Previous Updates

Prior Communication to COD Community

26. Message from the President of College of DuPage, June 30, 2020

College of DuPage Community,

Due to the extraordinary skill and dedication of our faculty and staff, online summer instruction has been highly successful with a slight increase in enrollment. Also, a small contingent of spring 2020 students have returned to campus to complete laboratory and other work that could not be accomplished online during the regular semester. Thanks to all who have made this progress possible.

It is now time to discuss the general arrangements for the fall 2020 semester:

Modes of Instruction

Instruction will be delivered online and through the hybrid modality. Hybrid course offerings will be generally limited to those whose learning objectives cannot be achieved entirely online. The aim of this strategy is to minimize the density of individuals on campus. This will make the environment safer for those who must come onto campus to work (i.e., Facilities Department staff and other “essential workers” designated by executive orders of the Illinois Governor).

Working from Home

Those individuals who have not been notified by their supervisor that they are “essential workers” will continue to work from home as the fall 2020 semester starts and continue to do so until environmental conditions indicate that it is reasonably safe to do otherwise. This will include most faculty (unless on campus to deliver authorized in-person instruction associated with a hybrid course), classified staff, managers, student workers, and administrators.

Restricted Entry onto Campus

As has been the practice over the past few months, non-essential faculty, staff, and administrators should only come onto campus for short periods of time as necessary to pick up reference materials or supplies. Permission of the immediate supervisor and supervising Cabinet officer is required for the admission of non-essential personnel onto campus. Non-essential personnel who need to come onto campus should contact their immediate supervisor. Before being admitted, non-essential personnel will be screened for symptoms associated with the coronavirus.

The following college staff members are well deserving of shoutouts for their exceptional work on behalf of our students.

Learning Commons

The staff of the Learning Commons have endeavored tirelessly to provide outstanding tutoring, math and writing assistance, as well as testing support to our students under the most unusual of circumstances. The Learning Commons is led by Manager Diane Szakonyi.

Facilities Department

The carpenters, custodians, groundskeepers, maintenance mechanics, operating engineers and other members of the Facilities Department staff have worked diligently to bring the campus back to prime operating condition and make it safe for the students who must be there to do their academic work. Director of Facilities Bruce Schmiedl heads the department.

Go Chaparrals!

All College coronavirus response updates will continue to be posted on this webpage. Additional information/guidance for employees can be found on the employee portal at inside.cod.edu.

Brian W. Caputo, Ph.D., C.P.A.

President
College of DuPage

 College of DuPage Community:

Thank you for your continued perseverance as we move through the summer 2020 semester in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.  While the conditions for delivering instruction are challenging, the students, faculty, and staff have adapted remarkably well.  The Chaparrals are showing their resilience!

I would like to tell you about two new matters:

Completion of the Spring 2020 Semester.

While the spring 2020 semester has officially ended, the pandemic precluded some of our students from completing certain courses.  These courses involve laboratory or clinical requirements that could not be satisfied online.  Beginning Monday, June 15, those students will be permitted to come to the main campus to complete their spring 2020 coursework.  Instruction will be delivered in the HSC and HEC buildings.  Procedures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus will include:

  • One doorway per building will be used as a dedicated entrance and another will be used as a dedicated exit.  Access to buildings other than the HSC and the HEC will be restricted or prohibited.
  • Coronavirus-related preventative measures will be posted at the doorways.
  • All students will be screened prior to entry in accordance with an established protocol.
  • Students must provide their own masks and wear them at all times while on campus.
  • Students must maintain social distance from others of at least six feet at all times.
  • Classroom seats will be modified as necessary to maintain social distancing.
  • No more than 10 people will be allowed in any classroom at the same time.
  • Students will not change classrooms throughout the day.
  • Signage will be posted in common areas, such as near washrooms and elevators, to facilitate social distancing.
  • As necessary, students should bring their lunches and eat in the classroom, outdoors, or in their cars.
  • Students will be dismissed after class in a coordinated manner to maintain social distancing.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned/disinfected at the end of each day.

Additional instructions will be provided by individual professors as appropriate.

Curbside Pick-Up Available at the Bookstore.

Students may arrange to pick up course materials ordered through the College bookstore.  When notified that their course materials are available, students can make an appointment for curbside, contactless pick-up by calling (630) 942-2361.

Your patience is sincerely appreciated as the Chaparrals continue to pursue their educational goals during the pandemic.

All College coronavirus response updates will continue to be posted on this webpage. Additional information/guidance for employees can be found on the employee portal at inside.cod.edu.

Brian W. Caputo, Ph.D., C.P.A.

President
College of DuPage

College of DuPage Community:

Congratulations on a successful spring 2020 semester. With tenacity and applied skill, the faculty, staff, and administrators of College of DuPage quickly moved to online and alternative instruction. Your efforts were nothing short of amazing.

It is now time to look forward to the summer 2020 semester. As we begin the new semester, it may be helpful to review a few points about how we will operate as we continue to navigate the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus Advisory Task Force

The members of the Coronavirus Advisory Task Force are listed below. The task force advises the Cabinet on issues related to the College’s response to the coronavirus threat. If you have suggestions or questions, please contact one of the task force members.

  • Dilyss Gallyot, Interim Dean, Nursing & Health Sciences Division, Task Force Chair
  • Cheryl Baunbach-Caplan, Counselor, CODAA Representative
  • James Benté, Vice President, Planning & Institutional Effectiveness, Cabinet Liaison
  • Robert Clark, Faculty, Business & Applied Technology Division
  • Anna Gay, Program Support Specialist, Classified Staff Representative
  • Lubna Haque, Faculty, Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Division
  • Tim Henningsen, Faculty, Chair, Instructional Committee
  • Susan Landers, Manager, Learning Technology Center
  • Jennifer Kelley, Faculty (Library), Social/Behavioral Sciences & Library Division
  • Lee Kesselman, Faculty, Arts, Communication, & Hospitality Division
  • Tamara McClain, Director, Admissions & Outreach Office
  • Stephanie Quirk, Coordinator, Student Life and Leadership Development
  • Jason Snart, Faculty, Liberal Arts Division

Business-Related Expenses

With appropriate advance approval, the College will pay for or reimburse employees for business-related expenses incurred during the coronavirus crisis that are extraordinary in nature. Employees who need to purchase goods or services of this nature should contact their supervisors.

Access to the Main Campus

Access to the main campus will be restricted. The regional centers will remain closed. Non-essential employees should only come to the main campus for short periods of time when necessary to otherwise accomplish their work from home (e.g., pick up supplies or hardcopy reference materials). These employees should only come to campus with the expressed authorization of and instructions from their immediate supervisor and Cabinet officer. Non-essential employees must bring protective masks with them when coming to campus and wear masks at all times while on campus. All employees should also maintain six-foot social distance and wash their hands frequently while on campus. If you are ill or show signs of any of the COVID-19 symptoms outlined by the Centers for Disease Control or the DuPage Public Health Department, please stay home and DO NOT come to campus.

Employee and Non-Employee Screening

To further protect the health and well-being of all who are on campus, starting in June , all employees (essential and non-essential) as well as all visitors, vendors, and contractors will be asked screening questions prior to being permitted on campus. Those with potential COVID-19 exposure will not be permitted on campus until it is shown that it is safe for them to be on campus.

More members of the college community have distinguished themselves recently. Those individuals are:

Instructional Technologist Tim Sweeney: Tim has been exceptionally effective and helpful to the faculty. He has assisted many on how to get the most from our learning management system. He is a difference maker.

Marketing & Communications Department Staff: The staff of the Marketing & Communications Department has worked tirelessly to keep the college community informed of our approaches to address the rapidly changing circumstances with which we have been confronted. They have used creative videos, website updates, marketing materials, press releases, Facebook streams, and virtual events to convey a wide variety of messages. Every one of those messages has been impactful and helped us stay connected.

All College coronavirus response updates will continue to be posted on this webpage. Additional information/guidance for employees can be found on the employee portal at inside.cod.edu.

Brian W. Caputo, Ph.D., C.P.A.

President
College of DuPage

College of DuPage Community:

Out of an abundance of caution, the COD main campus and all of its regional facilities have been closed since March 21 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, we now understand enough about how to mitigate the risk of virus transmission to permit a limited reopening of the main campus. This reopening will be for certain individuals who need access to our facilities in order to work productively. Consequently, the following staff members will report for work at the main campus in Glen Ellyn effective Monday, June 1, or as otherwise directed by their immediate supervisors.

  • Operating engineers
  • Building maintenance staff
  • Carpenters and carpenter assistants
  • Painters
  • Groundskeepers
  • Custodial staff
  • Mail services staff
  • Warehouse staff
  • Police officers

Staff members in the above employee groups are “essential employees” as identified in the Illinois Governor’s Executive Order 20-10. When working on campus, these staff members will observe the six-foot social distancing practice, wear protective masks, wear other appropriate personal protective equipment, observe appropriate personal sanitizing practices, and take other precautionary steps as directed by their supervisors.

Until further notice, employees not listed above (“non-essential employees”) should continue to work from home to the maximum extent possible. Effective June 1, regular part-time employees and student workers will be paid only for the number of hours that they actually work.

Access to the main campus will be restricted. The regional centers will remain closed. Non-essential employees should only come to the main campus for short periods of time when necessary to otherwise accomplish their work from home (e.g., pick up supplies or hardcopy reference materials). These employees should only come to campus with the expressed authorization of their immediate supervisor and Cabinet officer. Additionally, non-essential employees must bring protective masks with them when coming to the campus and wear masks at all times while on campus. The college will not provide masks to non-essential employees at this time. A plan outlining which campus entrances will be accessible will be announced separately.

While the mailroom will be open on a limited basis, to avoid unnecessary contact, mail and packages will not be delivered to any college offices.  Rather, pick-up of critical mail and packages may be arranged by appointment only.  To schedule an appointment, contact the mailroom for mail at postalautomation@cod.edu or the warehouse for packages at warehouseservices@cod.edu.

Employees having questions about these matters, should contact their immediate supervisors.

All College coronavirus response updates will continue to be posted on this webpage. Additional information/guidance for employees can be found on the employee portal at inside.cod.edu.

Brian W. Caputo, Ph.D., C.P.A.

President
College of DuPage

 College of DuPage Community:

As we near the end of the spring 2020 semester, I thank you for your outstanding efforts as we collectively work to meet our students’ needs in the midst of an unprecedented global event. Our students and community have been well served and that is directly attributable to the commitment of faculty, staff, and administrators at all levels of COD.

For the fall 2020 semester, we are developing an in-person hybrid and virtual learning model. This flexible format is designed with safety as a top priority, while providing students the opportunity to receive instruction partially in person if they choose. The proposed model will be adaptable to safety requirements that may be imposed in the future by public health authorities to control the spread of the coronavirus. Specified governmental protocols and/or executive orders will impact upon how the model is ultimately implemented.

We will share the details of the new alternative learning model in the coming weeks.

All College coronavirus response updates will continue to be posted on this webpage. Additional information/guidance for employees can be found on the employee portal at inside.cod.edu.

Brian W. Caputo, Ph.D., C.P.A.

President
College of DuPage

College of DuPage Community:

By all accounts, it appears that most COD faculty, staff, and administrators have adapted well to our current distance learning environment.  Thank you for your continued efforts on behalf of COD students.

There are few developments to tell you about this week:

Continued Work From Home

Consistent with the Illinois Governor’s most recent stay-at-home order, faculty, staff and administrators will perform their job functions to the maximum extent possible from home through May 31. Regular part-time staff will continue to be paid for their normal work hours through that date and also should work from home to the maximum extent possible. Student workers will continue to be paid through May 15 (the end of the spring semester) as previously announced. The main campus and regional centers will remain closed through May 31.

Virtual Commencement Ceremony

The virtual commencement ceremony will be held Thursday, June 11, at 7 p.m. Please note that 2020 graduating students may participate in the virtual commencement, and, if interested, may also participate in the spring 2021 graduation. For more information, go to cod.edu/commencement.

Spring 2020 Semester Tuition and Fee Refunds

Most spring 2020 refunds of tuition and fees pertaining to coronavirus-related withdrawals requested before April 10 have already been paid to students. The few remaining refunds will be paid by May 1. If you have a question about a refund, please contact codpaymenthelp@cod.edu after May 1.

Procurement FAQ

The Administrative Affairs Division has prepared a document answering frequently-asked questions concerning the College’s procurement procedures during the coronavirus crisis. This document may be accessed from the employee portal at inside.cod.edu.

Given their extraordinary work during the past few weeks, a shout-out to the Financial Affairs Department and the Procurement Services Office is clearly merited. The Financial Affairs staff has kept needed payments flowing to students, staff, and vendors – enabling the institution to properly meet its financial obligations. The Procurement Services Office has transitioned to completely online purchasing – to include pre-bid conferences and public bid openings – permitting us to obtain the goods and services we need to educate our students and maintain our physical plant during the crisis. Thanks to these staff members who are making it happen under very unusual conditions.

Stay safe!

All College coronavirus response updates will continue to be posted on this webpage. Additional information/guidance for employees can be found on the employee portal at inside.cod.edu.

Brian W. Caputo, Ph.D., C.P.A.

President
College of DuPage

As we near the end of the semester with only a few weeks before Finals Week, you may be concerned with how you're going to do in your courses from a grading perspective. Now is the time to have that conversation with your faculty. There are options you can discuss with them, whether you are concerned about finishing the course with a C or better or whether you are just concerned with finishing the course.

Besides completing the courses as you have signed up for them, here are two options:

Incomplete Grades

If you don't think you will be able to finish the course at this time but believe you would be able to do so at a later date, an Incomplete grade with additional time to finish the coursework may be an option for you. The deadline is Friday, May 8.

Satisfactory/Fail

If you are close to finishing the course but are worried about the grade you will earn, a Satisfactory/Fail grading option may be appropriate. The deadline has been extended to Friday, May 8.

Both grading policies are contained in the Academic Policies section of the Catalog.

Please know there are ramifications to both options.

Incomplete grades not finished turn into F grades.
  • Satisfactory grades may not be accepted for admission at selective universities, may not be used to satisfy some graduation requirements, and may not be accepted as transfer credit.
  • If you are a student Veteran receiving military benefits, your benefits will not be impacted if you select one of the options above. However, your benefits may be impacted if you fail a course.
  • New, limited-time legislation allows for withdrawn courses to not impact your financial aid eligibility for the Spring 2020 term; however, failed courses and unfinished incomplete grades that convert to an F grade can require a return of federal funds in some cases and will be factored into your Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation.

Discuss your options, educational plan, and career goals with your faculty or counselor to help you make an informed decision. A contract with your faculty for either option is required.

College of DuPage Community:

As we enter our fourth week of alternative instructional delivery, it appears that our educational and supporting operational systems are working well. Faculty, staff, and administrators have adapted very effectively and I continue to thank you for your efforts as we do the best we can for our students under extraordinary circumstances.

I have a few more developments to communicate to you in the College’s response to the pandemic.

Postponement of the Kahlo Exhibit

Due to the conditions presented by the coronavirus pandemic, the administration is recommending to the College’s Board of Trustees that the exhibition of the works of Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo be postponed from the summer of 2020 to the summer of 2021. The Board will consider the proposal at its regular meeting scheduled for April 16.

Waiver of Summer Semester Online Fee

Recognizing the difficult circumstances that COD students are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic, the College is waiving the $57.50 fee that is normally attached to online courses. A refund will be issued by May 8 to any student who paid the fee with an early summer course registration. The online fee has not been charged to those who have more recently registered for a summer course.

WiFi Access

Gaining access to wifi is challenging for some students. Students should be aware that some service providers have offered free or reduced-fee wifi service during the coronavirus pandemic. Comcast and AT&T are among those service providers. Other service providers may offer similar programs. Students should ensure that they understand all terms of any wifi service that they are considering as some providers may require a continuation of service at a higher fee after the period of the pandemic.

Vacation Carryover for FY20

Based on the inability of many employees to proceed with previously scheduled vacation plans, employees will be permitted to carryover 50% more of their FY 20 accrued vacation balances than the usual carryover allowance. This one-time extra carryover allowance must be used by June 30, 2021 and will not be eligible for carryover into the following fiscal year. As an example, a Classified employee can carryover up to a maximum of 160 hours, or 20 days, into the new fiscal year. At the end of FY20, a Classified employee will be permitted to carryover the 160 hours plus an additional 80 hours. Effective July 1, 2021, we will return to our normal carryover policy. All vacation time remains subject to the needs of the department and supervisor approval. Please refer to your guidebook or contract to review the vacation approval provisions.

I have learned of yet more community members who have been devoting their time to supporting their colleagues in the delivery of alternative instruction during the pandemic. Professors Karin Evans and Jacintha Yanders have been guiding pedagogical discussions on Facebook. Thanks to Karin and Jacintha for their facilitation of the development of ideas that will benefit of our students.

All College coronavirus response updates will continue to be posted on this webpage. Additional information/guidance for employees can be found on the employee portal at inside.cod.edu.

Brian W. Caputo, Ph.D., C.P.A.

President
College of DuPage

Effective immediately, all face-to-face and hybrid courses are being canceled for the summer term. Students should consult myACCESS to look for alternate online courses.

Students already enrolled in summer face-to-face or hybrid courses will need to re-enroll in fully online courses that are available through myACCESS.

Our academic departments will be assessing courses and adding appropriate online courses where available. Some courses, i.e., those requiring hands on learning, will not be offered until safety issues allow.

As soon as the College campus is able to reopen, spring courses with clinical, lab, or studio components will be completed at that time.

Contact Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services for advice on course selection and educational planning.

College of DuPage Community:

As COD students return from spring break, the task of delivering and supporting distance learning continues. I am sincerely grateful to the faculty, staff, and administrators for their exceptional flexibility, unrelenting perseverance, and singular professionalism as we endeavor to provide our students with the best education possible under circumstances that are truly unprecedented.

I would like to inform you of more developments in the College’s response to the pandemic.

Continued Work From Home

Consistent with the delivery of instruction online and through other alternative means, staff and administrators will perform their job functions to the maximum extent possible from home through May 15. Regular part-time employees and student workers will continue to be paid for their normal work hours through that date and also should work from home to the maximum extent possible. The main campus and regional centers will remain closed through May 15.

