Communications & Marketing

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Key Resources

Fall Outlook

LC State is planning for a protocol compliant return to face-to-face instruction this fall. Administrators are in weekly communications with State of Idaho agencies, the Idaho North Central District of Public Health, and its sister institutions, and resources and contacts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also being utilized. LC State is monitoring COVID-19 in Idaho very closely and through its Reintegration Plan will have the appropriate health and safety protocols in place this fall. The college will also be prepared to engage remote instruction, whether in whole in or in part, if the need arises.

Campus Updates

A message to students on May 4, 2020 

Warriors,

It’s been a challenging semester to say the least, but we’re almost there. The end of the semester is in sight and your commitment and perseverance are to be commended. 

As you use this week to prepare for your final exams, I want to share a few quick reminders. 

Register for fall – For those who are not graduating, please be sure to speak with your advisor and register for fall. Lewis-Clark State College plans to be fully operational this fall when classes begin on Aug. 24. We know the situation is fluid and subject to change based on public health guidance, but I want you to know that we are planning for operations to be as normal as possible. Rest assured – you will have a place to learn and finish your degree at LC State.

Pass/D/Fail grading – As communicated in our April 10 email to students, students who wish to switch to Pass/D/Fail grading, as described in the guidelines, must make the request by May 11, 2020. No action is necessary for students who wish to continue with standard grading. For questions, please speak with your advisor.  

Share feedback – We all – students, faculty and staff – have learned a lot this semester. We worked hard to make the best of a difficult situation, but I know it wasn’t always easy and I know there are always way to improve. As such, I sincerely want to hear your voice about what went well and what could have gone better given the circumstances. I’m especially interested in hearing how the transition to remote learning impacted you. Please provide feedback, including any ideas you have for improvement, through the student course evaluation process within Blackboard. 

CARES Act – I’m pleased to share that through the CARES Act, eligible Lewis-Clark State College students will be receiving some financial relief to support them due to challenges related to COVID-19. More information will be communicated to you by email today. 

Join us at commencement – Many of you will be graduating and I look forward to seeing you virtually at the Virtual Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 15, at 2 p.m. on our Facebook page. More information is being added to our commencement webpage at www.lcsc.edu/graduation. I hope you will join us then and also consider walking during the 2021 ceremony. Congratulations, graduates! 

To all of you, I say, well done, finish strong, and go Warriors!

Cynthia Pemberton, Ed.D.
President

 

Recent all-campus Announcements

List includes only announcements that went to both students and employees and is not all-inclusive.

Videos

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAQs - Wellbeing & Prevention

What is novel coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause illness in people and some that are found in animals that can spread to humans. The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has not been seen in people before, so it is called new (novel). There are other known human coronaviruses that cause mild respiratory illnesses like the common cold, which more frequently occur in fall and winter.  

Coronaviruses are thought to spread from person to person, like other respiratory viruses such as through coughing, sneezing or talking. They might also be spread by touching a contaminated surface then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates its website, cdc.gov/coronavirus, daily with the latest information. The World Health Organization is also a trusted source of information about COVID-19. For information on COVID-19 in Idaho, see Idaho’s novel coronavirus page, coronavirus.idaho.gov

What can I do to protect myself?

The CDC recommends the following everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with the crook of your elbow or a tissue; then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaner spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.  (For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.  For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.)
  • If traveling, follow the CDC’s guidance for travelers.

What is social distancing?

  • Avoid physical contact, including handshaking or hugging, with other people.
  • Maintain a distance of 6-feet between you and other people whenever possible. 
  • Attempt to conduct business over the phone or using other distance delivery technology. 
  • Avoid visiting other offices or buildings unless it is essential to do so. 
  • Limit trips to the grocery store to low-density hours.

What does it mean to self-isolate?

If you are asked to self-isolate, you should stay home -- in your room, your apartment, or your house. Do not go to work, stores, restaurants, classes, athletic events, or other social gatherings until 14 days have past.

Who will be asked to self-isolate?

Everyone’s situation is unique, and LC State will evaluate each person’s risk to determine who should self-isolate and who does not need to self isolate. LC State is working closely with health agencies and will make individual recommendations based on the latest information.

Guidance for household members during self-isolation

  • Help with basic needs in terms of food, medications, and other personal needs.
  • Stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible; use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible.
  • Prohibit visitors without an essential need from coming to the home.
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or with an alcohol-based sanitizer; use soap and water preferentially if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • The patient and household members should wear disposable face masks* when in the same room.  Do not reuse the masks and wash hands with soap and water following removal.
  • Avoid sharing household items with the patient.
  • Clean “high-touch” surfaces with a cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly: use disposable gloves while handling; wash hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer after removing gloves.

Where can I go for support for stress, anxiety, and fears related to coronavirus?

The current spread of COVID-19 and constant media coverage and social media influence can be anxiety-producing. While it is important to stay informed, there are things we can do to manage our mental well-being:

Who is LC State partnering with?

Lewis-Clark State College is communicating and working closely with the State of Idaho, including the Idaho State Board of Education, the Idaho North Central District of Public Health, other postsecondary institutions, and others. Additionally, resources and contacts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are being utilized. 

What is the current risk level in Idaho?

This can be monitored at coronavirus.idaho.gov

What is the college doing about travel?

International travel has been suspended indefinitely. All non-essential college sponsored/related travel has been suspended indefinitely. The President and Vice Presidents will make the determination of what is essential for their respective units.

What do you do if you think you have been exposed to coronavirus?

Do not come to campus if at all possible. Call your health provider or LC State’s Student Health Services (208-792-2251) for guidance and information.

How can I stay informed on this situation?

Lewis-Clark State College continues to monitor the situation closely and is committed to providing regular updates to the campus community. Any urgent messages will be communicated immediately through the college’s Warrior Alert system. Other ways to stay informed include checking the State of Idaho and CDC websites.

Where can I find more information about the virus?

Other frequently asked questions and answers are available on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html 

 

FAQs - Students 

If college students who are healthy have a lower risk, why so many precautions?

While many reports do indicate that older adults and those with serious chronic medical conditions face a higher risk for a more serious illness, the health and safety of all of our students and employees is LC State’s top priority. Additionally, by working together proactively to implement the right precautions, LC State students, faculty and staff can make a difference in preventing and slowing the spread of the virus not only on campus but in our communities.

 

What is the college’s protocol for Clean Zones and Social Distancing?

In order to prevent spread of coronavirus and also accommodate coursework necessary to continue instruction, LC State has implemented Social Distancing and Clean Zone protocols. These protocols are a part of the college’s March 16 Action Plan (PDF). We ask all employees and students to review this document and follow the guidance closely.

What if I am struggling with learning in a distance-learning format?

We will continue to offer academic support services for students who need additional assistance and guidance to ensure they are able to learn in a distance-learning system. This includes meetings with academic advisors, learning systems, and tutoring.

Is the college still open and will campus services continue?

Yes, Lewis-Clark State College remains open and services continue. For more details see the March 16 Action Plan (PDF).

What about high school students taking dual credit classes?

·      High school students taking dual credit classes are encouraged to direct questions regarding their enrollment to Sarah Willmore in the Dual Credit Office at 208-792-2280 or skwillmore@lcsc.edu

Are the Library and Testing Center still open?

The Library is open to LC students. The Library has been established as a Clean Zone to accommodate students who lack adequate technology. Clean zones will be equipped with the following: laptops, tablets and other courserelated technology. This technology will also be made available for checkout. Equipment will be cleaned before checkout and after it is returned. Clean zone entry, exit and use protocols must be followed. LC State identification is required for admittance.

The Library has new hours. Learn more at lcsc.edu/library.

The Testing Center has been closed. Instructors will work and communicate directly with students regarding future exam needs.

Are the Writing Center and other support centers open?

The Writing Center is closed, though remote support is being offered to students (writinglab@lcmail.lcsc.edu). 

The Math/Science Tutoring Center and Learning Resource Center are also closed.

 

Will students still be able to complete credits and graduate this spring?

Yes. Though a commencement ceremony this spring will not take place, students will continue to complete course credits and those who are eligible to graduate will receive their diplomas. Additionally, virtual commencement ceremony has been announced.

Are alternative options for a commencement ceremony being considered?

Yes. Here's what President Pemberton said in her March 16 message to campus: 

"After much deliberation and consultation with health professionals, we have also decided that LC State will not hold commencement ceremonies this spring. This was not an easy decision. I understand that commencement is one of the most cherished and memorable moments in a student’s academic journey. Unfortunately, this spring we will have to forgo the tradition. Please know that we are currently looking at other options – perhaps even a commencement ceremony at a later date."

virtual commencement ceremony has been announced

How will my financial aid be impacted by transition to distance learning?

Students will be expected to complete all courses to retain financial aid eligibility. But, simply moving to a new delivery format will not adversely impact financial aid or scholarship eligibility. If a student is unable to complete the course(s), the Financial Aid Office will address each case individually to determine impact and future eligibility.

What about students with on-campus jobs?

