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COVID-19 Information

March 23, 2020 | 12:20 p.m.
COVID-19 update

Here are 3/22/2020 revised COVID-19 updates from the Iowa Department of Health:

Isolation Guidance for Iowans

Updated 03/22/2020  Iowa Department of Public Health

COVID-19 is circulating in Iowa communities and many more Iowans are likely to become ill in the coming weeks. This guidance describes isolation recommendations for well Iowans with potential COVID-19 exposure and Iowans who are ill with fever or respiratory symptoms (like cough or difficulty breathing).

Isolation recommendations for well Iowans with potential COVID-19 exposure

Iowans should stay at home and isolate themselves from other people and animals in the home in the following situations. Isolation should be in place for 14 days after the last exposure.

  • Traveled outside of Iowa for business or vacation in the last 14 days.
  • Taken a cruise anywhere in the world in the last 14 days.
  • Traveled internationally to a country with a level 3 travel warning in the last 14 days.
  •  Live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19.

Isolation recommendations for Iowans ill with fever or respiratory symptoms (like cough or difficulty breathing)

Approximately 80% of Iowans infected with COVID-19, will experience only a mild to moderate illness. Most mildly ill Iowans do not need to go to their healthcare provider or be tested to confirm they have COVID-19. Sick Iowans must stay home and isolate themselves from others in their house.

Stay home and isolate from others in the house until:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)

AND

  • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)

AND

  • at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

If you think you may need healthcare, call first. Your provider can assess whether you need to be seen in the office or if you can recover at home. Also, there may be options for you to talk to a medical provider from home using technology.

March 18, 2020 | 1 p.m.
COVID-19 update

This is an important new message concerning Iowa Lakes Community College and its response to COVID-19. While the college is not closing, significant changes are being made with within housing. Please read the message in its entirety.

At Iowa Lakes, we are doing our part to minimize exposure and the spread of COVID-19.

  1. Online delivery of courses will be offered until further notice.
  2. Our goal is to have all students out of the resident halls beginning immediately.
  3. Please plan on removing your belongings from the residence halls no later than Tuesday, March 24th, when all housing fobs will be deactivated unless you are approved for an exception by the housing department and the Dean.
  4. If you are currently away from campus, you should remain away and gather your personal items at the end of the semester in May.
    a. If you need academic items from your residence hall, please contact the housing department.
    b. All other personal items will remain in assigned units.
  5. Policies – We are focusing on the immediate learning and health needs of our students, so we have not made any decisions related to changes to our existing policies.  Further guidance will be issued as the situation emerges.
  6. Mail – Please forward all mail to your new non-campus address.  Iowa Lakes will forward any of your mail received after your departure weekly.
  7. Transportation to Minneapolis Airport – If you need transportation to the Minneapolis Airport, Iowa Lakes is providing a bus on Tuesday, March 24th.  The bus/van will be departing at 8:00 AM will no flights leaving before 3:00 PM. To reserve your seat, please complete the form within this link http://bit.ly/2IUnwv5.

Despite these changes, I want it to be understood that the college is not closing. We are still holding classes online, and our faculty and staff will be available to serve our students remotely during this time. In addition, campus housing will not be closed to individuals not able to return to their homes due to the virus or those completing OJT’s locally.

Currently, there are no known cases of COVID-19 on campus.  As mentioned before, you must report a confirmed or suspected exposure of COVID-19 to your local Iowa Department of Public Health. For more information visit iowalakes.edu.

March 18, 2020 | 7 a.m.
COVID-19 update

This is an important new message concerning Iowa Lakes Community College and its response to COVID-19. While the college is not closing, major changes are being made with regard to classes and college operations. Please read the message in its entirety.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve at an increasingly fast pace, and the college has already taken steps to limit its impact on our campuses.

The time has come for the college to implement more stringent measures:

Students

  • Beginning Wednesday, March 25, all face-to-face classes, including labs and hands-on courses, will be delivered in an online format.
  • Most services, such as financial aid and advising, will be available to students by email or phone
  • Housing students, arrangements can be made through the housing department. Please return home if possible. 

Employees

  • The libraries on both campuses will be closed.
  • All college buildings and locations will close their doors March 25th, only designated personnel will be allowed on campus. Please coordinate details and job expectations with your supervisor.
  • All employees, with the exceptions of those that traveled over spring break, should collect what they need to work from home, as defined by your supervisor, by noon Tuesday, March 24th

Community

  • All events scheduled to be held at Iowa Lakes are cancelled until further notice.
  • Iowa Lakes will close to the general public Wednesday, March 18th

Despite these changes, I want it to be understood that the college itself is not closing. We are still holding classes online and our faculty and staff will be available to serve our students remotely during this time.

Currently there are no known cases of COVID-19 on campus. As mentioned before, it’s crucial that you report a confirmed or suspected exposure of COVID-19 to your local Iowa Department of Public Health.

March 16, 2020 | 3 p.m.
COVID-19 update

Following the declaration by the Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Sunday, March 15, 2020 about community spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Iowa Lakes Community College will be taking measured steps to help reduce the spread of the virus and limit exposure to the Iowa Lakes’ community. This will raise Iowa Lakes to Level 2 of our Incident Command Response.

