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Coronavirus COVID-19 Information, Updates & Resources

   TRINIDAD STATE RESPONSE

Coronavirus 19Trinidad State is continually monitoring the status of COVID-19, also called Novel Coronavirus, with the health and well-being of our community firmly in mind.

Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at either Trinidad State location, and classes and activities on both campuses are continuing without interruption. However, the college is taking precautionary measures in an effort to help limit the spread of infection.

You will find the latest Trinidad State information about COVID-19 below, in addition to more detailed information about prevention tips and background on COVID-19.

Updates will continue to be provided on this website.

   UPDATES FROM DR. EPPER, TRINIDAD STATE PRESIDENT
Updated March 25, 2020 - 8:03pm

Dear Faculty and Staff:

I wanted to share some updates and new developments from today. I apologize for the late message, but have been on the phone with the system office in trying to interpret the new developments.

  1. Governor Polis Stay-at-Home Order for the State of Colorado. At 4:30 pm this afternoon, the governor held a press conference in which he issued a statewide Stay-at-Home Executive Order, effective Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 am through April 11. See the full order here:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O1EDCY6-A6QBKxzDImCSF8bBBdOOI3Km/view
        a. Beginning tomorrow, all college employees must work from home unless you have been identified as “essential personnel.” The governor’s order includes definitions of essential personnel to carry out basic functions of the college. This includes, but is not limited to, facilities, security, payroll, human resources, those helping to support remote workers, and those helping to support remote instruction.
        b. If you have been identified as essential personnel, you will be receiving a letter from HR via email that will authorize you to travel to and from TSJC consistent with the governor’s orders. Please wait to hear from your respective VP regarding your schedule and when you are expected to be on campus.
        c. CTE classes and those that were scheduled to continue meeting face-to-face will be suspended until the order is lifted on April 11.
        d. All classes that are transitioning to online instruction will resume on Monday, March 30. CTE classes that can deliver instruction remotely may continue to do so.
        e. A limited number of students will be returning to the residence halls next week, and we will be issuing laptops to those students who do not have their own computers. Students will be moving from double occupancy to single occupancy rooms. More information will be forthcoming from Student Services regarding the support of students in our new “remote” environment.
  2. As of today’s report from CDPHE, there has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 in our service area (Huerfano County).
  3. Faculty, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your dean or Lisa Cheney-Steen for assistance if you need help in moving your course content to remote instruction.
Thank you all for your patience and continued work as we do our part in tackling this pandemic, supporting our students, and supporting each other. We will get through this!

Rhonda M. Epper, Ph.D. | President
Trinidad State Junior College


Updated March 20, 2020 - 10:47am

Dear Trinidad State Community:

Spring Break is traditionally a time to refresh and recharge from the stress and excitement of a higher education experience. It is also a time for renewal, as we look forward to May -- to warmer weather, to semester’s end, and to graduation. Unfortunately, things are much different this semester. COVID-19 has brought new challenges and normalcy has gone by the wayside. We are all a bit on edge as we consider the many unknowns before us. And yet, I have confidence that the legacy of Trinidad State will endure. As I walk the campus, speak with employees, and visit with students, I am encouraged that we are looking out for one another. I am confident that we can develop and adopt new processes to better serve the needs of students and employees, not just for the short-term of this current crisis, but for many years to come. I am confident that the communities of Southern Colorado, of which we are an integral part, will recognize and value the critical contributions we make to their economic and cultural fabric; and they will endeavor to support us as much as we will continue to support them.

A couple of updates and decisions from this week:

For Students

Commencement: In-person graduation ceremonies, currently scheduled for May 8, are cancelled. This is, of course, a difficult decision, but one that is necessary given the restrictions on large-group gatherings and to protect the health of our students, staff, and families. After spring break, we will be conducting a survey of graduating students to find out your preferences for an alternative way to celebrate your graduation from TSJC. Our Graduation Committee has been working on some ideas for a virtual celebration. We are also open to considering an in-person ceremony later in the year. Watch for a survey in your email the week of March 30. It’s important to remember that however we celebrate, you will still receive your certificate or degree as soon as it’s completed, and you will be a TSJC graduate!

Residence Hall and Dining Refunds: Students who check out of the residence halls before March 30 will be refunded six weeks of room and board to their student account. The business office will credit student accounts based on financial aid and scholarship awarded to the student. A pro-rated refund will be calculated for students who check out after March 30. To determine the status of your account, contact Ruth Blasi in the TSJC Business Office (719-846-5547, RuthAnn.Blasi@trinidadstate.edu).

