As promised, the COVID-19 response team would like to provide an update on our meetings and discussions today following Governor Brown’s directives this morning and last night.
We know that the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) throughout Oregon is of concern for our students, staff and community. We remain committed to providing a safe and healthy educational environment, but also recognize the way we provide services needs to shift for a time in response to recommendations from the governor, Oregon Health Authority, public health officials, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help slow the rate of exposure and potential illness.
What We Are Doing Now
- Effective immediately, we will begin abiding by Governor Brown’s ban on large public gatherings and events with more than 250 people. All college-associated gatherings and group activities that do not allow for individuals to maintain a distance of three feet or more from one another (referred to as social distancing) should also be cancelled for the next four weeks. We also recommend converting all meetings of 20 or more people to teleconferences or Zoom meetings.
- Oregon community colleges will cancel audience admission at collegiate athletic events and activities, except for student participants, essential personnel and credentialed media.
- All non-essential travel, including in- and out-of-state, should also be cancelled.
Per Governor Brown’s directives, these changes are effective immediately, and will remain in place through at least April 8.
The state does not recommend that Oregon’s colleges close at this time, and therefore MHCC will stay open and operational.
We will be working to:
- Shift as many classes as possible to become remote access via an online platform.
- Encouraging telecommuting/working remotely for faculty and staff, when possible.
We are in the process of determining exactly how these additional measures will be implemented, and will provide updates tomorrow (Friday) following further discussions with the HECC. We recognize the significant challenges associated with implementing these remote learning and working options, especially given the diverse needs of our campus community. Please know that we are making decisions with these challenges in mind, and we understand that in some cases remote or online is not an option in which case we will work on alternate social distancing solutions.
These changes and challenges require difficult and complex decisions and we want to be sure we are taking the time needed in order to make them thoughtfully, and then implement them with the care and diligence such decisions require. We thank you in advance for your patience as we work to finalize the plan this week.
Again, all of these operational changes are effective immediately and will remain in place through at least April 8. We will continue to reevaluate the situation based on recommendations from state and local health authorities, the CDC and the HECC, and make updates as appropriate.
Thank you for your support, grace and sharing the responsibility for the health of our community.