Campus Updates

Campus CEO Updates

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Friday, November 20, 2020

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Office of the Chief Executive Officer
Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Dear HCC Community:

This week four members of the college community members reported positive test results for COVID-19. Those who may have been exposed have been notified and advised to follow the 14-day quarantine protocol, and we continue to work closely with the Bridgeport Department of Health.

As you have heard, the state is also recommending that all students get tested. In response, we have made an arrangement with Optimus Health to hold on-campus testing for all members of the college community on campus on Monday, November 23, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The on-site testing is open to faculty, staff, and students. Unfortunately, we cannot extend the opportunity to family members. Results will be available within approximately three days through Quest Diagnostics.

For those who are unable to take advantage of the pop-up testing, testing locations can be located on the state's website at https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Priority-Population. This site also offers information on cost-free testing by town.

I would like to remind everyone to be mindful of the new CDC holiday travel guidelines, which includes the recommendation that "gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu." I encourage everyone who intends to travel to consult the CDC Travel Planner for further safety information before finalizing their plans.

If you haven't already, please consider using the COVID Alert CT app as a helpful tool for alerting you to the exposure to the COVID-19 coronavirus. You can find information about how the app works can be found on YouTube.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding the pop-up testing or other campus safety concerns, please contact the HCC COVID Coordinator, Associate Dean of Campus Operations, Mario Pierce at or (203) 332-5015.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is also available to offer support with free, short-term and confidential counseling for employees and their families. Call 800-526-3485 for more information.

Finally, and most importantly, I hope that everyone has an opportunity this coming week to enjoy some well-deserved time to relax and get some rest. Your wellbeing and safety is of the utmost importance, and I want you to know how much I appreciate all of the hard work and energy that has gone into this semester thus far. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do during this challenging time to support our students.

Be well.

Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Monday, November 16, 2020

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Office of the Chief Executive Officer
Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Dear HCC Community:

There were five reports of college community members testing positive for COVID-19 this week. We continue to work with the Bridgeport Health Department to notify anyone who may have been exposed, and to request that they quarantine for the required 14 days.

The state is also recommending that all students get tested. Testing locations can be located on the state's website at https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Priority-Population. This site also offers information on cost-free testing by town.

The COVID Alert CT app is now active. I encourage all members of the college community to make use of this helpful tool, which will alert you if you are at risk of exposure to the COVID-19 coronavirus. You can find information about how the app works can be found on YouTube, and here are instructions for uploading the app to your device.

With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, and as the state prepares for the holiday, we have received the following guidance for college students from the Department of Public Health.

As the positivity rate in Connecticut and around the country continues to increase, it is up to all of us to help mitigate the spread of the virus. Taking these steps will not only help keep you safe, but can help avoid spreading the virus to your loved ones.

  • It is very important for students to quarantine away from their families for 14 days before mingling or socializing with family members in their home environment. That means beginning your quarantine now if you plan on visiting people who live outside of your home.
  • Students who have family members at high risk of complications from COVID-19 infection (over age 60 or with chronic medical conditions) should consider completing their quarantine somewhere other than with those high-risk family members.
  • It is important that students not attend large social gatherings or reunions, which will pose a high risk for spreading COVID-19.
  • Check travel restrictions for your destination before you go.
  • Always wear a mask in public settings and on public transportation. If you are infected with COVID-19, have symptoms, or are within a mandatory quarantine period due to close contact with a known case, you should avoid public transportation.
  • Get your flu shot before you travel and monitor your health for any COVID-related symptoms.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not in your household.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.

Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
Refer to CDC's Thanksgiving holiday preparation guidance for more information.
Read Thanksgiving preparation guidance (cdc.gov)

As a point of information, the state's Data Tracker site offers updated information on the average daily rate of COVID-19 cases among persons living in community settings per 100,000 population by town. At this time, most of the state is experiencing an uptick in cases. This week the CDC also updated the effectiveness of mask wearing as a preventative measure as long as it covers both the nose and the mouth.

