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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

May 6, Operational Update

May 6, 2020 Update (View on YouTube)


President Feinstein (00:00):
Well, good morning everyone. It's Wednesday, May 6th. And this is our daily operation status update. There's only a few days left to finals. And Friday, as you know, is the last day of school, and it will also be the last day for update videos in their current form. We will still be sharing these updates but much less frequently over the summer, more likely once per week. Remember that you can contact me or any of the cabinet leaders directly at any time with your questions, comments and concerns. And we will also continue to keep our coronavirus website up-to-date on a regular basis. And with that, I'm going to turn it over to Dan Maxey, our chief of staff,  to moderate conversations with our coronavirus task force leaders. Dan.

Dan Maxey (00:49):
Thank you President Feinstein. And I'm still having trouble keeping track of the days. Yesterday I called my sister; I thought that it was May 6th. Called my sister and wished her a happy birthday, and she reminded me that her birthday wasn't until today. So it's difficult to keep track. But it is another beautiful morning in Greeley. Really another blue sky morning here. And hope that everyone has a chance to get outside. I had a chance to get out yesterday for a quick bike ride. And again, want to wish all of our students the best during finals week, and remind them to finish strong. Cabinet and coronavirus task force both meet today. A little tongue twister here. But have a handful of issues to discuss as we continue our planning for the next few weeks and months. As our daily panel gives reports, please remember to unmute your microphones and turn on your cameras. First up is the chair of our coronavirus task force, Associate Vice President for Administration, Blaine Nickeson. Blaine.

Blaine Nickeson (01:49):
Good morning Dan. And like many of you that are parents in this time of challenge, I have an office guest with me today doing her schoolwork, and she likes attention. So you can see that. UNC is having preliminary discussions with the state about hosting a drive-through community testing site in partnership with Kroger, the parent company of King Soopers. We have additional meetings with the stakeholders later this morning and hope to be able to announce more details soon. Good news, if you're in need of a driver's license renewal, the DMV here in Greeley is reopening today. Like most things that have reopened, it won't look like normal. You'll need to wear a mask. It's appointment-only, and you'll have your temperature screened. Don't worry though. The DMV experience that we all know and love will still remain the same.

Blaine Nickeson (02:40):
As a reminder, the Colorado Air National Guard will fly two F-16s across the Front Range to high country today to honor our frontline personnel. If the schedule holds, you can expect them to fly over Greeley at approximately 4:35 this afternoon. For statewide data, 17,364 confirmed positive cases, up around 700 since yesterday. That's a larger jump than we've been seeing in prior days. But it's hard to know if it's because of a surge in the virus or because of an increase in testing. If there was targeted testing, that can also skew that number a little as well. The current number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 is 650. That's down 49 since yesterday's report, and the lowest number of folks hospitalized for the virus since April 1st. Just shy of 86,000 folks tested, up about 2,700 since yesterday. That's still well short of the governor's stated goal of 5,000 tests per day by early May.

Blaine Nickeson (03:39):
Colorado is currently reporting 903 deaths. That's up 52 since yesterday, which is a significant jump. Weld County has unfortunately eclipsed 2,000 total positive cases, and it's reporting 2,020. It's up about 50 since yesterday. Deaths are up too, at 109. And Weld County remains number three in Colorado for case counts and total deaths. The continued prevalence of the virus in Weld County as a main driver for the possible addition, a possible additional drive-through testing site that I mentioned at the beginning of my report. So those are my updates for this morning. I hope folks will get outside around 4:30, and try to see if they can catch a peak of a couple of F-16s flying overhead. I'll go ahead and turn it back over to you, Dan.

Dan Maxey (04:26):
Blaine. I do have a shout out for the Greeley DMV. Two years ago I went there to receive my Colorado driver's license with my wife and son, and we had the best DMV experience ever there. So just saying.

Blaine Nickeson (04:40):
OK. I think the movie Zootopia changed my world in thinking about the DMV.

Dan Maxey (04:49):
Well, I'll tell you, living in Los Angeles will really change your way of thinking about the DMV if you ever want to try that.

President Feinstein (04:56):
That's what I'm talking about.

Katrina Rodriguez (04:58):
LA to Greeley.

Dan Maxey (05:02):
Andy knows what I'm talking about. The California DMV.

President Feinstein (05:04):
And San Jose wasn't much better either.

Dan Maxey (05:09):
Alright. Next I'll turn it over to our Dean of Students Tuck Tucker for a report on impacts of student life. And I see Katrina chiming in. Are you giving the Tuck's report today?

Gardiner Tucker (05:18):
Oh, not yet.

Dan Maxey (05:20):
Okay. Katrina's face showed up on my screen.

Gardiner Tucker (05:25):
So the first student impact I'd like to talk about today, and this is May 6th, for those of you who may not remember, is students continue to experience financial hardships. And in yesterday's report I mentioned the Disaster Relief Fund and donations for that fund are growing. So thank you everyone. So one of the ways that we used the disaster relief fund was, one of our students has a visual disability. And when we went to virtual and alternative formats, was unable to read certain documents for classes on the computer. And they didn't have the funds to buy their own printer. They were using printers on campus and in the Disability Resource Center, which were now closed.

Gardiner Tucker (06:07):
So the staff let the Disaster Relief Fund team know about it. And they were able to acquire a printer for the student to use during while they were going online. So that was a great success story, and why these funds are so important. So thank you for your donations. Our next report comes from Housing. Jenna Finley is here to give us an update. Jenna.

Jenna Finley (06:31):
Good morning. We are in the period of time that we're both focused on what is happening in the moment and what is happening this fall. We are seeing students move out fairly rapidly at this point. We as of yesterday had 465 students still on campus. That is divided between Arlington Park apartments and the residence halls. As we're speaking with students, probably a small number of our out-of-state students that went home at spring break and have not been able to return. I've not been able to work with their hall director to find a checkout time in the month of May.

Jenna Finley (07:10):
We have a few people that are in Hawaii, and a few other places that we are working with on a case by case basis to figure out what's gonna work best for them. We are also getting ready for summer school housing even though classes are remote. We do have 18 students signed up for summer school. And they will be living in Lawrenson Hall this summer. Meal plans, we do not offer meal plans in the month of May. We do offer Bear plans starting June 8th when summer session starts. These meals will be delivered in the same way that we're doing now. Students will be able to pick up meals Monday through Friday, three at a time, and pick up their weekend meals on Friday. So that will be continuing through the summer school period.

Jenna Finley (08:02):
Arlington Park apartments is a 12-month contract. But we are anticipating about 250 students who stay in AP this summer. As we look to fall, we are starting to pay close attention to our application report. First-year applications are down about 23% in today's report. Renewal contracts, so our returning student population, has actually been higher than this point in time last year. So our net downward trend for applications is about 12% overall. We look at this period of time as being a fairly decent indication of where fall will be at typically because we're past the deposit refund period at May 1st.

Jenna Finley (08:51):
However, I think we all know that this year is just not going to be like any other year that we've experienced. So we are doing our best to predict what is going to happen in fall, and also trying to decide what a fall move-in and welcome looks like in a socially distant manner. For example, we can't have all the majority of students converging on campus in a day or two. That would need to be spread out. So we're turning towards planning for those types of things. And I think that's all I have. Thank you.

Gardiner Tucker (09:28):
Thank you Jenna. And that you're right, there's so many mechanics to work out for the future that haven't been done before. And trust you and your team are working on that. So thank you. And we'll hear from you in the future for how Housing is moving forward. And so the next student impact is a continued time for resilience as we face all these different challenges in our lives, and wrapping up the semester. So we want to continue to share important perspectives. So I've invited Dr. Katrina Rodriguez, Vice President of Student Affairs, to come back and share some more insights on resilience. Katrina, the floor is yours.

Katrina Rodriguez (10:03):
Thank you, Tuck. I'm going to talk a little bit again from the book When by Daniel Pink who... I like this book because I think we all strive to be as productive as possible. And when we're not, that doesn't feel good. And yet especially now it just feels like there's just so much on our plates that we're trying to negotiate as we figure out what to do next, what we're doing now, those kinds of things. So I found a few things that I thought might be interesting in terms of helping us with that. And so again, he uses a lot of research to back up his information here. And he talks about studies that have been conducted about traffic accidents. And they seem to happen across the globe between 2:00 AM and 6:00 AM maybe not surprising, but 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM in the middle of the day are also when they peak.

Katrina Rodriguez (10:57):
Also thinking about, when do we take breaks, and what are the opportunities that we have to take small breaks throughout the day. One study indicated that if we focus for 52 minutes and then take a 15 minute break and then back on for 52 minutes, that actually has more... we're more productive after those short micro breaks than we would be even maybe taking the whole afternoon off. So that's helpful because it's hard to take the whole afternoon off every day. So how do we kind of figure out what those look like for us? So it really does make a difference in terms of we have to work in the afternoon. So how do we do that? I also mentioned before Danish school children, they found that if the children could go out and play for 20 minutes, 30 minutes before their standardized exams, that they actually increased their scores by so much. It was almost like adding three weeks onto the school year based on their productivity. And so thinking again about how that recess, how that break makes a difference.

Katrina Rodriguez (12:06):
Mornings tend to also be better for folks. We rise in the morning in terms of our productivity, take a dip before lunch, come up, and then dip back down. Researchers indicate that in one study, 2:55 in the afternoon is like the worst moment of time. So thinking about how do we break before that time. Again we'll leave variability for individuals and different things. They were talking about how... or he mentions that having surgery in the morning is better than having it between that 2:00 and 4:00 period in the afternoon. So if doctors and nurses are not taking breaks, that could also be a factor in terms of how surgeries come out. So it's interesting information about that 2:00 to 4:00 PM.

Katrina Rodriguez (12:53):
So some of the tips are five areas. And one of the things that he talks about is again, at 52 minutes on, 15 minutes off, and sort of having that as a regular time. Also moving around beats a sense of just staying stationary, and granted being that we're all, I've heard many conversations, we're sitting in our chairs, and we're on these conversations. And we're doing a lot more sitting without the opportunity to go to a different building, or a different space in between meetings. And so really having a moment to move around is really the best thing. Taking a five-minute walk or doing something outside is better for you in terms of productivity.

Katrina Rodriguez (13:37):
Having an opportunity to connect with somebody else during a break is also beneficial. And taking those breaks, not doing email, and not doing work-related things really makes a difference in that five minutes. Even not connecting to social media, those kinds of things. Taking a break outside. Again, nature is better than four walls. Even if you have a window. So getting outside for a couple of minutes, or even having a green plant, or some green things around you if you can't get outside, is better than not. So interesting research anyway.

Katrina Rodriguez (14:16):
And then finally, again being fully detached. We're so used to our devices, we need them, they're our work tools, it's critical. And disconnecting from that for that little bit of time, every hour, or for breaks in the day, we know multitasking is not something that we do well. We think we do, but we don't according to the research. And so really having the opportunity to physically detach is really important. Having those five-minute breaks or 10-minute breaks away from our devices is OK. We can recover what we need to do in that amount of time.

Katrina Rodriguez (14:55):
So anyway, just a few tidbits to think about how we take care of ourselves, how we help each other take care of ourselves, each other, and just having an opportunity to recover a little bit. So hopefully those are tips and tools, and recommend the book for lots of other tidbits that could be helpful for productivity. So thank you all so much. And thanks Tuck.

Gardiner Tucker (15:18):
Thank you Katrina. I liked the micro breaks, and avoid 2:55 in the afternoon. So put stuff on your challengers. And it's good study tips for students during these last couple of days to balance their energy and their focus. So thank you very much for presenting that. And that concludes my report.

Dan Maxey (15:35):
Thank you, Tuck, Jenna and Katrina. Appreciate those updates and friendly reminders to help us to maintain our sanity through this. Next I'm going to turn things over to Provost Mark Anderson to give his report on impact to the academic mission. Mark.

Mark Anderson (15:52):
Thank you Dan. Good morning everyone. Thanks Katrina for those really great tips that unfortunately I have not been following very effectively recently. I'd also like to thank DJ Satch for the music every morning. I must confess however, that recently I've needed a little bit of a heavier playlist, so I've taken to my own that's been focused on Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Metallica, and my personal favorite Nazareth. So thanks for that. As Tuck said, today is Wednesday, May the sixth. It is also National Nurses Day. Next Tuesday, May 12th is International Nurses Day. So we're actually entering into national or International Nurses Week. And I want to take the opportunity to acknowledge our School of Nursing, the faculty of the School of Nursing, the staff, the School of Nursing students, and alumni of our Nursing program. They've been at the front lines for treating the public during this pandemic. And I think we should take the opportunity to thank them.

Mark Anderson (17:03):
One of the things the School of Nursing has been at the forefront with is working with our colleagues around the state to loosen some of the requirements, and really think about the clinical requirement a little bit differently, so students who were just about to finish were able to graduate this spring. And Faye Hummel really took a leadership position in the state in making recommendations on how we could get students who are at the end of their programs through the program. I'd also like to acknowledge that Faye, the director of the School of Nursing, is retiring at the end of the spring. And so we want to thank her for all of the good work that she has done and her colleagues with respect to educating the next future generations of nurses. I think we all are very much appreciative, and very much aware of the value and the importance that those alumni bring to the country and the state.

Mark Anderson (18:04):
Finally, I'd like to remind people that today between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM Frasier and Butler-Hancock will be open for people to access their offices and collect materials for summer teaching and their scholarship. And then between 2:00 and 4:00 PM this afternoon, Michener and the Arts Annex will be open for faculty and staff to access their office and collect materials. Just a quick reminder that if you do go into the office that we want to practice appropriate social distancing, and other public health best practices, wear masks, et cetera. So with that Dan, that is my report for this morning.

Dan Maxey (18:53):
Thank you Mark. And with just a few days left of daily updates, it may not be too late to give you a guest spot as DJ.

Mark Anderson (19:03):
As my wife would say, nobody wants to listen to the music that I listen to.

Dan Maxey (19:09):
Well, it's worth a shot Mark. And I do want to point out also Tuck mentioned the emergency relief fund or the Disaster Relief Fund. And I did check in on that this morning, and it looks like it is within 750, $800 of its current goals. We'll have to talk with Allie about stretching that goal. But if you have a chance to jump on there and make a contribution, I know that our students who need some assistance during this time will appreciate that help. We have no reports from Human Resources or Facilities today. So I'll turn things back over to President Feinstein. Andy.

President Feinstein (19:50):
Thanks Dan. And thanks again everyone for your presentation. And as always, stay safe, be healthy, and for a few more days anyways, we'll see you here tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. Take care everybody.