Dear Chemeketa Colleagues,
I am writing today to provide updates regarding the novel coronavirus. The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our priority.
Currently, no members of Chemeketa Community College have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and there are no reported cases within our service area of Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.
Unfortunately, as you may have heard, six deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus have occurred in Washington state since last Friday. While these individuals are not a part of Chemeketa Community College, our hearts are with those who have been impacted by this outbreak.
Our state, county, and local agencies are taking steps to prepare our communities should conditions change. In an abundance of caution, we are preparing as we would for any other potentially disruptive situation, such as a natural disaster.
Current and Ongoing Chemeketa Community College Preparations:
- We are monitoring the novel coronavirus event and following recommendations of the Oregon Health Authority and local public health guidance
- College leadership is reviewing our pandemic and communicable disease policies and procedures
- We are providing ongoing communication of information through all-student/staff emails.
- We have developed a new, public Chemeketa webpage with COVID-19 information: https://www.chemeketa.edu/about/parking-public-safety/coronavirus/
- Academic programs/centers and service functions are reviewing their continuity of operations plans (COOPs) and procedures for handling critical functions
- Hand sanitizer has been ordered for placement in College areas with high public interaction (reception areas, help desks, etc.), and other areas as needed
- College custodial crew has implemented an enhanced cleaning protocol, focusing on high-use areas
- International Programs is monitoring travel restrictions and keeping in contact with in- and outbound students
- College leadership, faculty, and staff are using their hard-earned experience gained from previous pandemic-type events to monitor the situation and implement actions as necessary. The college’s executive team met this morning with our Emergency and Risk Manager regarding the developing situation and daily meetings with the incident response team are scheduled moving forward
Oregon Health Authority publishes a webpage with regular updates. You may sign up to receive free email alerts that will inform you when new information is posted. You can also dial 211 anytime for information about the COVID-19.
Sign up for http://alerts.chemeketa.edu/and keep informed of campus emergencies, safety issues, and inclement weather emergency closures; the system can contact you through calls, emails, and text messages. Now is an excellent time to make sure your number is registered and/or up-to-date to receive emergency communications and to ensure that notification settings are correct.
Practice Good Hygiene
Prevention measures for the coronavirus are similar to those used against the common cold and flu, both of which are currently circulating in high numbers across the country. These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Stay home from school or work if you are sick
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Clean and disinfect shared surfaces and objects that are touched frequently
Practice Good Online Hygiene
Please be aware that hackers are using the coronavirus to leverage phishing schemes that trick people into clicking on malicious links and sharing their personal security information. As always, be cautious when clicking on links in emails from unknown sources.
Responding to Misinformation, Bias or Stigma
In times of fear and uncertainty, there is often misinformation shared as a result of bias and, at times, discrimination. COVID-19 is a global concern that can make anyone sick, regardless of their race or ethnicity. Chemeketa Community College is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all who study, work, or visit at any of our locations. If you experience or witness any bias or harassment, please report it to the Public Safety Office at https://www.chemeketa.edu/complaints-and-concerns/ or 503-399-5023.
Additional Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources:
- The CDC website includes the latest information on the virus, how it is spread, and prevention measures
- Country by country travel alerts may be found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages.html
- The CDC also provides helpful information on prevention tips and what to do if people may have been exposed to, or contracted the virus
As this event continues to evolve, we will share information and updates on our website and social media pages.
Thank you for being part of our community at Chemeketa, and for your attention to this email.