As of March 26, all students who work at LC State, including Work Scholars, should not report to work until further notice. Supervisors will provide additional information as it becomes available. 

For students living on campus, are food services still available?

For students living on campus, Food Services are still available, however, hours have been reduced and only take-out is available.

From April 6 through May 15, the hours will be as follows – grab-n-go meals:

  • Brunch 10:30am-12pm
  • Dinner 5-6pm 

The Warrior Pantry will be available M–F from 10:30am until 3pm each day.  

The doors on the south side of the building as well as the doors by the amphitheater will be unlocked from 10:30am to 3pm each day and then from 5pm until 6pm each day. The SUB/CSL will not be available for purposes other than access to the Warrior Pantry and Food Services. The campus switchboard will be staffed from 7am to 4pm M–F.

What's another way students can access the internet off campus?

Eduroam is wireless access for college visitors on college campuses.  For example, LC State employees and students can visit the campus of Idaho State University and use ISU’s wireless bandwidth by selecting eduroam, and then logging in with LC State credentials. Wherever LC State students and employees travel, as long as the destination organization is a member of eduroam, LC State personnel can use LC State credentials.

How will final exams be handled?

All LC State course exams from now until the end of the semester will be handled individually by instructors. If you have questions about how exams in your courses will occur, please reach out to your instructor directly.

FAQs - Employees

Does LC State have a reintegration plan?

Yes. It can be accessed at www.lcsc.edu/media/7411234/LC-State-Reintegration-Plan.pdf

Are there guidelines available for reintegration?

Yes, resources include:

Employee Workplace Guidelines

Campus Safety Guidelines

 

What are best practices for Zoom during this time?

As large numbers of people turn to video-teleconferencing (VTC) platforms to stay connected in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, reports of VTC hijacking (also called “Zoom-bombing”) are emerging nationwide. The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language.

  • Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.
  • Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people.
  • Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to “Host Only.”
  • Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provider added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join.

What are best practices for email during this time?

  1. Increase in email volume due to remote work might lead to confusion or info overload
  2. Check all emails before responding
  3. If cc’d or bcc’d note that the email is a FYI and does not require your response
  4. Limit reply all emails
  5. Be concise
  6. Be patient with follow-up (acknowledge departments are still transitioning into remote work, realigning tasks, or working hybrid schedules)  
  7. Utilize Zoom or phone for more detailed tasks
  8. Utilize the out of office auto response when exercising sick or vacation leave

Are employees still permitted to travel?

International travel has been suspended indefinitely. All non-essential college sponsored/related travel has been suspended indefinitely. The President and Vice Presidents will make the determination of what is essential for their respective units.

Where can I find assistance for distance learning instruction?

The e-Learning Services office is ready to support faculty with the transition to distance-learning instruction. 

How can I access resources from the bookstore?

Follett, which manages LC State's bookstore, is offering a number of extra support measures at this time. They include: 

  • Follett is offering students access to eBooks from a variety of publishers for no additional cost, details at follett.com/RedShelf, which covers about 80% of our titles.  
  • For additional non-digital materials and other items, Follett has extended a free shipping offer, with no minimum purchase, to the entire campus community to fulfill any academic or personal needs that may arise. 
  • For rental returns, Follett is offering free shipping return labels and is also extending the non-return period without penalty to assist with increased returns by mail. 

Are summer classes being offered?

Yes. The majority of summer courses are offered online. 

What can I do to protect my co-workers if I may have been exposed?

You should discuss your potential exposure with your supervisor (do not disclose medical information) and/or HR representative to determine options available to you. Also, visit: 

https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/127/2020/03/Interim-Guidance-for-Isolation-for-COVID-19.pdf for guidance on self-isolation. 

I am having flu-like symptoms. What should I do?

You should stay home when you are sick to help prevent the spread of illness to others. You should restrict all activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.  

If you need to seek medical care, call your healthcare provider and tell them your symptoms before you go. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.  

If an employee feels they do not need to be seen in-person by their doctor for an illness or concern, they can use telehealth as an option.  Visit ogi.idaho.gov to learn more about telehealth benefits. Using telehealth, when appropriate for your concern, can reduce your exposure to others, decrease wait times, and provide access to an additional number of healthcare providers.  

All state employees enrolled in the state’s medical plan have access to telehealth through MD Live, as well as enrolled family members. Visit ogi.idaho.gov to learn more about your telehealth options.

What if a co-worker is showing signs of illness and is still coming to work?

Employees should follow normal call-in procedures and stay home anytime they are sick to help prevent the spread of illness to others. 

