Skip to the main content

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Vote And Vax - Loxahatchee Groves Campus - Oct. 23-31

The Health Care District mobile unit will be On the Loxahatchee Groves campus (15845 Southern Blvd.) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to provide vaccines. If you’re eligible and have previously received the Pfizer vaccine, a Pfizer booster shot will be available. You can also vote early during those same days and times. Election Day will be Tuesday, Nov. 2, starting at 7 a.m. Nomi Health will be providing COVID-19 testing at the end of the hall on the first floor to those with a College ID (not open to public). 


 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - 10/18/21 

** As the College continues conversations with our partner health officials and monitoring of CDC data related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Palm Beach State College will update its policies related to on-campus activity when possible. **

We understand that it has been a transition to return to our campuses, but we hope that our COVID-19 mitigation efforts of improved air filtration systems, sanitizing stations, cleaning sprays, sanitizing wipes, plexiglass shields, daily cleaning efforts and more have provided a positive experience.

Facial Coverings, Testing and Vaccinations

As we continue to follow CDC and Department of Health guidelines, we would like to reinforce that masks are EXPECTED even if you are vaccinated except when you are in your individual workstation.

As a reminder, PBSC EXPECTS  you to stay home when sick, self-quarantine and get tested for COVID-19 no sooner than 24 hours after your symptoms begin. 

Should you test positive for COVID-19 and wish to utilize the monoclonal antibody treatment option, please find more information on the Palm Beach County site.

Palm Beach State College has partnered with Nomi Health to provide FREE COVID-19 TESTING on all five campuses. Testing will be available five days a week for students, faculty and staff ONLY with a Campus ID. The test sites will offer rapid Antigen and/or PCR tests. Walk ups are welcome and appointments are available. Preregistration is encouraged.

Belle Glade

  • Technical Education Center  (Room TEC126 Wellness/Fitness Center)
  • Monday – Thursday: 9AM – 6PM
  • Friday: 9AM – 1PM

Boca Raton

  • BocaTech Building  (Room BT146 Wellness Center)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Lake Worth

  • Public Safety Training Center  (Room PSW105 Wellness Center)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Loxahatchee Groves

  • Lecture Hall   (Room 140)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Palm Beach Gardens

  • BioScience Technology Complex  (Room SC118 Wellness Center)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

 


COVID-19 Response Protocol  (Previously titled Exposure Protocol)


Follow the latest Palm Beach State College (PBSC) Step-by-Step Protocol for Close Contact or confirmed positive test of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Since Palm Beach State College returned to campus this fall, we are making every effort to follow current CDC Guidance for Institutions for Higher Education (IHE) in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing that the CDC updates its guidance as new information becomes available, it is recommended that you view the CDC website often. The College will also coordinate the response protocols and guidance with the local health department. The PBSC Security Department and the Health and Safety Department (HSD) will be the primary liaison.

Confirmed Case – report of person with COVID-19 and meeting confirmatory laboratory evidence.  |  More Information

Probable Case – report of person meeting clinical AND epidemiologic evidence of COVID-19 but without confirmatory laboratory evidence.  |  More Information

Infectious Period – a case of COVID-19 is considered infectious from two days prior to symptom onset, or specimen collection date for asymptomatic cases, through 10 days later. 

Close Contact – someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of six feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation.

Isolation – used to separate people infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available). Don’t share personal household items and wear a mask when around other people if able. 

Quarantine – the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic from others who have not been so exposed to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease. Quarantine [https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/quarantineisolation.html] may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order.

Unvaccinated People

Quarantine/stay home for 14 days (after last exposure) if you have had close contact (within six feet, for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who is confirmed positive with COVID-19 illness (PCR testing)

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
  • If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.

You may be able to shorten the quarantine: 

  • After Day 10 without testing/without COVID-19 illness symptoms
  • After Day 7 if you receive a negative PCR test result (testing must occur on Day 5 or later)

Fully Vaccinated People

Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and who meets the following criteria does NOT need to stay home:

  • Someone who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of COVID-19. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors and in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.
  • Someone who has COVID-19 illness within the previous three months and has recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath)

The local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. 

If you are a member of the PBSC community and have been in close contact with an infected person or know that you have been exposed to COVID-19, please adhere to the following protocol:

Faculty/Staff:

1. Contact immediate supervisor (IS) with sufficient detail.

2. Immediate supervisor will contact the Security and Risk Management Department (SRMD), and other Supervisors and Campus Leaders with details and plan for closure.

3. Security Department and/or HSD will make a detailed report to include locations, classes, other employees, and/or students possibly exposed:

a. The employee will be advised to follow the guidelines established by the CDC for quarantine procedures.

b. During the self-quarantine period, the affected employee may work remotely from home, if their job duties permit, with this assignment being approved by their supervisor.

c. The employee will advise their immediate supervisor of their COVID-19 test results if tested before returning to campus.

d. If the employee is tested and the result is confirmed positive for COVID-19, the employee must follow the confirmed positive, “Known Infection” protocol.

e. If the employee is not tested, they will be advised to follow the CDC guidelines for self-quarantine for those individuals who are not tested.

4. Determination to close affected buildings and/or areas, altered work schedules, and/or relieving employees from duty will be determined by provosts, supervisors, directors, executive deans, deans, or authorized authority.

5. Level 2 cleaning and disinfection of affected areas/buildings will be conducted by the approved service provider, if applicable.

6. Employees will be advised to contact Human Resources at www.palmbeachstate.edu/hr/benefits/leave-policies.aspx for direction concerning any applicable COVID-19 compensation 

 

Students

1. Contact your specific Campus Student Dean:

Student Dean Contact Information
Campus Dean Email Phone
Lake Worth Ron Malave malaver@palmbeachstate.edu 561-868-3055
Boca Raton Van Williams williamv@palmbeachstate.edu 561-862-4400
Palm Beach Gardens Tracey Olsen-Oliver olsenolt@palmbeachstate.edu 561-207-5326
Belle Glade Dr. LaTanya McNeal mcneall@palmbeachstate.edu  561-993-1128
Loxahatchee Groves Kimberly Lancaster lancastk@palmbeachstate.edu

561-790-9006 (Lox)

561-993-1134 (BG)

2. The campus student dean will contact the Security Department and/or the Health and Safety Department, respective faculty, instructors, directors, and campus leadership, or other authorized authority. The Security Department and/or HSD will make a detailed report of the situation to include locations, classes, employees, and other students possibly exposed.

3. Procedures for lockdown and cleaning will be followed pursuant to protocol, if necessary.

4. The decision to close buildings, cancel, or modify classes will be at the discretion of the respective faculty, instructors, directors, or campus leadership.

5. Students must communicate with faculty and follow the Student Handbook www.palmbeachstate.edu/studenthandbook regarding absences related to COVID-19.

6. Students will be advised to follow CDC guidelines for quarantine procedures.

7. Test result(s) should be provided to the campus student dean.

a. If the test result is positive, the student must follow protocol for confirmed positive case or “Known Infection” section of this protocol.

b. If a student is not tested, they will be advised to follow the CDC guidelines for self-quarantine for those individuals who are not tested.

If a member of the PBSC community is confirmed positive for COVID-19, follow these steps:

Faculty/Staff

1. Contact immediate supervisor.

2. Immediate supervisor will contact the Security and/or the Health and Safety Department (HSD), who will make a detailed report to include locations, classes, other employees, and/or students possibly exposed. 

3. Respective supervisors are responsible for notifying other supervisors, campus leadership, possibly exposed employees, faculty, staff, and students, who have had close contact with the confirmed positive employee. Confidentiality rules according to HIPAA guidelines must be adhered to.

4. Once a confirmed, positive test result has been reported, the affected buildings or specific areas within buildings will be immediately locked down or blocked off as soon as practical. Signs reading “Restricted Area | Do Not Enter | Authorized Personnel Only” will be posted at all entries.

5. The Security Department and/or HSD will contact the affected employee or student to determine those areas occupied/affected.

6.  Respective supervisors, directors, provosts, deans, campus leadership, or authorized authority will work with the Health and Safety Manager and the COVID-19 Operational Task Force to assess risk and determine the final length or duration of closure for each building or area.

7. Determination to alter employee work schedules, and or relieve employees from duty will be determined by respective supervisors, directors, provosts, deans, campus leadership, or authorized authority.

8. Cleaning procedures will be conducted by the approved service provider according to current guidelines.

  1. Level 2 cleaning can be performed after a 24-hour waiting period.
  2. Level 3 cleaning will be necessary if performed less than 24-hours from exposure.
  3. Levels 1-3 are defined by the contracted cleaning provider.

9. The employee who is confirmed positive for COVID-19 must report and provide documentation of confirmed positive results to their supervisor and Human Resources via benefits@palmbeachstate.edu. Human Resources has the right to require medical documentation in all COVID-19-related cases.

10. Employees who are confirmed positive for COVID-19 will be instructed to follow the CDC guidelines for confirmed positive cases and self-isolation procedures and will not be approved to return to work until they have self-isolated for ten days, have no symptoms of COVID-19 illness (without the use of medication), and have received a negative test. Some people continue to test positive for months after infection, in those cases clearance from a medical professional is required.

11. Employees who have had direct exposure/close contact to the infected/confirmed positive employee will be instructed to follow the CDC guidelines for close contact and quarantine procedures.

  1. During the self-quarantine period, the affected employee may work remotely from home, if their job duties permit, with this assignment being approved by their supervisor.
  2. If the employee is not tested, they will be required to follow the CDC guidelines for those individuals not tested.
  3. It is the responsibility of the respective supervisors, directors, provosts, deans, campus leadership, or authorized authority to notify affected employees of possible exposure to COVID-19 while adhering to HIPAA guidelines concerning the identity of the infected employee.

12. Employees will be advised to contact Human Resources for direction at www.palmbeachstate.edu/hr/benefits/leave-policies.aspx for any applicable COVID-19- related compensation. 

13. The Security and/or HSD Department will notify the Epidemiology unit of the Palm Beach County Health Department and provide pertinent information for contact tracing efforts. Students, staff, and faculty may also be required to provide tests results to the Health Department, if requested, and are required to fully cooperate when contacted.

 

Students

1. Contact your specific Campus Student Dean:

Student Dean Contact Information
Campus Dean Email Phone
Lake Worth Ron Malave malaver@palmbeachstate.edu 561-868-3055
Boca Raton Van Williams williamv@palmbeachstate.edu 561-862-4400
Palm Beach Gardens Tracey Olsen-Oliver olsenolt@palmbeachstate.edu 561-207-5326
Belle Glade Dr. LaTanya McNeal mcneall@palmbeachstate.edu  561-993-1128
Loxahatchee Groves Kimberly Lancaster lancastk@palmbeachstate.edu

561-790-9006 (Lox)

561-993-1134 (BG)

 

2. The campus student services dean will contact the Security Department and/or the Health and Safety Department (HSD), respective campus leadership or authorized authority, deans, program directors, faculty, and staff. 

3. Students must communicate with faculty and follow the Student Handbook www.palmbeachstate.edu/studenthandbook regarding absences related to COVID-19.

4. Respective campus leadership, deans, program directors, faculty and staff, or authorized authority are responsible for notifying other possibly exposed students, faculty, and staff of a COVID-19 positive test. Confidentiality rules according to HIPAA guidelines must be adhered to.

5. The Security Department and/or the HSD will make a detailed report of the situation to include locations, classes, employees, and other students, faculty and staff who have been exposed or have had close contact.

6. Procedures for lockdown and cleaning will be followed pursuant to protocol.

7. The decision to close buildings, cancel, or modify classes will be at the discretion of the respective faculty, instructors, directors, campus leadership, or authorized authority.

8. Students who test positive for COVID-19 must report and provide documentation of confirmed positive results to their respective campus student dean.

9. The student will be required to follow CDC guidelines for confirmed positive cases and self-isolation procedures.

10. Students will not be allowed to return to campus until they have self-isolated for ten days, have no symptoms of COVID-19 illness (without the use of medication), and have received a negative test. Some people continue to test positive for months after infection, in those cases clearance from a medical professional is required.

11. Other students, faculty or staff who have had close contact to a confirmed positive student will be instructed to follow CDC guidelines for close contact and self-quarantine procedures.

  1. If the exposed student(s), faculty, or staff are not tested, they will be required to follow CDC guidelines for those not tested and not show symptoms of COVID-19 infection, without the use of medication, before returning to campus.

12. The Security Department and/or HSD will notify the Epidemiology unit of the Palm Beach County Health Department and provide pertinent information for contact tracing efforts. Students, staff, and faculty may also be required to provide tests results to the Health Department, if requested, and are required to fully cooperate when contacted.

This Emergency Protocol is in compliance with FS 287.057(3)(a) and Administration Code 6A-14.0734(3). District Facilities will assist the campus with procuring the required remediation, cleaning, and disinfection.

Communication is very important, especially for unvaccinated people who may have come in contact with the affected student or staff member.

This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the transmission and severity of COVID-19.

Certain PBSC programs such as Nursing and Public Safety have established more restrictive and comprehensive COVID-19 standards and protocols based on accreditation and industry standards.

The College has partnered with Nomi Health to administer free COVID-19 tests on its five campuses. These rapid anitgen and/or PCR tests are free to students, faculty and staff with a valid PBSC ID.

Campus Locations and Times

Belle Glade

  • Technical Education Center  (Room TEC126)
  • Monday – Thursday: 9AM – 6PM
  • Friday: 9AM – 1PM

Boca Raton

  • BocaTech Building  (Room 146 Wellness Center)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Lake Worth

  • Public Safety Training Center  (Room PSW105 Wellness Center)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Loxahatchee Groves

  • Lecture Hall   (Room 140)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Palm Beach Gardens

  • BioScience Technology Complex  (Room SC118 Wellness Center)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Prepared by: David Olerich, HVAC & EMS Specialist, Palm Beach State College

Revised: Nov. 18, 2020

Objective

To provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for the faculty and students returning to campus after the COVID-19 quarantine. It is the goal of the college to implement best practices in our operations henceforth to meet or exceed the guidelines set forth by the CDC and follow the recommendations of ASHRE to the greatest extent possible.

 

Observations to Consider

With infectious diseases transmitted through aerosols, HVAC systems can have a major effect on the transmission from the primary host to secondary hosts. Decreasing exposure ofsecondary hosts is an important step in curtailing the spread of infectious diseases.

ASHRAE’s Executive Committee and Epidemic Task Force approved the following statements specific to the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two statements are appended here due to the unique relationship between the statements and the protective design strategies discussed in this position document:

Statement on airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2: Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce airborne exposures.

Statement on operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission: Ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air. Unconditioned spaces can cause thermal stress to people that may be directly life threatening and that may also lower resistance to infection. In general, disabling of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems is not a recommended measure to reduce the transmission of the virus.

Pathogen dissemination through the air occurs through droplets and aerosols typically generated by coughing, sneezing, shouting, breathing, etc. The majority of larger emitted droplets are drawn by gravity to land on surfaces within about 3–7 ft. General dilution ventilation and pressure differentials do not significantly influence short-range transmission. However, small aerosols (<10 μm), which can stay airborne and infectious for extended periods (several minutes, hours, or days) and thus can travel longer distances and infect secondary hosts who had no contact with the primary host.

 

ASHRAE Recommended Ventilation and Air Cleaning Strategies

The use of highly efficient particle filtration in centralized HVAC systems reduces the airborne load of infectious particles. This strategy reduces the transport of infectious agents from one area to another when these areas share the same central HVAC system through supply of recirculated air. Filtration will not eliminate all risk of transmission of airborne particulates because many other factors besides infectious aerosol concentration contribute to disease transmission.

The entire ultraviolet (UV) spectrum can kill or inactivate microorganisms, but UV-C energy (in the wavelengths from 200 to 280 nm) provides the most germicidal effect, with 265 nm being the optimum wavelength. While ASHRAE Position Document on Filtration and Air Cleaning (2018) does not make a recommendation for or against the use of UV energy in air systems for minimizing the risks from infectious aerosols, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved UVGI as an adjunct to filtration for reduction of tuberculosis risk and has published a guideline on its application (CDC 2005, 2009).

Controlling RH reduces transmission of certain airborne infectious organisms, including some strains of influenza, this document encourages designers to consider temperature and RH. Scientific literature generally reflects the most unfavorable survival for microorganisms when the RH is between 40% and 60%. These studies showed that RH below 40% is associated with three factors that increase infections. First, infectious aerosols emitted from a primary host shrink rapidly to become droplet nuclei, and these dormant yet infectious pathogens remain suspended in the air and are capable of traveling great distances. When they encounter a hydrated secondary host, they rehydrate and can propagate the infection. Second, many viruses and bacteria are anhydrous resistant and have increased viability in low-RH conditions. And finally, immuno-biologists have now clarified the mechanisms through which ambient RH below 40% impairs mucus membrane barriers and other steps in immune system protection.

 

ASHRAE Recommendations for Building Operation

Specific HVAC strategies supported by the evidence-based literature should be considered, including the following:

  • Enhanced filtration
  • Portable, free-standing high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters
  • Temperature and humidity control
  • Increase outdoor air ventilation (disable demand-controlled ventilation and open outdoor air dampers to 100% as indoor and outdoor conditions permit).
  • Improve central air and other HVAC filtration to MERV-13
  • Keep systems running longer hours (24/7 if possible).
  • Add portable room air cleaners with HEPA or high-MERV filters with due consideration to the clean air delivery rate.
  • Add duct- or air-handling-unit-mounted, upper room, and/or portable UVGI devices in connection to in-room fans in high-density spaces.

Palm Beach State College HVAC Operation Standards

In accordance with the ASHRE recommendations from the ASHRAE Position Document on Infectious Aerosols listed above, Palm Beach State College will implement the following procedures district wide:

  • Temperature and humidity control goal of 60% RH.
  • Increase outdoor air ventilation (disable demand-controlled ventilation and open outdoor air dampers to 100% as indoor and outdoor conditions permit).
  • Improve central air and other HVAC filtration to MERV-13

In addition to these district wide operations the following items will be implemented under certain circumstances:

  • Keep systems running longer hours (2 hrs. before occupancy and 1 hr. after).
  • Add portable room air cleaners with HEPA or high-MERV filters.
  • Add duct- or air-handling-unit-mounted, UVGI devices or equivalent in high-density spaces.

All information in this document is taken from the ASHRAE Position Document on Infectious Aerosols Approved by ASHRAE Board of Directors April 14, 2020.

 

Palm Beach State College HVAC Maintenance Procedures Post COVID-19

As best practice all maintenance performed on air handling equipment shall be performed following the procedures outlined in this document.

  • All maintenance performed on the equipment shall be performed with the unit OFF. The unit shall be de-energized and allowed to come to a complete stop before any panels or doors are opened.
  • All work being performed on the equipment in the air stream shall be done while wearing proper PPE consisting of at minimum face mask and gloves. Face shield is optional unless it is known that there was a positive COVID-19 test result from someone in the area served.
  • Filters shall be carefully removed and bagged inside the mechanical room or on the roof where applicable.
    • If the filter change is following a COVID cleaning the coil and all interior cabinet surfaces shall be treated with an appropriate disinfectant and new filters shall be installed. If new filters are not available, existing filters must be removed and treated with a disinfectant spray per the manufacture’s guidelines.
  • If the unit is equipped with GPS Bi-Polar Ionization, turn off the power to the unit and clean the tips of electrodes per manufactures guidelines.
  • Inspect AHU interior for conditions that could promote viral or bacterial growth and clean accordingly using a disinfecting cleaner for that purpose.
  • Perform any other required maintenance procedures and close doors or panels before restoring power to the AHU and GPS.

 

Guidelines Associated with COVID-19 Cleaning

As a part of the Palm Beach State College COVID-19 response plan, thorough cleaning of buildings having been exposed to the virus is mandated. Such cleaning will take place before the all-clear will be issued to reoccupy the building. Following such cleaning and before the all-clear is issued the above described maintenance shall be performed to the HVAC equipment.

Special caution should be exercised when performing a post COVID-19 cleaning to not disturb particles that could be released into the airstream and distributed throughout the building. To ensure that nothing still viable remains following the service process, in addition to the maintenance procedures as listed above, coil and interior cabinet treatment with an appropriate disinfectant shall be performed regardless of the appearance of the equipment.

Actions you can take:

  • Wear a mask on campus, indoors and outside when social distancing is not possible 
  • Make sure you can breathe through your mask 
  • Cover both your nose and mouth with your mask 
  • Wash your cloth face coverings regularly 
  • Keep a safe distance – 6’ ft 
  • Wash your hands often 
  • Refrain from touching your face 
  • Avoid shared surfaces and crowded settings 

View/print safety flyer

(Updated 8/18/2021)

 


Return to Campus Plan


The Return to Campus Taskforce, comprised of students, faculty and staff across multiple campuses and business areas, monitors, discusses and recommends campus operations based on local, state and federal data sources to College leadership. This group will meet weekly to provide guidance and to ensure that changes to policy can be made quickly.

It is important that the College remains flexible due to the new information that is consistently being released regarding the virus and its effects. But make no mistake, the College is preparing its campuses to meet all health-related safety guidelines and the wellbeing of the Panther community will continue to be the highest priority.

Dear Panther Family,

We are excited and encouraged to welcome everyone back to campus next week. At the same time, our first priority is the health and safety of ALL students, faculty and staff on all Palm Beach State College campuses.  

Though the past 18 months have kept us apart, our relationships, partnerships and friendships did not end simply because we were not in the same room. I am grateful for what next week brings: students walking our campuses, classes accessible via four modalities, in-person student services and a spirit that reminds us that we have remained Panther Proud, Panther Strong and Panther Safe.  

Throughout this challenging time, our mission remains to provide accessible, student-centered teaching and learning experiences in academic, technical and life-long learning to transform lives and strengthen our community. We will not be deterred from carrying out our mission, but we also have a collective responsibility to keep ourselves and each other safe.  

We have listened to our PBSC community and have responded to expressed needs to help us get Back on Campus and Back on Track with confidence:

  • MASKS: The College EXPECTS everyone to wear an approved facial covering while inside PBSC facilities unless alone in a personal workspace. We expect everyone to help mitigate the spread by wearing a mask and practicing proper hand hygiene through frequent handwashing. 
  • SAFE FACILITIES: The Facilities department has implemented a variety of safety mechanisms including appropriate COVID-19 signage, enhanced air ventilation and filtration systems, personal protective equipment (PPE), face shields, podium shields, sanitizer dispensers, cleaning supplies, paper towels, and sanitizing wipes. We have been able to reduce class sizes and leverage facilities to accommodate high-demand classes and modify classrooms to increase safety measures.
  • COVID-19 TESTING: The College is working to provide COVID-19 testing on each of our campuses for current PBSC students, faculty and staff and should have details on this confirmed by early next week. 
  • ACCESSIBLE COURSEWORK: The College is providing four different learning modalities including face-to-face, hybrid, online and live-online.


The College has been instrumental within the community, providing both testing and vaccinations at several campuses, doing our part to ensure the well-being of our Panther family, our neighbors and loved ones.  Palm Beach State College STRONGLY ENCOURAGES everyone to get vaccinated to ensure the safest and most responsible return to campus.

During these many months, the College has followed CDC Guidance for Institutions for Higher Education (IHE) and the local Department of Health in their response to COVID-19. Recent announcements from the CDC tell us that both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals can transmit the current COVID-19 variant. With an increase in infection rates, we are continuing to partner with the Health Care District of Palm Beach County on making vaccines available at all campuses. We want all of you to visit Palm Beach State’s COVID-19 Updates website to keep track of the latest news and guidance related to the virus.

No one expected a pandemic to wreak havoc on us for over a year and a half and counting. What we can expect, however, is responding in the most responsible way possible for ourselves and for our community. As we are in the education business, it is our duty to guide others while taking care of each other. And, if our mantra tells the world that we transform lives, then we start with protecting, inspiring and caring for the lives of those closest to us. 

With heartfelt optimism for a safe and successful Fall term, I look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus.

Panther Proud, Panther Strong, Panther Safe!

Ava L. Parker, J.D.
President

Palm Beach State College will, in everything that we do, work to ensure the health, safety and well-being of everyone in our community.

  • This plan was formulated based upon the most up-to-date information available
    at the time. This plan is subject to revision based upon any new relevant data and conditions.
  • Proceed thoughtfully, carefully and deliberately in developing and implementing a comprehensive plan to reopen College campuses.
  • Maintain social distancing where possible, good hygiene, staying home when sick, and the expected use of facial coverings.
  • Adhere to COVID-19 protocol to address exposures.
  • Plan for a sense of normalcy of operations.
  • Face-to-face operations will resume for all college services, in addition to virtual options.
  • Communicate transparently, listen and survey regularly recognizing that there
    will be some anxiety in returning to campus.

In support of those returning to campus:

  • Utilize the Symptom checker daily for your personal protection and the protection of others.  Stay home if sick.
  • Facial coverings are expected especially when a safe social distance cannot be maintained.
  • Enhanced cleaning will be provided by the District Custodial Team.
  • The Healthy Building Program has been implemented by Facilities and will continue to expand and be supported for the safety of the community.

 

Gatherings on Campus

The number of people allowed to gather in one place must comply with the latest state, local and CDC guidelines.

As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College will monitor and comply with all state and local emergency orders and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization, and Florida Department of Health.

The safety and well-being of the PBSC community is our highest priority, and we appreciate every Panther’s cooperation as plans change and evolve during the pandemic.

 

VISITORS COMING ONTO CAMPUS

Visitors are welcome and encouraged to make an appointment in advance and answer a series of screening questions on the phone or through the PBSC mobile application ahead of the scheduled appointment. Facial coverings are expected for visitors and guests along with social distancing, where possible, and adherence to hygiene guidelines when coming onto campus. 

 

STUDENTS COMING ONTO CAMPUS

All students who are coming onto campus for reasons other than attending classes are encouraged to make an appointment, whether it is with advising, admissions, or meeting with faculty/staff members. Facial coverings are expected for students along with social distancing, where possible, and adherence to hygiene guidelines when coming onto campus. 

 

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) WHILE ON CAMPUS

Since facial coverings are expected masks will be provided and will be available at convenient locations.

 

MAINTAINING A SAFE DISTANCE (Social Distancing)

The 6-feet-apart rule is advisable where possible.  Facial coverings are expected when social distancing is not possible.

Classrooms: Cleaning stations will be provided in each classroom and students are encouraged to wipe down their workspace when they arrive and before the start of class.

Office Areas: Cleaning stations will be provided in open office areas to enable regular disinfection of high touch surfaces.

Transaction Areas: Wellness shields will be installed to provide an aerosol barrier.

Student Engagement Areas (Dining, Bookstore, Student Activities): These high-traffic areas will have phased openings and will employ all of the required components to help provide a safe distance. Staggered times to control the flow of people will also be used.

Elevators:  Signage will be provided to describe the proper etiquette if more than one person is riding at the same time.

 

SIGNAGE TO HELP NAVIGATE DURING A PANDEMIC

Appropriate COVID-19 signage will be posted in all facilities. It is provided to assist with hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette (when coughing or sneezing), riding elevators, maintaining a safe distance, as well as identifying quarantined areas in the case of a COVID Exposure.


HAND HYGIENE

Frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds followed by drying with a paper towel is vital for your health and the mitigation of the spread of the virus.

All restrooms will be adequately supplied and frequently visited by custodial day porters for cleaning and disinfection. Please enter a Facility Work Order if you notice any issues, and they will be addressed as soon as possible.

In areas where soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer stations containing at least 60% alcohol can be used and will be provided by the College.

 

CLEANING AND DISINFECTION

The Facilities custodial team is ready to provide enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas throughout the day. This includes door handles, stair rails, elevator buttons, etc. Staff will need to enter a Facility Work Order if any issues are noticed. Each work order request will be addressed as soon as possible.

Disinfectant wipes, spray bottle disinfectant and paper towels will be provided to departments for use in areas with frequent turnover of users, such as classrooms, computer stations with keyboards, testing centers, libraries, and office suites. Facilities will ensure that each classroom has disinfectant and paper towels, as students will be responsible for wiping down their classroom workspaces.

 

BUILDING AIR FILTRATION AND AIR CIRCULATION

In order to provide safe indoor air quality, the Healthy Building Program was initiated and provides increased air filtration along with increased air changes per hour. Web-based air quality monitoring will also be available as the program expands. Web links will be provided on the Facilities web page.

 

COVID-19 HVAC OPERATIONS PROTOCOLS

Tese protocols are included in the Healthy Building Program with the objective of providing a safe and comfortable learning environment for the faculty and students returning to campus. It is the goal of the College to implement best practices in our operations and thereby meet or exceed the guidelines set forth by the CDC, as well as follow the recommendations of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRE) to the greatest extent possible.

EMPLOYEES:

Many of our faculty and staff are experiencing stress, anxiety and fear as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The College remains sensitive to concerns about exposure and will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. It is important for the College community to know the mental health resources that are available to PBSC 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, 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 the 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 nonpreferred medication. Additional information can be found at www.Floridablue.com or by calling 1-800-352-2583.

New Directions EAP

Regular full- and part-time faculty and staff members and their household 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

FDOH provides 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.

If you have questions or need clarification regarding benefits, please feel free to contact the benefits team at benefits@palmbeachstate.edu.

Round Tables or “Support Groups” are currently being planned and will be posted online:
www.palmbeachstate.edu/CounselingCenter

Additional community resources: Dial 2-1-1 from a phone or log onto 211palmbeach.org

 

Students

The College understands that anxiety and fear and other emotions are being experienced as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Counseling is available to students virtually for all five campuses. Bilingual counselors are available, and the College offers a variety of support groups to meet student needs.

To schedule an appointment with a counselor:
Phone: 561-868-3980
Email: studentcounselingcenter@palmbeachstate.edu

Additional information: www.palmbeachstate.edu/CounselingCenter

A student may also dial 2-1-1 from any phone to talk to someone 24 hours/7 days a week/365 days a year or log onto 211palmbeach.org

Overview

Phase 1

PBSC will ease restrictions depending on certain criteria and the prevalence of COVID-19 geographically in South Florida. The purpose of Phase 1 is to bring departments back onto campus in a limited capacity. This will assist in increasing on campus operations and allow the departments to make the appropriate adjustments as the College transitions to returning to campus.

Phase 2

In Phase 2, supervisors will continue to work with essential staff and identify volunteers who will be coming onto campus on a staggered schedule and those who will continue to work remotely, as to minimize access to common areas and consider special accommodations for vulnerable populations.

Phase 3 

Phase 3 is the “returning to the new normal” phase with the goal of 50% staff returning to campus daily, with exceptions for those who have received approval from their supervisor and Human Resources to continue to work remotely. Departments may resume unrestricted staffing. The goal is to start Phase 3 in August. Data may support
a different decision as we aspire to these dates.

The College will continue to watch the data and advice from local health authorities as we decide to move forward.

Phase 4

Coming Soon!

 

Academic Operations

Student success remains a pivotal part of the operations of the College. 

  • For all programs that have not been approved to resume on-campus, face-to-face instruction, they will continue to be conducted through virtual instruction.
  • Online courses, as designated, will continue to be operated as a fully online course.
  • Associate deans and department chairs will discuss the Hybrid/Blended Learning Instruction Model for their respective programs with an emphasis on face-to-face labs where possible for fall 2020.
  • The Hybrid/Blended Learning Instruction Model will be designed with a focus on limited seating for oncampus instruction.
  • If requested, faculty who are designated as vulnerable/high-risk, will be provided with the option to continue to teach virtually, if their instruction can be conducted virtually, with supervisor approval.

