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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

May 1, Operational Update

May 1, 2020 Update (View on YouTube)


President Feinstein (00:00):
Good morning everybody. Happy Hat Day. Happy Friday, Friday, May 1st, and this is our daily operations status report. I'd like to start with a video that was shared with me and also across social media that was created by our own marketing communications team in Advancement to share how much we thank and appreciate our Bear community.

President Feinstein (01:28):
Thank you everyone for all of your hard work and dedication to UNC. And with that, I want to hand over the conversation to Dan Maxey, our chief of staff, to moderate conversations from our coronavirus task force leads. Dan?

Dan Maxey (01:43):
Thank you, President Feinstein. TGIF everyone. It's Friday. We made it to the end of another week. The cabinet and coronavirus task force will both meet today and have a number of issues to weigh and discuss. As our daily panel gives reports, please remember to unmute your microphones and turn on your cameras. First up today is the chair of our coronavirus task force, associate vice president for administration, Blaine Nickeson, for our developing issues report. Blaine?

Blaine Nickeson (02:09):
Good morning, Dan. Good morning, Andy, and thanks for the great music set this morning, Dan Satriana.

Blaine Nickeson (02:15):
Today, the statewide safer-from-home guidance allows for retail and personal services like barbers and nail salons to reopen, but with very specific regulations such as requiring it to be appointment only with no waiting rooms being open, those kinds of things. In retail settings, there need to be sufficient distancing in line queuing and flow around the store. Sort of like what you've seen at the grocery store when you've gone out in this period of time.

Blaine Nickeson (02:45):
For about half of the residents of Colorado though, they won't be able to access these services yet, and that's because that most of the Denver Metro area is under a continued stay-at-home order for another week, until May 8th. Denver has said, their mayor said that they don't expect to extend their stay-at-home order beyond the eighth, but they will be issuing a mandate that everyone wear masks. So that'll be a new mandate in Denver.

Blaine Nickeson (03:11):
For statewide data, 15,284 positive cases. That's up about 500 cases or 3%, and that growth percentage has really been steady over about the past week of about 3% per day. Current number of hospitalizations at 756. That's down about 126 a week ago, so that's a good trend that we like to see. Little over 72,000 folks tested, up about 3000 since yesterday. That's consistent with what the state's reported that their daily capacity is right now, and as they try real hard to ramp that up to 5,000 a day in the next couple of weeks.

Blaine Nickeson (03:48):
Colorado is currently reporting 777 deaths. That's up 11, but it does represent a continued slowing in the pace. I haven't reported on this in a while, but the state has had 159 outbreaks at contained facilities, and again contained facilities primarily are nursing homes but also includes factories like the JBS Plant, the Leprino Foods plant out east that makes cheese, and jails. Those are the primary facilities.

Blaine Nickeson (04:17):
Weld County reported just over 1800 positive cases. That's up 33 since yesterday. Deaths are up, just shy of a hundred. They're at 97, which is up three. Weld County continues to have the third-highest case counts and death counts among Colorado counties.

Blaine Nickeson (04:35):
Yesterday, I had reported that JBS plant had had a jump in positive cases up to about 250. They've now experienced their sixth death unfortunately. We know that that's going to continue to be a challenging factor for Greeley and Weld County as that large facility continues to operate. So we'll continue to monitor. But that's my report for this morning, Dan. I'll go ahead and turn it back over to you.

Dan Maxey (04:59):
Thank you, Blaine. Next, we'll turn it over to Dean of Students Tuck Tucker for our report on the impacts to student life. Tuck?

Gardiner Tucker (05:05):
Good morning everybody. It's Happy Hat Day. Happy last day of classes, and happy Friday to everyone. Let's see here. The first student impact I'd like to talk about today is the students who are in career exploration as many of them wrap up the semester and graduate. It's an uncertain time with conditions changing around the country. One of our strategies at UNC is to expose our students to alumni who are in the field to give guidance and advice.

Gardiner Tucker (05:36):
Today's example is a Design and Technology class taught by Dr. Anne Toewe, who's a professor of Costume Design, head of Design and Technology in the School of Theater Arts and Dance in the PVA College here on campus. She's here to share what she's been doing with her students this semester. Anne, you have the floor.

Anne Toewe (06:01):
Good morning everybody. I remembered to get my hat. I have to say I am probably more nervous doing this online than I have done all of my classes for the last six weeks, so bear with me.

