Corona Virus (COVID-19)Things you need to know
page updated 8/11/20
Fall Semester 2020 Protocols & Guidance
We are excited to begin the Fall 2020 Semester August 17!
As we prepare for the new semester, we want the WPCC community to know we are working to ensure everyone’s health and safety while upholding our mission to provide accessible, high-quality education for our students. The vast majority of classes this semester will be held online to reduce the number of individuals on campus. However, some classes need to be held in person and some positions require employees to be on campus. To that end, we strive to:
- Provide leadership as we adapt to the evolving educational, social, and economic needs of our community
- Listen to our students, faculty, staff, stakeholders, and partners to support operational decisions during COVID-19
- Uphold our core values of innovation, service, success, quality, diversity, and excellence
- Clearly communicate our plans for continuing to serve students during COVID-19
The following guidelines are established to allow WPCC to safely serve students on campus following guidance from the governor, public health officials, and the North Carolina Community College System.
- Protect the health and safety of the college’s students, faculty, staff, and visitors
- Advise employees and students of protocols for being on campus
- Establish a response procedure for incidents of direct and indirect contact with COVID-19
Protocols for Being on Campus
All students, faculty, staff, and visitors share in the responsibility to maintain a safe environment at WPCC. As directed by the NC Department of Health and Human Services everyone on campus is required to abide by the three “Ws”
- All students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be required to wear a cloth, disposable mask, or facial shield where social distancing is not possible as well as in any meeting or class with ten or more individuals and in Hildebrand Hall when meeting with Student Services.
- All students, faculty, staff, and visitors should provide their own masks, but the College will have a limited supply of cloth and disposable masks available as back up. Individuals needing a mask may acquire one at wellness screening checkpoints.
- Individuals with health conditions that prohibit the wearing of a mask, and where no other form of personal protective face covering or equipment is suitable based on their health condition, should contact:
- Human Resources at (828) 448-3126 if the individual is faculty, staff, or visitor.
- Student Services at (828) 448-6046 if the individual is a student.
- Main Campus, Cosmetology Center, Foothills Higher Education Center, and Richardson Complex will be open with the goal of maintaining at least six feet of space between persons present.
- Common areas, such as the cafeteria and student lounges, will be closed.
- The number of building entrances will be reduced while maintaining code compliance. Signs will indicate entrances to be used after passing through the health screening.
- Classrooms, to the extent feasible, will be arranged to allow for social distancing.
- Individuals are encouraged to use stairs rather than elevators, especially when descending, to reserve elevator capacity for disabled persons.
- Plexiglass shields will be placed in reception areas.
- Everyone should avoid close contact with one another – no handshakes or hugs.
- Signage throughout campus will remind students, faculty, staff, and visitors to wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
- Housekeeping will be cleaning high touch areas (door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, countertops, bathrooms) daily.
- Housekeeping will be cleaning chairs and desks in between classes when feasible.
- Cleaning supplies will be available as needed/requested. Students may be asked to assist with wiping down desks and work stations before and after use based on classroom activities.
All students (including Burke Middle College and Career & College Promise), faculty, staff, and visitors must enter through a wellness screening checkpoint every day before going to their classroom or office. The exception will be positions reporting to work before the checkpoints open. Those positions may begin their work as scheduled but must report to the checkpoint when it opens. On main campus, checkpoints will be available in the lobby of Jim Burnett Hall and the student lounge in Carr Hall beginning at 7:30 a.m. At the Cosmetology Center the Program Coordinator will facilitate the checkpoint. At FHEC the checkpoint will be the reception area (note: the wellness screening does not apply to individuals conducting business with tenants other than the college). At the Richardson Complex the checkpoint will be at the reception area.
- After passing through the wellness screening individuals will receive a wrist band for the day which must be worn at all times on campus. The wrist band indicates that the individual is cleared to be on campus for the day and does not need to go through the check point again if leaving and returning to campus. Different colored wrist bands will be issued every day.
- At the wellness screening temperatures will be taken. Anyone exhibiting a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be asked to leave campus.
- Anyone who feels sick should stay home.
- Supervisors should check for wrist bands and send any employees without wrist bands to the wellness screening checkpoint.
- Faculty should send any students without wrist bands to the wellness screening checkpoint.
Violation of protocols may result in appropriate disciplinary actions in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and/or terms of employment with WPCC.
Procedures for Incidents of Direct or Indirect Contact with COVID-19
As per the Burke County Health Department close contact with COVID-19 is defined as:
Less than 6 feet away from someone COVID-19 positive for more than 10 minutes without a face covering.
- Students must notify Susan Williams, Dean of Student Services (firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 448-6046) immediately to report COVID-19 suspected or confirmed diagnosis.
- Students should not communicate COVID-19 suspected or confirmed diagnosis to other students or employees.
- Student Services will review the information provided, as well as guidance provided from the Burke County Health Department, and advise the individual as to the action to be taken.
- If the student is on campus when the initial contact is made to Student Services, and if it is determined that the student should leave campus, and if the student does not have transportation to leave immediately, the student will be directed to a waiting area at Phifer Hall Room 14.
- The Dean of Student Services will follow up with faculty regarding the status of the student as well as other exposed students.
- The Dean of Student Services will contact appropriate individuals for class area disinfecting.
- The Director of Human Resources will follow up with other exposed faculty and alert supervisors of any quarantine requirements.
- In order to comply with HIPAA and FERPA no employee shall discuss any medical information with another employee or student.
The college recommends that everyone assess their health daily to play an active role in protecting the health and safety of the WPCC community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer guidance on what to do if sick. Learn More.
Protocols and Guidance are subject to change as the pandemic evolves.
Campus Wi-Fi for Students
Looking for a place to access wi-fi to complete your assignments? You are welcome to use the WPCC wi-fi in your vehicle at the following campus locations:
- Handicapped parking spaces in front of Phifer Hall
- Parking spaces nearest the front entrance of Carr Hall
- 15-minute parking lot on the left just past the loading dock
- Student pick-up/drop-off area beside the flagpole
- Handicapped parking spaces behind Patton Hall
A campus map is available here.
With the current events causing all of us more than enough stress, WPCC is working to provide some relief, at least with issues concerning math and English. We are offering online e-tutoring sessions weekdays. More information, including days/times and computer/device requirements to access tutoring is available at the link below:
If you have a documented medical, learning, physical, or other type of disability, contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at any time to request accommodations if you have problems accessing classes or any of WPCC’s services.
- Please be aware that some accommodations may take several days or more to coordinate.
- For more information or to make accommodation requests, contact Karla Lanier, Coordinator of Disability Services at (828) 448-3153 (e-mail: email@example.com) or Deanna Keller, Disability Services Resource Specialist at (828) 448-3154 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you have technology issues or concerns (such as equipment, internet service, Moodle access, etc.) please share your needs on the form below so that we may attempt to offer assistance.
Internet Access Possibilities
Looking for internet access? Software tools for assignments and projects? Here are links to resources that may be helpful to you.
- NC Broadband – COVID-19 internet service offerings in North Carolina
- Adobe Creative Cloud – Free temporary at-home access for students who log into Creative Cloud on campus
- AT&T – Internet access for qualifying limited-income households for $10/month
- Charter Communications – Free broadband internet for new customers in households with college students for 60 days
- Comcast Internet Essentials – Free internet service for new customers and free speed upgrade for current customers
- EveryoneOn – Search for low-cost internet service and computers by zip code
The Library/Academic Success Center (ASC) is open on a limited basis, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., to currently enrolled students only. Only ten students allowed in at a time. The Library/ASC is currently closed to the public.
Overdue fines accrued during the College’s closure (March 20 – May 1) are waived. Fines accrued before or after those dates can be paid at the Business Office – Moore Hall.
The Senator Sam Ervin Museum is closed until further notice. You can visit the museum’s website for more information.
NCLive Online Chat
Access to NCLive is available to you off-campus. NC LIVE provides electronic access to digital content covering careers, business, investing, health, history, and genealogy.
In the evenings, live chat sessions are available from NCLIVE, the cooperative that ties together 205 libraries across North Carolina and shares a variety of online databases and resources useful for classes and research. If you need assistance with a project or research, we encourage you to use.
IMPORTANT: Chat is only available for the NCLive resources.
Here is where you can find the chat when it is available:
Ask A Librarian
The WPCC Library staff provides help to you through our Ask A Librarian service. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you post your question and the staff will respond in at least 24 hours.
Ask-A-Librarian is a great way to get help with research and reference questions.
Here is where you will find the page with information and the form where you submit your questions.
You don’t have to be on campus to access databases that can help with projects and research. NCLive, Academic OneFile, Gale Virtual Reference, Literary Reference Center, and Opposing Viewpoints are all available via an online login.
Allied Health Databases
Health Sciences students can access various allied health databases off-campus.
Find Aid Online
COVID-19 is putting strains on everyone socially and economically. Here are links to resources that you may find useful if you have needs.
HEERF CARES Act Grants
WPCC has posted information about student grants through this federal program.
Burke County COVID-19 Updates
Get the latest information and updates concerning COVID-19 in Burke County on their COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates page.
Questions and Comments
We are striving to provide the most current information about the Corona Virus and WPCC‘s response to it, but you may have a question or comment that has not been addressed. Please submit your thoughts below and someone will be directly in contact with you.
Precautions You Should Take
The following precautions are a part of good health practices:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Do not reuse a tissue after you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose.
- Clean and disinfect any surfaces that are frequently touched.
- It is also a good practice to start being more aware of the number of times a day your hands touch an object or hard surface and then touch your face without being washed. Limiting the exposure of your nose, mouth and eyes to unwashed hands can help protect from the spread of all germs and illnesses.
- Have a plan in case you need to miss work or other responsibilities due to personal illness or to care for a sick family member.
- Pregnant women and those who have children should review the CDC recommendations on COVID 19.
Illness & Prevention Strategies
WPCC recommends the following practices to help prevent or control the spread of illness:
- Anyone demonstrating cold or flu-like symptoms should use sick leave and stay home until the symptoms have not been present for at least 48 hours.
- Use good hygiene practices as outlined below to keep from spreading any infectious diseases.
- High-risk individuals or those who are in regular contact with high risk individuals should take extra precautions to not spread any infectious diseases.
You can stay up on the latest confirmed information about COVID-19 using the following links to online resources: