Content Updated: October 15, 2020
Good day, SCC. Many of you are closely watching the pandemic and the impact it is having across the globe, our country, our state, and our community. Many of you know that the Stanly County School system began a two-week period of completely remote learning. Stanly Community College has continued to be somewhat fortunate in how the virus has impacted our students, faculty, and staff. While we have had some isolated cases, we have been able to avoid clustered outbreaks. I want to remind you that we are watching the situation closely and have contingency plans, which we will implement, if circumstances merit action. Given the seemingly growing number of cases in Stanly County at the moment, we are being more cautious with faculty/staff who need to be on campus. We are having personnel who work in close proximity to others rotate schedules. This is in an effort to continue to mitigate the impact the virus will have on us. I would like to state that we do not have plans to report the number of cases at SCC. There are a number of reasons for this. I would, however, like to reassure you that you will be notified if someone close to you is affected.
As I have indicated in prior messages, we will continue to operate in this manner for the foreseeable future. Our spring semester will mirror the current environment. While I want to see more people on campus, and see life return to normal, we will have to continue to be prudent. And we will fervently try to keep our employees and our students safe.
The pandemic has had an impact on each of us and each of our students. Each of us is dealing with the effects in varying degrees.
Our students continue to struggle in ways that we may not even recognize. I know it’s a difficult situation for all of us. But continue to remember that our students need us. More now than ever.
I want to remind everyone that we have an Employee Guide entitled Return to Campus, or R2C, that provides information on how we are handling the pandemic. Additionally, the COVID website is our repository to information related to the pandemic. A coronavirus self-checker tool is available on the webpage and helps guide what we should do in various situations related to COVID. This tool is available for anyone, but we want to ensure that our employees and students know about the tool. As a reminder, masks are required on campus and all SCC locations.
We will get through this, SCC. Stay strong, stay safe, and keep pressing forward.
John D. Enamait, Ph.D.
Stanly Community College
Content updated: September 22, 2020
Good day, Stanly Community College (SCC). This message contains important information regarding SCC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, SCC developed an Employee Guide entitled Return to Campus, or R2C, in response to the pandemic. Stated within the R2C guide, “SCC anchors the decision-making for public health and safety in recommendations from the federal government including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state government including the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Stanly County Health Department. If at any time the State of North Carolina reverts from a relaxed to a more restrictive phase or returns to stay-at-home orders, then SCC will adjust accordingly.”
The guidance set forth for institutions of higher learning has been updated. This updated guidance, taken directly from the NC Department of Health and Human Services Interim Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education, states:
There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering can help reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially because people may be infected with the virus and not know it. It is required that all students, faculty and staff at institutions of higher education wear a cloth face covering when they may be near (less than 6 feet from) other people, unless they have a medical or behavioral health contraindication.
We made a commitment to you, our faculty and staff, and our students that we would follow CDC guidelines and the guidance provided by the NC Department of Health and Human Services. As such, effective immediately, masks are now required on SCC campuses and centers. There are some important factors to remember, however.
- Masks are required when you are unable to socially distance appropriately. This means that masks are not required if you are able to be more than six feet away from other people. If you walk across campus and are alone, a mask is not required (although you should have one with you in case you come across other people and are unable to socially distance). Further, if you have a class and you and students are able to socially distance, masks are not required in the classroom. Remember, six feet is the number set forth in the guidance.
- Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 147 states: “WHEREAS, some people have medical or behavioral health issues, disabilities, or other reasons that mean they should be excepted from wearing a face covering, and this Executive Order puts North Carolinians on the honor system to identify if they are within one of the exceptions to face covering requirements and should not wear a mask”
An important clarification here is that the assumption is that if someone is not wearing a mask, they are not wearing a mask because they fall into an exemption category.
An additional update regarding COVID-19 concerns the quarantine guidelines set forth by the CDC. As such we will soon be posting a Web-based tool that will allow our employees and students to interactively answer questions regarding potential COVID-19 contact or infection and receive information on how they should respond. As soon as the tool is available, we will send out notification.
Again, I hope all of you are safe and well.
As I conclude, I’d like to leave you with a quote from Henry Ford: “When everything seems to be against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.“
John D. Enamait, Ph.D.
Stanly Community College