Jay Faulkner, CASC
Since our last announcement on Friday, March 13, 2020, there have been world-wide developments of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those include the following:
• March 11, 2020, the World Health organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The virus has been found in 146 countries and territories with nearly 165,000 confirmed cases and 6,500 deaths. https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd
• March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 out break in the United States. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-declaring-national-emergency-concerning-novel-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak/
• March 15, 2020, Governor Stitt declared a state of emergency across Oklahoma in response to COVID-19. http://www.sos.ok.gov/documents/executive/1913.pdf
• The CDC has provided updated guidance to control the spread of COVID-19. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/summary.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fsummary.html
• The State Board of Education voted unanimously to enact a mandatory, statewide closure through April 6 and emphasized school leaders should prepare for long term closures.
There are currently no known cases affecting either of our campuses. However, your leadership feels that, in light of recent developments, that the Carl Albert community must take proactive steps to do our part to help mitigate the spread of this virus by taking practical and wise steps to protect our College community.
After careful review of the available information, and after consulting with our higher education peers, we have made the decision to transition to distance learning (online, virtual, etc) beginning the Monday after Spring Break for a two-week trial period, after which the situation will be re-evaluated. The health and well-being of our Carl Albert students, staff, and faculty remains our priority. Your campus leadership continues to closely monitor the evolution and spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The situation continues to evolve nearly daily, so we remain in close communication with the local and state departments of health, our resources at the Office of the State Regents for Higher Education, and fellow higher education peers.
Some important items to note:
- Faculty and staff will still report to campus on Monday, March 23, 2020.
- Residence halls will be open
- Food service will operate, but on a take-out basis
- Campus service offices will still be open
- Computer lab space will still be open, but limited access will be available
- Gathering spots for large crowds will be shut down: Stivers Center, Hygge Hall, Mick Thompson Fieldhouse, Viking Room, Outback area, student lounge at the Sallisaw campus.
- All campus events are canceled until further notice
- All out-of-state campus travel is suspended unless absolutely essential, and only with the President’s approval
- There are no restrictions on in-state travel, but in-state travel will be monitored
We will continue to implement the following:
- Placing additional hand sanitizing stations in all campus buildings
- Utilizing sanitizing foggers in all offices, buildings, and residence halls
- Purchasing and providing additional sanitizing wipes for concentrated areas such as Café 1507 and the computer labs
At this time, we continue to encourage you to practice the following:
- Self-isolate and practice social distancing, avoiding crowds of 10 or more
- Safe and frequent hand-washing, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or utilizing a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol
- Stay home if you feel sick
- Cover your mouth with your elbow when coughing or sneezing
- Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces with a disinfectant
We encourage you to check the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites to find updated guidance. If you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, you should remain home, notify your supervisor or instructors, and not report to work or class.
As stated on Friday, March, 13, 2020, if you have traveled over Spring Break to any area where Coronavirus is present, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days after your return. Please ensure that if you fall into this category, you do not utilize on-campus resources, but self-isolate at home. If you did not inform Student Affairs of travel plans prior to Spring Break, we ask that you do so as soon as possible; please email . The Oklahoma State Department of Health encourages anyone who returns from an area with travel restrictions, or anyone who is experiencing flu-like symptoms, to self-quarantine for 14 days and report any concerning symptoms to a health care provider or call the OSDH Call Center at 877-215-8336. Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure.
This situation evolves rapidly, and we are working closely with the experts and our peers to ensure we continue to make sound, logical, and well-timed decisions. We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we determine, as a team, the best decisions for the Viking family.
President Jay Falkner
Carl Albert State College