Phase 1: May 1 – July 12, 2020

Staff whose job responsibilities did not transfer to remote work will return to their respective campuses. Priorities include positions that are needed for campus safety or reopening, and jobs that cannot be effectively completed from home and are critical to ongoing operations. Employees who volunteer to come back onto campus may do so with supervisor approval, as supervisors will need to ensure workspaces can be utilized with the number of employees returning with minimal co-worker exposure and are equipped with necessary sanitizing/cleaning items. Faculty will remain teaching virtually, except for those programs that have been approved by President’s Cabinet for returning to campus in order to provide face-to-face instruction, as certain competencies cannot be taught via virtual instruction. Employees and students will adhere to social distancing guidelines as provided by the CDC. Most employees will continue remote work.

The following units have approval for limited staffing on campus in Phase 1. Leaders in each area are working on their unit’s plan with the health of employees and the community in mind.

Administration/Business Services

  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Procurement
  • Warehouse and Mail Services
  • Facilities Services
  • Theaters
  • Security
  • Emergency Operations Center

Information Technology

  • PC support personnel
  • Technology personnel

Student Affairs

  • Personnel, as required

All other administrative and academic units should continue remote work, but supervisors may request an exception for some employees to return to campus if they meet certain criteria.

There will be no nonessential in-person training or travel for the College during Phases 1 and 2.

 

Staffing

The Phase 1 priority is to return staff whose roles are essential to safety and preparing campus for fall as well as those who cannot effectively perform their roles from home and are critical to ongoing operations. Those in vulnerable populations whose job functions have transferred remotely should remain off campus. Supervisors need to be flexible to accommodate.

 

Academics

Academic and Workforce Programs that have reconvened instruction during Phase 1 and their program start dates:

Program start dates during Phase 1 (2020)
Program Start Date
Fire Academy Day cohort May 4
Fire Academy Night cohort May 9
Law Enforcement BLE 205 May 18
EMS - EMT and Paramedic June 1
Dental Assisting June 1
Transportation Service Technology May 26
Cosmetology June 1 (pending state guidelines for salons)
Electrical June 1
Manufacturing June 1
Radiography June 1
Sonography  June 1
Medical Assisting June 20
Welding Evening June 29
2020 Summer Youth Arts Program Workshops July 6

 

Hygiene

Social distancing. Stay at least six feet apart and be mindful of enclosed spaces.

Handwashing. Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds.

Cleaning. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

Common areas. Keep common areas closed.

Facial coverings. MANDATORY when on campus, inside businesses or any building where the public has a right to access, and outside when social distancing is not possible. Exemptions include the following:

  • Sitting in your office or at your personal workstation alone
  • Working outside and at least 6 feet away from others
  • Persons prohibited from wearing facial coverings by federal or state safety or health regulations
  • Persons who have a medical condition that makes the wearing of a facial covering unsafe such as, but not limited to, asthma, COPD, and/or other conditions that reduce breathing or lung capacity. (Documentation must be provided by a medical professional.)

 

Innovation

Remote Work. Remote work should continue for most employees.

Innovative/Diffuse Density. Consider staggered days and hours to limit the number of people in workspaces. Supervisors will designate their staff who are returning to campus in groups. These groups will alternate weeks or days on campus, as determined by the supervisor, to limit the number of employees in a workspace. When an employee is not on campus, their work will continue remotely.

Workspaces. Consider changes in layout and design to create natural separation.

Processes. Identify and digitize paper processes.

Gatherings. Use technology, such as Zoom, to limit gatherings.

 

Monitoring

Temperature checks. Employees will be asked to check their temperatures before coming to work and stay home if they have a fever. Normal temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Screenings. Employees will confirm to their supervisor each day that they have not knowingly been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 and that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

Symptom Checker. A brief checklist of questions shall be provided to students, faculty, staff and visitors to self-screen before coming to campus. The Symptom Checker is created using the CDC Symptoms of Coronavirus.

Self-Evaluation. If the employee displays COVID-19 symptoms, and/or if they feel ill, the recommendation is for the employee to stay home and seek medical care as needed. Coming to work sick puts the Panther community at risk.

Self-isolation. Those who are self-isolating will notify their supervisor, Security and Human Resources.

Managers and faculty will assist in enforcing the use of facial coverings when an individual is not practicing social distancing of at least 6 feet. An individual is not required to have a facial covering when in an office by his/herself or when outside and practicing social distancing.

Phase 2: Begins on July 13, 2020, which aligns with the start of Summer Term B.

The goal is to bring back personnel to 30% on-campus capacity to increase functionality as needed. Departments should continue to work with Facilities and review and develop plans for bringing additional staff back onto campus. This includes evaluating workspaces to ensure social distancing is maintained.

 

Staffing

The Phase 2 priority is to bring back, as necessary, additional staff to increase capacity of the department.

Supervisors will continue to work with essential staff and identify volunteers who will be coming onto campus on a staggered schedule and those who will continue to work remotely, as to minimize access to common areas and consider special accommodations for vulnerable populations.

Supervisors need to be flexible to accommodate those in vulnerable populations whose job functions have been performed remotely.

 

Academics

Academic and Workforce Programs that have reconvened face-to-face instruction during Phase 2 and their
program start dates:

Program start dates during Phase 2 (2020)
Program Start Date
Dental Hygiene July 13

 

Hygiene

Social distancing. Stay at least six feet apart and be mindful of enclosed spaces.

Handwashing. Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds.

Cleaning. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

Common areas. Keep common areas closed.

Facial coverings. MANDATORY when on campus, inside businesses or any building where the public has a right to access, and outside when social distancing is not possible. Exemptions include the following:

  • Sitting in your office or at your personal workstation alone
  • Working outside and at least 6 feet away from others
  • Persons prohibited from wearing facial coverings by federal or state safety or health regulations
  • Persons who have a medical condition that makes the wearing of a facial covering unsafe such as, but not limited to, asthma, COPD, and/or other conditions that reduce breathing or lung capacity. (Documentation must be provided by a medical professional.)

 

Innovation

Remote Work. Remote work should continue for most employees.

Innovative/Diffuse Density. Consider staggered days and hours to limit the number of people in workspaces. Supervisors will designate their staff who are returning to campus in groups. These groups will alternate weeks or days on campus, as determined by the supervisor, to limit the number of employees in a workspace. When an employee is not on campus, their work will continue remotely.

Workspaces. Consider changes in layout and design to create natural separation.

Processes. Identify and digitize paper processes.

Gatherings. Use technology, such as Zoom, to limit gatherings.

 

Monitoring

Temperature checks. Employees will be asked to check their temperatures before coming to work and stay home if they have a fever. Normal temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Screenings. Employees will confirm to their supervisor each day that they have not knowingly been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 and that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

Symptom Checker. A brief checklist of questions shall be provided to students, faculty, staff and visitors to self-screen before coming to campus. The Symptom Checker is created using the CDC Symptoms of Coronavirus.

Self-Evaluation. If the employee displays COVID-19 symptoms, and/or if they feel ill, the recommendation is for the employee to stay home and seek medical care as needed. Coming to work sick puts the Panther community at risk.

Self-isolation. Those who are self-isolating will notify their supervisor, Security and Human Resources.

Managers and faculty will assist in enforcing the use of facial coverings when an individual is not practicing social distancing of at least 6 feet. An individual is not required to have a facial covering when in an office by his/herself or when outside and practicing social distancing.

Phase 3: August – December 2020 (target goal)

Return to “new normal” with a goal of 50% staff returning to campus daily, with exceptions for those who have received approval from their supervisor and Human Resources to continue to work remotely. All guidelines and requirements for Phases 1 and 2 will continue to apply to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors. The College will continue to monitor and utilize Department of Health data to make decisions on the capacity of the College (i.e., new cases, death rate, hospital rates, etc.). College will continue to use daily symptom checker for employee self-screening.

Departments will continue using staggered shifts (1 week on campus/1 week at home or alternate days; extended department hours).

Facial shields will be provided to faculty or staff, as requested.

 

Staffing

The Phase 3 priority is to return remaining staff to operate under the new normal, continuing to be flexible to encourage social distancing.

Those in vulnerable populations may return to campus. Supervisors need to be flexible to accommodate.

 

Academics

Academic and Workforce Programs that have reconvened face-to-face instruction during Phase 3 and their program start dates:

Program start dates during Phase 3 (2020)
Program Start Date
Culinary CCE courses August 31
Hospitality CCE courses August 31

 

Hygiene

Social distancing. Stay at least six feet apart and be mindful of enclosed spaces.

Handwashing. Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds.

Cleaning. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

Common areas. Keep common areas closed.

Facial coverings. EXPECTED when on campus, inside businesses or any building where the public has a right to access, and outside when social distancing is not possible. Exemptions include the following:

  • Sitting in your office or at your personal workstation alone
  • Working outside and at least 6 feet away from others
  • Persons prohibited from wearing facial coverings by federal or state safety or health regulations
  • Persons who have a medical condition that makes the wearing of a facial covering unsafe such as, but not limited to, asthma, COPD, and/or other conditions that reduce breathing or lung capacity. (Documentation must be provided by a medical professional.)

 

Innovation

Remote Work. Remote work should continue for most employees.

Innovative/Diffuse Density. Consider staggered days and hours to limit the number of people in workspaces. Supervisors will designate their staff who are returning to campus in groups. These groups will alternate weeks or days on campus, as determined by the supervisor, to limit the number of employees in a workspace. When an employee is not on campus, their work will continue remotely.

Workspaces. Consider changes in layout and design to create natural separation.

Processes. Identify and digitize paper processes.

Gatherings. Use technology, such as Zoom, to limit gatherings.

 

Monitoring

Temperature checks. Employees will be asked to check their temperatures before coming to work and stay home if they have a fever. Normal temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Screenings. Employees will confirm to their supervisor each day that they have not knowingly been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 and that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

Symptom Checker. A brief checklist of questions shall be provided to students, faculty, staff and visitors to self-screen before coming to campus. The Symptom Checker is created using the CDC Symptoms of Coronavirus.

Self-Evaluation. If the employee displays COVID-19 symptoms, and/or if they feel ill, the recommendation is for the employee to stay home and seek medical care as needed. Coming to work sick puts the Panther community at risk.

Self-isolation. Those who are self-isolating will notify their supervisor, Security and Human Resources.

Managers and faculty will assist in enforcing the use of facial coverings when an individual is not practicing social distancing of at least 6 feet. An individual is not required to have a facial covering when in an office by his/herself or when outside and practicing social distancing.

Phase 4 is in development and will be added as soon as it's approved.

TRAVEL

Work-related travel (any work-related travel outside of Palm Beach County) will be suspended through December 2020, unless specifically approved by the president.

