WAYNE – In an online message to Wayne State College Students posted Thursday evening at 8:38 p.m. the college President says the school intends to continue the current semester as scheduled. The statement continues, answers potential questions and offers students advice …
First and foremost, at the time of this notice, Wayne State College does not have a reported case of COVID-19 coronavirus. As a large portion of our campus community returns from the Mid-Term Break, please be aware of the following information regarding the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) situation. Health officials are taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into U.S. communities. You have a vital role to play in this process as well, especially regarding self-care and basic steps designed to prevent the spread of the virus.
What is the status of academic courses?
You have undoubtedly heard the news that many colleges and universities around us have either suspended classes or moved to online-only formats for their classes. We have evaluated the situation here in Northeast Nebraska and, as of now, Wayne State plans to resume classes Monday to continue the semester as scheduled. If the situation requires us to limit campus operations and/or suspend face-to-face instruction, we have plans to activate alternative teaching and learning models to ensure you receive the instruction and services you require to successfully complete the semester. We have planned for a variety of contingencies, all of which have you, your safety, your living and learning experience, and your future at the heart of our concerns and plans.
We freely acknowledge this is a stressful time for all of us. Uncertainty breeds apprehension. We also know that many of you, especially graduating seniors, are probably quite concerned about earning the credits and certifications you need to move forward with your lives. Rest assured, we have plans to accommodate you and ensure your future is not thrown off track by the current situation.
Most importantly, we ask you all to be kind and patient with one another. Together, by embracing self-care practices and consistent habits to prevent transmission of the virus, we can make it to the end of the semester.
What if I miss class because of illness or quarantine?
Given the challenging situation in front of us, for the immediate future, the campus-wide attendance policy should reflect an understanding of the virus and its effects on our population. In light of this, students who may become sick, or who are engaging in self-isolation at the direction of the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department or their health care professional should not attend class, will not be required to provide formal documentation from a health care provider, and will not be penalized for absences. Students should notify instructors in advance of the absence if possible, keep up with classwork if they are able to do so, submit assignments electronically as they are able, and work with their instructors to try to reschedule exams, labs, and other critical academic activities.
This temporary campus-wide attendance procedure requires that faculty trust their students when they say they are ill, and requires that students truthfully report the reason for their absence. During this period, we ask all members of the campus community to be attentive to their health and safeguard others by following the Centers for Disease Control’s guideline to “stay home when you are sick.” You should stay home if you have symptoms (coughing, fever, shortness of breath). Students who have compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions that may be exacerbated by the virus are encouraged to use their best judgment regarding their situation. Please contact Student Affairs at 402-375-7213 to make necessary arrangements to complete your semester.
Who is monitoring the COVID-19 situation?
Here at home, the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department (NNPHD) has been actively monitoring the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) situation and staying in close contact with Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to prepare for and protect the people of Northeast Nebraska. Wayne State College student health employees are regularly meeting with officials from Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department to receive updates on the virus.
The following information aims to help you stay healthy in the event that you traveled or came into contact with travelers during the break. Given current infection rates, you should monitor your health and any transmission/incidents of the virus in areas in which you traveled during the break.
As a reminder, there are simple things you can do to help yourself and others to stay healthy.
- 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.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home and away from others when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
COVID-19 can be a serious illness. Please do not let a lack of health insurance or money keep you from getting necessary healthcare.
If you have questions or concerns about the College’s response to the COVID-19 situation, please contact our hotline at 402-375-7562.