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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates

Covid-19 Resources


Updates

On Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, several College of The Albemarle (COA) employees will return to campus. In an effort to keep everyone safe and informed, please see below some helpful information to be aware of.

Important Links for Employees:

COA Guide for Returning Employees

Additional Covid-19 Resources: Cleaning Supplies and Incident Reporting

Campus Entrance Points:

All campus locations are currently using a single point of entry, and will continue to do so until the Covid-19 situation improves.

Campus Building Entrance/Exit
COA – Elizabeth City AE Primary entrance will be the main entrance located at the front of the building
COA – Elizabeth City A Primary entrance will be through the front entrance of building AE
COA – Elizabeth City Library Primary entrance will be the main entrance to the Library
COA – Elizabeth City C Primary entrance will be the entrance at the rear of the building; Early College will use the front entrance for entering and exiting
COA – Elizabeth City FC Primary entrance will be the main entrance located at the front of the building
COA – Elizabeth City Owen Center Primary entrance will at the rear of the building main entrance — do not use the YMCA entrance
COA – Elizabeth City Performing Arts Center Primary entrance will be the side entrance by the water fountain unless there is an event; Event entrance will be the main entrance

COA – Currituck Main entrance
COA – Dare,
132 Russell Twiford Rd
Primary entrance to each building
COA – Dare,
205 Highway 64 S.
Professional Arts Building Primary entrance at the front of the building
COA – Edenton-Chowan Primary entrance at each building

Students received an email last week and will have another email go out to them on Monday to keep them informed as we approach Aug. 17. Please continue to check your email.

The college will return to regular administrative office hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Continue to work with your supervisor on your current work/telework schedule.

A Message from President Jack Bagwell

Several things have happened in the past week that has caused us to reevaluate our Re-entry Plan. As you know, we recently had a case of Covid-19 among our COA family. We are thankful the employee is doing well and there has been no additional spread. Also, Governor Cooper has paused the state in Phase 2 for the next several weeks. As such, we are going to pause our current re-entry plans. We are going to stay in our current phase for a bit longer as we continue to evaluate the latest information coming our way. Based on individual duties and responsibilities, we are going to maintain our current level of telework instead of moving to more on-campus work. Ella Fields-Bunch will be sending out an updated version of the COA Re-Entry Plan the first of next week.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind going forward.

Dr. Carter and our academic folks have worked on a series of plans as to what instruction looks like in the fall. We know there is going to be a combination of online and face-to-face instruction (where needed), but the plans that are being developed will need to be flexible because as we have seen, things change quickly in regard to Covid-19.

We need to wear masks or face coverings at all times unless you are alone in your office. Even though social distancing is being practiced, there are still opportunities for spread when folks are coming in contact with one another, even fleetingly. As such, faculty please make sure your students who are on campus are wearing their face coverings too. We all need to police this. I appreciate your help.

In talking to colleagues with our public school systems and the University of North Carolina system, neither of these systems appear to be especially bullish on a full return of face-to-face courses. Both are expected to make announcements in the coming days so we shall see how all of this plays out. With our large dual enrollment population, we are especially tied to the plans of our public-school partners.

Despite the fact we are continuing to telework, we need to have an all hands on deck approach with regards to enrollment and recruitment activities. We are still tracking 13 percent behind where we were this time last year. We have been steadily making up some ground, but we still have a long way to go. We keep hearing that students are waiting to see what school will look like next semester before registering. I understand that, but we need to try to find ways to help assuage their concerns. If we don’t, this year’s Covid pain will be magnified by next year’s budget pain. As you might know, our enrollment for the coming year will determine our state budget for next year.

Speaking of budgets. for a while, it looked like we might not be fully funded in this budget year for our FTE growth from last year. However, the legislature has sent a bill to the Governor’s desk that would provide $41.5 million to fund the FTE growth in the NCCCS. This is great news, but since the money is coming from Federal CARES Act monies, there are some limitations that we will need to work around. I am thankful that the legislature found a way to make this happen. The bill is on the Governor’s desk and indications are that he will sign it.