Employees. All international travel needs to be reported to your supervisor in order to determine whether a quarantine is necessary prior to returning to campus.

 

SECURITY & ENFORCEMENT

The nature of their work requires that PBSC security officers be vigilant and take reasonable precautions to protect themselves, their colleagues, and those they serve.

Security officers are and will be primary players in preventing and responding to COVID19. As the phased reopening of campuses has begun, PBSC Security Department’s role in the reopening plan will not be physical or confrontational enforcement of protocols. Instead, the Security Department’s role will be Prevention and Protection, Education and Awareness, Documentation and Reporting, and Assistance during calls for service.

A. Prevention and Protection

PBSC security officers will make it a personal priority to reduce exposure and risk to themselves and to protect others. Exposure can come from someone in the College community who is asymptomatic. Security officers will be encouraged and/or required to abide by all CDC and health care district guidelines as well as PBSC policies as it relates to the prevention of COVID 19. In addition, security officers will abide by all laws, ordinances and emergency orders relating to the COVID 19 pandemic. Security Officers will be issued specific protocols and guidelines to help in preventing the spread and exposure to the COVID 19 when dealing with members of the campus community and responding to calls for service.

B. Documentation, Information and Reporting

1. Security officers will routinely check updates and other information published by the CDC, WHO, the Palm Beach County Health District, and the College.

2. Report the suspicious and unusual. Recognize that in a health crisis, the smallest or most innocuous piece of information may prove incredibly valuable.

3. The Security Department in conjunction with the Safety and Risk manager will prepare all incident reports related to COVID-19 issues to include contact tracing. The security officer will gather all pertinent information which may be invaluable to campus and public health officials in tracing sources and containing exposure.

C. Education and Awareness

4. Security officers will be prepared to answer questions. They will know the PBSC COVID 19 response protocol and referral services and be prepared to provide people with accurate and timely information on how and where to get answers to their questions about COVID-19. If available, carry brochures, fact sheets, and web and social media contact information to
provide to the College community.

5. Speak to the facts and guide others to do the same. Avoid participating in and fostering rumor, misperception and myth.

6. During the COVID-19 pandemic, PBSC security officers are on the frontline and will serve as a resource and be the extended eyes, ears, messengers, and problem-solvers on behalf of the College community. PBSC security officers are the first-on-the-scene “public health interventionists.”

D. Calls for Service and Assistance

7. Security officers will know the protocols related to calls for service and other situations that may involve people who are ill or infected with COVID-19.

8. Drive with windows open (at least partially) to ventilate the patrol vehicles.

9. Wear protective gloves in any situation that involves touching another person. If a call for service specifically cites involvement of a person with acute infectious respiratory symptoms, notify fire/EMS and approach with protective gear (approved mask and gloves).

10. When arriving at a call for service, and if the circumstances allow, make an initial inquiry about whether anyone in the room or area is ill.

11. Ask follow-up questions. When handling calls for service, campus security officers may encounter people who appear ill or know others who are ill. They often are willing to provide details about their contacts, travels and experiences. Inquire, but do not assume the person has COVID. Minimize exposure (time and distance) to people who exhibit flu-like symptoms. If the situation allows, practice social distancing pursuant to CDC guidelines.

12. Security officers will assist in managing special events and other situations that may involve groups or crowds, especially if the number of people allowed to congregate has been set administratively or by law for buildings and open areas.

13. If a member of the College community or visitor violates College protocol, policies, rules or orders relating to the COVID-19 response or otherwise becomes irate or aggressive, security officers will proceed as follows:

  • Respond to the scene immediately and notify the dean of student services if a student, or the immediate supervisor if staff or faculty.
  • If a visitor, the security officer will notify a superior officer or the Lieutenant of Security.
  • The officer will use his/her skills in negotiation to seek voluntary compliance.
  • Deans or immediate supervisors will be asked to assist using the leverage of the Student Code of Conduct or condition of employment measures to gain compliance.
  • Under no circumstance will security officers use physical force, intimidation or confrontation to address noncompliance issues.
  • As a last resort, depending on the severity of the situation and with approval of campus authority, law enforcement may be called in to assist.

The College will continue to survey students and reach out to identify their needs. Below are some areas
that have been identified to assist students during this pandemic:

Student Code of Conduct www.palmbeachstate.edu/studenthandbook

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Funds. Dollars were and are being distributed directly to eligible students who applied and were enrolled in the spring term and eligible students who applied and enrolled in the summer term.

Panther True (To the Relief of Urgent Emergencies) Fund. This fund is used to provide much needed assistance and relief for students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Student Services. Advising, tutoring, librarian support, career center services, Help Desk and other services will continue to be provided remotely. Once staff return to campus, students will have access to in-person support by appointment only.

Panther’s Pantry. Staff is working on alternative ways to provide food and hygiene products in a safe manner to students in need.

EXTERNAL ACCESS/RENTAL OF FACILITIES

  • Restrict access from the external community through the summer, except for the theatres.
  • Theatre use will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

 

MEETINGS AND EVENTS

  • Virtual meetings shall be encouraged to continue until it is determined there is no additional risk for COVID-19 exposure.
  • Where meetings in-person are necessary, social distancing guidelines must be followed and facial coverings required.
  • Events on campus have been suspended until further notice unless approved by the president.

HUMAN RESOURCES

The College has remained flexible for our employees who are considered vulnerable or potential high-risk. Below is some guidance on how returning to work will be conducted through Human Resources as determined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

 

EEOC COVID-19 Guidance: Potential High-Risk Employees – Return to Work
and Accommodations

On May 5, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updates to its COVID-19-related frequently asked questions guidance to address the return to work and accommodation of employees who may have underlying conditions that put them at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.


Accommodation Requested

If an employee has one of the medical conditions identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that may put the employee at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, the EEOC advises that the employee, or a third party such as the employee’s doctor, notify the employer that the employee needs an accommodation for a reason related to an underlying medical condition. The request may be formal or informal and does not need to expressly refer to a “reasonable accommodation.” A request, in conversation or in writing, stating that a change is required to meet a medical need is sufficient to trigger the interactive process. In responding to the request, employers are free to ask questions and request medical documentation to determine whether the employee has a disability and if there is a reasonable accommodation that can be provided without undue hardship.


Accommodation Not Requested

If an employer knows that an employee has one of the medical conditions that the CDC says may put the employee at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, but the employee does not request an accommodation, the EEOC advises that the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) does not mandate any action on the part of the employer. The EEOC warns employers that they are not allowed to exclude employees from the workplace, or take any other adverse action, solely because the employee has a disability that potentially places the employee at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Employers may exclude those employees from the workplace only when the employee’s disability poses a “direct threat” to the employee’s health that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation. To determine whether a direct threat exists, employers are to consider the duration of the risk, the nature and severity of the potential harm, the likelihood that the potential harm will occur, the imminence of the potential harm, and the potential for exposure to COVID-19 at the workplace. A determination of a direct threat does not end the inquiry. Employers still must determine whether there is a reasonable accommodation, absent undue hardship, that can be provided to reduce the risk to the employee. If not, then the employer may exclude the employee from the workplace.

 

Effective Accommodations

The EEOC suggests the following accommodations to eliminate or reduce the risks to employees with underlying medical conditions:

  • Providing additional or enhanced personal protective equipment, including gowns, masks, gloves or other protective equipment
  • Taking additional or enhanced protective measures, such as erecting physical barriers or increasing space between employees
  • Eliminating “marginal” job functions (i.e., less critical or incidental job duties as distinguished from the “essential” functions of a position)
  • Temporarily modifying work schedules to reduce contact with co-workers or relocating the employee’s personal workspace to increase social distancing.
  • Identifying an effective accommodation depends on many factors, including the employee’s job duties and the design of the workspace. Consequently, the EEOC encourages employers to discuss with employees the listed examples as well as other
    possible accommodations.

State and local legislative developments could impact the guidance provided by the EEOC.

The college is utilizing the guidance from the EEOC Guidelines on COVID-19. Employees can determine eligibility through the following
procedures:

  • American with Disabilities Act Accommodation request form is located on the PBSC Human Resources: www.palmbeachstate.edu/hr/FormsAndDocuments.aspx. Such requests should be completed and sent to the Associate Director of Human Resources and Equity Officer.

CDC:  https://coronavirus.gov


 

NIH:  www.nih.gov/coronavirus


The Incubation Period of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) From Publicly Reported Confirmed Cases Estimation and Application: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32150748/


EEOC COVID-19 Guidance: Potential High-Risk Employees – Return to Work and Accommodations: www.natlawreview.com/article/eeoc-covid-19-guidance-potential-high-risk-employees-return-to-work-and


Current guidance based on community exposure, for people exposed to people with known or suspected COVID-19 or possible COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/public-health-recommendations.html


Interim Guidance for Administrators of U.S. Institutions of Higher Education: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-ihe-response.html


Public Health Guidance for Community-Related Exposure: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/public-health-recommendations.html


Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/96dd742462124fa0b38ddedb9b25e429

 

PBSC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Past Updates

Dear Panthers,

Palm Beach State College has partnered with Nomi Health to provide FREE COVID-19 testing on all five campuses. Testing will begin on the Belle Glade, Lake Worth and Loxahatchee Groves campuses Sept. 28. Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens will start Sept. 29. The testing will be available five days a week for students, faculty and staff ONLY with a Campus ID. The test sites will offer rapid Antigen and/or PCR tests. Walk ups are welcome. Individuals can also preregister here.

COVID Testing Sites/Hours:

Belle Glade

  • Technical Education Center  (Room TEC126)
  • Monday – Thursday: 9AM – 6PM
  • Friday: 9AM – 1PM

Boca Raton

  • BocaTech Building  (Room 146 Wellness Center)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Lake Worth

  • Public Safety Training Center  (Room PSW105 Wellness Center)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Loxahatchee Groves

  • Lecture Hall   (Room 140)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Palm Beach Gardens

  • BioScience Technology Complex  (Room SC118 Wellness Center)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

COVID Campus Coalition
PBSC's Student Trustee, Tarruck Wheeler, is helping provide accurate information on COVID-19 vaccines while fighting disinformation as the PBSC ambassador for the COVID Campus Coalition, a national student-led organization that offers college students accurate, timely information about existing and emerging vaccines. PBSC is the only state college in Florida that has such an ambassador. 

Dear Panther Family,

 

We are excited and encouraged to welcome everyone back to campus next week. At the same time, our first priority is the health and safety of ALL students, faculty and staff on all Palm Beach State College campuses. 

Though the past 18 months have kept us apart, our relationships, partnerships and friendships did not end simply because we were not in the same room. I am grateful for what next week brings: students walking our campuses, classes accessible via four modalities, in-person student services and a spirit that reminds us that we have remained Panther Proud, Panther Strong and Panther Safe. 