For Faculty and Staff:

We are continuing with current plans to migrate as much instruction as possible to online delivery for the remainder of the semester. Please check out the faculty blog (https://tsjconline.wordpress.com/), put together by Lisa Cheney-Steen, Jocelyn King, and other faculty. You will find some excellent resources and helpful hints for moving your courses online. Lisa is also available to help any faculty member or instructor who needs one-on-one assistance. The blog also has helpful hints for staff, such as how to forward your phone and use Webex for meetings.

At this point, the governor and CDHE are supporting the continuation of CTE classes that require hands-on learning – as long as the classes are small and can provide appropriate social distancing. As you all know, a number of our CTE programs are supplying the workforce that is necessary in a time of crisis: EMTs, public safety officers, nurses, and other healthcare workers. Line technicians are critical during natural disasters. Our state needs these skilled workers as quickly as possible, and will be counting on community colleges to retrain displaced workers and get them back into the workforce quickly. Kudos to many of our CTE faculty who have come up with innovative strategies to teach certain skills online. I am in awe of your creativity! We will continue to follow guidance from CCCS and state leaders on CTE, and will let you know if anything changes.

As I stated in my message earlier this week, staff are encouraged to work from home if at all possible. We will have minimal staff working on campus (housing, dining, facilities, security) with most student support and business functions moving to remote work. We expect a skeleton crew on each campus to be available to support students who are still here. Our IT staff has been conducting an inventory this week to determine technology needs of staff members working from home. Administrative Services has developed some forms, located in the Employee Portal, for you to document your work-from-home arrangement and track your time.

As you make your final preparations for spring break, please know that I appreciate all that you are doing – students, faculty, and staff alike. I am proud that our TSJC community is doing its part in preparing for and controlling the spread of COVID-19. And I am proud of all we have accomplished to make TSJC such a remarkable place. We will use this opportunity to find new and innovative ways to deepen the relationships that sustain us. And we will be a better and stronger college for it. Be safe, and stay healthy!

Dr. Rhonda M. Epper

Rhonda M. Epper, Ph.D. | President
Trinidad State Junior College


Updated March 17, 2020 - 1:43pm

To the Trojan Community,

As we tackle COVID-19 together, please remember our top priorities are the safety of our community, both employees and students, and maintaining our educational mission. We must now come together as a community and help one another to remain calm and safe.

Day by day, we continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic, in concert with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Community College System. We are asking that you act immediately to reduce your risk. Do this by washing your hands with soap often, and by limiting close contact with others. Mid-terms are finishing up this week and we will be closed next week for Spring Break. We have a plan in place beginning on March 30 to teach as many classes as possible online, while still holding small face-to-face classes in areas that require hands-on learning. As we make the shift to online instruction, we will begin implementing more remote working arrangements for faculty and staff. Finally, we will continue to clean door handles, desks and other hard surfaces often, to limit as much as possible the spread of the virus.

For Students – Continuing Classes After Spring Break

Ensuring the continuity of your semester and completion of your courses is of paramount importance. Even as many of your favorite activities and sports have been cancelled this term, you mustn’t lose sight of your educational goals. We will do everything possible to minimize the disruption to your classes, but for most of you, some things will be changing after Spring Break. It is imperative that you contact your faculty/instructor to determine the post-Spring Break plan FOR EACH OF YOUR CLASSES. While most classes will be moving to online delivery, others may continue to require face-to-face instruction.

The residence halls and cafeteria will be open and all student services available to support you. Some of those services may be delivered remotely; for example, you may be talking to your advisor by phone or Webex. You may have heard that the governor of Colorado has ordered that all bars/restaurants (and theaters, casinos and gyms) close for 30 days other than carry-out. The attorneys for the governor and Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment have informed the Attorney General’s office that this order is NOT intended to apply to campus dining halls. Our food service will continue this week as “grab-n-go” (given that arrangements were made after hearing the governor’s order last night), but when you return from spring break, we will resume regular meal service (with grab-n-go as an option).

Computer labs will be open on both the Trinidad and Valley campuses if you need equipment or technical assistance in completing your online courses.

