thanks, Dan.

Dan Maxey (05:01):
Thank you Blaine. Next up, Dean of Students and uncontested headphone champion Gardiner Tucker has the report on impacts to the student life. Tuck, I'm going to turn the floor over to you.

Gardiner Tucker (05:13):
I finally won something. Yay. So, I have three student impacts today. The first student impact is that our students want to find ways to continue to enjoy their lives outside of class. So, one of the strategies we are doing is providing entertainment options through alternative means. So, for example, the Office of Student Life, led by Evan Welch, Assistant Dean of Students, and his team are not just doing campus programming themselves, but they're also linking students to national programming.

Gardiner Tucker (05:46):
So, for example, they're doing some livestreams and virtual concerts and recommending those to watch during the coronavirus crisis. So, some of the names of those bands are Kash Doll, K-A-S-H, Doll. So, I'm sure all of you know that band. Actually, I don't know it, but I'm sure someone does because they are known throughout the country. Diplo is a DJ, American DJ, music producer, and songwriter. Now, Diplo is very similar in fame to Dan Satriana, AKA, DJ Satch. We've got a band called The Cold War Kids, FaZe Clan. And then, maybe you do know this name Miley Cyrus with Alicia Keys. So, that's a great concert too. These are all free concerts that you can tune into through the Office of Student Life are posting those.

Gardiner Tucker (06:35):
The second thing that they're posting is McHarper Manor for weekly tutorials on how to create art projects. So, if you are quarantined and you want to do some art projects, you can learn how to watercolor paint, chalk art, and canvas painting. And those are live daily. And then, you can also do lunch doodles with Mo Willems. Now this is a national thing too, Kennedy Center artist-in-residence. And he walks you through how to doodle, why it's beneficial, and you can do that live as well, or watch the videos afterwards. So, these are ways to stay engaged and enjoy things during this time.

Gardiner Tucker (07:13):
The second student impact, one of our most important impacts is Housing and Dining, of course. So, I'd like to invite Jenna to speak to that today. Jenna.

Jenna Finley (07:21):
Good morning. I'd like to let you know that we've had over 900 students check out of the residence halls at this point in time. 1,323 students have completed the link that was included in the letter that came out on Friday from Katrina. Of those respondents, 1,285 indicated they intend to move out and 38 indicate they intend to stay on campus. We will be nudging students through a text message that directs them to the letter and the link hopefully today. What are the more frequent questions we're receiving is, when are we getting information? So, we feel like students have missed the letter that went out on Friday and want to provide a nudge.

Jenna Finley (08:10):
We will also be giving some information to students that they can resume checking out and sign up to do so still practicing social distancing. On Friday, the governor's order was amended to include a paragraph that indicated that moving out of your residence hall was an essential activity. So, we expect that we'll see, hopefully, this continued a slow checkout that we're experiencing. And we also know from talking to a lot of our out-of-state families that they're not likely to come check out until a lot of the state stay-at-home orders are done and it's safe to fly. So, I think that's all I have. Thank you.

Gardiner Tucker (08:56):
Thank you, Jenna. Of course, you can tell that's a very crucial part of our system and helping support students as they move out or, if they stay with us, giving them all the services they can to stay healthy and engaged. So, thank you very much for reporting on that.

Gardiner Tucker (09:10):
My last student impact is many of our students want to continue to serve others and are unsure how to do that because many of our students have grown up with a passion for service and helping others. So, the strategy is to find ways to connect students to service. Again, our Office of Student Life has created some original programming called United to Nurture our Community. And, through this process, students can send support and cards to individuals in the UNC and the Greeley community. And what you do is you complete the survey and then they will, the Office of Student Life staff, will create and mail the cards for you.

Gardiner Tucker (09:50):
So, how does it work? You choose a recipient group, such as nursing home patients, assisted living residents, healthcare staff, or UNC students who are still on campus. You write a message. And, if you don't know what to write, because not all of us have those words of care and compassion, they don't always come easily, they'll write them for you. And then, the Office of Student Life staff will write and mail the cards. And then, joy is delivered.

Gardiner Tucker (10:17):
So, what I'll do is post the link in the chat: unc.link/united-community. And we can maybe post it on the site for the operations report. And then, you'll be able to engage in that community service. But I think it's great that they've found a way to help our students continue to serve others during a time of need. And that concludes my report.

Dan Maxey (10:39):
Great. Thanks, Tuck and Jenna. And, Tuck, we'll also see if we can share that message out by social media so that students can find it in a variety of ways. And I have to say that Diplo is nothing like DJ Satch, but we do appreciate and love our local talent here at UNC. Next I'm going to turn things over to provost Mark Anderson to give his report on impacts to the academic mission. Mark?

Mark Anderson (11:03):
Thank you very much. I'm going to have to spice things up a little bit so that I can return to my second position. So, perhaps I'll set my report to rhyme or something in the future. But probably nobody actually wants that. So, had a nice conversation yesterday in Faculty Senate about the pass-fail grading option. Stan Luger and I have been communicating by email. We're probably going to put together a Qualtrics survey, probably make available tomorrow to get faculty input on whether we should make pass-fail as a grade option available to students.

