Frequently Asked Questions about CMC’s response to the coronavirus outbreak

March 11, 2020

  1. What is the college doing in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak?

Colorado Mountain College is actively preparing for the possibility of a widespread COVID-19 outbreak in our communities or on campus. CMC leaders are in close communication with local health departments and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and the college-wide emergency response team is convening every two days throughout this situation. CMC has designated a COVID19 webpage on the college web site to provide updates, information and guidelines.

  1. Can a campus close operations independent of an official college-wide closure?

No. Campus closures will need to be coordinated with Central Services. However, the president may, based on available information, choose to close one or several campuses without closing the entire college. Campus closures will only occur if the threat of infection is elevated above levels prevalent in the region. CMC will coordinate such decisions with other public agencies, including the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, local hospitals, school districts and county offices of health and public safety.

  1. May a faculty member elect to end face-to-face class sessions?

Contractually, faculty must request modifications to their course locations and delivery options, and a similar request must be made should a faculty member wish to move their course online/WebEx. If you are a faculty member and have any questions about this, please contact your supervisor or the vice president of Academic Affairs.

  1. When and how should CMC employees and students expect to receive communications about COVID-19?

CMC will post information about COVID-19 and its impact on college operations on the college’s web site: coloradomtn.edu/covid19. In addition, the college will provide information via Basecamp, social media and/or campus flyers. Instructions or information specific to employees or students may be posted on Basecamp or sent out by email. Please continue to monitor your email, Basecamp and the CMC web site through the duration of this situation. Emergency notifications will go out via CMC Alert emergency notifications.

  1. What guidance do you have from Human Resources for employees regarding isolation and leave?

CMC is working to ensure that critical CMC facilities and functions remain operational before, during and after an emergency closure, without jeopardizing the safety of employees. A decision to close should not be viewed merely as a day off.

Employees will be advised of an early release, late report or no report conditions through the CMC Alert emergency notification system, Basecamp and/or email. Employees designated as “critical personnel” will be expected to work even if the college closes.

Mandatory isolation due to illness would be considered as sick leave (pending notifications from the governor’s office regarding mandatory paid leave).

Under the following circumstances employees will record their time according to the college’s standard leave usage procedures and will use their available leave:

  • individuals with confirmed COVID-19
  • individuals exhibiting symptoms of and under investigation for COVID-19
  • for household members, partners and caregivers in a non-healthcare setting of individuals as identified above.
  1. If the COVID-19 outbreak continues, will the college close?

CMC is preparing for responses to various scenarios; our response would depend on the severity of a local outbreak and guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and/or the Office of the Governor. These responses might include transitioning to online instruction, issuing incomplete grades (that could be completed in the next term), modifying the semester length where possible, encouraging employees to work from home, and, if necessary, temporary closure of one or more campuses.

  1. What additional measures will be taken by custodial staff for prevention of the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19?

Campus facility managers have been instructed to increase custodial services with an emphasis on cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces in accordance with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommendations. Should a case of COVID-19 be confirmed on campus or at any CMC site, the college would follow specific public health guidelines for cleaning all potentially contaminated areas.

  1. I’m hosting an event on campus. Should I cancel it?

You may want to consider cancelling or postponing the event. Because the situation is evolving quickly you should plan for possible campus closure or a directive to implement “social distancing” practices. If there are widespread confirmed COVID-19 cases in our community or a confirmed case on campus, it is very likely that, at minimum, all special events would be temporarily cancelled.

  1. Will CMC cancel classes?

Temporary class cancellations are possible, as is a shift to online instruction and/or issuing incomplete grades that can be completed the next term. Field trips, course activities, internships and clinical components to courses may need to be modified or cancelled.

  1. I have a study abroad trip planned. Will it be cancelled?

Due to the rapidly evolving situation around the globe, uncertainties about medical care in other countries and the possibility of an extended unplanned quarantine situation for returning travelers, it is likely that study abroad trips will be cancelled. CMC is currently assessing trips that depart within the next eight weeks. The Himalayan India course schedule to depart in early May has been cancelled.

  1. How will I know if an on-campus event I am planning to attend is cancelled?

Information about cancelled events, limited access to facilities or campus closures will be communicated through Basecamp announcements, social media, local news media and/or the CMC web site at coloradomtn.edu/covid19. For details on the status of specific events, you may want to contact directly the host CMC campus.

  1. Should I cancel my on-campus conference, event or meeting that will bring visitors from outside of Colorado?

You may want to consider cancelling or postponing large events expected to bring people from out of state. Many organizations are already restricting travel, and it is difficult to predict how the COVID-19 situation will evolve locally. The earlier you cancel or make alternative arrangements for the event, the easier it will be for travelers to cancel their plans.

  1. If I feel I’m being treated unfairly, discriminated against or harassed based on my race or ethnicity, what should I do?

The fear of coronavirus has resulted in incidents of bias and harassment against Chinese nationals, Chinese Americans and people of Asian heritage in many places. Some members of our communities may be dealing with stigma. Please uphold our commitment to inclusivity and antiracism. See CMC’s Notice of Nondiscrimination. The Centers for Disease Control provides information on stigma related to this outbreak.