Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

April 2, 2020 Washtenaw Community College

Updated: April 2, 2020 10:15 a.m.

Washtenaw Community College created this webpage to provide important information and updates to help you stay healthy.

As the spread of COVID-19 continues, Washtenaw Community College’s top priority is the health and safety of its students, faculty, staff and surrounding communities. Because this is a rapidly changing situation, we will provide frequent updates to keep all stakeholders informed of decisions made and new information that becomes available.

Summer 2020 classes to be held online and in virtual classrooms

April 2 Update:

As the arc of COVID-19 transmission in southeastern Michigan and throughout the country evolves, Washtenaw Community College is continuing to adapt processes. Accordingly, the college has announced it will only be offering Summer 2020 credit classes via online classes or Virtual Classroom.

The goal of this decision is to minimize the need to gather in large groups and spend prolonged time in close proximity with each other in spaces such as classrooms, labs and campus buildings.

As the No. 1 online community college in Michigan, WCC is prepared to help students navigate these uncharted waters.

Summer semester has always been a great time for students to catch up, stay on track or get ahead of their academic goals. A group of extremely dedicated faculty and staff have been working around the clock to preserve that significance in these uncertain times, considering every contingency as it relates to all 137 degree and certificate programs offered at Washtenaw Community College.

WCC will continue to offer remote learning support and resources throughout the semester. This includes academic advisors and success coaches, who can recommend replacement options for cancelled classes.

Communications from WCC Leadership to Students

As the arc of the COVID-19 transmission in southeastern Michigan and throughout the country evolves, Washtenaw Community College is continuing to adapt processes. Accordingly, the college has announced it will only be offering Summer 2020 credit classes online or in Virtual Classrooms.

The goal of this decision is to minimize the need to gather in large groups and spend prolonged time in close proximity with each other in spaces such as classrooms, labs and campus buildings.

As the No. 1 online community college in Michigan, WCC is prepared to help students navigate these uncharted waters.

Summer semester has always been a great time for students to catch up, stay on track or get ahead of their academic goals. A group of extremely dedicated faculty and staff have been working around the clock to preserve that significance in these uncertain times, considering every contingency as it relates to all 137 degree and certificate programs offered at WCC.

Along with a much larger selection of traditional online classes — in which students are given the flexibility to complete weekly assignments during times that best fit their schedule — WCC is also offering a number of classes taught in a Virtual Classroom, in which students will meet virtually with faculty and other students during pre-determined days/times.

Students who already enrolled for Summer 2020 classes will be sent individual messages regarding these changes and WCC academic advisors and other staff members are reaching out to them directly if their schedules changed.

"We have been inspired by the transition our faculty and students made to alternate delivery methods through the end of Winter 2020 semester," Executive Vice President of Student & Academic Services Linda Blakey wrote in those emails. "We believe the Summer 2020 semester offers the same opportunities for innovation, flexibility and teamwork."

WCC will continue to offer remote learning support and resources throughout the Summer 2020 semester. This includes academic advisors and success coaches, who will recommend replacement options for any cancelled classes.

Dear Students:

As we’ve monitored the rapidly spreading threat of COVID-19 globally, nationally, statewide and locally, we’ve made decisions to operate our college to the fullest extent safely possible. That remains true today and will always remain true.

It has been a learning experience for us all as we’ve transitioned to alternate delivery methods to allow you to finish your classes this semester. Each day presents new developments and I want you to know that our faculty and staff are committed to adapting to these changes and providing you with all the resources and support you need to successfully complete the semester.

I know this hasn’t been easy for you and I commend you for your patience and hard work. I’ve heard so many inspiring stories of how our students have handled the challenges of this new way of learning. Keep up the good work!

I encourage you to reach out to your instructors, and WCC support services staff with any questions or concerns you have as we continue with remote learning and service delivery. Also, this is a good time to reach out to your classmates and see how they are doing. You can serve as a resource for each other and share ways you are adapting and approaches you are taking to complete your classwork. It’s important to remember that even though we are physically apart – we remain connected as a WCC community.

