(Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Institutions of Higher Education)
To prepare for possible community transmission of infectious diseases, the most important thing for the College to do now is plan and prepare. As a global outbreak evolves, the College should prepare for the possibility of community-level outbreaks.
The first measure is preventative:
● Staying home when sick, appropriately covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and washing hands often.
● Ensure handwashing strategies include washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
● Information or changes to operations will be communicated with the College via mass notification systems such as text, emails and social media platforms to both staff and students. To opt into the Emergency Notification System, text: mccalerts to 575-461-4414 (Data rates may apply)
Plan for absenteeism:
● Students, staff, and faculty should not attend class or work when sick. Accommodations will be made for students (e.g., extended due dates, electronic submission of assignments) who may be temporarily unable to attend class due to restrictions placed on them related to possible exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
● Instructors should review/utilize Moodle shells for possible replacement of on-campus courses. Mesalands campus has the ability to administer all in-class courses online in the event of any closure.
● Critical job functions and positions will be evaluated for alternative coverage and by cross-training staff and faculty.
● Levels of absenteeism that will disrupt the continuity of teaching and learning will be evaluated.
● Closing of Tucumcari area schools, notifications from the Tucumcari/Quay County Emergency Manager, and/or local health officials, will also be monitored.
Procedures for students, staff, and faculty who are sick (with any illness) on-campus:
● Students, staff, and faculty who become sick (with any illness) on campus or arrive on campus sick are to be sent to their place of residence as soon as possible.
● Keep sick individuals separate from well individuals until they can leave.
● Student Affairs staff will evaluate sick residents of Stampede Village. We encourage everyone to “self-isolate”.
● If you are showing symptoms (Fever, Cough, Difficulty Breathing) call the Department of Health at 1-855-600-3453 if you are exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19.
Routine environmental cleaning (maintenance):
● Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, countertops) with appropriate cleaners.
● Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, remote controls) can be wiped down by students, staff, and faculty before each use.
● The sharing of information with employees and students will occur through mass notification systems such as: email, social media and texts via the Mesalands alert system.
If local health officials report there are cases of COVID-19 in the community:
● Mesalands will determine if, when, and for how long the College may need to suspend classes and postpone or cancel events and activities.
● Mesalands may at this point stay open for employees
● Keeping the facility open a) allows faculty to develop and deliver lessons and materials electronically, thus maintaining continuity of teaching and learning; and b) allows other staff members to continue to provide services and help with additional response efforts.
● If the condition worsens, only essential staff may remain, and in the worst-case scenario, the facility may close entirely.
If a student, staff, or faculty member attended class or was active on campus prior to being confirmed as a COVID-19 case:
● Local health officials may recommend temporary class suspension and event or activity cancellation. Individuals may be considered active on campus if they had attended class, work, work-study, or some other type of gathering or event (e.g., student meetings, recreational activities) on campus. Local health officials’ recommendations for the scope and duration of school dismissals will be made on a case-by-case basis using the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the specific cases in an impacted community.
● The College will work with the local health department and other relevant leadership to communicate the possible COVID-19 exposure. This communication to the community will align with the communication plan in the College’s Emergency Operations Plan. In such a circumstance, it is critical to maintain confidentiality of the student, staff member, or faculty member as required by the Americans with Disabilities Actexternal icon and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Actexternal icon.
● College administrators will seek guidance from local health officials to determine when students, staff, and faculty should return to campus and what additional steps are needed for the College community. In addition, students, staff, and faculty who are well but are taking care of or share a home with someone with a case of COVID-19 should follow instructions from local health officials to determine when to return to campus.
● The College will work in close collaboration with local health officials to make all decisions related to on-campus housing.
● If cases of COVID-19 have not been identified among residents of on-campus community housing, students may be allowed to remain in on-campus housing. In this situation, educate housing residents on the precautions they should take to help protect themselves when there is community spread of COVID-19. Residents should follow any more specific recommendations provided by local health officials.
● If cases of COVID-19 have been identified among residents of on-campus community housing, Campus will work with local health officials to take additional precautions. Individuals with COVID-19 may need to be moved to temporary housing locations.