Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

 

Current Campus Status (03/17/2020 @ 6:30 pm) – CAMPUS CLOSED

All classes are online until further notice!

 

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gateway community college will be closed to the public until the end of the spring semester.

All classes and services will be delivered online until further notice. There will be frequent updates over the coming weeks.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate this unprecedented challenge. 

 

Monday, March 17, 2020 Update from CSCU President

Date Published: 03/17/2020 6:30 p.m.

Dear CSCU Community,

Over the past several days, my team and I have been in constant discussion with college and university leaders, and the Board of Regents. In consultation with them, I have made the difficult but necessary decision to continue our move to all-online education for the remainder of the semester at all 17 CSCU institutions. I understand that this is a new direction for faculty and students alike, but it has become clear that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect our state well beyond April 5. We must do everything in our power not just to keep our students, faculty, and staff healthy and safe, but also to slow the spread of the virus.

To that end, all physical campuses will be closed to the public through at least the remainder of the semester. All faculty and staff except those designated by their individual institution as Level 1 – and that number will be extremely limited – will continue to work from home.

Unfortunately, this also means that all in-person spring commencement activities will be canceled. I know how hard students and faculty have worked to get to this point, and we are looking at all options to ensure they receive the recognition they deserve in addition to the diploma they have earned.

By the end of the week, the president or CEO of your institution will reach out with information and details on the move to distance learning and which courses can be moved fully online, the logistics of the transition to telework, and the orderly coordination of safely helping students collect their belongings from residence halls. We recognize that a number of our university students may not have a place to go if forced to vacate their lodging, and our university leaders will of course ensure they have necessary accommodations. Finally, our university leaders will communicate with resident students to outline a process and timeline for issuing refunds for room and board payments.

I understand this is a stressful time for all of us, and as I indicated yesterday, self-care remains essential. Social distancing is critically important to the state’s public health efforts to slow the spread of the virus, but it does not mean shutting our lives down – so remember to check in (virtually) on your friends and family, look for online yoga or exercise classes, and take a minute to relax and breathe deeply.

Sincerely,

Mark E. Ojakian


GCC Updates:

Important Health and Safety Update

CSCU
Region Three, Shoreline-West


Dear Student,
As of today, there are two confirmed cases of corona-virus in Connecticut.
We are committed to your safety. Campus administrators are carefully monitoring developments and will send out updates as needed. 

At this time all college-sponsored travel and events that involve 100 people or more are postponed until further notice.  Anyone planning travel out of state during spring break, or the rest of the semester, should report their travel plans at Gatewayct.edu/Report-Travel-Plans

To minimize the spread and impact of all flu viruses, we are taking every precaution to keep the campus clean by adding extra measures including sanitizing door handles, computer keyboards and other surfaces around campus. 

We rely on you to do your part by following a few simple guidelines:

  • Thoroughly and frequently wash your hands
  • Refrain from touching your face
  • If you cough or sneeze do so into a tissue or into your elbow
  • Stay at home if you have flu symptoms
  • Seek medical attention if you develop a fever

Please refrain from shaming or ostracizing others if they should cough or sneeze. This is also allergy season and minor colds are also frequent this time of year.

Should you become ill and develop a fever, please contact your professors immediately and refrain from attending classes on campus until you are recovered.  Your professors will work with you to manage any coursework you might miss due to illness. Thank you.


A message from CSCU President, Mark Ojakian


March 10, 2020

Dear CSCU Community,
Over the weekend we saw the first diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Connecticut.  As the disease spreads around the world and in the United States, we have long expected it to land in Connecticut and have taken all necessary steps to mitigate the effects of the disease on our campuses.

Previously, we issued guidance that included a suspension of institutionally-sponsored travel to any Level 2 or 3 country (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Japan), and a requirement that those who have traveled to those countries not return to campus and self-quarantine for 14 days.

Today, in coordination with Governor Lamont's office, we are taking the following additional steps to keep our colleges and universities as safe and healthy as possible.

  • An immediate freeze on all institutionally-sponsored travel outside of Connecticut until further notice.  Any requested exceptions must be approved by the chief executive of your institution in consultation with CSCU Chief of Staff.

 

  • All students, faculty, and staff are strongly discouraged from personal travel outside of the state of Connecticut, particularly during spring break. If you do decide to travel, you may be required to not return to campus and directed to self-quarantine for 14 days. Your institution has provided, or will soon provide, communications that include a process to self-report your planned travel before spring break starts. For the safety of all on your campus, please follow that process. This does not apply to faculty, staff and students who commute to campus for work or classes.