Let me share some ways we need to work #TogetherApart a little longer:

  • All Winter 2020 classes and services supporting students will continue remotely via alternate delivery methods through the end of the semester.
  • Students who are currently in lab/clinical classes that have not moved entirely to alternate delivery will be provided with an “Incomplete” grade and a learning plan agreed upon with their instructor. This special “Incomplete” grade will have an extended timeframe, based on the uncertainty of the state lockdown and when health care organizations will be back to normal operations. Our faculty and staff will begin outreach with these plans beginning Monday, March 30.
  • Commencement, originally scheduled for May 16, has been postponed to a to-be-determined date during the Fall 2020 semester. We did not want to cancel this joyous occasion where we gather with your friends and family to celebrate your academic achievement and reaching this very important milestone. Students completing programs are still encouraged to apply for graduation.

I’d like to remind you of the support services available to you on this Remote Learning Support and Resources page. In it, you will find resources for tutoring, academic advising, personal counseling and technical support – among many others. Additions and updates will be made as needed – so be sure you look at it on a regular basis.

Your health and well-being are my highest priority. I encourage you all to adhere to Governor Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, be mindful of health officials’ recommendation on how to protect yourself and continue to follow all state and local mitigation strategies.

These are challenging times, but we are up for the challenge. I encourage you to keep in contact with the people important in your lives. Call, text or reach out by email. It’s important we remain connected – even if we are physically apart.

Again, I could not be more proud of each of you and how you have adapted to this unprecedented experience.

I look forward to the day when we can all be back together on campus.

Stay safe,

Rose B. Bellanca, Ed.D.
President

Dear Students,

We’re one week into delivering classes via alternate methods, so I wanted to this opportunity to reach out to you. I realize that these are unsettling times. Please know all decisions are being made with your health and safety as our top priority.

You may be feeling anxious or unsure about what’s next to come. You may feel lonely or isolated as you work from your homes. Many of you have needed to quickly adapt to caring for your children at home. These feelings and challenges are understandable and normal. We’re here to help you through them.

While your instructors will continue to guide you through your class work, I would like to share some additional resources that you may find helpful:

ACADEMIC HEALTH

  • I also encourage you to follow and interact with the WCC Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, where we continue to share important updates.
  • If you are having trouble accessing reliable broadband connection, note that many companies are opening public hotspots in our area. Search for Xfinity Hotspots and Spectrum Hotspots near you.

MENTAL HEALTH

  • Our Campus Assistance Program (CAP) offers 24/7 mental health services to students. Call 866-227-3834 or log in to hmsanet.com using Company User Name: WCC and Company Password: myresource. Services are free and confidential.

FINANCIAL HEALTH

  • Visit gov/MiBridges to complete an application for benefits, including food stamps and health insurance.

I do not take your choice to attend Washtenaw Community College for granted, and for that reason ensure we’re doing all we can to provide the resources you need to successfully complete your coursework.

Again, the most important thing is your health and well-being. Please heed health officials’ recommendations on how to protect yourself and follow all state and local mitigation strategies.

Be safe

Rose B. Bellanca, Ed.D.

March 16 Update: On-campus operations suspended through at least Sunday, April 5

To protect the health and safety of our community and the broader society by minimizing the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus, Washtenaw Community College is immediately suspending on-campus operations through at least Sunday, April 5.

All online classes and alternate delivery classes will continue as scheduled.

The college will continue to function remotely, as feasible, with the fewest possible number of fundamental job functions remaining on campus. Employees should check their email for further details.

Student services will continue to be available remotely. We’ve compiled a list of contacts for most-frequently reached services, which is available online. We appreciate the patience and flexibility students have exhibited throughout this situation.

The health and safety of our community is the college’s primary concern. With guidance from federal, state and local health officials, WCC will continue to monitor this situation and take necessary preemptive steps.

March 15 COVID-19 Update: Alternate delivery classes resume March 16, on-campus operations temporarily suspended

Washtenaw Community College’s face-to-face classes are transitioning to alternative delivery on Monday, March 16. We appreciate the patience and flexibility exhibited by students, faculty and staff to date and ask for continued understanding as we navigate through this unusual and ever-changing scenario.

While classes will resume as planned, WCC is suspending on-campus operations for Monday as it continues to evaluate workplace policies related to the coronavirus outbreak. The content of this message includes contact information for student resources you can access during this time of alternate classroom delivery. Please note those resources may not be available remotely on Monday.

UPDATED: The Bailey Library is currently available for virtual assistance and are ready to support your college needs remotely. 

No lab classes will take place on campus the week of March 16-21 as the college continues to evaluate the situation and possible solutions. More information will be shared as available.

The health and safety of our community is the college’s primary concern. With guidance from federal, state and local health officials, WCC will continue to monitor this situation and take necessary preemptive steps. Please continue to protect yourself and follow along with all updates on our coronavirus webpage.

While direction for the continuation plans of individual face-to-face classes will come from instructors to students’ WCC email accounts, the following information is applicable to all:

BLACKBOARD

For those students being directed to use Blackboard for the first time, we have created a simple guide to accessing the tool via MyWCC on the wccnet.edu. You can also access it directly at https://blackboard.wccnet.edu.

Once inside Blackboard, the “Remote Learning” tab is being populated with information and tutorials for students who are not familiar with our online learning environment. The “Help & How To” tab contains more advanced tutorials.

The ITS Help Desk is available 24/7 to assist with Blackboard-related technical questions. Call 734-973-3456 or email help-desk@wccnet.edu.

Virtual Tutoring is available to all WCC students. Submit a question 24/7 for future response, or work with a live tutor during their scheduled tutoring session times. To access virtual tutoring, click the "Virtual Tutor" link on the left navigation bar in your class Blackboard site.

Important note: Not all faculty are using Blackboard as their alternative teaching solution. Students are urged to check for course plans and other instructor communication via their WCC email accounts.

STUDENT RESOURCES

Individuals are encouraged to make contact with the college remotely whenever feasible.

UPDATED: The Bailey Library is currently available for virtual assistance and are ready to support your college needs remotely.

Student services information can be found on the “Succeed” tab on wccnet.edu. Call 734-973-3300 or email info@wccnet.edu to be directed to the appropriate department, or contact them directly:

Academic Advising: 734-677-5102
Bailey Library: 734-973-3429, libs1@wccnet.eduCounseling Center: 734-677-5102
Financial Aid: 734-973-3523, finaid@wccnet.edIT Help Desk: 734-973-3456, help-desk@wccnet.eduLearning Commons/Tutoring Center: 734-973-3420
Learning Support Services: 734-973-3342
Personal Counseling: 734-677-5102
Student Connection: 734-973-3543, studrec@wccnet.eduTesting Center: 734-477-8550, testingcenter@wccnet.eduWriting Center: 734-973-3647, writingcenter@wccnet.edu

Note: First-year students can schedule an appointment with our Success Coaches.

COMPUTER ACCESS

UPDATED: The Bailey Library is currently available for virtual assistance only and are ready to support your college needs remotely.


MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

The Campus Assistance Program (CAP) offers 24/7 mental health services that complements WCC’s personal counseling services. Call 866-227-3834 or log in to caplife.hmsanet.com using Company User Name: WCC and Company Password: myresource. Services are free and confidential. See the WCC Personal Counseling website for additional mental health resources.

Tips for managing anxiety and stress associated with the COVID-19 outbreak are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FINANCIAL EMERGENCIES

Students experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak are reminded that the Student Resource Center operates an emergency food pantry with staple food items and hygiene products. Lists of local food pantries are also available via Food Gatherers and the Food Bank Council of Michigan.

The WCC Foundation continues to process Student Emergency Fund applications to help students meet unanticipated expenses that jeopardize their ability to stay in school.

INTERNET/WIFI INFORMATION

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, multiple broadband and telephone service providers have lowered costs and extended data caps. Comcast is offering 60 days of free service for its Internet Essentials plan for low-income students. It also increased the speeds of the plan.

Following the Federal Communications Commission’s 60-day “Keep Americans Connected Pledge,” most providers have agreed to not terminate service for customers, waive late fees incurred due to economic effects of the virus and open access to public Wi-Fi hotspots to “any American who needs them.”

COVID-19 UPDATES

Refer to these sites for current information:

Dear Health and Fitness Center Members,

Out of an abundance of caution to safeguard you and to help minimize the potential spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Washtenaw Community College leadership has decided to temporarily close until further notice. Please understand that we will be monitoring the situation daily and we will notify you of any changes in the reopening of the Center. Your safety is our top priority and we ask that you stay informed and remain vigilant about washing your hands, limiting travel, avoiding others who may be ill, and practicing “social distancing” when in large venues.

We will be prorating April dues based on the number of days the center is closed in March and April. If you are an annual member your expiration date will be extended for the number of days, the center is closed. We will continue to follow center cancelation and bridge/freeze policies of membership. The best way to communicate with staff while the center is closed will be through email. 

Remember, your first line of defense is your health and well-being. Thank you for understanding.

In good health,

Washtenaw Community College and
The Health and Fitness Center at
Washtenaw Community College

As the spread of COVID-19 continues, Washtenaw Community College’s top priority is the health and safety of its students, faculty, staff and surrounding communities. Because this is a rapidly changing situation, we will provide frequent updates to keep all stakeholders informed of decisions made and new information that becomes available.

All steps taken are preemptive measures intended to slow the spread of the virus. WCC is continually monitoring the situation and the recommendations of federal, state and local health officials.

CREDIT INSTRUCTION

  • Face-to-face classes are cancelled Thursday, March 11 through Saturday, March 13 to give our faculty an opportunity to consider alternative methods of instructional delivery. Online classes are continuing as scheduled.
  • Starting Monday, March 16, face-to-face classes will move to an alternative method of delivery through at least Monday, April 6. Faculty and staff are working on solutions for laboratory and performance-based classes. Instructors will reach out to all students individually to provide next steps for each class.

NON-CREDIT INSTRUCTION

  • Face-to-face classes are cancelled through at least Monday, April 6. Online classes are continuing as scheduled.

EVENTS

  • Effective immediately and through Wednesday, April 15, WCC-sponsored events and external rentals of WCC Conference Services space with anticipated attendance of more than 100 people have been cancelled or postponed. No new events will be scheduled through April 15.
  • The 2020 Spring Free College Day scheduled for Saturday, April 4 has been cancelled.

STUDENT SERVICES

  • Campus remains open and all student services are available as normally scheduled.

ON-CAMPUS

  • WCC Facilities has increased its frequency of disinfecting of all high-touch areas using stronger cleaning agents. The department has also increased fresh air intake to campus buildings by 30%.
  • Food service partners have altered their procedures to limit the possibility of cross-contamination.

TRAVEL

  • All college-sponsored international travel is suspended until further notice. Personal international travel is strongly discouraged. If you do travel to a location with a CDC level 3 travel warning for COVID-19, you must notify Human Resources upon return and self-isolate for 14 days.
  • All non-essential, college-related domestic travel is suspended until further notice. We strongly urge extreme caution and judgement for your personal domestic travel.
  • Pre-payment for college-related travel that has been cancelled will be reimbursed. Contact Ben Hunholz at 734-973-3517 or bhunholz@wccnet.edu.

PROTECT YOURSELF

  • Personal and workplace mitigation strategies are crucial to slowing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). The most basic steps for individuals remain:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer;
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing;
    • Avoid handshakes;
    • Avoid contact with sick people who are sick; and
    • Stay home when you are sick
  • Please refer to these sites for additional information:
    • Washtenaw County: www.washtenaw.org/health
    • State of Michigan: www.michigan.gov/coronavirus
    • Federal: www.cdc.gov/nCoV

Dear Students,

We’re living in unusual times. The college has developed a variety of plans based on many scenarios associated with COVID-19 while continually monitoring recommended actions. One of the lone consistencies in this continually fluid reality is that it’s creating significant concern for members of our community.

Our friends at the universities nearby have announced they’re moving classes online and to other alternative formats. The ability for a community college to make that same decision is complicated by the many hands-on, occupational education courses that we offer students.

To address this concern, WCC is cancelling all face-to-face credit and non-credit classes on Thursday, March 12 through Saturday, March 14 to give our faculty an opportunity to consider alternative methods of instructional delivery. Online classes will continue as scheduled. The campus and all campus services will remain open. All faculty and staff should report as normal.

Starting Monday, March 16, we are suspending face-to-face instruction in lectures, seminars and other classroom settings and will move them to alternative instruction until Monday, April 6. We are working with faculty and staff on laboratory and performance classes, and the college will provide additional guidance as soon as possible.

We have more decisions to make and planning is happening in full force, with our top priority being the safety of our students, faculty and staff. Please understand some next steps will need to be put in place quickly. We will notify all students and employees as soon as possible and appreciate your patience and understanding.


Sincerely,

Rose B. Bellanca, Ed.D.
President

March 10, 2020

To the WCC Community:

Washtenaw Community College continues to closely monitor public health alerts related to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The College’s Facilities Management, Health and Fitness Center and food service partner, Aramark, are dedicated to the safety and well-being of its customers, clients and employees. Both WCC and Aramark continue to monitor information from the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, Michigan Department of Health and Washtenaw County Health Department to properly inform our response.

While our combined response plan remains fluid and continues to evolve given new information, some immediate steps we are taking to mitigate risks to our community include the following:

Facilities:

  • Increase to twice a day the wiping down of high touch areas with an improved disinfectant product proven to fight against the virus. 
  • The College's Child Care Center has increased the number of wipe downs of surfaces, especially around mealtimes. Parents continue to be reminded if children experience a fever or other sickness to stay home.

Health and Fitness Center:

  • Increase the frequency of equipment cleaning by staff.
  • Signage is posted throughout the Health and Fitness Center to better educate members regarding personal health and hygiene during this outbreak.
  • Parent reminders are posted at the Health and Fitness Center's Child Care Center.

Food Service Partner:

The Java Spot

  • The salad and yogurt parfait bar will be replaced with grab-and-go salads and yogurt parfait cups located inside the Java deli case.
  • The coffee carafes will be turned around so that they are inward facing. The Java staff will serve coffee to guests. Creamer will also be added by a Java staff member.
  • The bring-your-own-mug coffee refill program will continue to be honored. However, Java staff will fill a Java cup and provide that to staff for them to pour into their own mugs.  Your personal mug must still be present to be eligible for this promotion.

The SC Spot/Grill

  • The Build Your Own Burger Bar - Toppings will now be handed to customers by staff in a tray for the guest to put on their sandwich.
  • Pizza will be portioned into trays eliminating the need for guest facing spatulas.
  • Soup will be pre-portioned into 8oz and 12oz soup cups and will be located on the hot plate.
  • Condiment pumps have been replaced by condiment packets. These will be distributed by the cashier at time of payment.
  • The silverware dispenser handles will be cleaned and sanitized every 15 minutes.

This is a rapidly changing situation. Please check the College’s update page for the latest information: https://www.wccnet.edu/announcements/coronavirus.php

William L. Johnson
Executive Vice President and CFO
Washtenaw Community College

March 02, 2020

To the WCC Community:

Washtenaw Community College continues to closely monitor public health alerts related to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

No one in the state of Michigan has been diagnosed with the virus to date and there are only about 60 cases reported in the U.S. as of last Friday. But the health and safety of our campus community remains our highest priority.

We are receiving updates from the Washtenaw County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which has provided information on how we can stay healthy.

Public health officials recommend we:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Please note hand sanitizers are available in all of our classrooms. In addition, our facilities staff have begun extra cleaning in high traffic areas of the college.

We will continue to update you as more information becomes available.

Refer to these sites for current information:
Washtenaw updates: www.washtenaw.org/health
Michigan updates: www.michigan.gov/coronavirus
National updates: www.cdc.gov/nCoV 

Linda Blakey
Executive Vice President
Student and Academic Services

Fact Sheet from Washtenaw County Health Department
Available at https://www.washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter/View/15099/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19PDF?bidId=

 

Communications to Faculty/Staff

Please visit the "COVID-19 Communications" tab within the "Remote Teaching" section of Blackboard.

View Faculty/Staff Communications

 

Additional Resources and Links

If you are sick, please stay home. If you have a fever, stay home until your temperature has stayed below 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours without the help of fever-reducing medicine. Please also encourage sick students to stay home and, when possible, consider providing them with ways to complete work from home. This is good advice no matter what illness is going around.

To prevent the spread of any respiratory diseases, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention  recommends you:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue away
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water

The proper way to wash your hands is for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating, after going to the bathroom and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, but using soap and water is preferable.