It is completely understandable that the current state of affairs may be causing some anxiety, and I'd like to remind everyone that there are support resources available through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides free, short-term and confidential counseling for employees and their families. Call 800-526-3485 for more information.

I would like to remind everyone to visit the HCC COVID-19 page for CDC and CSCU guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions. The confidential self-reporting form is also on our website if you have been exposed to COVID-19.

Please address any questions or concerns to the HCC COVID Coordinator, Associate Dean of Campus Operations, Mario Pierce at or (203) 332-5015.

Thank you for your continued diligence in following safety protocols.

Be well.

Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Monday, November 9, 2020

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Office of the Chief Executive Officer
Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues:

We received four reports of college community members testing positive for COVID-19 this week. Of the four, two have been on campus in the last two weeks. As with previous cases, the Bridgeport Health Department has been notified and those who may have been exposed are being notified and advised to quarantine for the required 14 days.

As I mentioned last week, we have been asked to pilot a new statewide exposure notification app called COVID Alert CT as part of a pilot rollout. The hope is that the entire state will download this app in mid-November to maximize awareness about possible spread of COVID-19. The app is now active, and members of the college community can download it to Apple and Android devices. Information about how the app works can be found on YouTube, and here are instructions for uploading the app to your device.

As the state rolls back to Phase 2.1 protocols and rules, the CT Department of Public Health continues to assure us that higher education institutions are relatively low-risk areas, especially when everyone on site is following the established CDC and DPH protocols and guidelines. Those who develop symptoms are asked to refrain from coming to campus and to seek medical advice. Please remember that all members of the college community who are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms must produce a negative COVID-19 test before returning to campus after an illness.

Small gatherings continue to pose the greatest threat for infection, and the CT DPH asks that we remain vigilant in limiting our in-person interactions where possible. As a point of information, the state's Data Tracker site offers information on the average daily rate of COVID-19 cases among persons living in community settings per 100,000 population by town.

I would like to remind everyone to visit the HCC COVID-19 page for CDC and CSCU guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions and our Phase 3 return to campus guidelines. The confidential self-reporting form is also on our website if you have been exposed to COVID-19.

Please address any questions or concerns to the HCC COVID Coordinator, Associate Dean of Campus Operations, Mario Pierce at or (203) 332-5015.

I appreciate everyone's hard work and diligence in serving our students and keeping our college community as safe as possible. We are in this together.

Thank you and stay well.

Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Monday, November 2, 2020

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Office of the Chief Executive Officer
Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues:

This past week four members of the college community tested positive for COVID-19. We continue to follow safety protocols and the individuals are in quarantine for 14 days and will need to be cleared by their physicians before returning to campus.

We continue to work with the Bridgeport Department of Public Health (BDPH), and anyone who may have been exposed will be contacted with instructions to quarantine as well. Also, as a reminder, the BDPH has set up local testing stations. The locations can be found at https://www.bridgeportct.gov/covid19testing and state-wide testing sites can be found here.

Last week, I shared that the State of Connecticut initiated a voluntary Exposure Notification application on iPhones and Androids, in alignment with other states in the northeast. On Friday, we were informed that the launch of this app has been postponed to November 6.

As we enter the holiday season, I would also like to remind everyone that there are state guidelines for out-of-state travel. Please be sure to check the site if your holiday plans include travel. There are also advisories for those who are receiving out-of-state visitors. Anyone staying longer than 24 hours is required to fill out a state travel health form.

Information is a powerful tool, and while I wish we were not experiencing the current upswing in COVID-19 positive cases around the country and in our own region, I am committed to keeping everyone informed and aware. As we all continue to follow safety protocols, the Connecticut COVID-19 Data-Tracking site will be helpful for monitoring purposes. The DPH's COVID Level Response guidelines will also be helpful.

I am grateful to the college community for continuing to follow all of the safety protocols, and for supporting one another in doing so. Personal responsibility is critical, and I am optimistic that we will continue to be successful in keeping the incidents of infection and exposure low or non-existent.

If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact the HCC COVID Coordinator, Associate Dean of Campus Operations, Mario Pierce at or (203) 332-5015.

Thank you and stay well.

Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Monday, October 26, 2020

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Office of the Chief Executive Officer
Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues:

This past week there were two members of the college community who tested positive for COVID-19. The individuals are in quarantine for 14 days and will follow the protocols outlined in last week's email before returning to campus. 

The Bridgeport Department of Public Health (BDPH) has commenced contact tracing, and anyone who may have been exposed will be contacted with instructions to quarantine as well.

According to the BDPH, there is "very little" transmission in the on-site classrooms, and following the safety precautions that are in place is making an impact; therefore, I urge everyone to remain diligent about wearing masks, honoring our social distancing requirements and frequent hand washing. The BDPH has set up local testing stations. Their locations can be found at https://www.bridgeportct.gov/covid19testing.

It is important to note that the CDC has issued new guidance for the definition of "close contact" to mean someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. 

In collaboration with the Bridgeport DPH and the CSCU System, there is now a COVID Reporting Procedure in place. We will keep the college community updated if the procedure is adjusted as information changes and further guidance is provided.

We have also been informed that the State of Connecticut will initiate a voluntary Exposure Notification application on iPhones and Androids, in alignment with other states in the northeast.

  • The Pilot will begin 10/30 at Colleges and Universities, and the full application launch state-wide on 11/13.
     
  • Use of the app is completely voluntary. Turn on app if you wish. Use in case of positive test, if you wish.
     
  • The app uses Bluetooth to anonymously track who you came into close contact with for more than 15 minutes over the course of 24 hours. When two phones meet this criteria, they exchange random alpha numeric keys, not identifiable.
     
  • If you test positive, any phone that has exchanged the random key with your phone would get a generic notification. It will not provide any identifying information to people when they are notified. The message will not be personalized in any way. It will instruct users to call a contract tracing hotline, self-quarantine for 14 days and call a healthcare provider.
     
  • There's no location monitoring and keys are purged from the server after 14 days.

I thank every member of the college community, especially those who must be on-site, for their diligence in observing the safety protocols. Whether on-site or on-line, you are making an impact. Thank you for all that you do. 

As we continue, please address any questions or concerns to the HCC COVID Coordinator, Associate Dean of Campus Operations, Mario Pierce at

Thank you and stay well.

Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Monday, October 19, 2020

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Office of the Chief Executive Officer
Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Dear Faculty and Staff:

It's a great day to be at Housatonic! For the second week in a row, I am pleased to report that there are no new reported cases of COVID-19 infection or exposure on campus. Those who were impacted by earlier reports of exposure have completed their quarantine and are returning to their normal schedules.

In the past few weeks, the nation has seen a significant (+52,774) rise in positive cases, which is concerning. Please know that we are keeping a very close eye on the trends in our state, particularly in Bridgeport and the surrounding region. While there are 802 new cases (total 62,830) across the state, Bridgeport reports 136 positive cases (about 7 per 100,000).

As the weather begins to get colder, we must also be vigilant against other airborne ailments like the flu and the common cold. Along with the current CDC and State of Connecticut safety guidelines, I encourage all who are able to consult with a medical professional as you consider getting a flu shot. Along with CT Department of Public Health influenza prevention resources, the Bridgeport Department of Public Health offers information, resources and even flu shots for adults who do not have insurance.

If you develop symptoms, please refrain from coming to campus and check-in with your doctor on whether testing is recommended. For those without primary care, there are multiple testing sites across the state, and many of them are free.

Going forward, all employees and students who are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms must produce a negative COVID-19 test before returning to campus. For employees, negative test results must be submitted to Marlene Cordero at .

Students returning to campus after illness must submit their negative test results to the Dean of Student Affairs, Kim McGinnis at . This new rule does not apply to those who have tested COVID-19 positive and who have been quarantined and cleared by their doctors.

We also request that employees who are working remotely, and who become ill with COVID-19 symptoms, please report-in as well. This allows the college to better collaborate with the DPH for contact tracing. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 FAQs.