For Employees - Working at Trinidad State

In doing our part to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, we are heeding advice from CDPHE, CDC, and elected officials to restrict group gatherings – advice that has grown more restricted even in the last few days. As part of this effort, we are encouraging employees to work from home wherever possible. Our goal is to maintain continuity of operations by keeping our office areas/departments open while operating with the fewest people on campus as possible. Vice Presidents are currently talking with their team members to determine technological needs, work processes, and rotating schedules to ensure minimal office coverage. We all need to think creatively about how we can support our students and our colleagues through this difficult time.

If you are unsure as to whether or not your job can be performed remotely, please discuss with your supervisor.

College Events

To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, we are implementing new event restrictions. For the remainder of Spring 2020, no new events should be planned, all large events have been cancelled, and most events that are not central to our instructional mission have been cancelled. Regrettably, this includes student activities that have been planned for months. In addition, the NJCAA announced yesterday it has canceled all spring sports for 2020.

At this time, no decision has been made regarding graduation ceremonies. We are evaluating a number of options amid the changing recommendations regarding number of participants at group gatherings.

College or Personal Travel

With a limited number of exceptions, current travel restrictions are as follows:
  • Domestic travel for college business is prohibited to those states that have declared a state of emergency. (New Mexico is currently an approved exception.) International travel to countries identified as “Level 2 and 3” by the CDC is also prohibited. Please refer to the travel information posted in the TSJC Portal under the “Employee” tab for more details.
  • Athletic travel is suspended.
  • We are requesting that all individuals who travel for personal reasons from areas where there is a sustained outbreak self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. This protocol applies to students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
  • If You are Feeling Sick If an employee is feeling unwell (but able to work) with symptoms of cold, flu or fever they should work from home and call their health care provider if their condition worsens. Employees who are returning from a high impact area will need to self-quarantine for at least 14 days. Please check with your direct supervisor. When sick, employees should record their time away from work in the portal as usual. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Call your healthcare provider before showing up so that their office can take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

    If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources.

    Students: Please refer to the TSJC website “Health Alert” tab for updated information related to COVID-19. Do not hesitate to contact your instructors, residence hall staff, or Student Services as necessary for additional assistance or guidance.

    Support Resources

    We recognize that this rapidly evolving situation can cause anxiety and emotional strain and wish to provide you with us much timely information and support as possible.

    Faculty and staff: Resources are available for TSJC employees through the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (CSEAP). Please refer to the website—www.Colorado.gov/cseap; or contact Yvette Atencio, HR Director, TSJC—719-846-5538 for further information.

    Students: Resources are available for TSJC students through the Student Services BIT Team. Please refer to the TSJC website for contact information: http://www.trinidadstate.edu/bit/ or contact Ashlie Cogburn.

    This situation is rapidly changing, and we are adapting as quickly as possible. Remember to stay safe by washing your hands often and by limiting close contact with others as much as possible. I want to commend everyone for supporting one another as we navigate these uncharted waters. Please know that I’m doing my best to keep you informed, and that things may change. If they do, we will adapt, communicate, and move forward.

    Sincerely,

    Rhonda M. Epper, Ph.D. | President
    Trinidad State Junior College


    Updated March 13, 2020 - 9:11am

    Dear TSJC Colleagues:

    I know that many of you are concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak and its possible impact on you, your families, your colleagues, our students, and our communities. Outlined below are several steps we will take immediately to reduce the risk of COVID-19 at TSJC. While we have not had any known cases of COVID-19 among students or employees, the recent spread in Colorado suggests that it is better to act now. We know that one of the most important ways to reduce risk is social distancing, which is guiding our plan. Spring Break is scheduled for March 23-27, and will not be extended. Classes will resume on Monday, March 30 as scheduled.

    Starting March 30, we will deliver coursework via remote/online delivery. Wherever possible, TSJC will transition to offering remote instruction to students. This may be done in a variety of ways that includes use of D2L or other means that are deemed appropriate by the faculty and their respective dean. Programs that need to continue to rely on face-to-face instruction for labs, etc., will continue to meet. Faculty and deans are encouraged to evaluate each class on an individual basis and plan accordingly to help decrease risk of exposure.
    • Faculty and instructors will begin preparing immediately to transition to remote/online delivery, and will receive training and assistance on both the Trinidad and Valley campuses.
    • Faculty and instructors will notify their students of the delivery format with specific instructions about their classes by March 27 – before students return from spring break.
    • Students and instructors who do not have home Internet access will be able to use computers located on campus in our computer labs and library.
    • Many of our classes are offered inside high schools as part of the Concurrent Enrollment program. We will work closely with school districts and high school administrations to coordinate that instruction through the best mutually agreeable instructional method.
    At this time, the College will remain open for business. We will continue to maintain student, instructional, and administrative services on our campuses at current levels, and we will begin evaluating for any necessary adjustments this week and next. All employees should continue to report for their regular schedule unless they are ill. If you are concerned that you have a health related issue that could put you or a family member at risk, please contact Human Resources and your supervisor for consideration of accommodations.

