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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Communications

As Dr. Bolton regularly updates the campus community on developments involving the spread of the coronavirus and the college's plans, this will be a place to track all of the college's communications, as well as updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). 

Please address any questions to covid@ppcc.edu

Latest CDC Information Latest CDPHE Information

The Stall Street Journal - Digital Edition

Featuring latest announcements and resources for PPCC students.

Read SSJ

Key Information*

Campuses Closures and Transition to Online:

All campuses are currently closed until at least April 13. But the college is still operational through remote services. PPCC is transitioning almost all courses to an online environment in response to the COVID-19 crisis and Gov. Polis' recent Stay At Home order. Currently, we have just a few exceptions to this in our Career and Tech areas, and some portions of those classes may be delayed. We know many student are concerned about the transition, and we strongly urge students with concerns to reach out to their instructors. Your best option is to work with your teachers and pass your classes. If you are unable to complete your course, an "Incomplete" grade may be allowed by your teacher.  A grade of "Incomplete" gives you extra time to complete the course.  This would be especially appropriate if you get sick and need extra time to complete the course, or you do not have access to the resources on campus you need. As a final option, you may withdraw from the course. This will show up as a "W" on your transcript.  It will not hurt your GPA. You will not receive a refund, but you could be eligible for a scholarship that would pay for you some of the cost to retake the class.  Not sure what to do?  Talk to your teacher and discuss what is needed to complete the course successfully.  Most of you are closer than you realize to earning a final grade in your classes!

 

Where to Find Help:

Students have two main contacts (besides their instructor) to find more help and information: 

HOTLINE: (719) 502-2000 

E-mail:  StudentSupport@PPCC.edu

Remote Services:

You can find information about remote tutoring, accessibility services and more on this Remote Services page.

Commencement:

Our graduation ceremony will not go on as scheduled. We are soliciting ideas from students, staff and faculty via Graduation.Ideas@ppcc.edu.

Child Development Centers:

Both locations will remain closed at least until April 17.

Summer Classes:

While our plans remain in flux, summer classes could move to online instruction if needed.

Health and Safety:

We have no identified or suspected cases of COVID-19 among our students and faculty. You will be informed if we do. 

Employees:

PPCC’s Leadership is committed to providing employees with important information.  The latest FAQ for employees is available at my.ppcc.edu.

*For more specific information about these items, please read through the communications shared below and the FAQ tab above. All info is sent to Student and Staff email.

Travel Declaration Form

Complete the form

Testing Notification

If you are tested for COVID-19 please let us know.  Please notify us at COVID.Notification@ppcc.edu .  We would also like for you to let us know if you are self-quarantining because of contact with a person who has tested positive.

Official Coronavirus (COVID-19) Communications

March 30 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Students,

 

As you return to classes online this week, we know many issues and concerns will arise. We have a PPCC Hotline and Email to respond quickly to your concerns.

 

HOTLINE: (719) 502-2000 

 

E-mail:  StudentSupport@PPCC.edu

 

Through this number and email address we will answer your questions and concerns directly, or quickly reroute you to folks who can respond to your individual situation. Our goal is to respond within 24 hours.  We are prepared to respond to the following issues and more:

 

- Technical assistance with connecting to D2L

- Assistance with connecting to PPCC email

- Financial Aid issues

- Veteran and Active Duty Military student concerns

- Accessing tutoring support

- Connecting with your faculty member

- Mental health counseling

- Advising support 

- Incomplete and Withdrawal course options for Spring 2020

- Enrollment for Summer or Fall semesters

 

Please let us know how we can support your educational journey, and help you achieve and complete your goals.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

March 26, 2020

CAMPUS-WIDE ALERT

Pikes Peak Community College   Pikes Peak Community College
Email Alert
 

OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE - ALL CAMPUSES CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 13

In order to comply with Gov. Polis' Stay at Home order, PPCC has closed all its campuses and learning centers until at least April 13. All college services remain operational through remote services.

Classes are now online. Support services are available via the web, email and phone. Career and technical classes that had been planned to continue will suspend face-to-face instruction, going online with some and postponing the remainder of the classes with others. Faculty will communicate via email and D2L to let students know plans for their individual classes.

The college is particularly concerned about students who do not have access to computers, and, in those cases, students are strongly encouraged to contact their faculty members and explore options of taking an "Incomplete" (to be completed later) grade in the course or "Withdrawing" and taking the class again at a future date. In the case of Withdrawals, PPCC will scholarship the student's tuition to retake the class, however, there may still be fees associated with the future class. Withdrawing students who receive financial aid should contact the financial aid office a 719-502-3000.

College officials, working with state and local officials, will evaluate the ongoing health crisis and determine if it will be safe to resume face-to-face instruction on April 13.

For details and updates, please visit ppcc.edu/covid.

More Information: https://ppcc.apparmor.com/Notifications/CAP/?id=26564&t=24164469

Pikes Peak Community College

March 19, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Faculty, Staff, and Students,

We closed our Rampart Range Child Development Center (CDC) today because of staff shortages.  The Centennial Campus will continue operating today and tomorrow, assuming adequate staff.  Next week the CDC planned to close anyway for Spring Break as they always do.  We do not plan to reopen either CDC location until at least April 17th in accordance with the Governor’s announced closure of P-12 schools yesterday.

We are working now to process refunds for CDC parents who’ve paid already for time the CDC will now be closed.  We are also working with the CDC staff to take care of them through this process.

Best,

Lance

March 18, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Faculty, Staff, and Students,

TOPIC: CLOSING DOWNTOWN STUDIO CAMPUS

We are closing the Downtown Studio Campus to the public today at 5:00OPM.  Staff who have exterior door keys or keycards will retain access to their offices and the campus, but otherwise the campus will be closed.  It will remain closed until March 30th.  Staff working at Downtown Studio Campus should seek guidance from their supervisor about working from home or redeploying to another campus.  

This move allows PPCC to redeploy critical custodial staff and police resources to our Centennial and Rampart Campuses.  Until March 30th only the gender-neutral restrooms will be available at the Downtown Studio Campus for faculty or staff who continue to use their offices there.  This also reduces custodial resources needed there.

The Learning Commons and computer labs remain open and available to students at the Centennial and Rampart Campuses.  In addition, we closed the Community Table today, however, students seeking food assistance can still go to our Student Life desks at Rampart and Centennial Campuses for access to our food pantry.

Do Your Part,

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

March 16, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC,

As the Governor closes restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, and more, it becomes ever more important for us to do our part.  Tonight’s announcements at his press conference were sobering and really drove the point home.

Thank you for doing your part:

  • Wash your hands
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Work from home if possible
  • Social Distancing - 6 feet or more between you and the next person
  • Look for someone who might need help - an elderly neighbor?

Take care,

Lance

March 13, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Spring Break Plans
I’m writing to provide additional information and detail to yesterday morning’s announcement that we are extending spring break by one week.  If you missed the announcement, we are beginning spring break for all on-campus students (with a small number of exceptions listed here: https://www.ppcc.edu/covid) on March 16th, one week earlier than planned, and extending until the planned end of spring break on March 27th. Classes will resume on March 30th.  The semester will still end as planned on May 12th.

Notification

If you are tested for COVID-19 please let us know.  Please notify us at COVID.Notification@ppcc.edu .  We would also like for you to let us know if you are self-quarantining because of contact with a person who has tested positive.

Transitioning to Online

Our goal is to assist our community and state in reducing transmission of COVID-19 while maintaining the highest quality of education for our students. Therefore, after spring break, beginning on March 30th many of our classes will transition to online format through D2L.  However, we will also have many classes, especially classes with active hands-on engagement, that will not transition to the online format. For example, welding, auto mechanics, nursing, and other similar programs are not transitioning to online instruction, while classes like English, history, and philosophy will transition to an online format.  All PPCC faculty will communicate via D2L and college email to their students about whether their class will transition to online format, hybrid format, or continue on campus.  For those classes that remain on campus we are working to create as much social distance between students as possible.

College Services

  • The college will remain open with all student services available including:
  • Learning Commons Computer and Tutoring Support
  • Advising
  • Testing
  • Counseling
  • Food Service
  • Disability Student Services (Accessibility)
  • TRiO
  • Student Life
  • Community Table (Food Pantries)
  • Veteran Services (Military and Veteran Programs)
  • Financial Aid
  • Student Success Center functions including coaching
  • PPCC Police Department
  • Computer Labs
  • Enrollment Services
  • Bookstore
  • Records
  • Dean of Students
  • Computer Labs

Computer labs are especially important because we know some of our students do not have computer access at home.  Our plan is to keep all computer labs open, as well as computer equipped classrooms.  We will remove some of the chairs and cover some computers to create distance between computer users to reduce risk of Coronavirus transmission between students.  In addition, we instituted an aggressive sanitation policy including disinfecting keyboards and surrounding work areas frequently.  Today we authorized the college to add temporary custodian positions to assist in our sanitation efforts.

Public Gatherings and College Events

Most events and public gatherings that are not part of a college course are canceled for the upcoming weeks.  We are trying to make cancellations of events at least two weeks prior to the event to give people time for alternative plans.  We know that a lot of work goes into events like our annual student theater production, music productions, art shows, Multicultural Affairs Conference, and other student life events. I am truly sorry for the possibility that we will be unable to hold these events for live audiences.  We are looking into possibilities for Facebook live streams or other video technology to capture performances for a virtual audience.  We have not altered plans for our commencement ceremony, however, conversations are underway about possible changes to make the event safer for attendees or other ways to create a meaningful event without risking the health of students, guests, faculty, and staff.  I’m very interested in gathering feedback from students on this issue.  We would love some creative ideas!  You can send us your ideas for making commencement meaningful while also reducing the possibility of disease transmission.  Submit your ideas here: Graduation.Ideas@ppcc.edu

If you have questions about PPCC COVID-19 related policies or response please contact us here: COVID@ppcc.edu

We will continue to update you as new information emerges about the Coronavirus that may affect our plans.  This is a rapidly evolving situation and more changes may be implemented over the spring break, so please stay connected to us by email, website, and Facebook for real-time updates.  We remain committed to your success.  Especially for students in classes that are transitioning to an online format, we are committed to working with you to help you successfully complete the semester.  

We can get through this together and keep you successfully on the path to college completion!

March 12, 2020

Human Resources, Letter from Dr. Bolton

Team,

The rapid changes in state policy, instruction plans, and both global and local news creates uncertainty and anxiety.  We want to help allay some of your concerns by addressing work and employment issues at the college.  Below is some overall guidance and our plan by employment category:

Overall Guidance for PPCC Employees

The college is open, please plan to report for work.  Exceptions to reporting for work include if you are sick or have underlying health conditions that indicate you should not be on campus.  Please communicate with your supervisor and HR if either is the case.  Supervisors please let your Directors, Associate VP’s or VP’s know of any of these instances.  Requests for accommodation based on underlying health conditions must be accompanied by documentation which may consist of a statement from the employee for now.

As we transition into more online instruction and less students on campus some work areas will allow folks to transition to working from home.  Some areas may also allow team shifts of some folks coming into the office on certain days and staying home on certain days.  For example, Team A might work on campus on M,W, F of next week and Team B might work on campus T, and TR with teams swapping the following week.  Teams staying home would hopefully still be working from home.  PPCC employees who are unable to be present at work, nor work from home may be eligible for administrative leave as outlined below.  Administrative leave means an employee is paid and does not have to use sick or annual leave.

Guidance by Employee Group

Faculty – Faculty in collaboration with their Deans will make determinations about whether to maintain on-campus classes (primarily CTE programs) or to transition to online.  Options are available between these two as well in the form of hybrid classes that might meet in person less frequently and combine online instruction with classroom meetings.  Faculty members may choose to work from home if they are equipped to do so.  If they make that choice then it is imperative they provide students with contact information since they won’t be keeping office hours.  Faculty may also choose to work from their offices or even from classrooms on campus.  If a faculty member is sick with Coronavirus symptoms or has underlying health conditions they should stay home and provide written notice to their Department Chair and Dean.  If the faculty member cannot work from home because of illness/underlying health conditions and also experiences technology limitations then the college will provide administrative leave.  Faculty will not be required to take leave in either instance.

Instructors (Adjunct Faculty) – Guidance is exactly the same as for regular faculty above. 

Classified Employees – Classified employees should report to work as usual.  However, they may make work from home arrangements in collaboration with their supervisor; supervisors should notify HR and their leadership of these arrangements.  We are seeking to create social distancing between folks, so flexible and creative work arrangements that may mix work from home with different work on campus schedules are likely.  If a classified staff member is sick with Coronavirus symptoms or has underlying health conditions they should stay home and provide written notice to their supervisor.  If the classified staff member cannot work from home because of illness/underlying health conditions and technology limitations then the college will provide administrative leave.  Classified staff will not be required to take leave in either instance.

APT Employees – APT employees should report to work as usual.  However, they may make work from home arrangements with their supervisor; supervisors should notify HR and their leadership of these arrangements.  We are seeking to create social distancing between folks, so flexible and creative work arrangements that mix work from home with different work on campus schedules are likely.  If an APT staff member is sick with Coronavirus symptoms or has underlying health conditions they should stay home and provide written notice to their supervisor.  If the APT staff member cannot work from home because of illness/underlying health conditions and technology limitations then the college will provide administrative leave.  APT staff will not be required to take leave in either instance.

Hourly Employees – Hourly employees should report to work as usual unless they are sick or have underlying health conditions that indicate they should not be on campus.  If an hourly employee cannot work on campus they should contact their supervisor and provide written notice.  The supervisor may offer work from home options depending on the individual circumstances.  Hourly employees are eligible for administrative leave based on an average number of hours worked in previous pay periods through the end of the current semester if they are unable to work on campus nor from home; these circumstances will be evaluated and determined case-by-case.  Please contact your supervisor and HR for more details.

Federal and State Work Study – Federal and State Work Study – Work Study students are encouraged to report to work as usual unless they are sick or have underlying health conditions that indicate they should not be on campus.  If a work study student cannot work on campus they should contact their supervisor and provide written notice.  The supervisor may offer work from home options depending on the individual circumstances. Work study students will be eligible to receive their funding for the Spring semester even if we are unable to make accommodations for their work.

  • Many PPCC employees may be deemed “Critical Personnel” meaning their work is critical to operational continuity.  Supervisor teams are working now on creating their “critical personnel” lists.  These folks will receive top priority for distance working technology or isolated work spaces on campus if either is called for based on the employee individual circumstances.
  • It is not our intention to provide for accommodations based on family member circumstances, only employee conditions.  We simply cannot account for all employee family, friend, roommate, and other relations.  
  • All instances of requests for accommodation to work from home or administrative leave are subject to case-by-case review.
  • The practices outlined within this note are aligned with current COVID-19 best practices and subject to change at any time.

Please notify Carlton Brooks and me if you have questions about the personnel practices described above. We will compile questions and respond as quickly as possible.  Our intention at PPCC is to take the best possible care of our employees.  We know that in doing so our faculty and staff will take the best possible care of our students.

Thank you for your support and cooperation.  We will get through this difficult time!

Lance

March 12, 2020

Employee Travel Guidelines, Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Team,

Official Travel

Effective immediately we are restricting out of state travel by PPCC employees on official business to “Essential Travel” only.  Essential travel requests must receive prior approval by your supervisor, their senior leader (VP), and me (the president) prior to traveling.  In-state travel is allowed, but attending large meetings is discouraged.

Personal Travel

Of course personal travel is still allowed and constitutionally protected.  However, we do have a duty to keep our college safe, therefore we are making the following restrictions and requests:

  • International Travel to CDC Level 2 or 3 countries requires notification to your supervisor and chain of command.  It also requires a mandatory 14 day self-quarantine upon return.  An employee may work from home during the self-quarantine period, but may not visit campus.  Violation of this policy makes an employee subject to discipline, including up to termination.  Advanced notification of your travel plans to a CDC Level 2 or 3 country is required.
  • Domestic Out of State Travel to any Area that has Declared a State of Emergency or International Travel to CDC identified countries that are not Level 2 or 3 requires the employee to notify their supervisor and chain of command.  PPCC will follow CDC recommendations for self-quarantine.  Situations around the world and even within the United States are very fluid.  We will follow CDC guidance at the time of the individual’s return.  If the CDC is recommending self-quarantine, then PPCC will make that requirement.  Please let us know about your plans prior to traveling if possible.

We view Spring Break as a likely time for acceleration of the spread of coronavirus.  Please take precautions to keep yourself safe, and do recognize that CDC guidelines regarding various regions may change very quickly.  

In addition to these guidelines, we are also notifying students of PPCC travel policies pertaining to them.  We will ask students to self-report travel and insist on 14 days of self-quarantine for any student who reports traveling to a CDC Level 2 or 3 country.  We are also reviewing our policies for international students.

Please contact your supervisor with questions; Supervisors please send your questions to Carlton Brooks and me.  We will compile questions and respond as quickly as possible.  We do recognize of course that Colorado has declared a state of emergency, but travel within the state need not be reported.  Our intentions are to stay aligned with the rapidly changing guidelines from the CDC.

Thank you for your support and cooperation,

Lance

March 12, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Team,

All PPCC campuses will remain open.

The college's spring break begins for in-person classes one week earlier than planned on March 16th.  That means spring break will be two weeks long, from March 16-27. (The semester will end as scheduled, May 12. Online classes will continue through the week of March 16th with regularly scheduled spring break the week of March 23rd. The Child Development Centers will be open March 16-20 and be closed, as scheduled, March 23-27.

We have two key North Star goals associated with this action:

  1. Maintain high quality instruction meeting expected learning outcomes and supporting student success.
  2. Reducing risk for transmission of COVID-19 among faculty, staff and students.

Faculty and staff are expected to report during the week of March 16th.  Our goal is to use that week to prepare to shift as many classes as possible to online instruction.  We expect that to begin on March 30th, however, we are prepared to shift the date depending on public health information and advice.  We will also consider ways to reduce risk for classes and labs that must meet in-person.  During the class break our Facilities Staff will undertake deep cleaning and sanitizing of the campus.

There are many issues to consider including our concurrent enrollment students, labs, clinicals, hands-on instruction in CTE programs, etc.  Also, there is summer and fall registration to consider along with advising, tutoring, faculty office hours, providing student access to computer labs, reducing large gatherings, and travel policies.  We will continue to provide specific information on these issues.

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 or our policies, please visit our COVID-19 webpage: https://www.ppcc.edu/covid

If you have questions beyond the information available on our website, then please email us at:  covid@ppcc.edu.

Stay safe

Wash your hands thoroughly and often

Stay home if you’re sick.

March 12, 2020

Press Release from the Colorado Community College System

CCCS Prepares Transition to Remote Instruction

13 colleges take steps to mitigate spread of COVID-19

March 12, 2020 (Denver, CO) – To ensure the health and safety of campus communities across Colorado, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) activated its emergency operations team focused on coordinating the system’s response with the CO Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the guidance provided by the Governor’s Office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) on any CCCS campus, preparation continues to receive the highest level of attention from college leaders and system administration.  

“The health and safety of our 125,000 students and 20,000 employees is our highest priority as we coordinate our response and take informed actions,” said Joe Garcia, CCCS chancellor. “Our thirteen college presidents and I are having regular, ongoing conversations and heeding the guidance of public health experts and the CDC.”

Immediate actions taking place across all thirteen colleges include limitations on large group gatherings, implementation of restrictive travel policies, and the possible extension of Spring Break for students. Staff and faculty will utilize the extra time to transition appropriate courses from in-person to remote instruction and exams, and implement risk reduction plans tailored for each campus.

Due to varying institutional size, location, and programming across CCCS colleges, some courses may not be appropriate to transition to remote learning, such as welding and nursing labs. To provide students with the opportunity to continue their educations in which they have invested so much time, money, and effort, while ensuring safety for students in these career and technical education programs, courses will be held in spaces that allow for adequate social distancing.

“We are prepared for this fast-moving, fluid situation and are implementing appropriate plans at each of our colleges to keep our communities­ safe and avoid interference with student academic progress,” said Garcia.

CCCS hopes to keep offices and colleges open, but also wants to ensure alignment with best practices to promote a healthy environment such as implementing plans to allow employees to work remotely and ensuring paid sick leave.

March 10, 2020

Letter from Joe Garcia, Chancellor, Colorado Community College System

Dear CCCS Community,

I know that the developing news about Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has generated a great deal of concern throughout our communities and campuses and that many of you have legitimate questions about how we will continue to serve our students while doing all we can to protect everyone’s health and safety. I want to take this opportunity to provide an update on the steps we are already taking based on what we know now and what our plans are to respond to the rapidly evolving situation that seems to change hourly.  

I am working closely with the System Office leadership team, including Greg Busch, CCCS Emergency Management Director, and our college presidents to address COVID-19.  We are also working closely with and taking guidance from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CO Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in implementing the System and College emergency preparedness plans for potential pandemic incidents. Staff on the CCCS Executive Team are taking the lead in developing plans that fall in their various functional areas.  Specifically, the System is developing plans and guidance for continued academic instruction; official System and College travel guidance; personnel related questions; and IT support of students, staff and faculty.  This information will be refined, in collaboration with College Presidents and their staff, and you can expect more direct guidance and communications from your college leadership. 

Please see the links below for the most current information about ways to protect yourself from COVID-19:

We recognize this is a rapidly evolving situation and I ask that you watch for continued updates as the situation changes.  In our effort to provide you with real time information as it develops, you should expect to hear from me and/or your college president on a regular basis, perhaps as often as several times a week until the situation is resolved.  CCCS has made preparing for COVID-19 a top priority and we are committed to ensuring that our offices and campuses are safe for employees and students. 

I do not intend to minimize the severity of the current situation, nor do I want people to be unduly alarmed.  As many others have said, the best thing we can do now is not to panic, but to prepare.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation, for sharing your ideas, and for working together in the best interests of our students and our college families and communities.

Joe Garcia

Chancellor

Colorado Community College System

9101 E Lowry Blvd.

Denver, CO 80230

303-595-1552

March 9, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Team,

Since my last update on Friday, we have one presumptive positive coronavirus case in El Paso County, CO; the case was announced late Friday afternoon.  The person is in quarantine.  No other cases were detected in El Paso County over the weekend.  Attached here is a link to the El Paso County Public Health webpage.  It provides a wealth of information about this illness.  https://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/services/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

One question that’s arisen is about the name of the illness.  Coronavirus and COVID-19 are synonymous terms; both cover the current disease outbreak.  COVID-19 is the specific name of the coronavirus that’s causing the global outbreak. 

Our leadership team met this morning at 8:00AM and reviewed developments since our last meeting at 8:00AM on Friday.  Our next meeting is planned for Wednesday morning at 8:00AM.  I will update the college on any changes after each of these meetings.  Key efforts right now include completing our updated pandemic plan and having it posted on the web tomorrow and identifying essential personnel for purposes of our pandemic plan.  As of now, we are continuing normal operations for all college activities.

This afternoon Police Chief Barrentine will attend a county public health update.  In addition, much of our monthly college president’s meeting tomorrow is devoted to discussing the outbreak including planning for continuity of operations, options for students who may be ill, and HR policies for employees.  I will report again Wednesday on any developments.

Remember:

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Best,

Lance

 

March 6, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear students, faculty and staff,

As you’ve probably seen on the news, Colorado has two “presumptive positive” cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. There are no known cases in El Paso County, but we’re preparing for that possibility.

Our leadership team met on Thursday and again this morning, examining developments and updating plans. Our Emergency Management Team is updating the college’s Pandemic and Infectious Disease Preparedness Plan; we will post that to the campus community on Tuesday.

 

Our custodial staff is stepping up efforts to disinfect our classrooms, restrooms and common areas, paying particular attention to keep high touch surfaces (ie. door handles and handrails) clean and sanitized. They’re also placing more of the mobile, stand-alone hand sanitizer stations throughout the campuses. 

One major concern in this quickly evolving situation is travel. Students, staff and faculty planning to travel internationally (or even domestically to areas hardest hit by the virus) are encouraged to consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) travel alerts (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel) and the health departments in the areas to which they’re traveling. Keep in mind, it might be possible to travel to a particular destination, and experience challenges returning if new travel restrictions are put in place or flights are canceled.  Employees with college-related travel plans should keep in touch with the supervisors in deciding whether to change those plans.

PPCC’s Study Abroad plans to Europe and South America in May are still in place, but, as we continue to monitor the spread of the virus and travel restrictions, those plans may change.

The Leadership Team this morning exercised our pandemic preparedness by meeting via video conference using the cloud-based Microsoft TEAMS app.  This is available to all employee groups and is much more efficient than VPN.  IT can assist with quick tutorials to get your teams connected via TEAMS if you anticipate needing remote meeting capabilities.

As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, this is a time to prepare, but not to panic. Telemedicine may be a viable option for some folks to avoid healthcare environments and get more information on any health-related issues they might be experiencing. Below is information provided by Human Resources to assist with telemedicine options.

Through this situation, our goal will be to keep our campus community safe, and I plan to keep you informed with as much transparency as possible, about developments with the virus as well as our plans at the college. In addition to these regular emails, we will post updates on our website. 

 

Stay safe. Wash your hands. And don’t panic.

 

Best,

Lance

 

Employees can use Telemedicine benefits provided by their medical carrier.  The CDC recommends that anyone experiencing symptoms (that are not expressly urgent) should use a form of telemedicine as their first point of care to “talk through” symptoms with a health care professional before showing up in-person.  The more contact a person has with “sick environments,” the more likely they will unwittingly participate in the spread of a disease.  All of our medical carriers provide various telemedicine platforms (see below for contact information).

 

Anthem – Customer Service, 800.542.9402

24/7 NurseLine, 800.337.4770

Video Visit, www.livehealthonline.com

Email, www.anthem.com, log into your account to email your doctor

 

Kaiser – Customer Service, 303.338.3800

Phone visit, 303.338.4545 to schedule

Video Visit, 303.338.4545 to schedule

24/7 nurse line, www.kp.org, Appointment Center to schedule

Email, www.kp.org, log into your account to email your doctor

 

UHC – Customer Service, 877.283.5424

24/7 nurse line, 866.402.0006

Virtual Visits, 877.283.5424 to schedule

Email, myuhc.com, log into your account to email your doctor

 

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

March 2, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC students, staff and faculty,

Coronavirus is raising anxiety across the nation as the story continues to rapidly evolve and expand over the weekend.  We now have confirmed cases in multiple states including Florida, New York, Washington State, California, Texas, Oregon and Rhode Island.  Public health officials in Colorado and across the nation are working hard to gather and disseminate useful and actionable information. Perhaps what makes us most fearful about this disease is the unknown. 

 

We are unsure just how dangerous the disease is, and we don’t have good information about person-to-person transmission.  Drawing on my background in microbiology and disease transmission, but certainly no insider information, I will note that 16,000 Americans have died this year from Influenza and 29,000,000 have been sickened.  Those numbers dwarf coronavirus, but we face more uncertainty with coronavirus as it’s a novel illness, and we’re accustomed to the impacts of Influenza.  All of this to say, that panic and tremendous anxiety are neither warranted nor helpful, but we do understand people are anxious.

 

Basic measures to keep ourselves and others safe and healthy are warranted now. Washing your hands thoroughly and regularly (with soap) is a great defense, not just against the new coronavirus but against regular colds and flus. Be assured that the college is doing what we can, working with local health officials to update our emergency protocols.  

 

Our culture places great value on toughness and grit.  Many of us grew up believing that we demonstrate commitment and toughness by showing up and working even when we are sick. That is not helpful!  Showing up sick means not doing your best work, and it means spreading your illness.  Let’s start shifting that culture here at PPCC.  If you are sick, please do not come to work/school.  Faculty, if you have students who are sick, please suggest ways for them to stay home and still be successful in your course.  Let’s all take responsibility to not transmit illness to others.

 

PPCC is taking seriously the need to prepare for coronavirus in Colorado and any potential impact on the college.  As of this morning, there are no known cases in Colorado, however, that could change quickly and we must be prepared.  We are planning in collaboration with CCCS Leadership, Colorado Department of Higher Education, and Colorado Public Health officials.  We have a Pandemic Plan that we are reviewing and updating; Instructional Services is taking the lead there.  We are also monitoring and acting on any recommendations from public health officials.  Below is a note from CCCS Chancellor Joe Garcia regarding statewide communications and efforts to ensure preparedness.  His note is forwarded from the Colorado Department of Higher Education; it was sent to all higher education leaders in the state.

 

Please note this Colorado Department of Public Health Fact Sheet.  It’s an excellent source of basic information about the Coronavirus.  I will keep the college posted as more information becomes available.

 

Best regards,

Lance

 

Pandemic Plan

PPCC officials have updated our Pandemic Plan. We see this as an evolving document, so if you have anything you think should be changed, added or deleted, please email our communications director, Warren Epstein at warren.epstein@ppcc.edu.

Download Plan

Recommendations from Health Officials

Health officials advise Coloradans to stay informed, take simple disease prevention measures, and prepare. 

  • Practice good hygiene. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. In the absence of soap and water, use hand-sanitizer; use a tissue or your elbow or sleeve to cover coughs and sneezes 
  • Stay home if you’re sick; keep your children home if they are sick. Talk to your employer about working from home if necessary.
  • We advise Coloradans to always be prepared for an emergency and have a plan for your family. Coloradans can visit the CDC’s website for more information on how to create a plan.  
  • Stay informed with reliable, up-to-date information. People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019, can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email  COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English and Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more. Coloradans can also visit the CDCand CDPHE websites for more information on best practices.