More important info re: COVID-19 from President Stritikus

March 12, 2020

Dear FLC,
 
Yesterday’s decision to move classes online was not made lightly and I appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility. I want to reaffirm there are no confirmed cases on campus or even in Durango. The guidance of the Governor and public health officials is clear: proactive measures are our best chance to disrupt the path of the COVID-19 pandemic and keep the most vulnerable amongst us safe. I hope you’ll take the day before the break to make the best decisions for you personally, while seriously considering how you can help prevent the spread of coronavirus. With humility, personal accountability, and a communal spirit of caring, we will get through this.
 
FLC is currently operating under normal conditions and continues to serve our students while responding to this rapidly developing situation. The following information should answer many of your questions. We have staffed a phone line and email for further questions relating to FLC’s response: Call 970-382-6919 or email covid19-info@fortlewis.edu.
 
Effective March 16 we will transition as follows:
 
Online instruction
Classes are canceled Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24 after spring break.
Course instruction will be moved online from Wednesday, March 25 through April 6.
 
We will monitor guidance from public health officials and announce plans for instruction delivery methods on or before April 1, which will apply to the remainder the semester.
 
Student Services (Health Center, Counseling Center, Advising, etc.)
The Student Health Center is closed over Spring Break, but will reopen for normal hours on March 23. They will operate with social distancing in mind (at least 6 feet between individuals, no hand-shaking, etc). As previously communicated, do not drop in to the Health Center if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms. Call ahead instead to 970-247-7355.
 
The Counseling Center is closed over Spring Break, but will reopen for normal hours on March 23. I know the stress of this situation can feel overwhelming and our counseling staff are here to support our students in this transition.
 
Students that have mental or physical health needs over Spring Break can visit the La Plata Integrated Healthcare at 1970 E 3rd Ave. in Durango from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Please call ahead if experiencing flu-like symptoms at 970-335-2288. Mental health concerns after hours should call the Crisis Hotline at 970-247-5245.
 
The Advising Office is closed over Spring Break, but will reopen for normal hours on March 23.
 
Tech support for online learning
Computer labs and Reed Library are remaining open for now. There should not be classes or groups gathering – practice social distancing when utilizing these common areas.
 
IT has made available WIFI hotspot devices for checkout, as well as some laptops. Additionally, HP desktops with monitors and keyboards are for sale for $25; limit one per student. Visit the Media Services in the basement of Reed Library after Friday morning. 
 
Student Housing 
Campus housing is open during and after break. This continues to be your home. However, we still encourage students who have other accommodations to avoid returning to campus. We’re moving to temporary online instruction through April 6 to minimize the risk of transmission and less residents on campus supports these efforts.
 
We will not compromise critical services for the residents who have to stay. Campus services will still be available to residents, though limited to reduce the risk of transmission. Residents will be able to access dining services, computer labs, and the library. Social distancing while utilizing these spaces is strongly advised.
 
Housing contacted residents directly to confirm who will be on campus for break and after.
 
Common Spaces (Dining Hall, Computer Labs, Reed Library, Student Life Center)
We are taking extra precautions in common gathering spaces on campus, emphasizing social distancing and increased sanitation. Staff will focus their cleaning responsibilities on frequently touched surfaces in public and common areas.
 
The Dining Hall will serve food to residents in a manner that keeps the risk of transmission low (limiting self-serve). The computer labs, library, and Student Life Center will be open as previously scheduled. The Aquatic Center is closed as of today until April 6.
 
Events
Only essential events will proceed as scheduled, when congregation in groups of less than 100 people and social distancing can be expected. At this point in time, campus is open to all essential events that directly support the viability of the college, such as Admission visitors (March Preview has modified their delivery to comply with social distancing and small gatherings) and job candidates. We’re continuously evaluating other circumstances while preparing for the possibility of these parameters to change.
 
Campus planners should consult with their supervisors first for guidance on essential events. If you and your supervisor believe the event to be essential, you are expected to contact Mark Mastalski and Doug Ewing who are overseeing all event decisions. Following CDC guidance, events with a target audience of at-risk individuals are canceled.
 
Human Resources
Staff will continue to report as normal. Staff who are sick should absolutely stay home. Anyone who is at higher risk for transmission should consult their physician for guidance and HR for any accommodations needed. 
 
Student employees can still come to work if they are healthy. If supervisors have projects they can do remotely, that is permissible and within their authority to assign.
 
Athletics 
The Athletics Director will be communicating directly with athletes and coaches. More information for campus to follow soon.
 
Campbell Center
The Campbell Center is closed for spring break as previously planned. They will also be closed March 23 & 24, and will reopen March 26. This is subject to reconsideration as the situation develops.
 
Stay informed
CDC guidance
FLC COVID-19 updates
Twitter
Facebook
 
Call 970-382-6919 or email covid19-info@fortlewis.edu if you have further questions.
 
As many of you know, my favorite part of being president at FLC is the personal interactions I have with faculty, students, and staff. The next three weeks will be difficult ones on campus and for our community, but I am prepared to do everything I can to support you to the best of our collective ability. Do not hesitate to reach out to me personally if you have questions or concerns.
 
Best,
Tom