Students and staff

  • Iowa Lakes will be extending Spring Break until Wednesday, March 25th, for students only.  
  • Faculty will return to campus on Monday, March 23rd, for two academic workdays.
  • Students will be notified by or before Wednesday, March 25th of changes in their course delivery.
  • Students can expect to be notified about course delivery through their Canvas account or email.
  • Continuing Education classes will continue unless otherwise notified.
  • Iowa Lakes campuses will remain open to students. 
  • Iowa Lakes students who do not have access to a computer or Internet may utilize the college Success Center or open computer labs.
  • All athletic practices and activities will be suspended until further notice.
  • Iowa Lakes housing units will remain available to housing students who need to take face-to-face classes. Dining Services will serve housing students.
  • All athletic facilities will be locked until further notice.

Community 

  • The Emmetsburg Wellness Center will be closed to all students, faculty, staff, and outside visitors until further notice.
  • The Estherville Library is closed to all outside visitors until further notice.
  • All outside activities will be stopped.
    • Including community members utilizing campuses for walking
    • K-12 students using our gyms and practice facilities. 
    • Outside entities choir practice
    • Mamma Mia play practice

Administrative staff will continue to monitor the outbreak with the latest information from the World Health Organizations (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and local health officials. You are our number one priority, and we will do whatever it takes to make your Iowa Lakes experience a positive one.  https://www.iowalakes.edu/covid-19/

There are no known cases on campus. However, because the situation is changing so rapidly, for the good of our campus and communities, we continue to move forward with plans to prevent or slow the transmission of the virus as best we can and mitigate its risks once it comes to our community. We are looking at information from the most reliable medical experts to weigh risks and next actions.

Additional communication is forthcoming, and I do appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented challenge. If you have any questions, please contact Dee Hiney, dhiney@iowalakes.edu or Julie Williams, jrwilliams@iowalakes.edu

You can protect yourself (and others) by using these prevention strategies:

· If you are sick, stay home/in your dorm room.

· Avoid close contact with those who are already ill.

· Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the crook of your arm.

· Thoroughly wash your hands often with soap and water. (2 rounds of Happy Birthday)

· Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.

· Social distancing of 6 feet.

Resources available to you:

·        What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf

·        What to do if you are sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/what-you-should-do.pdf

·        Stop the spread of germs – help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/stop-the-spread-of-germs.pdf

March 13, 2020 | 2 p.m.
COVID-19 update

All information related to Iowa Lakes Community College response to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation will come to your Iowa Lakes email from Dee Hiney, dhiney@iowalakes.edu or through a text on the Iowa Lakes AlertIf Dee is not available the messages will come from President Valerie Newhouse, vnewhouse@iowalakes.edu .

  • Earlier today, the NJCAA suspended all competitions beginning Saturday, March 14th through Friday, April 3rd. As a result, all Iowa Lakes athletic competitions are suspended. Team practices will continue as scheduled.
  • Iowa Lakes Community College has Spring Break from March 14th through March 22.
  • Iowa Lakes offices, libraries, computer labs, success centers and buildings will be open conducting business as usual during Spring Break.
  • Housing units will remain open and available to our housing students.
  • Cleaning with EPA approved COVID-19 disinfectants will continue throughout the college.
  • Iowa Lakes Community College is at Level 1 of our Incident Command Response.
  • Check your college email for your daily update.
  • Any significant changes will be sent through the Iowa Lakes Alert along with email.
  • Many activities planned for the next few weeks that would attract large groups have been canceled. A list is located on the Iowa Lakes website.  https://www.iowalakes.edu/covid-19/ .
  • This is a very rapidly changing situation, and communication will occur as recommendations and decisions occur.
  • If a case is identified in our area, our housing units and the college would remain open to take care of our student needs. Class delivery could change.

As always, decisions will be made based on the most current information that we have and in the best interest of students, employees and the college. You may not necessarily agree with every decision, however; please be assured that your health is our top priority.

There are no known cases on campus. However, because the situation is changing so rapidly, for the good of our campus and communities, we continue to move forward with plans to prevent or slow the transmission of the virus as best we can, and mitigate its risks once it comes to our community. We are looking at information from the most reliable medical experts to weigh risks and next actions.

You can protect yourself (and others) by using these prevention strategies:

  • If you are sick, stay home/in your dorm room.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are already sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the crook of your arm.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands often with soap and water. (2 rounds of Happy Birthday)
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Social distancing of 6 feet.

Resources available to you:

Stop the spread of germs – help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/stop-the-spread-of-germs.pdf

March 12, 2020 | 8 p.m.
COVID-19 update

As the Coronavirus situation is rapidly changing and for the good of our campuses and communities, we will be cancelling or postponing the following events:

March 19, 2020 – Women in STEM, Estherville Campus, Cancelled

March 24, 2020 – Game of Life, Emmetsburg Campus, Cancelled

April 2 – April 4, 2020 – Mamma Mia Musical Performance, Estherville Campus, Postponed (Date to-be-determined)

April 7, 2020 – Career Day, Emmetsburg Campus, Cancelled

March 12, 2020 | 1 p.m.
COVID-19 update

All information related to Iowa Lakes Community College response to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation will come to your Iowa Lakes email from Dee Hiney, dhiney@iowalakes.edu or through a text on the Iowa Lakes Alert.  If Dee is not available the messages will come from President Valerie Newhouse, vnewhouse@iowalakes.edu.

