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2020 Coronavirus Update

REMOTE ACCESS RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS

REMOTE INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES FOR FACULTY

TIPS FOR MAINTAINING GOOD HEALTH DURING SOCIAL DISTANCING, QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION

Posted March 27, 2020

Reminders:

  1. Indian River State College physical locations will remain closed to the public and students (with very few exceptions in workforce programs) next week and until further notice.
  2. Hybrid and face-to-face courses resume as virtual courses on Monday, March 30.
  3. The College is open to only our employees for needs related to their position. Any employee visiting the College must adhere to CDC distancing guidelines and health protocol.
  4. Students are encouraged to communicate with faculty, advisors and staff via phone and email. 
  5. Registration for summer term will begin April 6.

Posted March 26, 2020

All performing arts events scheduled for the McAlpin and Wynne Black Box theatres are cancelled through at least April due to concerns about Coronavirus.

IRSC is presently contacting our patrons about the cancellations, but we are experiencing a high volume of incoming phone calls at this time. We appreciate your patience. 

In lieu of a refund, ticket holders can automatically donate the value of their ticket to the College; a large portion of season ticketing revenue goes toward student scholarships. Ticket holders requesting a refund should contact the box office Monday through Friday by sending email to boxoffice@irsc.edu.


Posted March 25, 2020

Summer registration has been moved to April 6 to give our students and instructors more time to adjust to the recent changes necessitated by the Coronavirus outbreak. Additionally, the date for students to withdraw from spring full-term and express classes has moved to April 10.

The Academic Support Center is presently migrating services to Blackboard Collaborate. Virtual tutors will be available in math, biology/AP, chemistry/physics, English and reading. The IRSC libraries have launched real-time research labs and "chat with a librarian" services. More information about these services will be posted on the Remote Access Resources for Students page.

Posted March 20, 2020

At the conclusion of Spring Break, Indian River State College will maintain operations remotely with limited services onsite.  In order to observe to the latest guidelines by the CDC, IRSC is implementing the following measures to keep students, employees, and others safe.  

Here are a few reminders of steps previously announced:

  • All online classes will continue as scheduled on March 23.
  • All hybrid and face-to-face courses will adjust to fully online formats and resume on March 30.
  • Workforce programs and courses that rely on significant contact hours will have alternative plans developed, and faculty will reach out to students in these areas. These courses will also resume on March 30. 
  • All IRSC athletic events, planetarium shows, fine arts performances, and public pool hours have been suspended indefinitely.
  • The IRSC Child Development Center is closed until further notice.

Additional steps IRSC is initiating at this time:

Campus Events/Meetings:

  • No IRSC events of any kind are to take place with 10 or more individuals until at least April 15, 2020, or in the event the CDC deems gatherings safe again.
  • IRSC will evaluate all future events on a rolling schedule, determining the status of an event no later than two weeks prior to the event.
  • Any meeting of 10 or more individuals that is necessary must be done so in an online/virtual format.
  • IRSC’s Spring Commencement ceremonies have been postponed until further notice. Graduates who have paid their $50 fee will be refunded. Diplomas will be mailed to all graduates. The College is evaluating alternative means to celebrate our spring graduates, and working to ensure graduates who want to take part in Commencement exercises have a future opportunity to do so. 

 Student Services:

  • In addition to the continuation of most classes in virtual format, IRSC will offer student services virtually where possible.
  • IRSC employees will use the week of March 23 to 27 to develop alternative delivery methods for the libraries, ASC labs, testing centers, and more.
  • IRSC is committed to ensure continuation of its student and support services. Any service that must maintain a limited opening will do so with respect to the CDC’s social gathering and social distancing guidelines.
  • The College will be closed to students during the week of transition above (3/23 to 27); however, students are encouraged to reach out to their instructors and/or assigned advisors if there are questions or concerns regarding the adjustment to online learning.

River Hammock:

River Hammock is closing to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus. 

  • All Florida residents residing in the River Hammock must leave the premises no later than 6:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23.
  • Out-of-state and international students will be required to leave the premises by 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 25.
  • River Hammock residents are required to remove all personal belongings and leave room and card swipe keys on your individual desk. Lock your individual room door as you exit.
  • Pursuant to the lease terms, and due to the mandatory evacuation, the rental payment shall be pro-rated. Refunds and deposits will be processed at the end of the spring semester.

 Employees Returning to Work:

  • Indian River State College continues to shift its operations online to the extent possible.
  • Employees need to work with their immediate supervisor in advance of March 23 to establish an alternating work schedule on site or a remote work plan. Employees should also work with their supervisor to properly retrieve equipment, technology, or necessary materials to maintain operations.
  • Any employee visiting campus must strictly follow CDC distancing guidelines and health protocol. 

REMINDER: Employees should NOT return to any IRSC physical location if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, if they have been asked to isolate due to exposure to an individual with a positive COVID-19 test, nor if they feel age or underlying health conditions put them at an increased risk for exposure. Safety is our utmost concern, so please do not put others or yourself at risk. 


Posted March 16, 2020

The spread of Coronavirus has elevated safety precautions to unprecedented levels across the nation, and Indian River State College will continue doing its part to ensure the safety of its students, employees, and supporters.