Throughout this challenging time, our mission remains to provide accessible, student-centered teaching and learning experiences in academic, technical and life-long learning to transform lives and strengthen our community. We will not be deterred from carrying out our mission, but we also have a collective responsibility to keep ourselves and each other safe. 

We have listened to our PBSC community and have responded to expressed needs to help us get Back on Campus and Back on Track with confidence:

  • MASKS: The College EXPECTS everyone to wear an approved facial covering while inside PBSC facilities unless alone in a personal workspace. We expect everyone to help mitigate the spread by wearing a mask and practicing proper hand hygiene through frequent handwashing. 
  • SAFE FACILITIES: The Facilities department has implemented a variety of safety mechanisms including appropriate COVID-19 signage, enhanced air ventilation and filtration systems, personal protective equipment (PPE), face shields, podium shields, sanitizer dispensers, cleaning supplies, paper towels, and sanitizing wipes. We have been able to reduce class sizes and leverage facilities to accommodate high-demand classes and modify classrooms to increase safety measures.
  • COVID-19 TESTING: The College is working to provide COVID-19 testing on each of our campuses for current PBSC students, faculty and staff and should have details on this confirmed by early next week.
  • ACCESSIBLE COURSEWORK: The College is providing four different learning modalities including face-to-face, hybrid, online and live-online.

Thank you to our employees who have responded to the recent survey on vaccination status. As of today, preliminary results are as follows: Out of 617 responses, 539 state that they have been vaccinated and 78 are unvaccinated. Regarding employee status, 202 are full-time faculty, 156 are part-time faculty, and 259 are staff. As a reminder, all responses are anonymous, so if you haven’t already responded, please do so by clicking here.

The College has been instrumental within the community, providing both testing and vaccinations at several campuses, doing our part to ensure the well-being of our Panther family, our neighbors and loved ones.  Palm Beach State College STRONGLY ENCOURAGES everyone to get vaccinated to ensure the safest and most responsible return to campus.

During these many months, the College has followed CDC Guidance for Institutions for Higher Education (IHE) and the local Department of Health in their response to COVID-19. Recent announcements from the CDC tell us that both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals can transmit the current COVID-19 variant. With an increase in infection rates, we are continuing to partner with the Health Care District of Palm Beach County on making vaccines available at all campuses. We want all of you to visit Palm Beach State’s COVID-19 Updates website to keep track of the latest news and guidance related to the virus.

No one expected a pandemic to wreak havoc on us for over a year and a half and counting. What we can expect, however, is responding in the most responsible way possible for ourselves and for our community. As we are in the education business, it is our duty to guide others while taking care of each other. And, if our mantra tells the world that we transform lives, then we start with protecting, inspiring and caring for the lives of those closest to us.

With heartfelt optimism for a safe and successful Fall term, I look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus.

Panther Proud, Panther Strong, Panther Safe!

Ava L. Parker, J.D.
President

Dear Panthers,

As the College continues conversations with our partner health officials and monitoring of CDC data related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Palm Beach State College will update its policies related to on-campus activity when possible. 

Facial Coverings, Testing and Vaccinations 

Out of an abundance of care and concern for the health and well-being of our faculty, staff, students, vendors, visitors and overall Panther community, PBSC EXPECTS everyone to wear a face covering or mask at all times when inside any PBSC facility, even if you are vaccinated. 

Recent studies and guidance from the CDC state that both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals can transmit the current COVID-19 variant to unvaccinated persons. We expect you to help mitigate the spread by wearing a mask and practicing proper hand hygiene through frequent handwashing. 

Furthermore, PBSC EXPECTS you to stay home when sick, self-quarantine and get tested for COVID-19 no sooner than 24 hours after your symptoms begin. Please find a list of testing centers here

Palm Beach State College also STRONGLY ENCOURAGES all students, faculty, and staff to help get BACK ON CAMPUS and BACK ON TRACK by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. More opportunities to receive the vaccine on campus will be announced when applicable. The vaccine is readily available at several locations across the county. 

Update for Students

Dear Panthers,

As the summer quickly comes to a close, please be on the lookout for more frequent COVID-19 updates as we prepare for another wonderful academic year in the life of Palm Beach State College.

Facial Coverings and Vaccinations

PBSC is currently STRONGLY RECOMMENDING the use of facial coverings when on campus, inside classrooms and offices, and outside when social distancing is not possible as part of its Phase 3 status. Current guidelines related to social distancing, hand washing and area cleaning are still in effect as well.

Palm Beach State College also STRONGLY ENCOURAGES all students, faculty, and staff to help get BACK ON CAMPUS and BACK ON TRACK by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. More opportunities to receive the vaccine on campus will be announced when applicable and the vaccine is readily available at several locations across the county.

COVID-19 Response Protocol

The Fall 2021 term is approaching and with the increased campus traffic, it is important that we all adhere to protocols when it comes to dealing with COVID-19. Palm Beach State College will follow CDC Guidance for Institutions for Higher Education (IHE) in its response to the COVID 19 Pandemic. Recognizing that the CDC updates its guidance as new information becomes available, it is recommended that you view the CDC website often. 

The College’s step-by-step protocol provides guidance to all Panthers on what procedures to follow in the case of close contact or a confirmed positive case for COVID-19. That protocol can be found here:

https://www.palmbeachstate.edu/safety/covid-19/default.aspx#Protocol

Please remember to contact your specific Campus Student Dean if you feel you have been exposed, been in close contact with or have a confirmed positive test for COVID-19.

 

Update for Staff/Faculty

Dear Panthers,

As the summer quickly comes to a close, please be on the lookout for more frequent COVID-19 updates as we prepare for another wonderful academic year in the life of Palm Beach State College.

Facial Coverings and Vaccinations

PBSC is currently STRONGLY RECOMMENDING the use of facial coverings when on campus, inside classrooms and offices, and outside when social distancing is not possible as part of its Phase 3 status. Current guidelines related to social distancing, hand washing and area cleaning are still in effect as well.

Palm Beach State College also STRONGLY ENCOURAGES all students, faculty, and staff to help get BACK ON CAMPUS and BACK ON TRACK by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. More opportunities to receive the vaccine on campus will be announced when applicable and the vaccine is readily available at several locations across the county.

As our Return to Campus Task Force meets weekly, they will continue to discuss pertinent COVID-19 issues and concerns and provide recommendations to President’s Cabinet in conjunction with state and federal laws. The College will continue to monitor updates and guidance from local, state and federal health officials to make the most informed decisions. 

COVID-19 Response Protocol

The Fall 2021 term is approaching and with the increased campus traffic, it is important that we all adhere to protocols when it comes to dealing with COVID-19. Palm Beach State College will follow CDC Guidance for Institutions for Higher Education (IHE) in its response to the COVID 19 Pandemic. Recognizing that the CDC updates its guidance as new information becomes available, it is recommended that you view the CDC website often. 

The College’s step-by-step protocol provides guidance to all Panthers on what procedures to follow in the case of close contact or a confirmed positive case for COVID-19. That protocol can be found here:

https://www.palmbeachstate.edu/safety/covid-19/default.aspx#Protocol

In accordance with protocol, all individuals who are suspected to be affected by any exposure are contacted directly by their supervisor or the Office of Security and Risk Management.

COVID-19 Exposure Reports (for Faculty and Staff only)

The College also produces a weekly report detailing the amounts, per campus, of self-reported COVID-19 cases that have initiated PBSC's COVID-19 exposure protocol to date. These reports can be found on the Faculty/Staff Intranet.

Please remember to contact your immediate supervisor if you feel you have been exposed, been in close contact with or have a confirmed positive test for COVID-19.

Dear Panthers,

As the College continues to move forward with preparations to welcome more students, faculty and staff to campus for the Fall 2021 term, it remains important to monitor and discuss coronavirus developments as they arise.

Facial Coverings & Vaccinations

At this time, the College will continue to STRONGLY RECOMMEND facial coverings for use when on campus, inside classrooms and offices, and outside when social distancing is not possible as part of its Phase 3 status. Current guidelines related to social distancing, hand washing, and area cleaning are still in effect as well.

Palm Beach State College also encourages all students, faculty, and staff to help get BACK ON CAMPUS and BACK ON TRACK by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. More opportunities to receive the vaccine on campus will be announced when applicable and the vaccine is readily available at several locations across the county.

Return to Campus Plan

The Return to Campus Taskforce, comprised of students, faculty and staff across multiple campuses and business areas, monitors, discusses and recommends campus operations based on local, state and federal data sources to College leadership. From this moment forward, this group will meet weekly to provide guidance and to ensure that changes to policy can be made quickly.

Dear Panthers,

As the College prepares for a full and safe return to campus operations for the Fall 2021 term, updates of the current Return to Campus Plan will be made periodically throughout the summer. It is imperative that you stay connected, check your PBSC email and refer to the College’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates page.

Facial Coverings

Effective Thursday, July 1, 2021, Palm Beach State College will implement a revised facial coverings policy as part of the current Phase 3 status. Facial coverings will be RECOMMENDED for use when on campus, inside classrooms and offices, and outside when social distancing is not possible.

Current guidelines related to social distancing, hand washing, and area cleaning will stay in effect until further notice.

Vaccinations

Palm Beach State College encourages all students, faculty, and staff to help get BACK ON CAMPUS and BACK ON TRACK by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. More opportunities to receive the vaccine on campus will be announced when applicable and the vaccine is readily available at several locations across the county.

Palm Beach State College Cares

For additional updates please visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates page. This site contains all information from the College as it pertains to campus operations, return plans and general resources.

Thank you, be well and remember to remain Panther Proud, Panther Strong, and Panther Safe!

Dear Panthers,

Senate Bill 72, which created Florida Statute 768.38, was signed into law with an effective date of March 29, 2021,  and provides Palm Beach State College liability protections for COVID-19 related civil liability claims. Therefore, PBSC will no longer require staff and students to sign the COVID-19 Liability Waiver. 

Questions

If you have any questions please contact:

College Security Office

Office of the General Counsel

Dear Panthers,

As the College released its Return to Campus Protocol on July 1 , the Panther community is excited to welcome back faculty, staff and students to its campuses. As always, the safety and well-being remain the College’s top priority.

Summer Session B Commences

This week marked the beginning of the Summer B session and the College could not be prouder of its Panthers who have continued their academic pursuits in record numbers. Although most courses are still offered in a remote or online format, the College has begun to operate in-person, on-campus programs in a limited capacity, following strict safety precautions and the College’s recently released Return to Campus Protocol.

Panther Proud! Panther Strong! Panther Safe!

