March 18, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: COVID-19 Burke County Media Briefing
Burke County’s Response to COVID-19
- To date, there are no positive cases in Burke County
- The health department has tested approximately 40 individuals with continual daily testing
- Of those 40, 20 results have been received and all tests have returned negative
- Public information line has been opened Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm for those with questions can call 828-764-9388. After hours, general questions can be directed to NC Public Information Line at 1-866-462-3821
Western Piedmont Community College COVID 19 efforts to date:
In order to protect everyone on our campus and in our remote teaching locations the college is enacting the following guidelines that will be in place until the end of March:
- All college sponsored travel outside North Carolina for both students and college employees is cancelled
- All in-state travel for employees will be approved on a case-by-case basis
- There are no restrictions on local travel of 25 miles or less – this could change depending on additional information coming our way
Illness and prevention
- Anyone demonstrating cold or flu-like symptoms should use sick leave and stay home until the symptoms have not been present for at least 48 hours
- Use good hygiene practices as outlined on the college’s Corona Virus Web page to keep from spreading any infectious diseases.
- High risk individuals or those who are in regular contact with high risk individuals should take extra precautions to not spread any infectious diseases
- Additional guidelines regarding COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-ihe-response.html
College schedule changes
- At present the college will remain open. However, all employees should develop a plan for how they will perform their job in the event of a schedule change.
- Determine if you will need access to college resources on campus to perform your job duties and develop a plan to access those resources.
- Faculty should develop a plan for contacting their students if classes are canceled and inform students as to how they will be contacted.
- Faculty should work with students to determine if college facilities will be needed to provide them electronic access to classes. For students with no access to the Internet we may make facilities available on a limited basis.
Office and public space precautions
- To keep spreading of germs to a minimum avoid clustering in public areas inside of buildings.
- When opening doors avoid hand contact with the door. Where possible open with elbows or covered parts of the body.
- The cleaning services for the college will be disinfecting the office facilities on a regular basis. Help them by keeping your work area neat. Be aware that the cleaning service may access your work areas after hours to keep workday interruption to a minimum. In high traffic areas for visitors, reception areas, student services, and Library extra precautions will be taken to keep these areas germ free.
- We are currently assessing all the meetings that are scheduled on campus and cancellations of large meetings over 50 attendees are canceled. We will inform the meeting organizer if we feel any other planned meeting puts a group at risk
Again, these precautions are in effect until the end of March and updates will occur as necessary. Please remain calm and do not react to information that comes from other than official sources.
As of Monday, March 23, Burke County Public Library will close and remain closed until further notice. During the closure, staff will continue to report to the office Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm and Saturday 8am – 5pm to answer any questions by phone or email and will be available for curbside pickup of materials. The library will continue to serve some students that need access to internet by appointment only to manage numbers of students in the library. For more information, please contact the Burke County Public Library.