    Events and Gatherings: We recognize that many student and community events are scheduled on our campuses this spring. Using guidance from the governor and CCCS, we are restricting large-scale events based on several risk factors (number of attendees, indoor vs. outdoor, food service, internal vs. external). At this time, GIM/GRIP and a number of external events have been cancelled. We will continue to evaluate events on a case-by-case basis as the situation progresses. Regarding TSJC Athletics, we continue to monitor the NJCAA COVID-19 updates and will comply with their guidance unless state and local health officials direct a more stringent approach.

    Graduation: At this time, TSJC intends to hold graduation events as scheduled. However, we are evaluating options for social distancing, limited audience participation, and live-streaming.

    Travel: Please see the TSJC Portal for specific information on travel.

    These decisions are the result of thoughtful conversations with college leadership and our CCCS colleagues, and we do not take them lightly. We will continue to monitor the recommendations set forth from the Center for Disease Control and other national health resources, as well as work with our state and local public health officials to stay abreast of the rapidly changing nature of COVID-19. Thank you for your help in managing a challenging time. I think these steps will allow us to manage the risks posed by the current situation and continue to help our students succeed.

    Thank you,

    Rhonda M. Epper, Ph.D. | President
    Trinidad State Junior College


    March 11, 11:42am

    Dear TSJC Colleagues,


    I’m writing to update you on new developments in response to COVID-19. This message will be short, as I just returned from two days of meetings in Denver with our CCCS Chancellor, state board, other community college presidents, other CEOs of higher education institutions in Colorado, Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

    Please be assured we are monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation in Colorado, the nation, and globe. I want to thank the TSJC Safety Committee for their continued work in anticipating, planning, and acting in the best interest of the college. In the past few days, they, and I, have been involved in learning more about the situation and developing and implementing strategies to proactively minimize the impact of this virus and protect our students, each other, and our communities, especially the most vulnerable.

    The most important message I would like to convey to you is that this is not a time to panic; it’s a time to prepare.

    As you may have seen in the news media, institutions of higher education across Colorado have been engaged in activating their plans for dealing with situations like this. Tomorrow and Friday TSJC and CCCS will have a continued series of communications and decision-making to position us to best minimize risk. In doing so we will be relying on experts from the federal, state, and local government and our medical community.

    Around 8:00 this evening, the governor of Colorado held a conference call with college and university CEOs, and issued guidance to higher education institutions. I will be reviewing these with our leadership team tomorrow. The governor’s general guidance is similar to that issued for schools districts, which is to remain open unless and until there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a student, faculty or staff member. Other guidance is to restrict large-group gatherings, implement social distancing, and prepare for temporary remote instruction where possible. He emphasized that colleges are expected to keep dormitories, food service, and student services open to ensure students’ needs are being met. The extension of spring break by one week was mentioned as a possibility by several institutions (providing an opportunity for faculty to prepare remote instruction), and will be discussed by our TSJC leadership team tomorrow.

    You can expect another email from me by Friday with more specific plans for TSJC. This will include more specific information on travel restrictions as well as employee leave. Please understand that the situation is fluid, so you can expect things to change and evolve as we continue our work in the coming days and weeks.

    Thank you for your continued safety practices and your care for our students, each other, and our communities. I appreciate your patience and cooperation. We will get through this together.

    With gratitude,

    Rhonda M. Epper, Ph.D. | President
    Trinidad State Junior College


    March 6, 9:07am

    Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

    We’ve all been hearing a lot lately about the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The health and safety of Trinidad State students and employees is very important. So with that in mind, our Marketing and Communications staff have built a webpage where you can find information about the virus, and so that we can be diligent and proactive in our own efforts: https://trinidadstate.edu/health-alerts/

    Please visit this page if you have concerns or questions about the novel coronavirus – about preventing it, and about the work we are doing to update our emergency preparedness plans so that we are prepared should such a virus directly impact our communities. We will be updating this webpage as needed in an effort to keep everyone informed.