We continue to be in challenging times. Thank you for your flexibility and cooperation as we navigate the swirling waters of Covid-19.

I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

Thank you for all you do!

A Message from President Jack Bagwell

I am writing to you all to inform you of our first known Covid-19 positive test result on campus. We knew this was a matter of time, but it makes it no less intimidating to confront.

In short, the employee self-identified as having been in close contact with a suspected positive COVID-19 person. This employee notified their supervisor and HR, and began isolating at home. We immediately closed off the employee’s office area for 24 hours and a deep cleaning of the space was completed after the 24 hours had passed.

Ultimately, the employee’s close contact tested positive, and subsequently so did the employee. We have gathered the names of individuals who had close contact with the individual. Close contact that would apply in this case is defined as:

Being in proximity to a Covid-19 positive individual for a period of time longer than 10 minutes, less than 6 feet away, and without using recommended infection control precautions/face coverings.

HR has communicated with the individuals who may have been impacted and will be requiring those employees to follow the protocols outlined in the “Covid-19 Guidance for Supervisors and Employees” document. If you have not heard from HR, you are not at high risk of exposure from this situation. However, this does underscore our commitment to face coverings while at work. Anyone you are interacting with should be treated as potentially positive. I know face coverings are uncomfortable for long periods of time, but they are the best defense we have. Accordingly, unless you have mitigating circumstances you can document through your healthcare provider, please continue to wear your face masks. If you are in need of a face mask, please contact HR (or Security). The college has purchased a number of face masks that are available for distribution.

We are also seeing that more municipalities and counties are requiring face coverings. Governor Cooper has also indicated that he is also leaning toward making them mandatory in North Carolina. As you might have heard, Dare County is now requiring face coverings in certain settings.

This is also a good time to remind you that we should continue to use social distancing, Zoom or Google meetings, and encourage students to make appointments online. We are seeing upticks in the numbers of individuals in the community infected so we need to continue our diligence and not let down our guards.

According to the reentry plan we distributed a few weeks ago, we should be moving into the next phase soon, which would mean more folks on campus for longer periods of time. We will continue to monitor our situation and decide whether we move forward in the coming days. That said, we still have a lot of work to do to make sure we maintain our enrollment and appropriately serve all the students that will need us in the fall. As we continue to determine what a healthy and safe balance looks like, we appreciate your cooperation.

This is also a reminder to continue to be diligent outside of the confines of work. We know that we still have a long road to travel in this fight against Covid-19.

We understand that you may have questions and concerns, and we will update you as we move forward. We reiterate our commitment to the health and safety of our workforce. This is new territory for all of us, and we welcome your feedback and suggestions as we move forward together.

Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time. Should you have any questions, please see your supervisor or Human Resources.

Thank you for the work you continue to do on behalf of our students during this trying time.

Summer Schedule

Beginning Monday, May 18, College of The Albemarle (COA) will operate under a modified summer schedule. The change in operating hours takes into account the necessary parameters as set forth by the Governor’s office and recommendations from the North Carolina Community College System, to maintain the health and safety of our students and employees as we continue to contend with the Covid-19 pandemic. The college will operate under the following schedule at all campus locations:

Monday – Thursday: College facilities will be open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. There may be areas where some staff members continue to work remotely, but they will be available by phone, email and appointment.
 
Fridays: College will be closed.

All campus locations will continue maintaining a single point of entry into the buildings:

  • COA – Currituck: Front entrance of building
  • COA – Dare: Russell Twiford building – main entrance
  • COA – Edenton-Chowan: Building 3
  • COA – Elizabeth City: AE building – front entrance

Cashier’s Hours: Monday through Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Library/Computer Lab Hours: Monday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Virtual office hours will still be available.

Academic Support Center Hours:

Learn How to Schedule Tutoring

Testing Center
Download Testing Center Hours

Revised Business Hours

COA remains open while faculty and staff continue to operate in a remote learning and work environment. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all COA campus locations are revising the hours that are open to the public beginning this Friday, April 17. Please see specific times below.

COA’s new business hours will be Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The revised hours will not affect the critical needs programs that continue to operate in a face-to-face setting. Students in these programs who have questions should contact their instructor. This schedule will remain in effect until an announcement is made to return to regular business hours or a new executive order from the Governor’s office is enacted that allows for a change in the current schedule.

College administration has met virtually on a daily basis to discuss the most recent updates made available in regard to the novel coronavirus on a local, state and national level. While student resources remain available for those who need to utilize them on campus, the amount of physical traffic on campus has slowed considerably since the college moved to online instruction on March 23. By moving to a schedule of three days per week, the college can better utilize its personnel to make critical resources available to students when they most need it.

Changes to business hours are listed below and reflect all campus locations:

COA will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. While the college’s physical facilities will be closed on Monday and Friday each week, faculty and staff members will be working remotely and are available via phone, email, virtual meetings and appointments (as needed).

Cashier’s Office in Dare and Elizabeth City will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students may also pay tuition online through their myService accounts. Read additional information about payments.

Library and Academic Support Center will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Online tutoring is available through myCourses. Additional information regarding resources can be found by visiting our Academic Support Center web page. You may also contact the director at 252-335-0821 ext. 2244 or robin_robertson03@albemarle.edu.

Testing Center will be open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Revised testing schedules have been emailed to all students. For questions regarding testing, please contact 252-335-0821 ext. 2253. If you need to take a placement test, send an email to advising@albemarle.edu before arriving on campus.

Student Success and Enrollment Management: Online/virtual support is encouraged and available Monday through Friday by accessing the following:

  • Academic concerns: Please reach out to your instructor or advisor
  • Admissions: admissions@albemarle.edu
  • Advising and registration: advising@albemarle.edu
  • Career and College Promise: derek_meredith@albemarle.edu or contact your high school COA Liaison
  • Financial aid: coafainfo@albemarle.edu
  • Personal/financial concerns: coacares@albemarle.edu
  • Special Populations/Accessibility Services: brandi_zieglar92@albemarle.edu
  • Student Life and Leadership: Log into myCourses and visit “Student Life”
  • Transcripts/verifications and Veterans: registrar@albemarle.edu

You may also call any campus site to speak to college staff.

Within the facilities at each of the college locations, staff will continue to implement social distancing measures for students who access resources on campus. Capacity will be limited based on the Governor’s Executive Order 121 and the space needed to maintain adequate social distancing. COA staff also continually cleans the buildings and high traffic areas frequently, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Public Wifi at COA

Campus Location Wifi Setting
COA – Elizabeth City Foreman Center parking lot choose “COA-Public”
COA – Currituck parking lot in front of the building choose “COA Public”
COA – Dare Russell Twiford parking lot, near the main entrance choose “COA Public”
COA – Edenton-Chowan parking lot in front of the Culinary Arts building choose “COA Public”

Summer and Fall Registration

Students, remember that COA faculty and staff are here to help you as we all navigate through these unprecedented times. While we anticipate continuing courses online until the college receives guidance to make a change, we sincerely hope that we will have the ability to welcome you back on campus in the near future. Summer registration is underway and fall e-registration will open very soon. Please do not hesitate to reach out to faculty and staff for any questions or concerns you may have, whether they are related to your courses or you personally. You are part of the COA family and your health, well-being and success is vital to all the faculty and staff at the college.

Online Instruction Begins on March 23

Beginning Monday, March 23, COA classes will resume through online course delivery methods only. In the following recommendations outlined by the North Carolina Community College System on March 18, face-to-face instruction of classes that cannot be delivered online are considered suspended until further notice. To accommodate the critical need for public safety and public health services in response to the Covid-19 crisis, the following exceptions are allowed:

  • Basic Law Enforcement Training
  • Fire Training
  • Emergency Medical and Rescue Training
  • Nursing (RN, LPN, CNA)
  • Other training specifically requested by public safety and public health response agencies, including the military

This also includes healthcare clinicals related to the above (either at a clinical site, if permitted by the site, or through simulation).

If face-to-face instruction is offered, the following conditions will be met:

  • Students and faculty follow appropriate social distancing and safety measures
  • Students are willing to participate and not penalized if they opt to delay instruction
  • Students are provided appropriate personal protective equipment, if applicable
  • Students in the programs listed above have been contacted regarding these recommendations

A Message from Dr. Jack Bagwell, COA President

Resources at Campus Locations

While providing online course instruction methods will aid in mitigating the spread of Covid-19, the college is aware that there may be students who lack adequate internet services and/or computer equipment. In an effort to continue to provide student services such as computer labs and libraries, designated lab space at each campus location will remain open for use. Within each area, appropriate social distancing will be applied as well as frequent sanitizing of space and equipment in accordance to the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Capacity will be limited based on the number of people in each lab to maintain social distancing (6 feet of space between each person).

The revised hours for each lab location can be found by visiting Computer Labs web page.

Hours have been revised in the testing center to accommodate testing needs for COA students only. See our revised testing center hours.

If you have a request for a test proctor, please fill out the Google form.

Online tutoring services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week through Tutor.com. To access this resource, use the link provided in each of your myCourses courses.

For questions regarding the Academic Support resources, contact Robin Robertson at robin_robertson03@albemarle.edu.

Existing online library services continue and in an effort to support students’ library and research needs, virtual library office hours have been made available using Blackboard Collaborate. This information can be found by visiting Blackboard.

For questions regarding Library services, contact Rodney Wooten at rodney_wooten91@albemarle.edu.

Access at Campus Locations

With the majority of course delivery online, there will be limited access to buildings at each campus location. To ensure the safety of COA students, faculty and staff, there will be a central access point of entry at each campus location. Please enter through the following buildings at each location:

  • COA – Currituck: Front entrance of building
  • COA – Dare: Russell Twiford Building – Main entrance
  • COA – Edenton-Chowan: Building 3
  • COA – Elizabeth City: AE Building – Front entrance

While faculty and staff at each location will continue to work under normal operating hours, there will be limited staff on each campus. Students are encouraged to contact the faculty or staff member they need to speak with by email and/or phone.

Advising

Students should contact their advisors via email to make arrangements for advising sessions that can be completed by phone or alternate electronic means (virtual meeting options such as Zoom or Google Meets). In addition to advising, a student “help line” will be available in the coming days. More information on this will follow.

Visit our web page for a list of advising staff.

Additional Information

COA students, faculty and staff should check their COA email accounts regularly for updates regarding the college’s response to Covid-19. COA administration will continue to actively monitor recommendations provided by the CDC, as well as guidance provided by the state health department, local health departments and the North Carolina Community College System. Any changes or updates will also be posted on COA’s Facebook page and sent through the Regroup Emergency Notification system as needed.

For any student questions or concerns, please email coacares@albemarle.edu. COA staff members are here to support you.

We realize the changes that we are putting in place will be challenging for everyone. Please know that every faculty and staff member at COA is working to make this as smooth a transition as possible for you. Your safety and success are our top priorities. Please reach out to your faculty member as soon as you experience any difficulties. We are going to be there for you. Help us to help you!

Dr. Jack Bagwell
President

In response to the Governor’s recent actions to close all North Carolina K-12 public schools, COA has moved its spring break to Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 22. As previously communicated, COA plans to move forward with an online instruction model for many of its curriculum courses beginning Monday, March 23. For specific courses that require hands-on learning components, social distancing policies will be implemented.

The decision to accelerate the college’s spring break will give the entire COA community the opportunity to adjust to the coming changes in course delivery. It will also allow the college to work with its various partners to ensure effective communication in this time of numerous changes.

Faculty members: Please contact your Deans for specific questions or concerns.

Staff members: As with a regular spring break schedule, we ask that you report as you would for normal hours. However, we also ask that supervisors who have staff members with childcare challenges to be flexible and work with staff who cannot be on campus.

As this situation is constantly evolving and changing, please be assured that the college will provide additional updates throughout the week. Please continue to monitor your COA email, the COA Facebook page or this web page for further updates.


A Message from Dr. Jack Bagwell, COA President

Dr. Jack Bagwell