WCSU Returns to Normal, Reopening Information and Covid-19 Updates

Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19

March 11th Faculty/Staff Update

For Distribution to Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleagues,

In consultation with the Board of Regents, and in light of the expanding impact of COVID-19 in Connecticut, the heightened risk factors from our adjacent New York communities, and the potential travel plans of students, faculty, and staff over spring break, we have decided to run all academic programs online starting March 23 –April 3. This effort will allow us to monitor the spread of this virus and continue to enhance our health and safety protocols on campus. At this time, we anticipate having students returning to campus on April 6.

Teaching Faculty

Teaching Faculty should teach from home.  You are permitted to come to your office, use your labs, etc., but you are not required to do so.  We ask that you communicate with your students about virtual office hours, particularly since we are entering the registration period of the semester.

All students have been advised to bring course materials home and make sure they can log into their courses.   Many of you are scrambling to get your course materials online. This is a huge effort for those of you who have never taught online before, and there will be some bumps in the process.  Please be aware that Rebecca Woodward and her team will be available throughout.  Reach out for assistance as needed and rest assured that every online instructor has made a mistake at some point.  In other words, relax and keep your sense of humor.

For those advising students in internships and clinical placements, please work with them to determine when and if they can continue in these positions.  Students should not go into high-risk areas for their internships (hospitals, etc.) and they should not report to any internship if they have been exposed to COVID-19.  Most companies are providing guidance to their staff, and some may be able to continue online. This is an evolving situation, but we want to facilitate the completion of the minimum contact hours required.

All other WCSU Personnel

Campus will remain open, so all other personnel should come to campus.  Exceptions to this are members of our community who may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.  If that is the case, please contact HR so we can support alternate arrangements.

For Everyone

All campus events are cancelled through April 30.  Guest lecturers in classes are permissible, assuming they are not traveling from high risk areas.  However, large gatherings and external groups on campus are strictly prohibited.   We are evaluating the feasibility of holding Commencement this year, but for now it is still on.

While we have had no reported incidents of COVID-19 in our community, we want to emphasize that if you do contract this illness you should let us know by sending an email to Human Resources (crattyf@wcsu.edu). If you believe you have been in contact with someone who may be a carrier or who has been asked to self-quarantine, we ask that you do the same. Stay home, and please let us know about it.  This important for tracking the spread of this virus, determining when you can return to campus, and ultimately determining when to re-convene on campus instruction.

In addition, we ask that all university employees report any travel plans during this three-week period to Human Resources (crattyf@wcsu.edu).  High-risk areas are expanding quickly, and we may ask you to self-quarantine for 14 days.

We regret the impact of the changes in events and the need to move classes online, but our first priority has always been the health of our community.  By closing the campus to students we are able to support good “social distancing” practices that will slow the spread of this virus. We are counting on all of you to monitor your exposure and keep us informed as needed.

Stay tuned and stay healthy.

Missy Alexander, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Keith Betts, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs