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March 13, 2020 - Closing Locations

This has been a challenging week for all of us as we try to navigate the rapidly changing landscape of this unprecedented crisis. I realize that many of us are anxious and concerned about the impact on our community of the growing number of Coronavirus cases in the nation. As of this time, we have no confirmed cases of Coronavirus/COVID19 at QCC.

At this time, we have decided to take the following actions:

  • In an abundance of caution, close QCC’s Main Campus and all satellite locations to all non-essential employees on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 so that Facilities can provide a thorough cleaning of every building and location. Please be sure that all desktops and surfaces that need to be cleaned are cleared of paperwork or personal belongings so that these surfaces can be efficiently sanitized. Please note that maintainers will not move any paperwork or personal belongings as they perform their duties.
  • In-person courses, labs and clinicals (including the in-person meetings of blended courses) will be suspended during the week of March 23-27 (the week after spring break). We will use this time to offer workshops and hold Dean meetings for faculty in preparation of implementing our continuity of instruction plan as necessary.
  • Online courses (and the online portions of blended courses) will continue after spring break as scheduled, without interruption. Please resume participation in your online courses when you return from Spring Break as planned.
  • Seven-week courses that begin on March 23 and are 100% online will begin as expected on March 23. In-person courses that are scheduled to begin on March 23 will be delayed until at least Monday, March 30.

Let me assure you that we are taking this crisis seriously, closely monitoring the situation, and taking all necessary precautions. Last month we developed plans to ensure continuity of instruction and began taking steps to mitigate the potential effect of the virus on our campus, including increased cleaning and other precautionary measures. The safety and well-being of all who come to campus to work and learn has been on the forefront of my mind as we try to develop contingency plans that not only address the health concerns posed by the virus, but that also ensure that equitable decisions are made that allow ALL of our students to access the high-quality, affordable education that they deserve.

Early this week, as the situation continued to evolve, I called together a crisis management team and we have been holding multiple meetings daily to coordinate our response and take action as demanded as things rapidly change hour to hour. I have been in daily contact with the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges, and have regular conversations with the Department of Higher Ed, and other State officials to understand how the Virus has effected the Commonwealth, as well as its effects on operations of our sister institutions of higher education. As we shared earlier, we implemented travel restrictions, cancelled meetings and events from outside groups, and limited non-essential campus related activities. However, the governor wanted state agencies to continue serving their community during this crisis.

As open access institutions, community colleges have a commitment to mitigate any potential disruption to our students. While many of our four-year partners have closed or moved online, we are not a residential college and do not have students living in close quarters and dorms. Our goal to mitigate the effects of the outbreak is to limit the population on campus, without cutting-off our students’ access to technology, food pantry, counseling and other resources if they need them. My colleague, Lane Glenn, President of Northern Essex Community College, has written a thoughtful blog post on the subject.

You will receive more specific information this afternoon via your college email. We will continue to assess the situation and will communicate to you next week any additional information needed regarding the continuity of instruction, including the resumption of face-to-face classes. Please be sure to read all of your College email or Qmail messages for updates and to see how your classes may change. 

The College will continue to monitor and track this evolving situation and follow the guidance of local, state, national and international health agencies as with other infectious diseases and public health concerns.

For additional health information, please visit our QCC Health and Wellness Web site.

Thank you for your hard work and patience during this trying time. We are a strong and resilient community. Working together, we will get through this, and come out stronger at the end.