Anne Toewe (06:17):
First of all, I just wanted to mention how these sessions come about, and then we have a couple of quick clips from them. I had an alumnus who graduated, Josh Dasher, he's a sound designer. He's been out on the road. And he had reached out to me some time ago and said, "I really would like to talk to students about what I didn't learn in the program. The things that can only be learned from being out on the road." And we could never make it happen because he was out on the road.

Anne Toewe (06:46):
When this all happened, he reached out and said, "Hey, turns out I have free time now." So I said, "Great, let's set this up." And we set it up as a Zoom, and we did the first one, and the students went nuts for it. We have a Facebook group for the UNC Design Tech students, and I posted it there, invited anybody who wanted to attend, and especially featured it in our senior Capstone class that hopefully they would come. They were wildly excited about the first one.

Anne Toewe (07:20):
And I then posted on my personal Facebook page and asked the alums, many of which I'm still in contact with, and said, "Would any of you be interested in doing this?" I probably have had 50-plus alums who said, "Sure, please count me in." Each one has had a unique story to tell and a unique skillset. We started broaching specific topics about what happens after graduation and what these students have experienced.

Anne Toewe (07:49):
What I'm going to show you first, and I forgot screen sharing, there we go, is from Matthew Fisher who graduated in the class of 2013. He was a sound designer with us. He's turned to production manager, he graduated from Yale and is living in LA now working as a production manager in live events. Things such as The Voice Live and Masked Singer Live, and this is what he had to say. Let me get that going.

Matthew Fisher (08:26):
If you feel right now I want to take a break because too much is going on, I think you are in a blessing and a curse situation. Right now you're going to get a break regardless of what you want, so don't use this as the barometer here. If you're like, Once coronas ends then I'll start my break." Let this be part of that first few months and let it sort of get you to feel what you're hoping to get out of taking a break. I think if you're- [crosstalk 00:08:52].

Anne Toewe (08:54):
Then the next... I lost that clip, sorry. Pause, there you go. And then the second clip that I have, one of my graduating seniors asked about television as opposed to theater.

Speaker 7 (09:10):
But I guess I'm just wondering if TV and film is the smarter way to go considering the whole pandemic and everything. Is it going to bounce back faster than the theater and is it [crosstalk 00:09:21].

Matthew Fisher (09:23):
Yeah, so I don't think it will bounce back as gracefully as we think. The Masked Singer and [inaudible 00:09:30] give out an audience. That can obviously be overdubbed, but there's a big part of the show is the reaction and the audience engagement. I think TV is going to come back in very different ways, the way theater is. There's kind of solid no cut and dry.

Matthew Fisher (09:46):
There's rumor of Phantom coming back to Broadway, which is huge because they've lived there forever, but like the Fantasticks of the Broadway world. It's hard to know right now. Being in the middle of it and seeing the numbers, we were anticipating any show not going out until the fall, right. We're prepared to not have people on the road, and you're not hiring folks, right, until the fall. Hopefully, we can get our Christmas shows out at that time.

Matthew Fisher (10:15):
TV's sort of weirdly in a similar situation, they deal with a much higher level of talent who have a lot more control over what they will and won't do. It may not be so easy now for TV folks to be like if an actress doesn't want to put herself at risk of corona, she doesn't have to, right? There's no mandate. TV is also kind of at a similar standstill. It takes a lot of people to make a show happen. It's a lot of close quarters. I think unless it's already been filmed, and you're seeing it already, some shows have paused because there is no one allowed in the studios even to edit because it's too close of quarters.

Anne Toewe (10:59):
And then I just wanted to jump ahead to this last thought that he has, which is just some good closing advice for them.

Matthew Fisher (11:10):
... the best part, no one has a job, right? Now there's like no hierarchy, right? No one's above you. Everyone's unemployed, everyone's unemployed, so are you. This is kind of like a cool opportunity. It's sort of like sliding people your information. Because guess what, they're going to start looking the second this all comes back, so be at the ready for that. Prep your resume and send it to everyone for proofing so that you feel good just distributing it. Same with your cover letter. Get that thing to a solid paragraph and a half so you're ready to send it out. And then I think there's going to be a big hiring boom truthfully because all these shows that have to happen and everything has been like a net.

Anne Toewe (11:51):
All right. Basically, I've done 13 of them. I ran out of time before I ran out of alums. But all of the alums that I was unable to get in have said they'll be willing to do it next year, but hopefully they'll all be working and be way too busy. Thank you for spending a little time. These have been wildly popular. They have ranged from 20 attendees to, as you see here, we've got three. But overall, it's been real popular. Thank you.

Gardiner Tucker (12:27):
And Anne, thank you for sharing that because that is the advice from the field right now where your theater design students are getting ideas on whether they should go into TV or theater, and we can't ask for better access for our students, so thank you very much for presenting that today. And I think that's symbolic of the kind of education we're doing at UNC for our students. They get real-time advice from top people in the field from our own alums, so thank you.

Gardiner Tucker (12:53):
Okay, and then my final word, I'd like to do our Pet Friday. This is my pet, and obviously we found a way to integrate taking care of our pets and working on the computer at the same time. We get creative in the ways that we deal with our daily lives that are integrated at home, and that concludes my report. Go Bears.

Dan Maxey (13:17):
Go Bears. Thank you, Tuck, and thank you, Anne. I think that cat explains some of the typos in your emails, Tuck. You just can't move your arms enough. And I want to thank, Anne, too. I lived in Hollywood for four years, so I have a lot of friends who are television actors, have seen how all of this works, and there are a lot of people involved. I hope that all of them and our alums who work in the industry are able to get back to work soon. Next, I'm going to turn things over to Provost Mark Anderson for his report on impacts to the academic mission. Mark.

Mark Anderson (13:51):
Thank you, Dan, and thank you, Anne. That was a wonderful presentation and a wonderful example of really the good work that our faculty have done over the span of the second half of the spring semester. I want to thank you and thank our alums and thank the students for participating in that.

Mark Anderson (14:11):
Today as Tuck and President Feinstein indicated, it's the last day of classes for the spring semester. Depending upon your perspective, this is either the fastest semester ever or the slowest semester ever. For me, it seems to vacillate between the two every day and almost hour by hour it seems.

Mark Anderson (14:30):
But I would also like to acknowledge Renée Welch and Career Services because students who are finishing up their undergraduate or graduate career in graduating this term are transitioning into the working world. And so Anne showed a great example of how the faculty are helping students transition in, but also Renée Welch and Career Services, Career Readiness and the entire Career Readiness group, has been doing an excellent job at converting over to an online environment, a virtual environment to help students with that transition from student into career.

Mark Anderson (15:07):
One thing that we've been doing is we've been embedding a fall registration survey into the Canvas shells. And I wanted to acknowledge Kim Black for really heading this up, but Allison Grant, Micah Cartier, Nick [Hoyle 00:15:26] , Bob Carver from IMT and Angela Rockwell for, really in the span of about a day and a half, putting together a registration survey where we've asked students in their Canvas shell whether they had registered for the fall, and if they had not, what their plans were.

Mark Anderson (15:46):
Within the first half day, we had 518 responses. The most common response for not registering for the fall is because they were graduating. Another common response was financial concerns that students were expressing, which is not unusual. But the one thing that came out was that no students were concerned or very few students were concerned about registering for the fall based upon our response to the pandemic. We feel very good about that.

Mark Anderson (16:18):
We also had an opportunity for students to ask for somebody to reach out to them to help with registration. And again, just in the first half day of the survey, about 50 students had already responded that they'd like somebody to reach out. We have started that effort, and Stephanie Torrez and the advising network are really helping with that.

Mark Anderson (16:43):
The last thing is, and I've talked about this the last couple of days, we are preparing a plan for access to faculty offices so faculty can retrieve materials that they need for preparing to teach in the summer sessions or to prepare to continue their research and scholarly activity during the summer sessions. We should have a communication out, hopefully by the end of today, about a schedule for accessing the different buildings.

Mark Anderson (17:13):
As you access the buildings, we ask that you follow appropriate public health guidance, wear a mask, et cetera. The restrooms will be locked because we don't want to add additional work and burden to our custodial staff. With that, Dan, that's all I have for today.

Dan Maxey (17:34):
Great. Thank you, Mark. Again, if you are in the buildings, make those quick trips.

Dan Maxey (17:40):
We have no reports today from Facilities and Human Resources. With that, I will turn it back over to President Feinstein. Andy?

President Feinstein (17:48):
Thanks, Dan, and thanks, Anne, for that wonderful presentation. Thank you to all of our presenters today. We won't have any presentations on Saturday and Sunday, but we'll see you here certainly on Monday. Stay safe, be healthy, and we'll see you on Monday. Take care everybody.