If you are concerned about a co-worker showing signs of illness and still coming to work, talk to your supervisor or HR representative. Nonetheless, employees need to be cautious to ensure that they are not violating their co-worker’s rights, discriminating against them, and/or interfering with their privacy.

Can I work from home while caring for children or others?

General restrictions related to caring for young children or other persons while telecommuting during the COVID-19 situation have been waived. Under this exception, a telecommuting employee would be expected to be in communication with their supervisor, account for work and non-work hours, and take appropriate leave (paid or unpaid) to account for time spent away from normal work-related duties (e.g., to care for children or sick family members).  

What about telecommuting?

The temporary telecommuting application must be completed and approved for employees to work remotely.

Telecommuting should be utilized wherever possible in place of other leave options and coded in I-Time as CVR (for tracking purposes).

Telecommuting arrangements can be used to promote social distancing and can be an alternative to the use of accrued leave for an employee who is asymptomatic (does not show symptoms of being ill) or caring for a family member who is asymptomatic. These telecommuting arrangements are temporary and subject to change as the COVID-19 situation develops.

The Statewide DHR policy restriction on telecommuting when there are young children or other persons requiring care and supervision is waived during this time. Under this exception, a telecommuting employee would be expected to account for work and non-work hours and take appropriate leave (paid or unpaid) to account for time spent away from normal work-related duties (e.g., to care for children or sick family members).

When considering alternative work arrangement ideas, supervisors and employees may wish to consider the following:

  • What work could be performed remotely?
  • What equipment/technology is needed to support a telecommuting work arrangement?
  • Are there any projects or items that the department and employee have wanted to work on but have never had the time?  This may be an ideal time to invest time on such a project while working from an alternative worksite.
  • Consider service level needs within your department, and implement either staff rotation or use of technology to meet these needs while continuing to serve our LC State community and student population. 
  • Consider partial telecommuting shifts that could be implemented in partnership with in-office tasks.  For example, could an employee complete in-office, mission-critical tasks for a small portion of the day or week, and then complete related projects and other tasks remotely from home or different work location?
  • Consider the workforce needs of your colleagues. Are there opportunities to collaborate and utilize employees to support needs in other departments?

Department supervisors should review workplace processes, including how to access voicemail, email, and other departmental resources and systems remotely (including VPN access if required for access to Colleague, data, or shared drives).  Each department should carefully consider if any mission-critical tasks can only be completed onsite and how to staff them appropriately, utilizing staff rotation, technology, or other means. Departments are also being asked to take immediate steps to identify mission-critical personnel who will be required to report to work if able to do so.  All supervisors, in consultation with their Division leadership, will determine what staff will be needed to complete on-site mission-critical tasks in accordance with their continuity of operation needs.

LC State’s Continuity of Operations document has prioritized VPN access and other remote technologies that will be needed when employees work from home.  Because of this prioritization, please be aware that there could be a delay in fulfilling some telecommuting requests.  We ask for your patience during this time and will process these requests as quickly as we can.

Note: submitted forms, regardless of the listed expiration date, will be considered valid for the length of Idaho’s stay-home order. 

What about paid leave options?

Accrued Leave/Sick Leave Waiver

If an employee or a family member stays home because they choose to self-monitor due to potential exposure in accordance with CDC guidance or because of school or daycare closures, the employee must first request to telecommute; if telecommuting is not an available option, they may use any available accrued leave balances including sick, vacation, and comp time. (codes: SIC, VAC, CPT).

Note: According to DHR rule 15.04.01.240.03, employees are only eligible to use sick leave in cases of actual illness (not potential illness or due to school or daycare closures); however, the DHR Administrator, in accordance with 15.04.01.006, has temporarily waived this rule due to COVID-19. This rule is only being temporarily waived.

Advanced Sick Leave for COVID-19 (CVS)

Advanced Sick Leave is a new leave option that is available to both benefited and non-benefited state employees specifically due to COVID-19. Advanced Sick Leave provides an advance of up to 80 hours of sick leave to employees. In the instance of benefited employees, employees are required to repay their sick leave balance with future accrual of sick leave. (Since non-benefited employees do not accrue sick leave, they do not have to repay Advanced Sick Leave with future accruals unless they become benefit-eligible within 6 months of utilizing Advanced Sick Leave.)  

Employees are eligible to use Advanced Sick Leave (I-Time Code: CVS) related to COVID-19 when the following conditions are met:

  • The employee has exhausted their accrued sick leave and comp time balances (exhaustion of vacation leave is not required); if the employee is non-benefited, this requirement does not apply since they do not accrue leave;

AND

  • The employee is required by a public health official to self-isolate or to isolate a family member (family member is defined by the DHR Policy Section 3: Sick Leave due to risk of exposure OR the employee’s minor age children’s school or day care has been closed due to COVID-19 precautionary measures;

AND,

  • The employee is unable to telecommute.