Please be assured that we are keeping in touch with the Department of Public Health for the latest information on how to best keep everyone safe, and we will continue to share updates each week.

I would also like to remind everyone that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available through Human Resources. Solutions EAP provides free, short-term, and confidential counseling for employees and their families. The Employee Assistance Program can be reached at 1-800-526-3485 or at www.solutions-eap.com.

Visit the college COVID-19 page for CDC and CSCU guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions and our Phase 3 return to campus guidelines. The confidential self-reporting form is also on our website if you have been exposed to COVID-19.

As we continue forward, please address any questions or concerns to the HCC COVID Coordinator, Associate Dean of Campus Operations, Mario Pierce at or (203) 332-5015.

Thank you and stay well.

Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Monday, October 12, 2020

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Office of the Chief Executive Officer
Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Dear Faculty and Staff:

It's a great day to be at Housatonic! Since our last report, I am pleased to share that there have been no new positive cases of COVID-19 on our campus.

We do realize there have been positive increases in our region so we must remember to remain vigilant in following the CDC and CT Public Health guidelines. We will continue to take aggressive measures to assure the safest possible learning environment for our on-site faculty, students, and staff. I commend everyone on-site for following the protocols and guidelines for safe operations.

As the weather begins to turn, we should all be mindful of taking the necessary precautions for optimum health. For those who are able, please be sure to get your flu shot. There are clinics in most chain drug stores, and the City of Bridgeport has referrals for free flu shots: https://www.bridgeportct.gov/fighttheflu.

Next week we hope to have more information from the Bridgeport Department of Health regarding contact tracing.

I'll close with a reminder that you can visit the college COVID-19 page for CDC and CSCU guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions and our Phase 3 guidelines. As we continue forward, please address any questions or concerns to the HCC COVID Coordinator, Associate Dean Mario Pierce, or 203.332.5015.

I do want to thank Teresa Oravetz for her leadership in serving as the COVID Coordinator for our campus.

Thank you and be well.

Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Tuesday, October 6, 2020

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Office of the Chief Executive Officer
Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Dear Faculty and Staff::

Please take the time to read this very important message in its entirety.

I am writing to inform you that there are three recent incidents of members of the college community testing positive for Covid-19. This brings the institutional total to five, two of whom are over the quarantine period. Privacy laws prevent us from divulging their identities, but the Department of Public Health has been notified and contact tracing is underway.

Any members of the college community who were impacted by these cases will be individually notified. Exposure is defined by the CDC and the CT Department of Public Health as being within six feet of a COVID positive person for more than 15 minutes. Although Housatonic Community College follows CDC and CT Department of Public Health guidelines to mitigate the risk of exposure to the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, we cannot overstate the importance of personal responsibility as key to keeping the college community safe.

Please do not come to campus unless it is required by your work schedule and approved by your supervisor. While on-site, everyone is urged to stay vigilant and to continue practicing the appropriate precautions to mitigate exposure and halt the spread of the virus. The laws in our state are clear that failure to adhere to the first three of these safety protocols may result in fines:

  • Always wear a mask while on site. This is not optional. CSCU policy states that all individuals on campus must wear a mask that covers both your mouth and nose.
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others.
  • Be aware of those with whom you come in contact, and limit in-person communications to less than 15 minutes.
  • Wash your hands frequently and use the hand sanitizer.
  • Sanitize (wipe down) workstations and surfaces with alcohol-based wipes or solutions before and after use. The college provides sanitizing wipes in areas with "high touch" surfaces and equipment.

Together, these safety measures assure the most effective way to significantly reduce the threat of spreading the virus.

If you're experiencing any of the following symptoms, please stay home and seek medical attention:

  • Fever
  • Chills (with or without shaking)
  • Muscle pains
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell

This is an understandably challenging time for all of us, and I urge each and every member of the college community to take some time for self-care amidst all of the precautionary activity that has become a part of our everyday routines.

According to the CDC, circumstances during a pandemic can cause:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on.
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.
  • Worsening of mental health conditions.
  • Increased use of tobacco, and/or alcohol and other substances.

Employee Assistant Program (EAP) resources are available through Human Resources. Solutions EAP provides free, short-term, and confidential counseling for employees and their families. They can be reached at 1-800-526-3485 or at www.solutions-eap.com.

The following resources may also be helpful in providing support as you continue to navigate the current state of affairs.

https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Pages/Public-Health-Resources/Mental-Health-Resources

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/education-awareness/shareable-resources-on-coping-with-covid-19.shtml

https://portal.ct.gov/DMHAS-COVID-19

Please be assured that we are deeply committed to keeping the college community informed and as safe as possible. Going forward, we will provide weekly updates every Monday.

For more information, and to self-report a diagnosis of coronavirus, please visit the college Covid-19 page for CDC and CSCU guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions and our Phase 3 guidelines. Please address any questions or concerns to the HCC COVID Coordinator, Teresa Oravetz, at or (203) 332-5014.

Thank you and be well.

Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Tuesday, September 29, 2020

A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Office of the Chief Executive Officer
Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues:

Although the College follows CDC and the CT Department of Public Health guidelines to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19, please be informed that two individuals at HCC have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

Privacy requirements prevent us from sharing names, but the cases have been identified by the local health department and contact tracing is underway. In consultation with the department, we have determined it is safe to continue our courses and services at this time.

If the local department of public health determines that there is an exposure risk for anyone in the HCC Community, they will contact impacted individuals in the coming week. Local public health officials will contact only those have been exposed directly to the positive cases.

Exposure is defined by the CDC and CT Department of Public Health as being within six feet of a COVID positive person for more than 15 minutes. If you vigilantly wear your mask and keep a social distance of six feet, whether inside buildings or outdoors, in accordance with the CDC and CT Public Health guidelines, you will have greatly mitigated exposure to COVID.

Please be assured that we are taking every possible safety measure as per the Phase 3 plan for campus repopulation, including enhanced cleaning protocols, social distancing restrictions, distribution and utilization of sanitization products.

We will continue to work diligently to maintain CDC and State of Connecticut safeguards on campus. Anyone experiencing COVID-related symptoms must stay home and seek medical attention.

For more information please visit the college Covid-19 page for CDC and CSCU guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions. Please address your questions or concerns to the HCC COVID Coordinator, Teresa Oravetz at or (203) 332-5014.

Thank you and be well.

  • Wearing a mask:
    1. CSCU policy states that all individuals on campus must wear a mask
    2. cover both your mouth and nose
  • Maintaining social distancing of at least 6' from others
  • Washing hands frequently
  • Sanitizing (wiping down) work stations and surfaces before and after use
  • Being aware of others with whom you come in contact, and limiting in-person
  • communications to less than 15 minutes

    As per System Office HR, "Employees MAY NOT come to work if they are experiencing these symptoms. All employees should contact the COVID Coordinator immediately to report their conditions and seek medical attention. Employees must also follow their campus policy and practice for reporting their absence from work if they are scheduled to work on campus. Those who intentionally report to work with symptoms or who have been in contact with those who have tested positive will be subject to discipline."

    I would also like to clarify that the Phase 3 guidelines are clear about our goal of having only as many people on campus as is absolutely necessary to serve our students. If you are currently teleworking, please do not come to campus unless instructed to do so by your supervisor.

    I am confident that, by remaining diligent in following the personal safety practices, we will have done everything in our power to assure the safety of our college community.

    I appreciate everyone's efforts in making our campus safe as well as making our campus serve as a model for other campuses.

    Please be well. Looking forward to seeing everyone next week.

    Cordially,

    Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
    Chief Executive Officer

    A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Thursday, August 20, 2020

    A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

    Office of the Chief Executive Officer
    Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

    Dear Colleagues:

    It's a great day to be at Housatonic! As we embark on a new academic year, I want to thank everyone who worked throughout the summer to ensure a safe environment for those who are returning to campus.