  • Iowa Lakes Community College is at Level 1 of our Incident Command Response.
  • Please do not spread rumors as it incites concern and confusion.  Check your college email for your daily update.
  • Spring break is next week. We have cut travel in state and out of state for college sponsored activities. 
  • Spring athletics will continue at this time. Travel outside of our state for non-conference competition will be eliminated.
  • Many activities planned for the next few weeks that would attract large groups have been canceled. Others are still under consideration and decisions will be made once more information is available.
  • This is a very rapidly changing situation, and communication will occur as recommendations and decisions occur. 
  • While on spring break, please check your email periodically. You may even want your laptops home with you each night.
  • Employees -  please fill out the travel survey that Kathy Muller sent yesterday.

Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. Why? Germs can be transferred more easily to and from wet hands; therefore, hands should be dried after washing. However, the best way to dry hands remains unclear because few studies about hand drying exist, and the results of these studies conflict. Additionally, most of these studies compare overall concentrations of microbes, not just disease-causing germs, on hands following different hand-drying methods. It has not been shown that removing microbes from hands is linked to better health. Nonetheless, studies suggest that using a clean towel or air drying hands are best.
https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashing.html

Good handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer are excellent prevention methods. Even though the CDC says hand dryers are as effective as paper towels, we are choosing to put paper towels back in some restrooms until further notice.  The paper towels were ordered a week ago and will be placed in restrooms when they arrive.

As always, decisions will be made based on the most current information that we have and in the best interest of students, employees and the college.  You may not necessarily agree with every decision, however; please be assured that your health is our top priority. 

There are no known cases on campus. However, because the situation is changing so rapidly, for the good of our campus and communities, we continue to move forward with plans to prevent or slow the transmission of the virus as best we can, and mitigate its risks once it comes to our community. We are looking at information from the most reliable medical experts to weigh risks and next actions.

March 11, 2020 | 1 p.m.
COVID-19 update

As reports of more cases of the Coronavirus are reported in Iowa, we continue to closely monitor the situation by working closely with health experts including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and local health authorities. We are in constant contact with them to make sure our policies and procedures meet or exceed guidelines. 

Our goals are first and foremost to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe including those most vulnerable in this situation; to support course completion and graduation. We are striving to meet our social responsibility and serve the common good. 

There are no known cases on campus. However, because the situation is changing so rapidly, for the good of our campus and communities, we continue to move forward with plans to prevent or slow the transmission of the virus as best we can, and mitigate its risks once it comes to our community. We are looking at information from the most reliable medical experts to weigh risks and next actions.

We’ve learned from past experience with outbreaks like H1N1 and Ebola, and have continually refined our Pandemic Influenza Response Plan and improved our ability to protect our students, employees and communities. 

Good handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer are excellent prevention methods. Paper towels will be placed in restroom so individuals will have the choice of air dryers or paper towels for drying and hand sanitizers are located throughout the college.

As always, decisions will be made based on the most current information that we have and in the best interest of students, employees and the college. A survey will be out soon to determine employee and student travels plans.  Your responses to the survey will further assist in our planning.  You may not necessarily agree with every decision, however; please be assured that your health is our top priority. 

All information related to Iowa Lakes Community College response to the COVID-19 will come to your Iowa Lakes email from dhiney@iowalakes.edu or through a text on the Iowa Lakes Alert.


March 10, 2020
Corona Virus 2019 (COVID-19) update

As a valued member of the Iowa Lakes family, we appreciate the trust you place in us with your education and employment. In the current environment, it’s important for all of us to live and attend classes and work more consciously. That’s why we want to personally update you on the situation with COVID-19 (the coronavirus) and the steps we are taking to ensure your health and safety at Iowa Lakes Community College.

For more than a decade, Iowa Lakes has been preparing for such a scenario. As an educational institution, we have strong relationships in place with health experts including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and local health authorities. We are in constant contact with them to make sure our policies and procedures meet or exceed their guidelines.

We’ve learned from past experience with outbreaks like H1N1 and Ebola, and have continually refined our pandemic plan and improved our ability to protect our students. That includes the way we circulate clean and fresh air in buildings, use a disinfectant specific to CoVid-19 in our cleaning process, how we sanitize surfaces and how we respond if a student or employee is displaying symptoms.

You can protect yourself (and others) by using these prevention strategies:

  • If you are sick, stay home/in your dorm room.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are already sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the crook of your arm.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.

Resources available to you:

Please help us in every way you can to keep yourself and the campus community healthy and well.

For more information or to direct questions or concerns, please contact Julie Williams, Dean of Students at jrwilliams@iowalakes.edu or Dee Hiney, Director of Facilities at dhiney@iowalakes.edu.

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