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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates 4/6/2020
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

 

Palm Beach State College (PBSC) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update (3/16/2020)


Students

Saturday, March 14 to Sunday, March 22: Classes suspended

The College is monitoring student centers and services daily to provide updated hours of operation based on need.

  • Libraries, Student Learning Centers (SLC) & Computers Labs 
    •  Open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice.
  • Dining Facilities on each campus 
    • Open daily 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. until further notice.
    • Currently the Boca Raton dining facility is closed.
  • Bookstore – bookstores on campus
    • Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until further notice.
  • Counseling Services – effective immediately these services will be provided virtually,
  • Advising Services 
    • students should contact their assigned advisor directly by phone or email for continued assistance during this time frame.
  • Financial Aid Services
    • contact the College’s call center at 561-868-3350
    • or toll free at 866-576-7222 regarding your financial aid situation.

Faculty and Staff

Effective Monday, March 16, staff and faculty will transition to remote work with some exceptions.

The transition to remote work, remote instruction, and limiting the number of people on campuses is part of the College's continuing effort to actively monitor information and updates from our federal, state and local health officials and provide the safest work environment while allowing for course instruction to continue.

Employees who are required to be physically present at work will coordinate with their immediate supervisors on plans that ensure a safe working environment during this time.

Staff and faculty will work directly with their supervisors to develop remote work plans and to work with IT services in order to have the most effective remote work environment developed.

The College’s eLearning team has begun to work with faculty members to provide assistance in this transition. The College will remain open to provide certain academic and students services available to students who require them.


PBSC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Past Updates


Dear Panther family,

Palm Beach State College continues to actively monitor information and updates about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Health and other entities with the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff as our top priority.


Academic continuity

We are aware that FAU is closing its campuses to students for two weeks effective Monday, March 16. PBSC, in consultation and alignment with the other 27 colleges in the Florida College System, will remain open and in operation. We are currently preparing plans and operations to convert classes to remote or online instruction if necessary. The administration will work with faculty and students to ensure that they have the needed resources to make the move online.


Self-quarantine

As noted in a previous communication, PBSC requires all employees and students to proactively self-quarantine and avoid contact with others for 14 days if they have traveled to impacted Level 2 and Level 3 countries (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan) and are showing signs of illness. In addition, the Florida Department of Health is now recommending that anyone who has returned from any international travel or cruise within the last 14 days and has a fever or shortness of breath should call their health care provider or county health department.

If you choose to self-quarantine, please notify your supervisor or student dean immediately.


Hand sanitizing stations

We are adding signage to help students and employees better identify hand-sanitizing stations on campus, as well as encouraging students, faculty and staff to continue to practice recommended safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health, which include often washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.


Student and employee travel

The College has suspended all College-related international and out-of-state travel indefinitely.

In addition to email, updates are being posted on the College website banner.  We will continue to keep you updated.

Other important links include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health.

Palm Beach State College continues to closely monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The safety and health of the PBSC community is a foremost concern for the College. The College will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with health agencies in order to determine if any further action is necessary.

CAMPUS PREPAREDNESS

During Spring Break, the Palm Beach State College Facilities Department has implemented heightened measures to ensure the cleanliness of the campus upon our return. The facilities team and custodial services department are following best practices in cleaning procedures, deep cleaning high traffic areas, adequately stocking and maintaining sanitizing dispensers and installing additional guidance posters with safety information. The College will also increase the amount of sanitizing dispensers on campus. Facilities will continue this action plan upon return from Spring Break as well.

PROACTIVE SELF-QUARANTINE

Following guidance from Governor Ron DeSantis and State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, PBSC requires all students, faculty, staff who have traveled to impacted Level 2 & 3 countries (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan) within the past two weeks, to self-quarantine at home and avoid contact with others for 14 days. 

Any students who have traveled to these impacted countries can direct questions or academic concerns to their specific campus student deans who will work with faculty to assist you in the case that you experience any difficulty in completing coursework or attending classes. Your success is extremely important to us.

For any faculty and staff that have travelled to these impacted countries, please contact your immediate supervisor for any questions and concerns.

TRAVEL PRECAUTION

PBSC has suspended all College-related travel to countries issued a Level 2 or 3 warning and will continue to follow travel guidelines as provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For those concerned with international travel precautions, please visit the CDC’s website for complete information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

HEALTH PRECAUTION

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), see your health care provider immediately.

Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact. Your healthcare professional will work with the public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

Anyone with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of coronavirus will be guided by the treating physician and the Florida Department of Health on steps for treatment.

Once again, for students experiencing symptoms, please contact your campus student dean for any questions or academic concerns. Faculty and staff, please contact your immediate supervisor with any concerns as well.

PREVENTION

Aside from the additional activities the facilities team will be undertaking to protect our campuses, the College suggests following these steps to protect yourself and those around you:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • 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.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

HELPFUL LINKS

Palm Beach State College is collaborating closely with the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County (FDOH) to monitor the current outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 worldwide. The Florida Department of Health, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is actively working to ensure that accurate and up-to-date information is provided to local partners, including Palm Beach State College.

Thus far, no cases have been reported in Florida. However, the College is prepared to proceed with emergency operations protocol to assist and support students, faculty and staff should the virus impact our community in any way.

The safety and health of the PBSC community is a foremost concern for the College.

The College will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with health agencies in order to determine if any further action is necessary. For more information, including links to FDOH resources, please visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/index.html

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Below are actions that help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• 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.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

TRAVEL PRECAUTIONS

For those concerned with international travel precautions, please visit the CDC’s website for complete information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

For any updates, please continue to visit our website, monitor our social media accounts and check your college email.

 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


COVID-19 FAQs

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is caused by a previously unrecognized coronavirus, called COVID-19.For more information about COVID-19 please visit:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://www.who.int/western pacific/emergencies/novel-coronavirus

What are the symptoms and signs of COVID-19?

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

 

How can I protect myself and my students from COVID-19?

There are some common-sense precautions that you can take that apply to many infectious diseases.

The most important precaution is frequent hand washing with soap and water and the use of 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands.

Encourage people around you to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

Helpful prevention and treatment guidelines can be found on the CDC’s website: Prevention and Treatment and Guidelines for Hand Hygiene

What resources are available to find the most up to date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?

How is the virus spread?

This virus most likely originally emerged from an animal source and now appears to be spreading from person-to-person. Currently, COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

How can I protect myself?

While there is no vaccine for COVID-19, basic principles apply that can keep you healthy just like with the flu

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • 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.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more details on its website.

 

COVID-19 FAQs

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is caused by a previously unrecognized coronavirus, called COVID-19.For more information about COVID-19 please visit:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/novel-coronavirus

What are the symptoms and signs of COVID-19?

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

 

How can I protect myself and my students from COVID-19?

There are some common-sense precautions that you can take that apply to many infectious diseases.

  • The most important precaution is frequent hand washing with soap and water and the use of 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands.
  • Encourage people around you to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Helpful prevention and treatment guidelines can be found on the CDC’s website: Prevention and Treatment and Guidelines for Hand Hygiene

What resources are available to find the most up to date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?

How is the virus spread?

This virus most likely originally emerged from an animal source and now appears to be spreading from person-to-person. Currently, COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

How can I protect myself?

While there is no vaccine for COVID-19, basic principles apply that can keep you healthy just like with the flu

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • 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.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more details on its website.

CDC Coronavirus Summary 2019 (COVID-19)

Learn the most current information about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)



Coronavirus Resources for PBSC Employees (HR)


Palm Beach State College continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The following are resources available to Palm Beach State College employees during this time of concern.

Florida Blue – Waiving copays and deductibles related to medical testing for the virus for members. Members should consult their health care provider if they are experiencing symptoms linked to the coronavirus, such as mild to severe respiratory symptoms, such as a cough and difficulty breathing, and a fever. If testing is needed, Florida Blue supports the work of providers, the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure COVID-19 testing is available. The tests are provided at no cost by state and federal health authorities and may soon be available at other laboratories.

Florida Blue will increase access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (consistent with member’s benefit plan) and/or encouraging members to use 90-day mail order benefit. Florida Blue will also ensure formulary flexibility if there are shortages or access issues. In the event of shortages or access issues, members will not be liable for the additional charges that stem from obtaining a non-preferred medication. Additional information can be found at www.Floridablue.com or by calling 1-800-352-2583.

New Directions EAP - members can talk to specially trained behavioral health counselors at no cost via a 24/7 toll-free help line at 833-848-1762. Additional information on the virus and precautions to take are available on their website at www.ndbh.com.

Teledoc – Members are strongly encouraged to take advantage of virtual care options in their plans for less serious medical issues. Seeking in-person care may lead to further spreading of the coronavirus. Please visit www.Teledoc.com or call 1-800-Teledoc.

Florida Department of Health – Resources on what you need to know and FAQs as well as locations for all Community Health Centers . Please visit www.floridahealth.gov. FDOH has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

You and your family’s health are always our priority. We’re here to help you stay safe and help you get the care and information you need. If you have questions or need clarification regarding benefits, please feel free to contact the benefits team at benefits@palmbeachstate.edu.

 

 

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