    Sincere regards,

    Rhonda M. Epper, Ph.D. | President
    Trinidad State Junior College


    March 6, 11:02am

    Good Morning Everyone,

    I know that many of you have been following the news reports regarding the Coronavirus incidents in the US and around the world. I want to reassure you that TSJC’s leadership has been monitoring the situation, as well, and have discussed this issue with the college Leadership Team yesterday. We will be convening a meeting of our College Safety Committee to stay abreast of the situation and to review our emergency plans for situations just like this should an epidemic occur. In addition, the CCCS office also is monitoring reports and activity and will keep in communication with the presidents and safety officers.

    We will continue to keep you in the loop with our discussions, any needed plans, changes in operation and/or additional information regarding the virus as we move forward. In the meantime, please be mindful of the following recommendations from the Center for Disease Control. If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of either seasonal flu or Coronavirus, please call your closest County Health agency for further recommendations and screening. Please stay home if you are exhibiting symptoms. Faculty, instructors and staff, please communicate with your chair or supervisor if you are ill and not going to be able to come to campus, as well as utilize your D2L capabilities to communicate with your students. Students, you should stay in communication with your faculty if you must miss class.

    Please visit the CDC website for up to date information on Coronavirus (019-nCoV) and seasonal flu (influenza). This site also includes helpful information you may print or share in a variety of languages.

    From the CDC:
    The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to either virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes. (Source: Centers for Disease Control)
    We are a very friendly college, and continuous interaction is a part of who we are. Let’s look out for one another by regularly washing our hands and staying home when we are ill. Thank you!

    Rhonda M. Epper, Ph.D. | President
    Trinidad State Junior College
       CLOSURE & CANCELATION UPDATES
    3/26/20 - 6:02pm
    Trinidad State Students:
    Remember, your classes will resume with online instruction beginning March 30. We are excited to welcome you back “virtually” from Spring Break! Please be aware that the Governor’s stay-at-home order means there will be no face-to-face classes until April 13, at the earliest. This impacts students enrolled in Career and Technical Education classes, who were anticipating to return to campus on March 30. Please continue to monitor our COVID-19 updates on this website for further information.

    CURRENT CANCELATIONS ~ TRINIDAD CAMPUS
    • May 8, 2020 in-person Commencement ceremonies are canceled
    • All athletic events – Canceled for the rest of the semester
    • Bookstore is CLOSED for in-person transactions through March 30th
      3/17 Adult Education’s Family Café – Canceled
      Safe Spring Break – Canceled
      Carry Out only at the cafeteria until further notice
    • 3/24 Homeless Forum - Canceled
    • 3/30 Many classes will transition to online
    • 3/31 Casino Night - Canceled
    • 4/6 Food for Thought Cuchara Mountain Park – Canceled
    • 4/7 Living in Future’s Past screening – Canceled
    CURRENT CANCELATIONS ~ VALLEY CAMPUS
    • May 8, 2020 in-person Commencement ceremonies are canceled
    • Bookstore is CLOSED for in-person transactions through March 30th
      3/17 Exercise Room is now closed
    • 3/18 Safe Spring Break - Canceled
    • 3/30 Many classes will transition to online
    • 4/2 Casino Night - Canceled
       UPDATED CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION



    Trinidad State remains open while transitioning classes to online instruction

    Updated March 13, 2020 - 10:15am
    In the wake of COVID-19 Coronavirus cases rising in Colorado, Trinidad State has taken action early to mitigate risk with input from the Colorado Community College System and in consultation with health experts. Currently, Trinidad State will remain open and continue to carefully monitor the situation while at the same time move to reduce health risks by providing more online learning opportunities at our Trinidad and Alamosa campuses.

    “The health of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority,” said Trinidad State President Dr. Rhonda M. Epper. “One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 is to practice social distancing, and that guides our plan. In addition to transitioning many classes to online learning, we have increased attention on cleaning and sanitizing surfaces and have raised awareness about the importance of washing hands and staying away from others at the first hint of illness. We do not want to disrupt the learning process needlessly, but we are ready to change course should the coronavirus find its way onto one of our campuses.”

    Spring Break, the week of March 23, will happen as scheduled. When classes resume on March 30, as many classes as possible will be taught online. Faculty and instructors will prepare immediately for remote/online delivery. By March 27, faculty and instructors will notify their students how to access their classes. Those who do not have computer access at home will be able to use computers located in the libraries and computer labs on campus. By decreasing the number of students and faculty on campus, the college expects to reduce the chance of spreading illness.

    Programs, such as welding and nursing clinicals, that require hands-on classwork and face-to-face instruction will continue to meet on campus. For classes offered at area high schools, the college will work closely with those schools districts to continue instruction in the most efficient and safe way.

    Softball and Baseball contests scheduled in Trinidad this weekend have been canceled because of travel restrictions put in place by the visiting teams. “We continue to monitor the NJCAA COVID-19 updates and will comply with their guidance unless state and local health officials direct a more stringent approach,” stated Epper.

    Following guidance by the Governor of Colorado and the Colorado Community College System, TSJC will be evaluating large events on a case-by-case basis. The college has canceled a yearly event for Trinidad area middle school students that is normally held at the Trinidad Campus. Girls in the Middle (GIM) for girls and Guys Reaching Incredible Potential (GRIP) for boys introduces young people to careers in science-related fields. Other gatherings of large groups may be canceled as well.

    Trinidad State will continue planning graduation ceremonies, scheduled for May 8, 2020 in Trinidad and Alamosa. If there are changes the college will move quickly to notify students so family members will be able to modify their plans. As always, TSJC plans to provide a live stream on the internet for those who cannot attend in person.

    “We will continue to adjust our plans and make changes as we get more information,” said Epper. “We will balance the needs of students, faculty and staff, making every effort to teach students while at the same time striving to keep everyone safe.”



    CCCS Prepares Transition to Remote Instruction

    13 colleges take steps to mitigate spread of COVID-19

    Updated March 12, 2020 (Denver, CO) - 10:30am
    To ensure the health and safety of campus communities across Colorado, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) activated its emergency operations team focused on coordinating the system’s response with the CO Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the guidance provided by the Governor’s Office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    While there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) on any CCCS campus, preparation continues to receive the highest level of attention from college leaders and system administration.

    “The health and safety of our 125,000 students and 20,000 employees is our highest priority as we coordinate our response and take informed actions,” said Joe Garcia, CCCS chancellor. “Our thirteen college presidents and I are having regular, ongoing conversations and heeding the guidance of public health experts and the CDC.”

    Immediate actions taking place across all thirteen colleges include limitations on large group gatherings, implementation of restrictive travel policies, and the possible extension of Spring Break for students. Staff and faculty will utilize the extra time to transition appropriate courses from in-person to remote instruction and exams, and implement risk reduction plans tailored for each campus.

    Due to varying institutional size, location, and programming across CCCS colleges, some courses may not be appropriate to transition to remote learning, such as welding and nursing labs. To provide students with the opportunity to continue their educations in which they have invested so much time, money, and effort, while ensuring safety for students in these career and technical education programs, courses will be held in spaces that allow for adequate social distancing.

    “We are prepared for this fast-moving, fluid situation and are implementing appropriate plans at each of our colleges to keep our communities safe and avoid interference with student academic progress,” said Garcia.

    CCCS hopes to keep offices and colleges open, but also wants to ensure alignment with best practices to promote a healthy environment such as implementing plans to allow employees to work remotely and ensuring paid sick leave.



    Colorado Gov. Polis declares COVID-19 state of emergency

    On March 10, 2020, Governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). The declaration will help ensure resources are available to the state to combat COVID-19.

    “Our top priority is protecting public health and our vulnerable populations which is why we are taking swift bold action. Our administration's response will be guided by the science and lessons learned from the countries and states that this virus arrived in first,” said Governor Polis. “We will continue to be proactive and work around the clock to protect public health and safety with an eye towards preventing the need for more drastic measures that result in social disruption.”

    “In order to slow the spread of the disease, some of the most effective measures we can take as a state is to test more people so that those who test positive can be isolated from the general population as we continue to stress the need for personal action such as staying home when sick, keeping their kids home when they’re sick and diligently washing your hands,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We thank everyone who has been involved with this containment effort for their tireless efforts and work to ensure the people of our state are safe.”

       PREVENTION AND WELL-BEING

    Prevention and well-being

    Prevention measures are similar to those utilized against the common cold and flu, which are currently circulating in high numbers in California. Those measures include frequent hand washing and avoiding touching face with unwashed hands.