Employees are expected to return to work as scheduled on March 23rd to ensure the continuation of services to students throughout the entirety of the spring semester. This will be accomplished through the implementation of the measures below:

  • Classes currently being taught online will continue as scheduled on March 23rd.
  • Hybrid classes (blend of online & face-to-face) will be delayed for one week and shift to completely online on March 30th.
  • Face-to-face classes will be delayed for one week and be adjusted to an online format where possible on March 30th.
  • Workforce programs that require in-person contact hours (such as Cosmetology, Construction, and Industrial Education programs) will resume March 30th with alternative plans so students may complete the semester. Faculty members will be contacting students in these programs.
  • In accordance with the CDC guidance as of March 15th, IRSC will begin working to postpone or cancel events in the near future that consist of 50 or more people. Please continue to check the IRSC website calendar for updates on event status.

The Coronavirus situation is still very unpredictable and fluid, and further measures may be required as a result of the virus spread or at the request of state leadership. Please know IRSC will provide updates as soon as possible in the event more steps are needed.

For more information, continue to check your IRSC email and this webpage.


Posted March 13, 2020; updated March 16, 2020

In accordance with guidance issued by the Florida Department of Health, and out of the highest concern for the health and well-being of its students, employees, and visitors, Indian River State College (IRSC) is immediately postponing or cancelling the following events due to coronavirus concerns:

  • Planetarium shows are suspended until at least April. This includes the Evening Star shows for tonight and tomorrow, as well as Kids Space activities scheduled for this weekend. In lieu of a refund, ticket holders can automatically donate the value of their ticket to the College. Ticket holders requesting a refund should contact the box office Monday through Friday by sending email to boxoffice@irsc.edu or by calling 772-462-4750 or 1-800-220-9915.
  • All athletic events are suspended until at least March 28.
  • All performing arts events scheduled for the McAlpin and Wynne Black Box theatres are canceled through at least March 28. In lieu of a refund, ticket holders can automatically donate the value of their ticket to the College; a large portion of ticketing revenue goes toward student scholarships. Ticket holders requesting a refund should contact the box office Monday through Friday by sending email to boxoffice@irsc.edu or by calling 772-462-4750 or 1-800-220-9915.
  • Public pool hours are canceled indefinitely.
  • The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) session for March 26 is canceled.
  • Project Easter Smile has been postponed indefinitely.
  • The 2020 Florida Hope Exercise planned for April 1 to 6 is canceled.
  • The Graduate School Fair scheduled for April 1 is postponed and is expected to be rescheduled for a future date.
  • A Job Fair planned for April 9 is postponed and is expected to be rescheduled for a future date.
  • All other college events and activities currently scheduled are being evaluated at this time.
  • The IRSC Child Development Center is closed indefinitely.

Yesterday, the College suspended all IRSC professional international and out-of-state travel, as well as all IRSC pre-approved student activity travel, effective March 13, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. until further notice. Earlier in the week, students were notified that Study Abroad trips for 2020 were canceled.

Indian River State College closes for Spring Break today at 5:00 p.m. and plans to reopen on Monday, March 23, 2020. The College will disseminate information regarding the coronavirus throughout Spring Break via College email, the College website at www.irsc.edu, and IRSC social media channels.


Posted Thursday, March 12, 2020

We continue to monitor the Coronavirus outbreak closely and want to keep you informed on recent developments here at IRSC. 

Please see the latest memorandum and FAQ document regarding the Coronavirus from Dr. Kathy Hebda, Florida College System Chancellor.  These documents have hotlinks that will also assist in keeping you up-to-date and answer possible questions you may have about the Coronavirus.

March 11, 2020 Memorandum from Dr. Kathy Heba, Florida College System Chancellor

March 11, 2020 Questions and Answers, Florida College System

If traveling to any of the European countries included in the CDC link on personal business, https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/coronavirus-europe#countries, please be aware and follow the CDC recommendations and requirements.  Additionally, please be aware that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Federal Register notices have announced that the Department of Homeland Security may direct operators of aircraft to airports with enhanced public health services and protocols for flights carrying persons (including U.S. citizens and permanent residents) who have recently traveled from, or were otherwise present within, the European countries indicated in the link.

As a result of the Coronavirus, all IRSC professional international and out-of-state travel, and all IRSC pre-approved student activity travel, is suspended effective March 13, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. until further notice

The College will continue to disseminate information regarding the Coronavirus. Please monitor your College email, the College website at www.irsc.edu, and IRSC social media channels throughout Spring Break for any further updates.


Posted Monday, March 9, 2020

Indian River State College continues to closely monitor the evolving Coronavirus outbreak. The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is the highest priority and IRSC officials are working closely with local, state, and federal agencies to share the most updated information.

Proactive Self-Quarantine

Based on the Governor's Executive Order, IRSC requires all students, faculty, administration, and staff who have traveled to impacted Level 3 countries (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea) within the past two weeks/14 days, to self-quarantine at home and avoid contact with others for 14 days.  

Spring Break

Members of the IRSC community are strongly encouraged to consider deferring non-essential international travel during spring break and in the months ahead.