The policy is limited to the COVID-19 for up to 80 hours of advanced sick leave and requires the employee provide documentation from a public health official that they or a family member are required to self-isolate due to risk of exposure or notification from their children’s school or day care regarding the disclosure, and sign an acknowledgement indicating their understanding that they are required to repay Advanced Sick Leave with future accruals. An acknowledgement will be made available at Idaho Division of Human Resources.

Paid Administrative Leave (CVT) for COVID-19

Agencies may authorize up to 80 hours of paid administrative leave (CVT) for employees or a family member(s) who are subject to self-isolation under the direction of public health authorities due to a significant risk exposure to COVID – 19. Proof from a public health official or health care professional must be provided within 5 business days of beginning CVT. Supervisors should not place an employee on CVT without first consulting with their Human Resources (HR) staff.

What are best practices for social distancing at work?

One effective strategy for minimizing the spread of COVID-19 is greater social distancing.  Social distancing can be accomplished by using technology (such as Zoom or other teleconferencing methods) and may be the best alternative to in-person meetings.

When work must occur on campus, supervisors are asked to consider the structure of in-person meetings and business formalities carefully.

  • When scheduling meetings, employees should determine if in-person meetings are absolutely necessary.
  • Encourage virtual meeting capabilities such as zoom and teleconferencing.
  • If needed, establish new, regular technology-based communication (i.e., daily or weekly zoom or teleconferenced staff meetings) within your team to ensure continuity of projects/tasks with a remote workforce. 
  • When meeting in person, avoid business formalities such as shaking hands. When in-person meetings must occur, ensure arrangements are made for meeting participants to be six feet apart (i.e., social distancing efforts).

What are best practices for conference rooms and shared equipment?

The CDC states that it may be possible for a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.  

The CDC recommends following everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases which includes cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaner or disinfecting wipes. Routinely clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use disposable wipes to wipe down commonly used surfaces before each use (conference room tables, shared keyboards, remote controls, etc.). 

What about immunocompromised or other high-risk employees?

Supervisors should apply extra consideration and flexibility for immunocompromised or other high-risk employees. Employees and supervisors should consult with HR to determine if the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) apply when addressing concerns related to COVID-19.

What about student and temporary employees?

As of March 26, All students who work at LC State, including Work Scholars, should not report to work until further notice. Supervisors will provide additional information as it becomes available. 

What about search committee interviewing/candidate travel?

In support of the College’s suspension of all business travel, LC State has also suspended all travel related to job finalists and on-campus interview activities and events. All travel to campus for in-person interviews are suspended and will need to be postponed to a later date. The College will provide an update at a later date when College-sponsored travel has been reinstated, allowing the rescheduling of candidate travel.

 

Where can employees find additional assistance?

For employees experiencing heightened anxiety, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has staff on hand to assist employees during this time. The EAP may be reached at 877-427-2327 or via the EAP website.    GuidanceResources is Idaho’s online EAP platform that provides access to timely, expert information on thousands of topics, including the coronavirus. Use ID: SOIEAP and type coronavirus in the search bar.

Telehealth benefits: All state employees and family members enrolled in the state’s medical plan have access to telehealth through MD Live. Visit Office of Group Insurance to learn more about your telehealth options.

LC State is committed to diversity and equity. LCSC will not tolerate discriminatory remarks or behavior toward any member of our community.  Should you experience or witness discrimination or harassment based on race, color, or national or ethnic origin, please report concerns to the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Compliance.

The primary method for communication with faculty and staff about this ongoing situation will be through email. Please continue to check your LCSC email, monitor the LCSC Novel Coronavirus Updates web page, and contact the HR Office if you have HR-related questions. For additional questions and more detailed information, please review the College’s March 16 Action Plan (PDF), or email coronavirus@lcsc.edu.

How do I change my password from off campus?

You can change/reset your @lcsc.edu password two ways:

  1. While logged into a computer on campus, hit Control + Alt + Delete and 'Change Password' for Windows users.  Mac users will go to System Preferences and then Users & Groups and choose their account and click 'Change Password.'
  2. While off campus follow these instructions.  

Are some spaces on campus going offline?

In order to focus more resources and attention (e.g., cleaning personnel and supplies, campus security, etc.) on campus Clean Zones, some spaces across campus are being taken offline. Such rooms will be designated by blue “offline” signs on the door.

 

For additional questions or information contact coronavirus@lcsc.edu