WSCC monitoring coronavirus concerns closely.

March 11, 2020

WSCC monitoring coronavirus concerns closely.

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — West Shore Community College President Scott Ward, in a memo to college employees today, said college officials, along with local public school and health officials are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation.

He said the college will continue to hold face-to-face classes at this time, but is ramping up its efforts to transition to alternative instruction methods, if necessary.

The following is Ward’s memo:

Over the past few weeks and days, it has become clear how quickly our world can change. We have observed, from a distance, the global spread of the coronavirus (COVID -19), and now, unfortunately, cases of the disease have been reported in Michigan.  From a public health standpoint, it is virtually impossible to predict how the situation will develop in our region. More than anything else, this means uncertainty – for all of us.

  Even though the symptoms are only mild in most cases, the number of severe infections cautions us to take the situation seriously. Public health authorities are trying to stop the virus from spreading further, including restriction of travel and introducing quarantines. Their expertise will serve as the basis for continuous updates to hygiene, guidelines for holding meetings and public events on the campus, in-person contact with our colleagues and students, and any other measures as required.

  In order to coordinate the college response, I have appointed a task force to meet on a daily basis to monitor the changing situation and provide recommendations to mitigate the impact on students, employees, and the public. Their work will be coordinated with our K-12 schools and community partners as is appropriate.

  We are also actively working to identify alternative ways to deliver instruction. The number of colleges and universities moving to online instruction is increasing rapidly and WSCC is ramping up to provide the same for our students. At this time, there has not been a decision to cancel face-to-face classes. 

  Based on recommendations from the Michigan Department of Public Health, Governor Whitmer has recommended:

  • Canceling or postponing large gatherings, conferences and community events (e.g. events with over 100 people).
  • Reducing in-person gatherings and activities, especially for organizations with individuals at risk of severe illness.
  • Considering tele-learning or tele-work opportunities, where feasible.
  • Limiting non-essential work travel.

In alignment with the recommendations from the Department of Health, I anticipate several upcoming public events will be cancelled, postponed, or otherwise impacted. As decisions are made, information will be made public through various media. One area is a new Coronavirus updates page on the college website, which is also accessible through a link at the top of our homepage (https://www.westshore.edu/campus-life/campus-safety/coronavirus/).

  My special thanks go to all those who are working with such dedication to keep the impact of the virus on our campus community as low as possible. And for you, my hope is that you and your families stay safe and sound.

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