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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

May 8, Operational Update

May 8, 2020 Update (View on YouTube)



President Feinstein (00:00):
Well good morning everybody. Friday May the eighth, we made it to Friday, and this is our daily operational status report. This is our last daily report, and as you heard from Dan Maxey yesterday, beginning next week these updates will be weekly on Thursday morning at 9:00 AM. So a couple of updates for today. First I'll be sharing a graduation video with all of our graduates tomorrow celebrating their accomplishments, and there'll be a little surprise as well from Governor Polis. A bit of news regarding the Joint Budget Committee that met yesterday. The JBC currently plans to keep the higher education budget flat for fiscal 21. If they are going to make any cuts, they're going to wait until next Tuesday, until after they look at the revenue forecast. It was a very emotionally charged meeting. It's actually available online if you want to watch it and I'd be very happy if our budget were to remain flat, and I will update you certainly on any change to this next Thursday when we meet again.

President Feinstein (01:06):
A little bit of what I'm going to be doing today. I'm meeting with our cabinet to talk about the budget. I have a meeting right after this with our University Foundation and also with our athletic staff. This evening I'll also be stopping by a celebration of the graduation of a number of our Latinx students, and the overall celebration of the class, which 2020 with comedian Bill Santiago and the event begins at five o'clock and I hope that all of you can can join us. And with that I'm going to turn the conversation over to Dan Maxey, our chief of staff, to moderate conversations with our other coronavirus task force leads. Dan.

Dan Maxey (01:48):
Thank you President Feinstein. It's a cloudy morning here in Greeley, breaking a real streak of blue sky mornings we've had all this week, but it is the last day of finals week, and I want to congratulate all of our students on making it through the end of what was a very challenging spring semester. And I also want to take a moment to thank all of the panelists and guest presenters who have helped to keep us connected through the spring semester. We've been doing these daily update calls mostly on weekdays but for a while on weekends too for about two months, and this has been a really important part of maintaining community and keeping our students, staff, faculty and others informed, so I want to thank all of you for your contributions to this over the last couple of months and look forward to transitioning this into a new phase as we begin to prepare for the fall.

Dan Maxey (02:37):
The cabinet and coronavirus task force both will meet today, and this will be the final meeting today for the coronavirus task force in its current iteration. Next week we'll begin to prepare for transition from our response operations to a recovery posture and a reentry posture, and we'll be sharing more updates from that group each week on Thursday mornings as the president indicated. 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 (03:15):
Good morning Dan. Good morning Andy. I don't have any office mates in with me today, but in the last couple of days folks may have noticed that my young son and daughter were in the camera view at times, and I had a number of people reach out to me and thank me for normalizing the fact that what we're all dealing with about having children at home and in our workspace and it being a very challenging time for everybody, so I'm glad that I was able to do that, and I'm glad they weren't horrific during any of our calls. Yesterday, a number of us from UNC met on campus with staff from King Soopers about the large drive-through testing site we'll be hosting on the campus.

Blaine Nickeson (04:01):
Look for more detail soon, but our plan is to utilize the Y and L parking lots adjacent to Candelaria Hall and Nottingham Stadium for the testing site. It'll allow for plenty of queuing space for cars as we aim to test over 300 people each day. The plan right now is to start next Thursday, and my thanks to our Facilities Management department and our UNC Police department for their assistance in getting this up and running and making it happen.

Blaine Nickeson (04:31):
Today's the last day of the stay at home order in most of the Denver metropolitan area. That means the entire state will now be under the governor safer at home order. At this point, it's up to us on how things look in a few weeks. If we continue to stay home as much as possible, we wear masks when we have to go out and practice good social distancing, hopefully we can continue with this reduced level of restrictions. But if we don't, if we try to jump right back into our old normal, the data that I watch on the daily hospital beds in use will show a significant increase and our leaders will be forced to take more draconian measures to protect our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. So please just keep that in mind as we move forward.

Blaine Nickeson (05:17):
For statewide data, there's 18,371 confirmed positive cases. It's up again about 500 since yesterday or 3%. That 3% daily case growth has been pretty consistent for the last a few weeks. The number of folks hospitalized currently is 628, and it's down a few since yesterday's report. While that continues to trend lower, we saw another day of an uptick in people hospitalized with suspected COVID-19 pending the test results. In the last two days an increase from 142 to 170, which while a relatively small number of cases is a 20% increase, so continue to watch that closely. Big day for testing yesterday, over 92,000 tested, that's up about 6,300. That's a major jump in testing which is great to see. UNC will be doing our part to add to that testing capacity in less than a week. Deaths are up 23 since yesterday, 944, and here in Weld County, about a two and a half percent increase in case counts since yesterday, and there were three more deaths locally, bringing that total to 114.

Blaine Nickeson (06:29):
So Dan, that's all I have this morning, and I'll go ahead and turn it back over to you.

Dan Maxey (06:34):
Great, thank you Blaine. We are working with the folks at King Soopers right now on the various media releases and information that will go out to the public, so there's going to be a pretty massive publicity effort on this to make sure that folks know about it. I can't remember if you mentioned this Blaine in your report, but there will be a registration process involved to participate in the testing center on campus or the testing site on campus, so if any of you are in the Greeley area and plan to utilize this, make sure that you look for the publicity about this and register in advance. They will only be taking individuals who have preregistered for a screening at the site, so look for more on this.

Blaine Nickeson (07:26):
Yeah Dan, that's right. They've got a pretty robust website where they'll screen people through. You don't need a doctor's note to participate, but they do want to sort of walk through and make sure that folks that are symptomatic are the ones that are being screened. They've got a pretty slick system. They deployed this on a number of places across the country, so I got the impression yesterday in meeting with them that they're a pretty well-oiled machine so I'm excited to see how it works out starting next week.

Dan Maxey (07:56):
Likewise. Thanks again, Blaine.

Blaine Nickeson (07:58):

Dan Maxey (07:59):
Next I'll turn it over to our dean of students Tuck Tucker for his report on impacts of student life and I can't wait to see what sort of hat Tuck has on today.

Gardiner Tucker (08:07):
I can't compare it to your hat. You win today. The first thing I'd like to say from Student Impacts is "Way to go students. It's the end of final exam week and you've hung in there for a strange and unusual but successful in different ways semester, and congratulations graduates."

Gardiner Tucker (08:25):
I don't know if you realize, but over the process of being in a virtual world we've covered many, many departments, almost every department on campus, how they've transitioned to online presence. We've shared multiple students' stories about how you've overcome struggles and challenges to be successful. We've covered service stories that during these times people reach out and help each other, the Bear spirit is strong. We've talked about budget issues and how we're tackling those. Policy changes to benefit students during a strange time. We've talked and discussed national issues, technological issues, so it's been quite a couple of months that we've been virtual, and I have a couple of videos that are very symbolic of graduation, but tomorrow's video from Andy will be the culmination of our graduation experience. Let me share some of these with you. First up, we have Meagan here. We'll start her from the start here.

Meagan (09:25):
Being a Bear has brought me some of my best friends, and I know that our time at UNC will bond us for life, so that's why I'm proud to be a Bear.

Gardiner Tucker (09:37):
So I think this is symbolic of the feeling of making connections as part of the Bear community and helping people to feel successful as they move through their years here and they've made lifelong bonds. This one is from the tutoring center, thank you Melissa Hoffner, and it's symbolic to me because the tutors have helped students across all disciplines, across every college, and they represent our graduating seniors, so this is 30 seconds.

Gardiner Tucker (10:41):
And then finally, we have one ceremony that Andy just mentioned coming tonight. Cultural Services is celebrating all 2020 Class Graduates in a night of comedy with Bill Santiago at 5:00 PM Instagram live, so please join us for that event. So I think all of these are symbolic of the changes that we've been through and what we've accomplished together. So congratulations graduates, and that concludes my report.

Dan Maxey (11:08):
Thank you Tuck. Next we'll turn it over to Provost Mark Anderson. And if Mark's not wearing a bandana or better today for hat day, I'll be disappointed.

Mark Anderson (11:20):
Thank you Dan, and the Oscar for Best Performance in a Daily Update call goes to Gardiner Tucker. Today is indeed a day of celebration. Normally we'd be having commencement exercises later this evening and tomorrow, and I just want to celebrate our students and really thank Tuck for highlighting all the student activities over the course of the last six weeks. We would be having the graduate students, specialist degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees earning their diplomas this evening. I'll give a really quick shout out to Cindy Wesley and the Graduate School for all that they've done in transitioning the processes that graduate students have to go through, particularly as they're completing their dissertation defenses during the spring semester. Also, a shoutout to our faculty who've been mentoring these students throughout the year. They've really risen to the occasion to help the students complete their dissertations and really have a meaningful dissertation and thesis defense.

Mark Anderson (12:31):
I've had the opportunity to sit in on a few, and they're very meaningful. I know for me personally, I took much greater satisfaction in the successes of my graduate students, particularly at their defense, than for my own. Dan has been playing really hard rock music, I'm much more akin to a softer orchestral music or jazz, and Andy and I had the opportunity a little bit earlier this week to celebrate our Jazz Studies program and our Jazz students who won a number of Downbeat Awards for their performances, and we'd like to congratulate those students.

Mark Anderson (13:13):
Finally, just a reminder that the buildings will be open today. Between 10:00 AM and noon, Candelaria will be open, and between two and 4:00 PM Gunter will be open for faculty and staff to retrieve their materials for teaching over the summer and being engaged in research. And Dan, I thought you said top hat, so I apologize.

President Feinstein (13:42):
Are you going to be ushering them in in your outfit into the building, just out of curiosity?

Mark Anderson (13:47):
I will do whatever it takes, Andy.

Gardiner Tucker (13:50):
Great idea.

Mark Anderson (13:52):
That is all I have for today. Congratulations to our students. Congratulations to our faculty. Today is a day of celebration.

Dan Maxey (14:01):
We'll make sure to put the velvet rope line up, Mark. Thank you for that report Mark, and thank you for the laugh there, I appreciate the backdrop and dressing up for our graduates today. We have no Facilities or Human Resources reports today on our last daily report, but before I turn it over to President Feinstein one last time for our daily calls, I want to say congratulations again to our UNC graduates. You made it, and look for some congratulatory notes from us later on. With that, I'll turn it back over to the president.

President Feinstein (14:42):
Thanks Dan. And I feel a little underdressed to be frank with you, so I'll have to work on my attire moving forward. But one thing that I am wearing, you'll see I'm wearing a Living CAP hat, C-A-P, and we have two very close friends, Bob and Bonnie Phelps who are great supporters of our university, created this model to try to show support for the campus and also award students that follow this CAP creed. And I'm just going to read what CAP stands for.

President Feinstein (15:11):
The C is Contribute by volunteering time and personal skills, talents, abilities, experience and passion around issues and service and community. Achieve is for displaying a bias toward action and performance, overcoming obstacles and setbacks, and accomplishing goals. And the P is from Pay it forward by impacting the lives of others in meaningful and positive ways, through random and planned acts of kindness, caring, and giving back. So I think those are great words to live by, and it's something I want to share with the campus on this last day of our semester and certainly in celebrating all of our students who are graduating. So congratulations. Thanks everybody for tuning in, and we'll see you here next week, Thursday at 9:00 AM. Take care, everybody.