  • Conditions can change rapidly in other countries and could impact ability to re-enter the United States.
  • The Coronavirus will continue to spread and new countries are experiencing outbreaks every week.
  • Other countries may decide to implement travel restrictions with very little notice.
  • Airlines may cancel/limit flights.
  • Employees who travel to impacted Level 3 countries (indicated above) over Spring Break or in the months ahead will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.  For employees impacted by this self-quarantine, please contact Human Resources, (772) 462-7280 or myself at mwhigham@irsc.edu as soon as possible in order to discuss the use of time off.  
  • Students who travel to impacted Level 3 countries (indicated above) over Spring Break or in the months ahead will be required to self-isolate and not return to campus for 14 days after arriving home. They must also contact the local Department of Health, as well as the IRSC Health and Wellness Center and the Vice President of Student Affairs at 772-462-4706.
  • Additional quarantine measures by the U.S. or other countries may be applied as situations change.

Travel Guidance

IRSC will continue to follow travel guidelines from the  Centers for Disease Control  (CDC) and suspend College-related travel to countries issued a Level 3 warning.

Before traveling for business or pleasure, please pay attention to the risk levels of any country and understand that risk assessments may change from day-to-day. The International Air Transport Association website is a valuable resource for travelers.  The CDC recommends travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel at this time.  The following CDC link has additional information regarding the Coronavirus and cruise ship travel:  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/covid-19-cruise-ship.

Health Guidance

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), see your health care provider immediately. Call ahead to advise the doctor’s office of recent travel. If you have symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus, wear a facemask when you are in the same room with other people and when you visit your healthcare provider. The CDC expects that person-to-person spread of Coronavirus will eventually occur more widely. 

Faculty, staff, and administrators with health concerns should contact their healthcare provider.  Anyone with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of Coronavirus will be guided by the treating physician and the  Florida Department of Health  on steps for treatment.

Prevention

IRSC is increasing cleaning activities to help prevent the spread of germs. A few simple steps to protect yourself and those around you include: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, particularly if you have been in contact with someone who is sick
  • Use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces 

Although widespread use of face masks for asymptomatic people outside clinical settings is not recommended, remember that it is a social norm in many countries to wear a face mask during cold and flu season. Do not assume that a person wearing a face mask is infectious, or that they should be avoided.

We will continue to closely monitor the evolving Coronavirus outbreak and will continue to keep you informed. 


Posted Tuesday, March 3, 2020; updated March 6, 2020

The CDC and state Health Departments are responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in the United States. The risk to residents of Florida remains low; however, there is an ongoing investigation to determine more about this outbreak. At IRSC, we are asking that all employees and students who have recently returned from travel to China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea to self-isolate and not return to campus for 14 days after arriving home and contact the local Department of Health, as well as the IRSC Health and Wellness Center and the Vice President of Student Affairs at 772-462-4706.

Please contact Patti Corey-Souza, Ph.D., R.N., in the Health and Wellness Center (Building U) by phone at 772-462-7825 or by email at psouza@irsc.edu if you have any questions, concerns, or if you suspect you or someone you know has been exposed to, or diagnosed with, coronavirus.

For employees, if you suspect a possible infection (student, staff, visitor etc.) notify the Health and Wellness Center immediately. The Health and Wellness Center can help with precautionary strategies such as hand sanitizer and other protective equipment at no cost.

The Health and Wellness Center works closely with infectious disease personnel at the Florida Department of Health. We will keep the College community updated as new information from the CDC and the Department of Health is released. Your wellbeing is our priority.

According to the Florida Department of Health the community at large, as well as our College community, should be aware of the following coronavirus information:

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person by droplets:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are the sickest.
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
  • It may be possible that a person can get coronavirus by touching a surface containing droplets.

The symptoms of coronavirus may appear 2 to 4 days after exposure. See your health care practitioner if you have:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Most people recover without needing special treatment. However, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, and an impaired immune system are more prone to develop a serious illness.

 Be Aware of How to Prevent Transmission  of the Coronavirus:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid contact with persons in poor health.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately. Coughing into a bent elbow may not prevent the spread of droplets.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Wash with soap and water ASAP.

What not to do:

  • The CDC does not recommend that healthy, asymptomatic people wear a facemask. Facemasks should be used by people who have symptoms, health workers, and people who are caring for an infected person.

According to Dr. Scott Rivkees, Florida State Surgeon General, “The department is moving forward with the appropriate plans, and we are working directly with the CDC and local medical providers to ensure (infected) individuals the proper treatment and that anyone who has come into contact with them is following the necessary protocols, limiting or stopping any further spread.”

This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available. Florida Department of Health, March 1, 2020.

Additional Resources

Florida Department of Health Coronavirus Call Center:
1-866-779-6121
COVID-19@flhealth.gov.
The Call Center is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m.

Visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/ebola/_documents/ebola-response-to-emerging-infectious-disease.pdf to view Florida's Response to Emerging Infectious Disease.

Visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/all-county-locations.html to locate and obtain contact information for your local CHD.

The CDC also has a website with information related to coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

 

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