Summer Semester

Based upon an assessment of current and foreseeable environmental conditions, all courses during the summer semester will be delivered online.

Library Support

The Library has staff available to assist students and faculty with regular hours of online support. For more information, go to library.cod.edu.

Return of Library Books

Library books should not be returned to the COD Library while college facilities are closed. In addition, there are no drop boxes available to receive books at this time. If you have checked out a book from the COD Library, please retain it until further instructions can be provided after campus facilities reopen. No fines will be assessed while the campus is closed. For more information, go to library.cod.edu/covid-19

I must offer sincere thanks to more members of the COD community who have gone above and beyond to keep our institution operating exceptionally well during the coronavirus crisis.

  • Custodial Operations Manager Monica Chowaniec and the custodial staff stepped up to keep the campus exceptionally clean and safe in the days leading up to the closure of facilities.
  • TLC Manager Judy Coates and her staff arranged for online training sessions to be incorporated into Cornerstone with remarkable accuracy and speed. This made it possible for some fantastic online training courses to be offered to faculty.
  • Reference Librarian Jennifer Kelley developed and introduced the webpage Information on Teaching Remotely to provide faculty with readily accessible resources to support online teaching. Assistant Dean for Adjunct Faculty Support Anthony Ramos and Learning Technologies Manager Susan Landers supported the effort. Check out the Remote Teaching webpage.
  • The Information Technology Services Department and the Library reference staff did some very quick and intense work to repurpose College laptops for their issuance to students and others who needed them in order to fully engage in the online instructional process.

Brian W. Caputo, Ph.D., C.P.A.

President
College of DuPage

College of DuPage Community:

First and foremost, let me begin by thanking our collective community of faculty, staff, and students for their perseverance during these unprecedented and rapidly changing times. I have been immensely proud as I have observed the resilience and sheer determination demonstrated by so many of you.

We are inundated with new information literally every day. Yet, so much about the coming weeks and months remains uncertain. Change is inevitable and we have witnessed firsthand the daunting impact that the coronavirus has had on many of our planned events and celebrations. To that end, I want to take a moment and discuss this year’s difficult decision regarding our commencement ceremony.

While none of us would have chosen to suspend our in-person graduation in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, please know that we carefully weighed a range of considerations before coming to a conclusion. In the end though, we recognized that it is our duty, as a public institution of higher education, to safeguard the health and well-being of all those associated with the College. Safety must remain the primary driver of our decisions.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has compelled us to accept that the road back to our usual lives will be much longer than anyone anticipated. Recently, we made the decision to continue online and alternative instruction through the end of the spring semester. This decision was based upon recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and extended guidelines on social distancing from the U.S. President and Illinois Governor.

In what was one of the hardest decisions to make so far, we canceled the May 15 commencement ceremony because the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and College community is paramount. We must take into account CDC guidelines regarding events and an uncertain future that could extend restrictions well into the summer. We also need to balance the knowledge of environmental conditions with the sheer amount of planning and effort needed to prepare for and stage a ceremony –- one that attracts family and friends from around the country. Additionally, with new CDC guidelines designed specifically for events in areas that have increased confirmed cases, we did not want to take a chance and plan a summer graduation only to have to cancel it at the last minute.

As a parent myself, I am fully aware of what commencement means to graduates and their families and I am highly sensitive to that sentiment.

Understanding all of these considerations, College of DuPage earnestly desires to recognize our graduates and is planning a virtual commencement. As more colleges and universities across the country cancel their commencement ceremonies, many of them have announced virtual events. The creative ideas being discussed by our sister schools about virtual ceremonies are exciting to hear.

Some of our annual traditions will continue. For example, the College’s Outstanding Graduate selection committee has already chosen finalists and will conduct remote interviews with them in the coming weeks. These men and women deserve to be recognized for their hard work and achievements.

Commencement is the culmination of years of hard work, and College of DuPage will formulate a plan that will celebrate our graduates. Once the plan has been fully developed, we will share the details with you.

College of DuPage is more than just a physical building. It is a strong community with an ethos that centers on thriving – despite the circumstances. Distance does not divide us. Rather, we remain united as one.

Brian W. Caputo, Ph.D., C.P.A.
President
College of DuPage

College of DuPage Community:

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication in helping our students succeed and showing support to one another during these unprecedented times. As you know, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic became more pronounced during the past week. With the recent Centers for Disease Control recommendations and the U.S. President and Illinois Governor’s extended guidelines for social distancing through April 30, the College will implement the following measures to help ensure a safe environment.

Continued Online/Alternative Instruction

Online and alternative instruction will be extended through the end of the spring 2020 semester (May 15). For those courses whose laboratory and clinical sessions cannot be accomplished online, the arrangements for make-up sessions will be announced as soon as environmental conditions allow for reasonably safe in-person instruction.

Commencement

The in-person commencement ceremony originally scheduled for May 15 has been cancelled. Instead, the College will conduct a virtual ceremony. Details about the virtual ceremony will be announced as soon as its arrangements have been made.

Confirmed Cases of the Coronavirus

The institution is committed to keeping our College community informed throughout this difficult time. The College has learned of two COD students who have contracted the coronavirus. The DuPage County Health Department has advised that, based upon the known dates of testing and the last dates the students were on campus, those students were not contagious while on campus.

Student Emergency Relief

The College has established a Student Emergency Relief Fund to provide assistance to students who are financially struggling as a result of the pandemic. Students who are in need should contact the COD Foundation at (630) 942-2462 or foundation@codfound.org. Employees and other College community members who would like to contribute to the fund should also contact the foundation at the same telephone number and e-mail address.

Return of Textbooks

The campus bookstore is offering free shipping return labels and extending the return period without penalty to support the return of textbooks by mail. The rental check-in period has also been extended 15 days to allow shipping of rental returns at the end of the term. Students should contact the bookstore at (630) 942-4353 for assistance or visit bkstr.com/dupagestore and click on the COVID-19 bar at the top of the screen for additional information.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The newly enacted FFRCA requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to the coronavirus from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Additional details regarding this legislation is posted on the employee portal at inside.cod.edu under the banner “COVID-19 Employee Protocols and Information.” We are also in the process of updating the Employee Protocols document to consider this new legislation. The revised document will be posted on the portal shortly.

