COVID-19 Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information


Important Info

Current Campus Status (03/17/2020 @ 10:00am) – CAMPUS CLOSED

All classes are online until further notice!

 

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Housatonic 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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Date Published: 03/12/2020 – This page will be a continually updated source of common questions students, staff, and faculty will have during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please check back here on occasion as answers may change or be added as the situation changes.

What does online-only format mean for me?

Following Spring Break, all classes will be moved to an online-only format until at least Sunday, April 5.

Faculty and students will utilize available online resources from off-campus locations to continue classwork. These include common tools such as Email, Blackboard, myCommNet, WebEx, and Office 365. Refer to the Course Continuity Resources page for detailed information regarding these services.

What about staff and non-teaching faculty during this time?

On Monday, March 16th, HCC staff will be working remotely for day-to-day functions, and all non-teaching faculty and staff are expected to continue to to work as scheduled. Questions regarding payroll, timesheets, student workers, EA positions can be directed to the payroll departments.

What if I don’t have a computer or stable internet connection?

Comcast, Cox, and Charter are all currently offering some form of free internet service for students.

What if I have off-campus clinics, internships, or other experiential activities?

Students who engage in off-campus clinics, internships, and similar experiential activities, may continue to attend them if their respective facility remains open. Please check with your site supervisor or instructor if you have questions. If it relates to Distance Learning contact Colette Rossignol.

Where do I find my instructor or other faculty’s contact information?

Please refer to our online directory for all faculty and staff contact information.

What online resources are available for me to use during this time?

Faculty and students, please refer to our course continuity resources page to find more details regarding the online services available to you during this time.

What if I need support for these online resources?

Please visit our 24/7 CSCU Support Site for phone, chat, and knowledge base support.

I will be traveling, is there anything I need to do?

ALL HCC-sponsored travel outside of the state of Connecticut is suspended until further notice.

Faculty, staff and students are discouraged from traveling during Spring Break, however, if you must travel, we ask that you keep HCC administration updated on your travel plans by completing our Report Travel Plans.

What about previously scheduled campus events?

All campus events scheduled for the rest of the spring semester have been canceled, including those sponsored by external clients.

What about previously scheduled individual meetings/assistance/advising?

At this point, individual meetings are still allowed, but but done remotely. This also includes students with individual assistance in labs or scheduled meetings with faculty advisors.

What about scheduled on-campus placement tests?

All placement tests are canceled. Please check back with our testing center for any other details. 203.332.5217

What about scheduled on-campus placement tests?

All placement tests are canceled. Please check back with our testing center for any other details. 203.332.5217

Continuing Education Specific Questions

Will Continuing Education classes be held during spring break as scheduled?

No, as per previous communications, all classes (credit and non-credit) are canceled thru spring break. Continuing Education faculty and staff will be communicating with students during spring break regarding class makeups.

Will Continuing Education classes be held on line after spring break?

During Spring Break, Continuing Education staff will be in touch with faculty to identify how to reschedule and make up classes and communicate with students. Students should check their email on a regular basis for additional information specific to your class/program

If a Continuing Education class is rescheduled and I can’t participate who should I contact?

Please contact the Continuing Education office at 203.332.5057 or email at

I still have additional questions.

Starting Tuesday, March 10 through the remainder of the spring semester – The campus will be closed to faculty, staff, and students to allow for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms and offices.

From Monday, March 23 – through the end of the spring semester – The campus will remain closed and all classes will resume in an online-only format.

Students: Please contact our Dean of Students Office.

Faculty: Please contact our Dean of Academic Affairs.

Staff: Please contact our Human Resources department.

CURRENT CAMPUS STATUS (3/25/2020)

Important Health and Safety Update

Message from the BOR president Mark E. Ojakian

Dear CSCU Community,

This morning, I received a briefing from our academic team, and I am happy to report that, thanks to the incredible work of our faculty at the colleges and universities, the transition to online-only learning has been going smoothly overall. It took a herculean effort to upend our educational delivery system in just a few days, but our dedicated faculty have stepped up to the challenge. Though our students are resilient, they will need a great deal of support, both personally and academically, during this time and I want to thank the staff who are working hard to get their advising, counseling, library and other resources available remotely for students. I'd like to thank our union leaders who have met with us daily to identify both challenges and solutions as we've moved to telework and the system office staff for continuing to provide – through telework – many of the essential services that keep our colleges and universities running. And lastly, I greatly appreciate the college and university leaders and administrators who have been working around the clock to make this crisis as manageable as possible for all.

Over the past week, we at CSCU have taken several important steps to keep our students, faculty, and staff as safe and healthy as possible while playing a central role in the state’s efforts to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities.

  • Paying employees. We have made the determination that while the campuses and system office remain shuttered, employees are directed to telework and will receive their pay as normal. Student workers will also continue to be paid through the end of the semester.
  • University housing. We have been working closely with the state’s emergency response team and have received specific requests to use residence halls at Southern and Western. The institutions are currently in the process of clearing those spaces and expect them to be available by the end of the week. Central and Eastern are also preparing for similar requests in coming days and will make residence halls available to meet the state’s emergency needs.
  • Moving to pass/fail. This morning, we made the decision to allow all community college students the option to convert any or all of the letter grades they earn during the spring 2020 semester to credit/no credit grading. This change will potentially ease anxiety about the quick move to online learning while not impacting the student’s GPA. The state universities are working individually to ensure similar options are offered to students.
  • Donating personal protective equipment and ventilators. Governor Lamont and state officials have requested donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves, and gowns to meet the needs of frontline health care workers combatting the virus. Our colleges and universities have stepped up in a big way. As just one example, Central donated 6,000 nitrile gloves, 250 procedure masks, 180 N95 masks, and other equipment to the Hospital of Central Connecticut. Across the system, we have also donated several ventilators to local hospitals and health care facilities as well as PPE from our allied health programs.
  • Donating unused food. Our campus food pantries and dining services have donated hundreds of pounds of perishable food to local foodbanks to help fight food insecurity during this difficult economic time.
  • Implementing technology solutions. Thanks to the hard work of IT staff at the CSCU system office and the IT staff on our campuses, both hardware and software is being prepped for faculty, staff and students so they can work and learn remotely. Thanks to the campus foundations who have helped to get more equipment into the hands of students as well! We still need more equipment to meet the needs and ongoing software training and support but these IT staff have worked tirelessly to help us all do our work in new ways.

This will continue to be a challenging time, and I ask you to follow the advice of state and local public health professionals. In order to stop the spread to the best of our ability, we must stay home as much as possible, and stay safe. There are great, free opportunities online to practice self-care through exercise, meditation and yoga classes, museum exhibits, and much more. Please take care of yourself and be in touch if I can be of assistance.

Thanks again for all of your work on behalf of our students.

Mark E. Okakian


HCC Updates:

March 17, 2020

Important Health and Safety Update

CSCU
Region Three, Shoreline-West

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

March 11, 2020

Important Health and Safety Update

CSCU
Region Three, Shoreline-West

Dear Colleagues:

As you have no doubt heard, the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is spreading globally and has now been designated as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. I want to emphasize that there are no known cases associated with [campus] faculty, staff, or students. We are working closely with the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities President Mark Ojakian to keep our University community as safe and healthy as possible and continue to take every precaution to mitigate potential impact on campus. Today, we are announcing the following new precautionary measures:

  • Following Spring Break, all classes will be moved to an online-only format until at least Sunday, April 5.
  • The campuses will remain open for day-to-day functions, and all non-teaching faculty and staff are expected to continue to report to work as scheduled.
  • For students who don’t have access to the internet, we will designate a space to remain open for use. Additional cleaning protocols are being implemented for your safety.
  • Students who engage in off-campus clinics, internships, and similar experiential activities, may continue to attend them if their respective facility remains open. Please check with your supervisor, if necessary. All faculty, please take every opportunity this week and next to learn WebEx, MS Teams, Blackboard, and other tools to assist your online teaching, scheduling and hosting of online meetings.
  • All campus events scheduled between March 14 and April 5 are canceled (no matter the size), including those sponsored by external clients.

As one might expect, the situation and conditions are changing by the day—sometimes by the hour. Be assured that we continue to work closely with President Ojakian, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, and the Governor’s Office to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment for all members of our campus community.

I thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding as we work through all necessary adjustments. I urge you to continue to follow CDC guidelines for staying healthy.

You should expect to see more campus specific details as they develop.

Sincerely,

Thomas G. Coley, Ph.D.
Acting President, Gateway Community College & CSCU Regional President, Shoreline West Region

March 10 Update

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 the following link.

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

March 10, 2020

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
www.housatonic.edu/traveling

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

March 9, 2020

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

March 3, 2020

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
 

February 27, 2020

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.

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 Dr. Thomas G. Coley, CSCU Regional President & HCC Acting President:

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.

When and How to Wash Your Hands (CDC)

Finally, anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms is required to remain at home, and those who become sick during the day must go home.

Sincerely,

Thomas G. Coley, Ph.D.
Acting President, Housatonic Community College
CSCU Regional President, Shoreline West Region


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 WE CAN ALL TAKE NOW

Precautions we can all take now

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