    Trinidad State concurs with CDC recommendations in not recommending the use of surgical masks by people who are well. Those who are ill should consult a healthcare provider about using a surgical mask to reduce the spread of their illness.

    N95 respirator masks are recommended only for use by healthcare workers. These masks are not needed outside of healthcare settings.

    The college will be conducting more frequent cleaning in common areas and on commonly touched surfaces. Academic, dining and housing spaces are among those where elevated cleaning will be required.


    FAQs on prevention and well-being

    How can I help prevent illness?
    Prevention measures are similar to those utilized against the common cold and flu.

    Get a flu shot.
    We strongly recommend that everyone obtain seasonal flu vaccination. While it will not prevent COVID-19, influenza is currently in widespread circulation in the country, and initial symptoms can be similar to novel coronavirus. Any illness right now can increase anxiety and concerns.

    Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    - Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    - Don’t share food and drinks.
    - Clean and disinfect shared surfaces and objects that are touched frequently (e.g. door knobs, desks, phones).
    - If you can, avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
    - Stay home when you are sick.
    - Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. Then throw the tissue in the trash and disinfect your hands.
    - Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    Should I wear a mask?
    Trinidad State concurs with CDC recommendations in not recommending the use of surgical masks by people who are well. Those who are ill should consult a healthcare provider about using a surgical mask to reduce the spread of their illness.
    N95 respirator masks are recommended only for use by healthcare workers. These masks are not needed outside of healthcare settings.
       BACKGROUND
    COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019.

    The current evidence is that most cases (~80%) of COVID-19 appear to be mild. The most common symptoms include fever (38°C/ 100.4 °F) and respiratory complaints such as cough and shortness of breath.

    In more severe cases, infection can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. Those with chronic underlying medical conditions appear to be at high risk for serious complications.

    Runny nose, sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea are less commonly present.

    The incubation period, or the time from which someone is exposed to their onset of symptoms, is most commonly reported to be in the 2-7 day range, but may range up to 14 days for COVID-19. This means that it could take up to 10-14 days for someone to exhibit symptoms after they are infected.

    Person-to-person spread is the primary source of transmission. Based upon available information, it appears that close contact with respiratory droplets from someone who is symptomatic (fever, cough) is the main source for transmission.


    FAQs on background of COVID-19

    What is COVID-19, also called novel coronavirus?
    COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019.

    Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that typically cause mild respiratory infections, although they can result in more severe disease, as seen in past years with SARS and MERS. This “novel coronavirus” is a strain that had previously not been found in humans, and its health impact is currently being closely monitored internationally, nationally, and locally, by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    What are the symptoms of the virus?
    The current evidence is that most cases (~80%) of COVID-19 appear to be mild. The most common symptoms include fever (38°C/ 100.4 °F) and respiratory complaints such as cough and shortness of breath.

    In more severe cases, infection can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

    Those with chronic underlying medical conditions appear to be at high risk for serious complications. Runny nose, sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea are less commonly present.

    How does the virus spread?
    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that commonly circulate in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses have infected people, such as with MERS and SARS.

    The incubation period, or the time from which someone is exposed to their onset of symptoms, is most commonly reported to be in the 2-7 day range, but may range up to 14 days for COVID-19. This means that it could take up to 10-14 days for someone to exhibit symptoms after they are infected.

    Person-to-person spread is the primary source of transmission. Based upon available information, it appears that close contact with respiratory droplets from someone who is symptomatic (fever, cough) is the main source for transmission. It also appears that those who are infected may shed the virus through their bowel movements. Information about transmission is evolving and is being closely investigated by CDC and WHO.

    Recent data reports that at least a subset of cases may be contagious 1-2 days prior to symptom onset, although it is believed the degree of transmission is highest when someone has symptoms. It also appears that those who are infected can spread the virus through their feces/stool/bowel movements. Information about transmission is evolving and is being closely investigated by CDC and WHO.
       CONTACT INFORMATION

    The CDC recommends that anyone experiencing symptoms (that are not expressly urgent) should use a form of telemedicine as their first point of care. Local doctors and emergency rooms do not test for Covid19, so it’s best to “talk” through symptoms with a health care professional before showing up in-person. The more contact a person has with “sick environments”, the more likely they will unwittingly participate in the spread of a disease. All medical carriers provide various telemedicine platforms.

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