A crisis like the one we presently face tends to create heroes. We now have many of those heroes within our institution. I would like to recognize some who have gone the extra mile to ensure that we are well positioned to offer online instruction:

  • Professor Christine Monnier, Sociology. Professor Monnier conducted four training sessions on how to present effective online instruction. She has also been contributing to the Learning Technologies Newsletter and Learning Technologies social media posts.
  • Professor Jason Snart, English. Professor Snart has also presented a training session on the delivery of online instruction. Additionally, he has offered his expertise during online Learning Technology help sessions.
  • Adjunct Faculty Support Managers Kate Szetela and Sonia Watson. These managers have supported online training for faculty as well. Moreover, they have been central to the effort to help adjunct faculty prepare for online instruction.

Brian W. Caputo, Ph.D., C.P.A.
President
College of DuPage

College of DuPage Community:

As we move into the second week of alternative instructional delivery, please note the new developments discussed below.

Withdrawals

The last date by which students may withdraw from a course due to the coronavirus situation and still obtain a 100% refund is extended to April 10. (Be sure to select Status Reason “COVID” in MyAccess.)

Continued Online Instruction

Given the fluidity of the situation, it is unclear at this time whether in-person instruction can resume after April 19. As a contingency, faculty should prepare for online instruction for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

Reimbursement for Business-Related Expenses

With appropriate approval, the College will reimburse employees for business-related expenses incurred during the coronavirus crisis that are extraordinary in nature. Employees who have incurred expenses of this nature should contact their supervisors.

Counseling for Students

The College’s Counseling & Advising Services Office will help students manage their academic concerns and offer other relevant guidance. As appropriate, referrals will be made to other service providers, where more comprehensive or specific mental health counseling can be provided. Students needing assistance should contact COD’s Counseling & Advising Services Office at (630) 942-2259. Counseling is provided at no cost.

Counseling for Employees

Faculty or staff who would like counseling during the coronavirus crisis should visit inside.cod.edu for more information.

Spring Athletics

Based upon a decision by the National Junior College Athletic Association, the remainder of the spring 2020 season for our intercollegiate athletic teams has been cancelled in its entirety.

Coronavirus Advisory Task Force

The members of the Coronavirus Advisory Task Force are listed below. The task force will advise the Cabinet on issues related to the College’s response to the coronavirus threat. If you have suggestions, please contact one of the task force members.

  • Dilyss Gallyot, Interim Dean, Nursing & Health Sciences Division, Task Force Chair
  • Cheryl Baunbach-Caplan, Counselor, CODAA Representative
  • James Bente, Vice President, Planning & Institutional Effectiveness, Cabinet Liaison
  • Robert Clark, Faculty, Business & Applied Technology Division
  • Anna Gay, Program Support Specialist, Classified Staff Representative
  • Lubna Haque, Faculty, Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Division
  • Tim Henningsen, Faculty, Chair, Instructional Committee
  • Susan Landers, Manager, Learning Technology Center
  • Jennifer Kelley, Faculty (Library), Social/Behavioral Sciences & Library Division
  • Lee Kesselman, Faculty, Arts, Communication, & Hospitality Division
  • Tamara McClain, Director, Admissions & Outreach Office
  • Stephanie Quirk, Coordinator, Student Life and Leadership Development
  • Jason Snart, Faculty, Liberal Arts Division

Contact information for the task force members is available through the faculty and staff directory at cod.edu/faculty.

While I must commend the entire College community for its efforts in moving us forward during this crisis, a special shout out to the Learning Technologies (LT) Office and the Information Technology Services Department (ITS) is clearly merited. Several College community members have commented to me about how much they have appreciated the support that the LT Office and ITS Department have provided. Well done!

Brian W. Caputo, Ph.D., C.P.A.
President
College of DuPage

College of DuPage Community:

Your adaptability and focus on continuing to deliver education to our students during the coronavirus crisis have been nothing short of remarkable.  I am confident that we will come through this with our students having been served as best as reasonably possible under the circumstances.

This afternoon’s announcement by the Illinois Governor of a stay-at-home order necessitates the following:

Effective at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, and through Tuesday, April 7, College of DuPage facilities on the main campus and at the regional centers will be formally closed.

Only those faculty and staff who are explicitly approved by both their immediate supervisor and appropriate Cabinet officer will be permitted to enter the College’s facilities.  Allowable access to College facilities after April 7 will be determined at a later date.

College faculty and staff should continue to work from home to the maximum extent possible.  Online instruction will continue through May 15.

I thank you for your professionalism and service to the institution during these challenging times.

Brian W. Caputo, Ph.D., C.P.A.

President

College of DuPage

Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and the financial burden it may place on some students, College of DuPage will temporarily adjust the payment policy as follows:

Spring 2020:

Effective for the remainder of the term, the College will cease drop for non-payment. If you are enrolled in Spring 2020 classes and you have a balance on your student account, you are still responsible for the balance; however, the College will not drop you from your classes due to your inability to pay. If you have concerns about paying your balance, please email codpaymenthelp@cod.edu and we will work with you to find alternative payment arrangements during this difficult time.

If you are enrolled in a payment plan for Spring 2020, your payment will still be attempted on the scheduled payment date(s). If you have concerns about making your scheduled payment, please contact codpaymenthelp@cod.edu at least 3 days before your payment, and we will work with you to make alternative arrangements. The College will automatically reverse any late fees that are posted to student accounts during the time in which off-campus learning is taking place. Please allow up to one week for this to be reversed.

Summer 2020:

When you register for Summer 2020 classes, you do not have to enroll in a payment plan or pay in full until May 1, 2020. If you have a balance in Spring 2020 and would like to register for the Summer term, please email codpaymenthelp@cod.edu and we will actively work with you to ensure your learning is not interrupted during this time.

Fall 2020:

When Fall registration opens for all students on April 16, you do not have to enroll in a payment plan or pay in full until May 1, 2020. Additionally, the payment plan down payment is only $10 for all students who register for Fall 2020 classes and enroll in the payment plan before May 31, 2020. If you have a balance in Spring 2020 and would like to register for the Fall term, please email codpaymenthelp@cod.edu and we will actively work with you to ensure your learning is not interrupted during this time.