 

  • Any employees planning in-person meetings with out-of-state individuals should evaluate whether these activities can proceed remotely though teleconference or online collaboration for the time being and, if possible, should take that approach.

 

  • Students, faculty, and staff are directed to postpone, cancel, or adjust all campus events and meetings, other than classes, that are expected to have 100 or more participants through at least April 30. This could include using technology to allow remote participation. Any requested exceptions must be approved by the chief executive of your institution in consultation with CSCU Chief of Staff.
  • For events or meetings with people within arm's length of each other, encourage those who are higher risk due to age (70 or older), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease or chronic lung diseases like COPD, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems not to attend or dial in.
  • For employees who have CSCU or institutionally-issued laptops, get in the habit of bringing your device home each night to ensure maximum flexibility.
  • Property management firms and cleaning contractors have been directed to utilize disinfectants to clean state buildings and to increase the frequency of disinfectant cleaning including common touch points.

We will remain in close contact with state and local officials, and will work with your campus leaders to clarify questions and address requests for exceptions to these procedures as they arise.  Working together, the CSCU system office and your campus leader will continue to keep you updated as this situation unfolds.

As a reminder, everyone should continue to follow basic steps to keep themselves and others healthy:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid shaking hands as a greeting.
  •  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Thank you for your continued commitment to the health and safety of our campuses, our employees, and our students.

Stay healthy,
Mark E. Ojakian

Dear Colleagues:
In his recent update on how we are managing the outbreak of the coronavirus in Connecticut,  President Ojakian stated that "all students, faculty, and staff are strongly discouraged from personal travel outside of the state of Connecticut", particularly during spring break, adding that "If you do decide to travel, you may be required to not return to campus and directed to self-quarantine for 14 days."

In  the interest of campus safety, everyone is urged to self-report any planned travel before spring break begins.  To that end, we have set up a simple online travel reporting form at
https://www.gatewayct.edu/Report-Travel-Plans

Please note that there is an immediate freeze on all institutionally-sponsored travel outside of Connecticut until further notice, and all events, conferences and other activity with an anticipated attendance of 100 or more should be canceled or postponed until further notice.

Any requested exceptions must be approved by President Coley in consultation with CSCU Chief of Staff.

Thank you for your cooperation in this important matter.
Be well.

Evie

Evelyn Gard, MA, Ed.
Associate Dean, Communications & Marketing
Gateway Community College, New Haven
Housatonic Community College, Bridgeport

A message from BOR President Mark E. Ojakian:

Dear CSCU Community,

Over the weekend we saw the first diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Connecticut.  As the disease spreads around the world and in the United States, we have long expected it to land in Connecticut and have taken all necessary steps to mitigate the effects of the disease on our campuses.

Previously, we issued guidance that included a suspension of institutionally-sponsored travel to any Level 2 or 3 country (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Japan), and a requirement that those who have traveled to those countries not return to campus and self-quarantine for 14 days.

Today, in coordination with Governor Lamont's office, we are taking the following additional steps to keep our colleges and universities as safe and healthy as possible.

An immediate freeze on all institutionally-sponsored travel outside of Connecticut until further notice.  Any requested exceptions must be approved by the chief executive of your institution in consultation with CSCU Chief of Staff.

All students, faculty, and staff are strongly discouraged from personal travel outside of the state of Connecticut, particularly during spring break. If you do decide to travel, you may be required to not return to campus and directed to self-quarantine for 14 days. Your institution has provided, or will soon provide, communications that include a process to self-report your planned travel before spring break starts. For the safety of all on your campus, please follow that process. This does not apply to faculty, staff and students who commute to campus for work or classes.

Any employees planning in-person meetings with out-of-state individuals should evaluate whether these activities can proceed remotely though teleconference or online collaboration for the time being and, if possible, should take that approach.

Students, faculty, and staff are directed to postpone, cancel, or adjust all campus events and meetings, other than classes, that are expected to have 100 or more participants through at least April 30. This could include using technology to allow remote participation. Any requested exceptions must be approved by the chief executive of your institution in consultation with CSCU Chief of Staff.

For events or meetings with people within arm’s length of each other, encourage those who are higher risk due to age (70 or older), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease or chronic lung diseases like COPD, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems not to attend or dial in.

For employees who have CSCU or institutionally-issued laptops, get in the habit of bringing your device home each night to ensure maximum flexibility.

Property management firms and cleaning contractors have been directed to utilize disinfectants to clean state buildings and to increase the frequency of disinfectant cleaning including common touch points.

We will remain in close contact with state and local officials, and will work with your campus leaders to clarify questions and address requests for exceptions to these procedures as they arise.  Working together, the CSCU system office and your campus leader will continue to keep you updated as this situation unfolds.

As a reminder, everyone should continue to follow basic steps to keep themselves and others healthy:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based sanitizer.

  • Avoid shaking hands as a greeting.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Thank you for your continued commitment to the health and safety of our campuses, our employees, and our students.

Stay healthy,
Mark E. Ojakian

Message from Thomas G. Coley, Ph.D.

Regional President, CSCU Shoreline-West


Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As the global COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak continues to intensify, we are taking every precaution to mitigate any potential impact on campus.

Last week, we suspended institutionally sponsored travel to countries designated Level 2 or Level 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That list of countries now includes China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, and Japan, but that list is likely to grow in coming days and weeks. Regardless of whether they are showing symptoms, students, faculty, and staff returning from Level 2 or 3 nations will be required not to return to campus for a period of 14 days from when they arrive in the United States.

During those 14 days, we are asking those returning to self-quarantine and seek medical attention if symptoms develop.

All students, faculty, and staff can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases by regularly washing hands for at least 20 seconds. To learn more about proper handwashing, visit the CDC's website.

Finally, anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms is required to remain at home, and those who become sick during the day must go home. Students are encouraged to email their professors and make them aware of the situation.


Sincerely,
Thomas G. Coley, Ph.D.
CSCU Regional President of Shoreline-West
 

Dear CSCU Community,

As fear over the global COVID-19 outbreak continue to grow, we must do everything in our power to keep our students, faculty, staff, and administrators as safe as possible. In January, CSCU updated our Influenza Pandemic Continuity of Operations Plan to prepare for the possibility of a coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier this week, President Ojakian issued guidance to all colleges and universities in the following areas as Connecticut works to prepare for potential impacts.

 

Institutional Travel

Out of an abundance of caution, all colleges and universities must immediately suspend or cancel institutionally-sponsored travel to countries designated Level 3 (warning) and Level 2 (watch) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Any students currently traveling in the those countries should return as soon as possible. The listed countries currently include China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, and Japan, but that list is likely to grow in coming weeks and months. Institutions should continue to monitor the CDC website and cancel all planned travel when countries are designated Level 2 and above.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel (CDC)

Remote Learning/Telecommuting

While Connecticut does not yet have a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, the CDC warns that we should prepare for “community spread” of the disease. College and university leaders are working with CSCU staff to develop individualized plans to prepare for the possible necessity of canceling all in-person classes on our campuses. In the interim, schools will need to determine what courses would be good candidates for rapid conversion to a fully online format; faculty, classes, and students who would easily transition to this delivery mode; how to train non-LMS faculty; how to manage access to the online learning environment for those that are not currently signed up; how to handle rapid scheduling of new online courses and how to handle the additional volume; and as a whole, if rapid deployment of e-learning courses is a viable option. That planning process will also involve ensuring we are prepared for employees to telecommute in the event of campus closures.

On-Campus Housing

Institutions that offer on-campus housing must be prepared take additional precautions to keep students and staff safe. At the moment, we must continue to practice commonsense measures, such as staying away from other people when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands often. Our planning process will also include preparations to take systemic preventive measures to deter the spread of illness. As a precaution, President Ojakian has asked the leaders at the four CSUs to work together with the central office team to come up with a plan in the event that dormitories must be temporarily shuttered.

CSCU is working closely with the Lamont administration on coordinating the statewide response to the coronavirus outbreak, and we will continue to share updates when they become available.


 

CDC Information:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) uses a three-level approach to indicate the health risks associated with a specific country. The three levels are as follows:

Level 1: (Green) Watch: Practice Usual Precautions – This is the lowest level of risk. Travelers to these countries should stay informed of any recommended practices(ex. required vaccination) prior to departure. It is recommended that travelers continue to monitor the health risk designation for the country.

Level 2: (Yellow) Alert: Practice Enhanced Precautions – This Travel Health Notice describes additional precautions added or defines a specific at-risk population.

Level 3: (Red) Avoid all non-essential travel to this destination – The outbreak is of high risk to travelers and no precautions are available to protect against the identified increased risk.

The CDC’s complete list of travel warnings is available by clicking here.

Basic Health Precautions:

  • If you feel sick, please stay home!
  • If someone in your household is in self-quarantine based on CDC recommendations, YOU must also self-quarantine.
  • Contact your medical provider or local emergency department for advice.
  • Individuals with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation until the risk of transmission to others is thought to be low. The decision to terminate home isolation should be made in consultation with your doctor.

Precautions to take:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (or use an alcohol-based hand 
  • sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available)
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Coronavirus Symptoms:

The symptoms can range from mild to severe:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath