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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

May 5, Operational Update

May 5, 2020 Update (View on YouTube)


Dan Maxey (00:00):
All right. Good morning, everyone. I think that we have some technological glitches here this morning, so bear with us. We've managed to get through a lot of these without too many issues, but it was bound to happen eventually. So it is another morning, a beautiful morning in Greeley, a beautiful Tuesday morning. Finals week continues, so I want to send my thoughts out to all of our students who are wrapping up their spring semesters, and I want to remind you all and encourage you all to finish strong. The cabinet and coronavirus task force both met yesterday but have no meetings today. However, we are starting to organize more regular meetings as we plan for our return in the fall.

Dan Maxey (00:41):
As our daily panel gives reports, please remember to unmute your microphones and turn on your cameras. First up to the plate, chair of our coronavirus taskforce, associate vice president for administration, Blaine Nickeson for our daily developing issues report. Blaine?

Blaine Nickeson (00:56):
Good morning Dan, and sorry to hear about the technical issues this morning. Andy, we look forward to seeing your face. Governor Polis held a press conference yesterday, which has become a sort of routine as he shifts to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday briefing schedule. But that being said, there weren't any major announcements at the press conference yesterday. While it feels like many parts of the country are returning to some level of normalcy in regards to businesses operating and stay at home orders being relaxed, unfortunately nothing about the science of this virus has changed. Based upon that, some of the prominent forecast models such as the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which I've mentioned before, have significantly upped their forecast for fatalities in this first wave of COVID-19. Their April 29th model forecasted 72,000 US deaths. Yesterday, they updated that projection to nearly double, 134,000, based upon the increase in mobility that they're seeing.

Blaine Nickeson (01:58):
This is something we should all be concerned about, and we need to take the recommendations for remaining at home as much as possible, for wearing a mask when you do have to go out, and for practicing the social distancing seriously. On a positive note, the Colorado Air National Guard will be doing F-16 flyovers of lots of hospitals throughout the front range tomorrow, Wednesday, from 4:30 to 6 o'clock. Greeley is scheduled for the 4:35 to 4:38 window, and I'll share the map of their route here for folks to see, but essentially they start off in Sterling, flying over the correctional facility there and the hospital and then coming through Greeley up to Fort Collins and through Loveland. So probably a good opportunity to get to see those jets fly by. It's a fun way to show support for our frontline workers, and the pilots need the flying time anyway to keep up their currency, so they have to be up and flying and training.

Blaine Nickeson (03:01):
For statewide data, there's 16,635 confirmed positive cases. That's up only about 300 since yesterday. That said, the data reported on Mondays in general tends to be less representative than the rest of the week. I think it's just because Sunday is probably the slowest day for in-person testing and things like that. The current number of people hospitalized in Colorado for COVID-19 is 689. That's down 33 since yesterday's report, and this is the number that I'll be watching most closely over the next few weeks to really be able to tell what's happening with cases in the state.

Blaine Nickeson (03:39):
As we've talked about before, hospitalizations tend to lag about two weeks behind big behavioral changes. So when we instituted the stay at home order at the end of March, we expected it to take a few weeks to see the surge drop off, which is what happened. Little over 83,000 folks tested. That's up only about 1,900 that's short of the governor's stated 3,000 capacity average we've been seeing lately and well short of the stated goal from the governor of 5,000 tests per day in early May. Colorado is currently reporting 851 deaths. That's up nine from yesterday. Here in Weld County we're sitting just shy of 2,000 positive cases. Our case count is up about 50 since yesterday and deaths have risen six. We're now at 107 for Weld County.

Blaine Nickeson (04:32):
With that said, I hope you'll get out tomorrow afternoon, the weather cooperates and see our international guard fly over, and I'll turn it back over to you, Dan.

Dan Maxey (04:42):
Thank you Blaine. I'm looking forward to it. I hope that they fly over UC Health. The last time when the Thunderbirds came through, we all stood out in our front yard since our hospital's at the end of the block thinking they'd fly over. Never saw them, never heard them even.

Blaine Nickeson (04:52):
Well that, and they were like 45 minutes late too.

Dan Maxey (04:56):
Were they?

Blaine Nickeson (04:56):

Dan Maxey (04:57):
Yeah. Well, people were out there for a good hour. Just looking around, so hopefully we'll get to see the jets tomorrow. Next I'll turn things over to Dean of Students, Tuck Tucker, for our report on the impacts to student life, Tuck.

Gardiner Tucker (05:13):
Good morning Bear Country. It's good to have you all online, and happy Cinco de Mayo. Thank you Laura for posting that in the chat. The first student impact is during times of national stress, students may be more vulnerable than usual due to many things in our environment. So our strategy is to keep students informed of potential threats to their welfare. So today's example is our scams. So there've been a lot of scams over email and different venues, and our information and management technology department is putting out an alert to be aware of these scams. So the IMT has seen an increase in scam attempts, and an aspect of our work, of course, is to protect student interests, and this will protect student interest to let you know that the typical scams are fake job offerings and money transfer scams. Fake job offerings and money transfer scams.

Gardiner Tucker (06:11):
There are two ways to check on these. One is to go to the IMT website, which I'll show you in just a moment. The other is to check with the Center for Career Readiness to make sure the job offer, or the job possibility that you receive is legitimate. So let me show you the website for IMT. Here we have IMT's website, and as you can see on the one side here they have UNC approved emails and then on the second column they have phishing alerts such as the COVID-19 pet sitting phishing alert. So these are ways to keep track of whether what you're receiving is legitimate or not. One way to remember this is good luck on exams and avoid the scams. So just be aware of those things.

Gardiner Tucker (07:04):
The second student impact is as exams wrap up, students may want to return items at the end of the semester. So, for example, textbooks and laptops. So for example, for the laptop return, Michener Library is open today, May 5th, from 11:30 to 1:30, May 7th from 5:00 to 7:00, and May 8th from 2:00 to 4:00 for laptop returns and then the same days and times next week. If you want to register or get a laptop for a summer classes, you submit us a ticket through IMT and then you can pick those up at the library.

Gardiner Tucker (07:42):
The final student impact is that students continue to experience financial hardships. There's a lot of uncertainty as we go through the end of the semester. The UNC community has opportunities to provide funding assistance for certain circumstances, and the example is Disaster Relief Fund. So this is Giving Tuesday, so I want to share with you the site here. It's Bears Support Bears, and on Giving Tuesday, we encourage you to give to help students. This is the website for the Disaster Relief Fund, which was created in 2013, and it lists who's donating and where we're at in our goals and so it provides a lot of information for those of you who want to donate on Giving Tuesday or any other day. That concludes my report.

Dan Maxey (08:32):
Thank you Tuck, I like that "good luck with exams, beware of the scams" phrase. So with that, as I turn things over to Mark, I keep holding out that Mark will rhyme for us in some part of his report.

Mark Anderson (08:47):
You're going to have to wait on that one, Dan.

Dan Maxey (08:50):
So Mark, go ahead and kick it off now.

Mark Anderson (08:53):
I hate following Tuck, because he is so smooth and so good and it just accentuates how lacking I am. So thanks for all your good work Tuck, on behalf of our community and especially our students. Giving Tuesday is next Tuesday, and I think supporting our community is certainly a great way to do that, so thanks for highlighting that. Today I've wanted to make up for an omission from yesterday. This week we have opened up the buildings for limited periods of time for faculty and staff to get into their offices to retrieve materials as we transition from the spring semester into the summer teaching, or into summer research activities. Today between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM, Gunter will be open, and between 2:00 and 4:00 PM, Candelaria and Crabbe will be open. The president and I sent around an email last week giving the detailed schedule. I'll try to remind everybody every morning at this call what buildings will be open.

Mark Anderson (10:00):
These will be open this week for limited periods and next week as well. So just be aware of that. If you're not able to make a time that we're scheduled to be open, you can always call campus security, and they will arrange an opportunity for you to get into your office. We want to remind everybody to follow the best public health practices, wear a mask, and we don't want people lingering, so have a plan. Get into your office, collect the things that you need, and leave. See a question from Francie with respect to EBS and McKee. I don't have the schedule in front of me today, but it was in an email that the president and I sent around yesterday.

Mark Anderson (10:48):
Again, I'll try to remind everybody on this call what buildings will be open, the timeframe over which they're open, but for everybody back to the email the president and I sent around I believe last Thursday or Friday. Blaine, I just want to ask, a three minute window is not exactly a window for seeing the jets fly over, but I'll do my best. I'm looking forward to that, and Dan, that's all I have for today.

Blaine Nickeson (11:18):
Unfortunately they're not a Cessna, Mark. They move pretty quick as they travel over the air, but hopefully you'll at least be able to hear them.

Dan Maxey (11:29):
I'm going to just share my window here really quickly. All of you should be able to see right now at the bottom of this window here, the schedule for academic building openings. Francie, I will forward a copy of this to you if you, if you haven't been able to find it in your inbox, but you'll see that we have each academic building open at least twice over the next two weeks. A couple of the higher demand buildings are open a couple of extra times, but that is our building opening schedule for the next two weeks, and you'll see that the days of the week and the times are represented there too. So thank you, Mark, for that reminder. And I think that we have President Feinstein back. Andy, are you there?

President Feinstein (12:23):
Can you hear me now?

Dan Maxey (12:24):

President Feinstein (12:25):
Oh wow, great. So, my apologies for some of the technical difficulties. Remind me not to unplug my laptop and plug it back in again before we start this update. But again, thank everybody for your comments and as always, stay safe, be healthy, and we'll see you here again tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. Take care, everybody.