Thank you,

Michelle Resnick
Manager of Accounts Receivable
College of DuPage

College of DuPage Community:

As you know, our first priority is to ensure the health and well-being of our entire College of DuPage family during the pandemic COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation, while making sure that our students are able to complete their courses and progress toward their educational goals.

Information continues to be fluid as new recommendations are announced both locally and nationally – from the DuPage County Health Department, Office of the Governor, Centers for Disease Control, and a host of other sources.  With news changing at a rapid pace, COD’s senior leadership has received various inquiries regarding the College’s strategic contingency efforts.  In response to those inquiries, we are providing the information below.  We will continue to apprise the College of DuPage community of ongoing plans as necessary.

Helping Our Students

  • In line with our mission and focus on student success, I ask each and every member of our College community to assist our students whenever possible.  Whether you point students to our COD website that has a host of sound resources or ask them to contact their professors, you are making a difference.

Essential Staff Daily Report-In

  • To fully address daily custodial needs, the Facilities Department requests that a representative from each department contact extension 4440 by 9 a.m. when departmental faculty or staff will be working on campus that day.
  • The caller should report his/her name and phone number, along with the room numbers of those spaces where personnel will be working.  The Facilities Department staff will clean those areas at the end of the workday.
  • Please note that all classrooms have been cleaned, locked, and are now unavailable for use. 

Blackboard

  • Students are encouraged to access their course materials and faculty updates via Blackboard.  Thanks to the faculty who have already posted information regarding their alternative delivery arrangements.
  • Students should consider using the free Blackboard app to view content, access their materials and other information from faculty, as well as participate in courses.
  • Students are urged to contact their professors to seek assistance, receive answers to specific questions, or obtain general information during this challenging time.

Refunds/Withdrawals

  • Students who are unable to work in an alternative format will be permitted to withdraw with a full refund through March 27, 2020.
  • Students who withdraw from a course by March 27, 2020, will not receive a “W” on their transcripts.  When a student withdraws from a course because of the coronavirus situation, the course will simply be removed from the student’s transcript.
  • To withdraw from a course because of the coronavirus situation, students should use the MyAccess system.  On the “Register & Drop Classes” screen in the system, select the course you would like to drop, and then select the “Status Reason” of “COVID-19.”
  • Students receiving financial aid should contact the COD Financial Aid Office prior to withdrawing from a course.  The Financial Aid Office will help the student understand any impact of a withdrawal upon his/her financial aid.

Enhanced Cleaning Efforts

  • Thanks to our outstanding custodial operations team for their hard work and their use of hospital-grade cleaning materials throughout the main campus and regional centers.  They are keeping our campus clean and safe.

College of DuPage Community:

I would like to thank our students, faculty, and staff for their cooperation during the unprecedented situation we are facing with the coronavirus pandemic.  Today’s announcement by the DuPage County Health Department of an impending disaster proclamation indicates that we are now experiencing a heightened level of local risk associated with the virus.  In light of this, the College is amending the institutional response plan that I announced on March 12 in Coronavirus Update #7 as indicated below.

Alternative Instruction

  • Weeks of March 16-29 and April 6-19.
    • Students should not come to the main campus or any COD regional center.
    • No in-person class meetings or in-person laboratory sessions will be held.  All instruction, including laboratory sessions, will be delivered online or through other alternative formats to the maximum extent possible. 
    • Laboratory sessions that cannot be delivered online are postponed to future dates to be determined later. 
    • Students should check with their instructors for information on how instruction will be delivered.  Students should also monitor their dupage.edu e-mailboxes and Blackboard for additional information.
  • Week of March 30-April 5. (Spring break) 
    • No instruction will be delivered. 
    • Students should not come to the main campus or any COD regional center.

Alternative Institutional Operating Procedures

  • March 16.
    • All College staff and administrators should report for work during their normal work hours to prepare for working at home and to support alternative instructional delivery. 
    • College faculty who need to prepare for alternative instructional delivery should report to the campus or contact their deans to receive information on training.
    • Employees should contact their supervisors to obtain the software and other items necessary to continue to perform their essential job functions while working from home.
    • Employees who consider themselves to be vulnerable to the coronavirus should contact their supervisors about working from home on March 16. 
  • March 17-April 19.
    • To the maximum extent possible, all College faculty, staff, and administrators will work from home. 
    • Cabinet officers will determine what limited faculty and staff members should report to work to support the delivery of alternative instruction and the basic operation of institutional facilities.
    • Student support services (for example, Counseling and Advising) will be available online.
    • Faculty will be provided with continuing support for alternative instructional delivery.

From March 16 through May 15, no College facilities will be available for student use.  The Library, computer laboratories, and other laboratories will be closed.

Athletics

Consistent with guidance received from the National Junior College Athletic Association, no COD teams will practice or compete from March 16 through April 3.

The College appreciates your continued cooperation and patience as we and other institutions of higher education address the challenges and uncertainty that have come with the coronavirus threat.  We will resume normal College operations as soon as it is reasonably safe to do so.

 A list of Frequently Asked Questions is now online. As new information becomes available, the page will be updated.

College of DuPage Community:

As we continue to receive information regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we have developed protocols for the handling of possible cases involving employees and students.

The Human Resources Department is in the process of scheduling meetings for supervisors, faculty, and staff to review the protocols.  We will announce the arrangements for those meetings as soon as possible.

We are also developing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document about the coronavirus threat and our associated protocols.  We ask that you submit any questions that you may have to humanresources@cod.edu no later than noon on Monday, March 16 for potential inclusion in the FAQ document.  A preliminary draft of the FAQ document will be provided to you prior to the web meetings.  You will also have the opportunity to present questions during the web meetings.  Based upon all input received, we will finalize the FAQ document and publish it to the College community.

Additional questions concerning the employee protocol may be directed to the Human Resources Department at (630) 942-2460 or via email to humanresources@cod.edu.  If you have questions regarding the protocol for handling potential cases of student exposure to the coronavirus, please contact Dr. Nathania Montes, Dean of Students, at (630) 942-2492 or montes@cod.edu.

College of DuPage Community:

Ensuring the safety of our students, faculty, and staff is of paramount importance to College of DuPage. The World Health Organization's declaration of the COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) pandemic confirms that we are facing a serious public health threat. While the College has experienced no confirmed cases of the coronavirus to date, we will be taking the preventative measures outlined below to reduce the potential for a coronavirus incident on campus. Our primary objective with these procedures is to reduce the density of people on campus.

Alternative Instruction

  • Week of March 16-22. Face-to-face class meetings will not be held. Laboratory sessions will be held as scheduled. Online and hybrid courses will be delivered only in an online format. Training in alternative delivery formats will be offered to full-time and adjunct faculty.
  • Week of March 23-29. Laboratory sessions will be held as scheduled. All other instruction will be delivered online or through alternative delivery formats that do not involve face-to-face instruction.
  • Week of March 30-April 5. Spring break. No instruction will be delivered.
  • Weeks of April 6-19. No laboratory sessions will be held. All instruction will be delivered online or through alternative delivery formats that do not involve face-to-face instruction.
  • A protocol providing specific steps on how to address a coronavirus case that may arise with a student will be released shortly.

Alternative Institutional Operating Procedures

  • Week of March 16-22. All College faculty, staff, and administrators will report for work during their normal work hours or as otherwise necessary to prepare for alternative instructional delivery. The Library, selected computer laboratories, other laboratories, and student service offices will be open for student use. Students not requiring the use of these facilities are encouraged to refrain from coming to the main campus or COD regional centers.
  • Week of March 23-29. To the maximum extent possible, all College faculty, staff, and administrators will work from home. Cabinet officers will determine what limited faculty and staff members should report to work to support the delivery of alternative instruction and the operation of the library, selected computer laboratories, other laboratories, and institutional facilities. Student support services (for example, Counseling and Advising) will be available online. Faculty will also be provided with support for alternative instructional delivery.
  • Week of March 30-April 5. Spring break. Cabinet officers will determine what limited faculty and staff should report to work to support the operation of the library, selected computer laboratories, and institutional facilities.
  • Weeks of April 6-19. To the maximum extent possible, all College faculty, staff, and administrators will work from home. Cabinet officers will determine what limited staff members should report to work to support the delivery of alternative instruction and the operation of selected computer laboratories and institutional facilities.
  • Employees should contact their supervisors to obtain the software and other items necessary to continue to perform their essential job functions to the maximum extent possible while working from home.
  • All employees will continue to receive their regular pay while working from home during the weeks of March 23-29 and the weeks of April 6-19. Employees scheduled to work spring break (March 30-April 5) and work from home will be paid regular pay. Employees who are not required to work at a College facility and cannot perform their essential job functions from home will continue to receive their regular pay as well. Regular part-time and student workers will also be paid for their normal work hours even if they are not required to work on campus and cannot perform their essential job functions from home.
  • A protocol providing specific steps on how to address a coronavirus case that may arise with an employee will be released shortly.

Events

Effective immediately, all events (internal, hosted and rental at the main campus, COD regional centers, and the MAC) for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester are cancelled. However, at this point, we expect that the COD commencement ceremony will be held as scheduled on Friday, May 15.

Travel

  • International: Effective immediately, all COD-affiliated international travel has been suspended.
  • Domestic:
    • Effective immediately, all COD-affiliated domestic travel inside and outside Illinois has been suspended.
    • Limited exceptions may be granted only for essential travel within the state with the approval of the appropriate Cabinet officer.

Faculty, staff, and administrators are encouraged to consider using video conferencing, phones, or other means of communication rather than traveling to and participating in face-to-face meetings.

Coronavirus Advisory Task Force

As previously announced, I have appointed Dilyss Gallyot, Interim Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences, to Chair the institutional Coronavirus Advisory Task Force. The task force will advise the Cabinet on all matters related to addressing the coronavirus threat. In particular, the task force will provide input to the Cabinet on the implementation of the general procedures specified in this communication.

Other task force members will include:

  • Vice President Jim Benté (Cabinet liaison and administrator representative)
  • One full-time faculty member per academic division
  • Adjunct faculty member
  • Learning Technologies representative
  • Managerial representative
  • Classified representative
  • Student representative

With support from the Coronavirus Advisory Task Force, College leadership will continue to monitor the coronavirus threat and adjust the institutional response as circumstances warrant.

The College appreciates your cooperation during this challenging period. By working together for the benefit of our students, we will help them successfully complete the spring 2020 semester and continue the progress toward their academic goals.

The DuPage County Health Department continues to monitor the COVID-19 virus in our area. We continue to be in contact with the County and will communicate information via email and the College website as it becomes available. 

In the meantime, here are some preventative measures the College is implementing:  

  • President Caputo has appointed Nursing & Health Sciences Interim Dean Dilyss Gallyot as the Chair of an institutional Coronavirus Advisory Task Force.  The task force will advise the President and the Cabinet on recommended actions to combat the coronavirus. 
  • The custodial staff has increased their efforts in disinfecting high-touch items throughout the College; desktops, doorknobs, stairway handrails, etc. are disinfected nightly.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout all campus buildings; disinfecting wipe stations are on order and will be placed near the hand sanitizer stations throughout campus. 
  • Study Abroad programs are being evaluated as more information is received from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control. At this time, the Study Abroad class to Japan, which was to take place during Spring Break, has been cancelled.
  • To reduce the spread of germs:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Discourage food and beverage sharing.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Per Administrative Procedure 15-15, all communicable diseases are to be reported to the Coordinator of Risk Management at giesche@cod.edu or (630) 942-2993.

For additional information, please click the links below.

Thank you for your help in keeping our learning environment healthy.

Dear Colleagues:

College of DuPage values the health and well-being of its faculty, staff and students. With continued issues and concerns associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are working closely with public health officials and are carefully monitoring the potential spread of the virus. A new COD webpage went live this morning, cod.edu/coronavirus, and it provides the latest news and information to share with the campus community. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.

Safety is a top priority for the College community and senior leadership has implemented various steps to help protect
students and employees, while minimizing the risk of disruption to our institution. The following measures have been implemented:

  • Official E-Mail Communication
    • Risk Management Coordinator Phil Gieschen sent four emails (Jan. 28, Feb. 6, Feb. 26 and Mar. 2) informing the campus of preventative measures and precautions.
    • Interim Dean of Students Nathania Montes issued a student-wide communication regarding COVID-19 and safety. (Feb. 28).
  • Internal COD Monitors
    • Information on preventative measures was launched Mar. 3 and is being displayed on 42 screens across campus.
  • New COD Webpage
    • The COD COVID-19 webpage went live Mar. 4.
  • Text Message to COD Students
    • Text was sent to all current students regarding precautions Mar. 4 with a link to the new COD COVID-19 webpage.
  • New Daily Additional Cleaning/Sanitation
    • Facilities personnel are sanitizing all desktops, doorknobs, and stairwell handrails using disinfectant cleaner and microfiber cloths, similar to what is used in hospitals.
  • Sanitizer Stations
    • Hand sanitizer stations are located on each floor of every building on campus.
  • Travel Reimbursements
    • COD will reimburse employees for pre-paid expenses if travel cancellations occur due to COVID-19 concerns/restrictions.
  • Study Abroad
    • At this time, study abroad programs are expected to be conducted as planned. If future circumstances change, the cancellation of programs (with associated refunds) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Coordination with Other Governmental Agencies
    • College administrators have been coordinating the College's preventative efforts with those of other relevant government agencies.

Please note that College officials are monitoring the coronavirus situation and will initiate additional preventative measures and countermeasures as circumstances warrant. In the unlikely event that circumstances related to the coronavirus warrant the closure of campus, instruction can be delivered online and/or be accomplished through alternative assignments.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Risk Management Coordinator Phil Gieschen at giesche@cod.edu or (630) 942-2993.

Given the global concerns about coronavirus, we want to share with you information that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has published for colleges and universities throughout the state. The good news is that currently the health risk to the general public from coronavirus remains low, not just in Illinois, but throughout the United States.

Currently, the IDPH recommends colleges and universities hold classes and events as usual and follow their routine cleaning and disinfecting procedures; no special measures are necessary. It also says that the best way to protect against coronavirus is by taking the same everyday precautions against getting sick in general. These include:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for more information.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • Covering your cough or sneezing with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you or a person you know has traveled in the previous 14 days to an area that has seen any occurrence of the coronavirus and are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care right away. Also, please notify the Dean of Students office at (630) 942-2485 or deanofstudents@cod.edu and include your name and student ID number.

Visit dph.illinois.gov to review the complete recommendations for colleges and universities.

We will continue to closely monitor recommendations regarding coronavirus and will update you should there be any significant changes or recommendations for schools. Thank you for your support in helping to keep our school and community healthy.

From: "Gieschen, Philip" <giesche@cod.edu>

Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 12:53 PM

To: ~Official Communication 

Subject: EH&S Newsletter - CORONAVIRUS

Earlier this year the Chinese government identified the presence of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus which has the ability to spread from human to human through coughing or sneezing. The Center for Disease Control and OSHA recommend that employees follow the protocol established during previous virus outbreaks. The most effective precautions are the ones easiest to follow:

  • When coughing or sneezing, do so into your elbow or tissue. You can be contagious without any noticeable symptoms.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If that is not possible use antibacterial hand gel.
  • Clean your workspace and phone regularly.
  • If you are sick, stay home.

General information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

  • Existing OSHA standards apply to protecting workers from 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
  • The 2019-nCoV can cause pneumonia, which may be severe.
  • Signs and symptoms of infection include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. People infected with the virus may have these, as well as other (or no), signs and symptoms.
  • The CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks for the general public to prevent the spread of this virus. Many times these are worn incorrectly, giving a false sense of security.
  • Many of the cases identified in Asia were likely due to exposure at a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic (i.e., animal) origin to the outbreak. Not all cases are connected to the market, though.
  • Given what occurred previously with other respiratory diseases caused by other coronaviruses, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), it is likely that some limited person-to-person spread will continue to occur.
  • Although the federal government has implemented screening measures at several U.S. airports, additional travelers infected with 2019-nCoV may arrive in the United States.

College of DuPage Environmental Health and Safety Department Coronavirus Information

CDC Information regarding Novel Coronavirus

CDC Frequently Asked Questions regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

OSHAs information for workers and employers about the evolving Coronavirus

CDC Summary of the Novel coronavirus outbreak in China

Phil Gieschen
Coordinator of Risk Management

From: "Gieschen, Philip" <giesche@cod.edu>

Date: Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 8:56 AM

To: ~Official Communication 

Subject: Coronavirus Update

The attachment has updated information regarding Coronavirus. We will be updating this information as the Center for Disease Control releases new information that is applicable to the identification and prevention of the virus.

Phil Gieschen
Coordinator of Risk Management

From: "Gieschen, Philip" <giesche@cod.edu>

Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 8:42 AM

To: ~Official Communication 

Subject: Information sites to learn about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus 

Earlier this month the Chinese government identified the presence of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus which has the ability to spread from human to human through coughing or sneezing.  The Center for Disease Control and OSHA recommend that individuals follow the protocol established during previous virus outbreaks.  The most effective precautions are the ones easiest to follow:

  • When coughing or sneezing, do so into your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If that is not possible use antibacterial hand gel.
  • Clean your workspace and phone regularly.
  • If you are sick, stay home.

 General information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

  • Existing OSHA standards apply to protecting workers from 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
  • The 2019-nCoV can cause pneumonia, which may be severe.
  • Signs and symptoms of infection include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. People infected with the virus may have these, as well as other (or no), signs and symptoms.
  • Many of the cases identified in Asia were likely due to exposure at a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic (i.e., animal) origin to the outbreak. Not all cases are connected to the market, though.
  • Given what occurred previously with other respiratory diseases caused by other coronaviruses, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), it is likely that some limited person-to-person spread will continue to occur.
  • Although the federal government has implemented screening measures at several U.S. airports, additional travelers infected with 2019-nCoV may arrive in the United States.

CDC Summary of the Novel coronavirus outbreak in China

CDC Frequently Asked Questions regarding the 2019 Novel coronavirus

OSHA’s information for workers and employers about the evolving coronavirus

We will be tracking this issue through The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and updating our community accordingly.

Phil Gieschen
Coordinator of Risk Management