    As stated in my previous email about the Phase 3 safeguards, our campus has been prepared to support all safety measures according to CDC, State of Connecticut and CSCU guidelines. However, the physical preparation is only a part of what is required to ensure everyone's continued well-being. The rest is up to each and every one of us.

    The single most important factor in preventing Covid-19 from spreading is personal responsibility. Therefore, I urge every member of the college community who must be on campus to remain vigilant in taking all of the safety guidelines seriously by getting into the habit of:

    1. Monitoring your own health* for
      1. fevers
      2. chills with or without shaking
      3. muscle pain
      4. headache
      5. sore throat
      6. loss of taste or smell
        *If you have any of the above symptoms, you must refrain from coming to campus.
    2. Wearing a mask:
      1. CSCU policy states that all individuals on campus must wear a mask
      2. cover both your mouth and nose
    3. Maintaining social distancing of at least 6' from others
    4. Washing hands frequently
    5. Sanitizing (wiping down) work stations and surfaces before and after use
    6. Being aware of others with whom you come in contact, and limiting in-person
    7. communications to less than 15 minutes

    As per System Office HR, "Employees MAY NOT come to work if they are experiencing these symptoms. All employees should contact the COVID Coordinator immediately to report their conditions and seek medical attention. Employees must also follow their campus policy and practice for reporting their absence from work if they are scheduled to work on campus. Those who intentionally report to work with symptoms or who have been in contact with those who have tested positive will be subject to discipline."

    I would also like to clarify that the Phase 3 guidelines are clear about our goal of having only as many people on campus as is absolutely necessary to serve our students. If you are currently teleworking, please do not come to campus unless instructed to do so by your supervisor.

    I am confident that, by remaining diligent in following the personal safety practices, we will have done everything in our power to assure the safety of our college community.

    I appreciate everyone's efforts in making our campus safe as well as making our campus serve as a model for other campuses.

    Please be well. Looking forward to seeing everyone next week.

    Cordially,

    Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
    Chief Executive Officer

    A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Wednesday, August 5 2020

    A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

    Office of the Chief Executive Officer
    Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

    Dear Colleagues and Partners:

    I am writing to inform the Housatonic college community that HCC's Phase 3 re-opening plans were approved and successfully filed with the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

    The Phase 3 re-opening plan covers the fall semester and highlights the institutional plans and protocols to:

    • Gradually re-populate the campus
    • Monitor the health of students, faculty and staff
    • Plan for containing cases that may develop; and
    • Shutdown the campus if it becomes necessary

    Our Phase 3 plan allows the campus to remain open, with limited staffing, while following strict guidelines from the Department of Public Health, State of Connecticut, and other local health authorities.

    As a result, HCC can continue to offer limited on-site appointments for student services, courses with varying delivery methods, and thus allow a very limited number of credit and non-credit students to take classes on campus.

    We will work together to minimize the risk posed by COVID-19.

    • The college will remain closed to the general public, and the total number of entrances and exits on campus are limited.
    • All employees, students, and visitors must sign-in and sign out each time they come to campus.
    • Wearing face masks and social distancing are required of all employees and students while they are on campus.
    • Classrooms have been re-organized and offices that serve students have been updated with Plexiglass barriers to support social distancing.
    It is important to note that our re-opening plan framework was developed and written in collaboration with public health experts, including the Department of Public Health, as part of the Governor's Re-opening plans for the state of Connecticut.

    Additionally, state administrators, CSCU System Office, and the Department of Public Health continue to send regular communications, as needed, on the state's health conditions and they provide updated guidance for re-opening public higher education.

    Please be aware that these plans may change as we receive new guidance from the state. HCC will continue to work closely with local public health authorities to maintain a safe and healthy campus.

    I encourage you to continue asking questions and sharing concerns so that they can be addressed whenever possible, and I will continue to keep you informed.

    Cordially,

    Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
    Chief Executive Officer

    A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Monday, July 27, 2020

    A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

    Office of the Chief Executive Officer
    Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

    Dear Colleagues:

    It's a great day to be at Housatonic! I am looking forward to welcoming some of our colleagues back as we begin to prepare the campus for Phase 3 of the gradual return to on-site operations. With your commitment, dedication, and hard work, we will get our scholars enrolled.

    This is critical since Housatonic is their lifeline to a better future. I am gratified that the HCC community is working as a team to serve these scholars to increase enrollment. I want to express my deepest appreciation to Both Dean McGinnis and Dean Avant and their teams in providing the leadership in this area.

    I also want to thank everyone for their patience as we worked through the process of making the campus safe and compliant to CDC and State guidelines. You will notice several enhancements, including:

    • Plexiglas barriers at service desks
    • social distancing
    • safety signage
    • the availability of hand sanitizers
    • the availability of masks -- which must be worn at all times while on campus.

    Special thanks to Terry Oravetz and the facilities team for leading the charge to get it all done in time. I appreciate all of the work that went into keeping our campus safe and thank everyone who contributed to the effort.

    At this time, I would like to clarify that we are adhering to the System Office guidelines. The campus remains closed to the public, except by appointment.

    Employees who are directed to return to campus will be notified of their on-site schedule by their supervisors. Any initial questions on this topic should be directed to your supervisor.

    Social distancing must be observed in all offices and no more than 50% of the staff may be present in an office at one time.

    To celebrate this return to campus, a variety of snacks will be available of snacks will be available throughout the day in the Atrium of Lafayette Hall. Please stop by to pick up a snack-compliments of the CEO's Office!

    Cordially,

    Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
    Chief Executive Officer

    A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D. - Thursday, July 16, 2020

    A message from CEO, Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

    Office of the Chief Executive Officer
    Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

    Dear Faculty, Staff, Students, and Alumni:

    Greetings! I am humbled to have been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of Housatonic Community College by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. It is a privilege to serve the HCC community, and I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who participated in the search process.

    I am deeply honored to lead this fine institution during an unprecedented time in history. My vision for higher education is focused on access and opportunity, and I believe that HCC is the ideal institution to realize this vision.

    I have already come to appreciate my wonderful interactions with members of the HCC community and I look forward to becoming better acquainted with my new HCC family.

    During my 35 years in higher education leadership and teaching I served in a variety of institutions where I was consistently focused on providing access and opportunity for students to realize their greatest ambitions. Having started my journey from humble beginnings, and working my way through college, I came to appreciate the value and importance of higher education as a life-changing benefit that enhances one's employability, income and standard of living.

    It is my own personal and professional experience that informs my mission and impassions me to work hard and advocate on behalf of others who look to education for a brighter future. Simply, I am unapologetic in my belief that all deserve, and can achieve, a post-secondary credential with the right support systems in place.

    It is clear that HCC is already at the forefront of this important mission-driven work, and I am greatly impressed with the many accomplishments achieved by HCC faculty and staff.

    Housatonic Community College is an institution of firsts; the state's first Achieving the Dream Leader institution, the first Jed Campus partner, and the first Carnegie STEM Excellence Training site, and the only college to house a fully curated art museum, to name a few.

    Add to that the distinction of being a twice-named Aspen Top 150 community college, a Bellwether program finalist in multiple years, and a Family Economic Security Program host, and it becomes clear why I am excited to be a part of this dedicated and vibrant community.

    Indeed, we have much of which to be proud!

    There is no doubt that we will be facing some significant challenges ahead, in the face of an ongoing pandemic and a national refocus on the demand for social justice and equity. We are also in the midst of a redesign of our higher education system, which requires us to focus on the fundamental reason why we do this critical work in higher education--to transform lives and to serve as partners in advancing the trajectory of our scholars.

    I am optimistic and encouraged that we will navigate our challenges together as we continue to remain at the forefront of higher education as a mission-driven institution of firsts in our state.

    I look forward to learning more about each of you and the rich history, culture, programs and initiatives that make up our illustrious Housatonic Community College.

    Again, I appreciate the opportunity to serve.

    Cordially,

    Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
    Chief Executive Officer

    HCC Updates

    March 23, 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

    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.

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