Mark Anderson (11:45):
I'd like to also acknowledge Mike Martin from the Monfort College of Business, and other members of the Faculty Senate, I'm sure, did the same. But Mike copied me who sent around a summary of the conversation to the faculty of the Monfort College of Business. And there's a lot of good conversation about the pros and cons of going to a pass-fail grading option.

Mark Anderson (12:09):
I would also like to acknowledge Faye Hummel in the School of Nursing. Faye was contacted by Denver Health. And one of the graduate students who was doing clinical in Denver Health basically had completed the clinical and was just waiting to graduate to be able to take board examinations to be certified to work. And Denver Health has asked effectively can we speed up the process. And so, Faye has been working with Charlie Couch to get an official transcript that effectively says they've completed their degree requirements, so they can sit for the exam, so they can be then placed and working in community health. And so, I'd like to acknowledge, again, the School of Nursing and Faye Hummel in particular for calling that to our attention, Charlie in the Registrar's office for working with Faye to make that happen.

Mark Anderson (13:08):
And we're really looking, particularly our graduate students who complete their degree requirements on a different timescale than undergraduates to get them through the process, to get official transcripts, and effectively get them in a position where they can move into the working world. We're also looking at options for undergraduates, particularly in Nursing, to do the exact same thing. So, I think that's all I have for today. Thank you.

Dan Maxey (13:37):
Thank you, Mark. And I will say, if you can wrap your report next time, we'll consider moving you back up in the order. Next up is the Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management, Kirk Leichliter, who will give a report on current impacts to our facilities. Kirk.

Kirk Leichliter (13:52):
Good morning, everyone. We are still anticipating a site visit request from the Corps of Engineers regarding a possible alternate care facility in a campus res hall. Best information from the state is that we are still on the list to be considered for that.

Kirk Leichliter (14:11):
We're working with Banner Health and Housing on possibly providing housing for 10 to 20 out-of-state nurses. There's a meeting going on right now to get some more info. I think we'll get to Blaine so the cabinet can have a discussion on that later today. A reminder, the buildings are on lockdown. No surprise. We still have a few people that were having difficulty today. It was because time zone was set up later than they needed, but we're getting those things fixed.

Kirk Leichliter (14:47):
No particular issues in the buildings to report. Custodial provided a couple of special cleanings yesterday. For EHS, the School of Nursing received a PPE order that had been out there for a while and immediately just gave it to EHS to donate to our local health care providers. So, that type of thing is ongoing.

Kirk Leichliter (15:14):
Yesterday, Dining reported that, over the weekend, they were serving about 75 students a day. So, we're still trying to see what the normal is going to be over there. And Jenna provided the Housing update already. So, I believe that is all the information I have today.

Dan Maxey (15:31):
Okay, great. Thank you, Kirk. Finally, I'll call on Marshall Parks, Director of Human Resources to share information about HR related issues impacting UNC employees. Marshall.

Marshall Parks (15:40):
Good morning, Dan. Appreciate your time. I know I've got no shot with my university issued headphones in the headphone competition with Tuck, but I'll do my best.

Marshall Parks (15:50):
Yesterday, I shared that we have about 1,400 employees working remotely. And today I wanted to give you a small example of what that looks like using our HR office as an example. So, total we have six staff working from home. In total, we are homeschooling or caring for seven kids between the ages of two and 13. We're setting up remote classrooms for six kids. Two of my staff are expecting little ones this summer. Two have spouses who work overnight shifts. Two have spouses who are K through 12 teachers who are transitioning to remote instruction for their students. We're setting up home offices and sharing workspace with six other family members who are learning to work from home. One of my staff thought it'd be a good idea to move this weekend.

Marshall Parks (16:36):
We are concerned about the health of 11 of our parents and five grandparents. We're all learning to do our jobs remotely in this chaos at home. We are supporting our university community to budget reorganization work right now. We have eight dogs and four cats as new coworkers. I've received emails from my staff as late as 1:45 in the evening and as early as 4:30 in the morning. Last week we participated in over 90 teams meetings.

Marshall Parks (17:03):
And, with all this going on, we are trying to do our regular day jobs also. And in no way is our office unique. This is happening in departments all over campus. I just want to remind everybody to show compassion, patience, and support for your colleagues across this virtual campus of ours now. And thanks to all of our faculty and staff for their amazing adaptability at this time and for their dedication to UNC and to our students. And I think, as Andy said earlier about our students this morning, we see you and we do appreciate all the hard work. That's all I've got today, Dan.

Dan Maxey (17:38):
Thank you, Marshall. I appreciate those updates. And thank you everyone who has tuned in live or to the recording this morning. I'll turn the floor back over to President Feinstein to say some final words.

President Feinstein (17:49):
Thanks, Dan. And, again, thank all of you for your updates, your input, your conversation. I also want to remind again students that, if you have a question, you have an issue or problem, do not hesitate to reach out to us, either on the coronavirus website, our feedback form, or you can email me directly at Andy.Feinstein@unco.edu. So, stay safe, be healthy, and we'll see you here again tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. Take care, everybody.