Coronavirus Update: March 12 PM editionMarch 12, 2020
As we all anticipated, Orange County reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 today, and certainly more are on the way.
Following is a series of informational pieces to help you prepare for an altered operational and instructional environment upon our return from Spring Break. Much of the information below is interconnected, so all members of the College community are asked to please read it in its entirety.
The College will remain open and operational tomorrow (Friday, March 13)
Extended Spring Break for Students
In keeping with guidance from Governor Andrew Cuomo and SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson, SUNY Orange will extend its Spring Break one additional week for students. In-person and online classes will not be held during the week of March 23-27, which will give us additional time to develop a more detailed plan for offering an alternative distance education format along with appropriate in-person applied/laboratory components. Classes, in their revised format, will resume on Monday, March 30.
Spring Break for Employees
For Faculty Association, Staff/Chair, Management Confidential and other employees who contractually would have been away from our campuses during Spring Break, your status remains the same next week (March 16-20). As a precaution, the College has contracted with an outside vendor to conduct an expansive and thorough deep clean of both campuses during Spring Break, so we’ve arranged for CSEA employees who would traditionally be on duty to have the week off. All employees should expect to report back to work on Monday, March 23.
The Week of March 23-27 for Employees
We will use the week of March 23-27 for professional development and planning. All employees will use the week to adapt to alternate modes of operation, delivery of instruction, and academic and student support services. Plans will be shared by division and department as they are finalized.
Student Preparations for Extended Spring Break
No classes in any format will be held from March 16 through March 29. Please stay connected to your SUNY Orange email, as well as the College’s COVID-19 webpage. We’ll be sharing new and/or updated information as it becomes available. And as professors determine the best distance education format for their classes, you can expect to receive information from them so that you can successfully join them in resuming your instructional activities.
During your break, we encourage you to pre-plan for distance learning. We recognize that not every student has ready access to computers, laptops, internet, wifi, etc. As we identify resources and mobile apps that may assist you in adapting to the revised academic format, we’ll share information with you. (Please note: teaching via a distance format or remotely can include a number of tools including Zoom, Gmail, Google Drive, and Blackboard, among others).
Students will be expected to work with their instructors to understand their choices for continued academic instruction.
Effective Monday, March 16, all SUNY Orange non-instructional on-campus events, with the exception of athletic competitions, are canceled for the foreseeable future and their resumption will be evaluated at a later date. Athletic competitions from now through April 1 will be canceled, and the status of subsequent competitions will be reviewed in late March.
We ask all members of the College community to carefully consider any plans for travel during Spring Break, and beyond. Travel increases the risk for encountering those who may have already been exposed to COVID-19.
Anyone, employee or student, anticipating travel to CDC Level 2 or 3 countries over Spring Break or during the Spring 2020 semester, is strongly discouraged from doing so. As new countries or areas of the United States are added to CDC level 2 and 3 classifications, the same travel concerns will apply. Anyone who does travel to such areas will be required to notify their local health department, self-quarantine for 14 days and will not be permitted to come to the College for two weeks upon their return. The CDC is also discouraging all cruise ship travel.
We have developed a voluntary travel disclosure form and we encourage you to submit your information.
With many more members of our College community relying upon digital resources, the HelpDesk (845-341-4749) and the ITS website will be valuable resources should you require technical support.
Helping to Update our Community on the COVID-19 response
To better serve students and community members who may be seeking information on our COVID-19 response while you are out of your office, we suggest including a “for information on SUNY Orange’s COVID-19 response, visit www.sunyorange.edu/covid-19” web page. (be sure to mention the dash between “COVID” and “19).
This is a complex and fluid situation that requires us all to be nimble, adaptable, understanding and kind. Thank you for your patience as we all work through these anxious times together.
Dr. Kristine Young