Message to the College on Coronavirus — Spring Break Extended
The situation surrounding COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus) is rapidly changing. That’s why Central Piedmont is working hard to monitor and follow local, state, and federal public health recommendations. The college vows to do its part to limit the spread and impact of the virus, while continuing to serve the educational needs of our students and community.
At a news conference yesterday (3/12/20), N.C. Governor Roy Cooper urged the community to “protect the public health above all else,” and that is Central Piedmont’s goal as well. The college’s chief priority is the health and well-being of our students and employees.
Central Piedmont will remain open, but will adjust how our students learn and how our employees work.
The college’s students and faculty are currently on spring break through this Sunday, March 15. The college has decided to extend spring break — for students only — for an extra week, until Monday, March 23. That means students should not come to campus next week and classes will resume in some format on March 23.
During the week ahead, faculty and staff will work together quickly to identify which classes can be successfully moved from in-person instruction to an online or alternative delivery method. The goal is to begin this alternative instruction delivery on Monday, March 23. At that time, there may still be the need for a limited number of in-person classes and attendance for courses such as those with labs and other hands-on requirements. For any in-person classes and labs, the college will look for ways to conduct these with smaller groups of students.
Students should watch their college email inbox during the coming week for further announcements regarding classes.
In the meantime, Gov. Cooper also announced yesterday he is recommending employers allow people to work from home, and discouraging gatherings of more than 100 people, as the state continues to have more cases of COVID-19. Here is what this means for Central Piedmont:
- Department and division managers will work with college leadership and Human Resources to determine which employees’ functions are considered “essential” to daily college operations. We are committed to helping our students complete the spring semester, but we are implementing “social distancing” practices to protect our students, employees, and the community at large.
- According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others.”
- In an effort to support “social distancing” and minimize the interaction of groups of people who might have been unknowingly exposed to COVID-19, the college will ask employees identified as non-essential during this time to work or teach from home, if at all possible, beginning next week. Departments also will use staggered staffing to ensure operations continue with as few as persons as necessary on campus. Be on the lookout for communication from Human Resources and your supervisor/manager about how this action will be implemented for your team.
By recommendation of Gov. Cooper, college-related events and gatherings of 100 or more people will be canceled or postponed. College employees who have supervision over events of 100 or more persons should move forward immediately to cancel all such events through April 30. Direct any questions to your vice president. For events with fewer than 100 people, please use your best judgment regarding rescheduling or canceling, and direct any questions to your vice president.
- Teleconferencing is recommended.
- The college continues to prohibit students, faculty, and staff from non-essential, college-affiliated travel. The college has expanded this requirement to prohibit all non-essential travel outside Mecklenburg County without approval from your vice president. This does not apply to employees who commute to campus from outside Mecklenburg County. An employee’s daily commute is considered essential.
- The college continues to strongly discourage personal out-of-state travel. Employees with travel planned for outside of North Carolina should talk with their supervisor immediately. Essential employees returning from out-of-state travel could be asked to self-quarantine off campus for 14 days. Please see the CDC’s considerations when deciding whether it’s safe to travel within the U.S. and the CDC map of states reporting cases of COVID-19.
- Employees who traveled out of state during the March 7-15 spring break period should contact Human Resources immediately for further instructions.
- Students who traveled out of the continental U.S. during the March 7-15 spring break period should contact Student Services — the Admissions, Records and Registration Office — at 704.330.6006 immediately for further instructions.
Again, this is an ever-changing situation, and we know you will have questions. The college, our community, the state, and the nation are navigating through uncharted territory. Students, please share with your instructors any questions or concerns you have about your classes. Employees should address their concerns to their supervisors.
Everyone in our college community is encouraged to follow the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) guidelines for keeping yourself safe. If you should begin to feel ill, please stay home, and seek a doctor’s advice before returning to campus.
Visit coronavirus information for all of Central Piedmont's updates on COVID-19.