The PBSC Return to Campus Protocol covers the phased-in and tactical approach the College is utilizing to reopen its campuses. The plan was developed using feedback from the Return to Campus Task Force, which is composed of students, faculty and staff, and the content was based upon the most up-to-date information available at the time. The plan is a living document, so the college will continue to develop the plan as data and advice from local health authorities evolve.

The protocol specifically outlines actions all Panthers should adhere to if coming to campus. These behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Social Distancing
  • Frequent Hand Washing
  • Staying Home When Feeling Sick
  • Use of Facial Coverings

The PBSC Return to Campus Protocol also provides step-by-step instructions on expectations and requirements when returning to campus as well as a guide if you feel you are exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Register for Fall Now (student)

The College was extremely proud that so many students decided to continue their coursework over the summer and saw an increase in summer enrollment over previous years. While PBSC students are striving for success it is important to remember that fall registration is underway with classes scheduled to start August 31.

There truly is no better time than now to enroll for fall courses and get even closer to completion at Palm Beach State College. Classes will be held in a variety of formats to assist you in selecting the best learning method and make it easier for you complete your academic/career pathway. It is important to enroll soon to ensure you get the classes you need, so register now.

Dear Panther Family

A Return to Campus Task Force composed of PBSC students, faculty and staff was established to ensure information, thoughts, and concerns were taken into consideration to determine how best to safely return to campus operations.

The College is pleased to provide the first version of this plan which will continue to develop as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic changes and evolves.

View Return to Campus Plan

The College will continue to watch the data and advice from local health authorities as we move forward.

It is important that the College remains flexible due to the new information that is consistently being released regarding the virus and its effects. But make no mistake, the College is preparing its campuses to meet all health-related safety guidelines and the wellbeing of the Panther community will continue to be the highest priority.

Summer 2020 Term Begins

Palm Beach State College is extremely excited to welcome back students to the Summer 2020 Term which began Monday, June 1. This summer will feature another full slate of remote and online courses while the College also conducts suspended Spring programs and other courses that could not make the transition to a virtual platform.

The lessons learned in spring will continue to develop as Palm Beach State builds an institution that embraces technology, innovation and inclusiveness.

Registration for summer and fall courses is currently open and students can enroll here.

CARES Act Emergency Financial Assistance Distribution

Palm Beach State has utilized the grant from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for students to use for COVID-19 related expenses such as course materials and technology, food, housing, health care and childcare. As of June 1, 2020:

  • PBSC has distributed $7,776,500 to students.
  • PBSC has an estimated 30,000 students eligible to receive CARES Act funding.
  • PBSC has awarded funding to 9,162 students.

Spring 2020 Graduates Virtual Celebration

Starting June 8, a virtual celebration will begin with an online platform that will deliver many aspects of the College’s regular commencement exercise while also providing the opportunity to celebrate the spring 2020 graduates in a whole new way. The platform will feature special video remarks, allow graduates to commemorate their achievement and give friends, family and faculty the ability to praise the persistence and resiliency of these special students.

Please share their excitement on receiving this distinction by using #PBSCgrad or #PBSCgrad2020 on your social media posts. Friends, family and other members of the PBSC community are also encouraged to use #PBSCgrad and #PBSCgrad2020 to share their excitement and admiration for this very special graduating class.

Testing Centers

In order to meet student demand, campus testing centers began on-campus operations while implementing social distancing and sterilization guidelines. An appointment is necessary, and several exams are still being offered remotely. Additional student service offices will open throughout the summer as the county begins to lessen restrictions on social gatherings and business operations.

Student Laptop Loans and Distribution

In the College’s continuing efforts to maintain remote academic instruction and provide PBSC students with the necessary tools for success, Palm Beach State College is excited to announce that a limited number of laptops and other peripheral devices will be available to students enrolled for summer classes.

Currently enrolled students can request a loaner laptop by completing this form https://webapps.palmbeachstate.edu/LibraryLaptopLoan/Default.aspx

Upon receipt of application, you will be contacted directly with pickup instructions. Completion of this form does not guarantee that a laptop will be available. Laptops will be due back August 20, 2020.

Campus contact emails for questions:

Belle Glade & Loxahatchee Groves – westlibrarylrc@palmbeachstate.edu
Boca Raton & Lake Worth – licentral@palmbeachstate.edu
Palm Beach Gardens - penad@palmbeachstate.edu

Dear Panthers,

In keeping with the College’s promise to continuously update the PBSC community on all Palm Beach State College decisions as they relate to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, here are a few very important announcements that will ensure the safety, security and commitment of all PBSC Panthers.

 

Fall 2020 Modes of Instruction

After serious consideration and consultation with local and state health officials, the College will move forward with planning for online, remote, virtual and if possible, face-to-face instruction for courses and programs in the fall. As of now, as the restrictions on social gatherings and other guidelines are in place, Palm Beach State College wants to be prepared to offer its full slate of academic offerings by any means necessary.

Over the summer term, PBSC will conduct in-person, face-to-face sessions, in small groups sizes, for a small group of programs. These courses and programs include, but are not limited to, academic pathways in health sciences, public safety, industry, manufacturing, trade and transportation. These sections will assist the College in ensuring that Palm Beach State can safely administer classes and labs on-campus and keep all students, faculty and staff safe at the same time.

 

The college’s goal for fall includes the ability to offer all academic opportunities from lectures to labs so that our students can continue their degree progress without interruption. If classes continue to be offered remotely, the College is confident that labs can be offered on campus in order to provide that pathway to completion.

As the future remains unpredictable, Palm Beach State leaders are hopeful that classes can resume in-person when the fall term begins on Monday, August 31, and will be prepared to convert classes back from remote instruction on a moment’s notice to meet the demands of the PBSC community.

Registration for fall courses is currently open and students can enroll.

 

PBSC to Celebrate the Class of Spring 2020 Virtually

There are very few words that can describe this historic moment for Palm Beach State College and the efforts put forth by the College’s spring 2020 graduating class. Their resiliency, dedication and passion for seeing through their academic pursuits has made the entire PBSC community take notice of their special Panther Pride. Their success needs to be recognized and the College has a very special program planned.

Without the ability to celebrate their achievements in person, starting June 8, a virtual celebration will begin with an online platform that will deliver many aspects of the College’s regular commencement exercise while also providing the opportunity to celebrate the spring 2020 graduates in a whole new way. The platform will feature special video remarks, allow graduates to commemorate their achievement and give friends, family and faculty the ability to praise the persistence and resiliency of these special students.

Spring 2020 graduates will receive their diplomas 3-4 weeks after the spring term finishes and are encouraged to share their excitement on receiving this distinction by using #PBSCgrad or #PBSCgrad2020 on their social media posts. Friends, family and other members of the PBSC community are also encouraged to use #PBSCgrad and #PBSCgrad2020 to share their excitement and admiration for this very special graduating class.

Previously the College was hopeful to hold an in-person ceremony for spring and summer 2020 graduates in August but due to social distancing guidelines and protocols for large gatherings, those graduates will be offered the option to participate in the next in-person commencement ceremony, which is currently scheduled to be held in December, if conditions permit such an event.

 

Campus Phased Reopening

The College is making plans to slowly open the campuses in a phased approach. This week, campus testing centers began on-campus operations while implementing social distancing and sterilization guidelines. Additional student service offices will open throughout the summer as the county begins to lessen restrictions on social gatherings and business operations.

Campus bookstores are also operating with limited hours to assist students with books, rentals, returns and other supplies. Financial aid services, which can also be accessed remotely, will also be available in the bookstores. Students must have their PantherCard in order to use their financial aid at the bookstore. Students can add a photo online and have their PantherCard mailed to their home address.

The College will remain steadfast in keeping everyone in the Panther Community safe and healthy by strictly enforcing all state, county and CDC guidelines.

Dear Panthers,

While we are unable to gather in person today to celebrate the amazing achievements of PBSC students, faculty and staff for their dedication and passion in completing the spring 2020 semester, it is important that the College recognizes those efforts and relays the message that Palm Beach State is continually committed to inspiring hope, advancing skills and transforming lives.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A MESSAGE FROM PBSC PRESIDENT AVA L. PARKER

Spring 2020 by the Numbers

The spring term of 2020 will definitely be one to remember. As the semester ends, here is a brief recap of what was accomplished by our outstanding panther students, faculty and staff:

  • 2,478 total class sections were converted to remote instruction
  • Over 350 laptops and peripheral devices were loaned to students to complete their studies
  • More than 800 pounds of food was donated by the Panther’s Pantry
  • Hundreds of surgical masks, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizers and other personalized protective equipment were donated to local hospitals as well as several ventilators

As this week would have marked the College’s annual spring commencement ceremony, here are just a few points to share about how remarkable our PBSC students can be:

  • 2,854 students will graduate, of which 1,283 are first-generation students
  • 43 students will receive their AA at the same time or before receiving their high school diploma
  • 60 veterans and active military are receiving a total of 66 degrees and certificates
  • 607 students are receiving at least their second award with PBSC
  • One student is receiving his 7th award
  • PBSC spring graduates range in age from 16 to 74

All panther graduates, along with their friends, families and faculty, are encouraged to post graduation photos and favorite PBSC memories by using #PBSCgrad on social media so we can celebrate as a community.

Palm Beach State Summer Hours

Starting Monday, May 9, and running through Friday, August 14, all PBSC campuses and services will be closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The first Friday closing will be on May 15. The College will return to a 5-day workweek the week of Monday, August 17.

The general hours for campuses and remote worksites during this period over the summer will be Monday – Thursday from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. Operating hours may vary by department or service.

The College and its services will also be closed on Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.

The College will continue to provide excellent service to students, the public and fellow employees during the compressed workweeks.

 

Dear Panthers,

As our commitment to inspiring hope, advancing skills and transforming lives guide our PBSC community toward academic success, it is this time of year that the Palm Beach State community usually celebrates the accomplishments of recent and upcoming graduates.

With the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the College has taken all measures to ensure your safety and health, while at the same time remaining steadfast in providing dedicated tools and resources to continue your path towards success.

As the semester winds down, Palm Beach State College would like to thank, congratulate and applaud all PBSC Panthers for their resiliency, dedication and pride in working through these very difficult times.

Spring Semester Conclusion

The Spring 2020 commencement exercise has been currently postponed until the end of the summer term. Therefore, those students who are completing their academic programs this semester will still receive their diplomas in the mail approximately 3 weeks after the term ends.

And as one term ends, another one begins. Summer courses will resume Monday, June 1, and there is no better time than now to enroll for summer courses and get even closer to completion at Palm Beach State College. Classes will be held online, giving you added flexibility as you juggle your other priorities. It is important to enroll soon to ensure you get the classes you need, so register now.

Registration for fall courses begin Monday, May 18, and you can stay current with all the updates that have been made to PBSC’s academic calendar here.

Current PBSC students can request official PBSC transcripts to transfer to a university or send to other academic institutions electronically. Any additional forms can be uploaded during the transcript request process. Access to request an official PBSC transcript can be found in PantherWeb.

CARES Act Emergency Financial Assistance for Students

Palm Beach State College will soon begin distributing more than $9.4 million in emergency cash grants directly to students whose lives and education have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The grants are from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for students to use for COVID-19 related expenses such as course materials and technology, food, housing, health care and childcare.

Currently enrolled students who qualify for this emergency relief will receive a notification on how to apply and receive these funds.

Updated Campus Bookstore Hours

The College will be re-opening campus bookstores to help students prepare for the summer terms for limited dates and hours beginning Monday, May 11.

The stores will only allow 50% capacity inside at one time, and staff will continually disinfect regular touchpoints. They will also wear facial coverings. Customers at the store are also encouraged to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing as marked in the stores.

While the stores will be open, students are encouraged to order books online and have them shipped for free to their homes.

Student Laptop Loans and Distribution

Laptops and other peripheral devices that were borrowed for the spring semester are due on or before Friday, May 8.  Students who borrowed a device for spring classes, and who have enrolled in summer classes, will have their due dates automatically extended though the end of the summer term in which they are enrolled.

For those students who are not enrolled in summer classes, devices can be returned at the following college locations at the dates and times below:

Lake Worth Campus Library: Monday, May 4, to Friday, May 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Palm Beach Gardens Campus Library: Friday, May 8, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The campus libraries will only be open to accept returns of loaned devices. All other library services remain available online.

Palm Beach State College Cares

For additional updates please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) update website. This website contains all updates from the College as it pertains to the campus operations, remote instruction and virtual services. You will also find the latest information from local, state and federal health officials on how to protect yourself and those around you.

Thank you, be well and remember to remain Panther Proud and Panther Strong!

Dear Panthers,

These are indeed unprecedented times. To that end, the College is constantly reminded to the pride, strength and devotion of its students, faculty and staff. From converting classes to remote instruction to adapting and excelling by working and learning at home, Palm Beach State College is proving to be the heart of Palm Beach County in so many ways.

And to continue this Panther Pledge, Palm Beach State College remains steadfast in providing the most up-to-date information regarding the disease and implementing measures to keep the PBSC community safe and healthy.

Emergency Financial Assistance for Students

Approximately $9.4 million in CARES Act funding will be distributed as emergency cash grants to students whose lives and education have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The purpose of the CARES Act funding is to provide aid for students to use towards COVID-19 related expenses such as food, housing, technology, health care, childcare, course materials and other educational costs.

Palm Beach State submitted a certification form to receive the federal funds and is awaiting guidance and disbursement of the emergency cash grants from the federal Department of Education. More details will follow in the coming weeks.

Summer & Fall Registration

With all the uncertainty that lies ahead, Palm Beach State College is proud to continue providing its academic offerings and inspiring hope to thousands of dedicated students. The College is committed to doing all it can to help you on your path towards graduation and recommends the following two steps:

  1. Register for summer classes. Classes will be held online, giving you added flexibility as you juggle your other priorities. Ensure you get the classes you need and register now.
  2. Contact your advisor, the financial aid office and/or campus registrar with any concerns or issues.

PBSC is currently working on additional funding support from a variety of public and private sources to address the financial needs and obstacles to enrollment that you may be facing during this time.

Registration for fall courses begin Monday, May 18, and you can stay current with all the updates that have been made to PBSC’s academic calendar here.

Summer Parking Fees

The College understands that due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, commuting to PBSC campuses will not be as regular as previous terms. Therefore, the parking fee will be waived or refunded for summer.

Summer Youth College Goes Virtual

Parents seeking educational and fun programs for their children this summer have options with PBSC’s popular Summer Youth College (SYC) which will offer its full variety of programing for children ages 8-16 with online and virtual sessions starting Monday, June 8. With classes in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, the SYC is a wonderful place for young panthers to experience Palm Beach State College.

Palm Beach State College Cares

For additional updates please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) update website. This website contains all updates from the College as it pertains to the campus operations, remote instruction and virtual services. You will also find the latest information from local, state and federal health officials on how to protect yourself and those around you.

Thank you, be well and remember to remain Panther Proud and Panther Strong!

Dear Panther Family,

Palm Beach State College is so extremely proud of its community, sticking together, staying safe and continuing to pursue academic excellence. It is at times like these that persistence becomes character and the power of PBSC shines through all of you. The College can see you all showing your Panther Pride as you tag your social media posts with #PBSCstaysHome and share with the world our new normal.

Commencement

PBSC is excited to announce that it plans to hold a special commencement ceremony celebrating the 2020 graduates for the spring and summer terms. The commencement ceremony will be held Friday, August 21, at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. Further details are being considered and will be provided at a later date. The College is hopeful that by this time, we can gather and commemorate this glorious occasion.

Additional Financial Aid Available

With registration for summer courses now open, and fall course registration opening later this month, now is the best time to stay on the path to graduation. The College is committed to doing all it can to help you and recommend the following two steps:

  1. Register for summer classes. Classes will be held online, giving you added flexibility as you juggle your other priorities. Ensure you get the classes you need and register now.
     
  2. Contact your advisor, the financial aid office and/or campus registrar with any concerns or issues. Visit this webpage for their contact information.

PBSC is currently working on additional funding support from a variety of public and private sources to address the financial needs and obstacles to enrollment that you may be facing during this time.

Academic Calendar Update

Due to the College’s transition to remote instruction for a majority of its courses, changes to the academic calendar had to be made. To provide faculty and staff time to continue to develop the resources and tools for students to be successful in remote learning environments, summer courses will commence on June 1. The fall semester in turn will start August 31.

Summer A: Classes June 1 – July 9 (faculty will report May  28)

Summer B: Classes July 13 – August 21

Summer C: Classes June 1 – August 21 (faculty will report May  28)

Fall 2020: Classes August 31 – December 18 (faculty will report August  21)

Palm Beach State College Cares

For additional updates please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) update website. This website contains all updates from the College as it pertains to the campus operations, remote instruction and virtual services. You will also find the latest information from local, state and federal health officials on how to protect yourself and those around you.

Thank you, be well and remember to remain Panther Proud and Panther Strong!

 

Dear Panther Family,

As the College begins its final stretch towards the end of the Spring 2020 semester, PBSC is proud that the entire Panther Community has done its part to keep each other safe, healthy and motivated to continue learning.

Spring 2020 Commencement

As Palm Beach State College has continued to inspire hope, advance skills and transform lives throughout this historic time, it remains imperative that the College celebrate the achievements made by its students and faculty.

However, due to social and physical distancing guidelines prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state and national stay at home directives, the College has decided to postpone the May graduation ceremonies and celebrate our Spring and Summer 2020 graduates in August. More details will follow with specific information on how the college will commemorate this outstanding graduating class.

The College is extremely proud of all PBSC graduates and will ensure that this milestone academic achievement is recognized.

Summer 2020 Registration

With the announcement last week that all classes held during Summer session will be delivered via remote instruction, now is the time to register for your courses and continue on your path towards academic success. Schedule an appointment with your advisor, speak with your professors and plan your next PBSC step today! For more information, please visit our Summer Session Registration page.

The College may revisit the plan for complete remote instruction during summer sessions if restrictions change and CDC guidelines are updated.

For students beginning their Palm Beach State College journey in the Summer of 2020, please register for New Student Orientation here: https://www.palmbeachstate.edu/orientation

Student Laptop Loan Distribution

While the initial supply of laptops and peripheral devices were all distributed to students in need, the College is proud to announce that through the efforts of our PBSC Libraries, IT and the PBSC Foundation more devices are now available to students.

Should students need assistance, they can contact PBSC Lake Worth Library Learning Resources Director Rob Krull at krullr@palmbeachstate.edu, (561) 868-3706. Appointments to pick up devices can also be made online here: https://www.palmbeachstate.edu/library

Distribution of laptops and peripheral devices will continue only at the Lake Worth campus until Monday, April 13, at 5 p.m.

#PBSCstaysHome

As we all attempt to navigate this new normal, Palm Beach State College has launched the #PBSCstaysHome social media campaign. By adding this hashtag to your posts and tweets, the College will be able to compile a visual compendium of how the entire PBSC community is adapting to life during this pandemic. So, start sharing your at-home study spaces, self-care tips, pets, hobbies, quarantine recipes, dance challenges and other social distancing techniques so the whole world can see how Panther Proud you are!

Spring Holiday

As a reminder, this Friday, April 10, is the College’s spring holiday. No classes will be held, and all offices will be closed. Take this opportunity to spend more time with your friends, family and loved ones. Please take this time to refresh, regroup and prepare to finish the Spring semester of 2020 with purpose.

Thank you, be well and remember to remain Panther Proud and Panther Strong!

Dear Panther Family,

As our world changes and the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop, Palm Beach State College remains steadfast in providing the most up-to-date information regarding the disease and implementing measures to keep the PBSC community safe and healthy.

“Safer at Home” State Order

In response to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s Executive Order 20-91 issued today, April 1, which imposes a set of “safer at home” guidelines for the entire state; Palm Beach State College, in an abundance of safety and precautionary measures, will further restrict access to each campus to essential personnel.

Libraries and Student Laptop Loan Distribution

As the supply of laptops and peripheral devices are nearing depletion and the complete suite of library-related resources are now available remotely, all Palm Beach State College libraries will be closed as of Wednesday, April 1, at 5 p.m. until further notice. The College is continuing to secure additional devices to meet student demand. Students should continue to contact the individuals listed below should they need assistance.

    Boca Raton – Dr. Roy M. Vargas, vargasr@palmbeachstate.edu, (561) 862-4410
    Belle Glade – Dr. LaTanya McNeal, mcneall@palmbeachstate.edu, (561) 993-1128
    Lake Worth – Rob Krull, krullr@palmbeachstate.edu, (561) 868-3706
    Loxahatchee Groves – Edward Willey, willeye@palmbeachstate.edu, (561) 790-9006
    Palm Beach Gardens – Dr. David S. Pena, penad@palmbeachstate.edu, (561) 207-5810

Campus Access

As previously mentioned, the College will continue to transition faculty and staff to remote working conditions. Until further notice, all PBSC campuses are closed to visitors and can only be accessed by employees, as necessary, in coordination with their campus provost (or executive dean) and security.

Remote Instruction to Continue for Summer Terms

As another added precaution, the College has decided to extend its period of remote instruction to include all 2020 summer sessions. These include Summer A, Summer B and Summer C sessions.

The College may revisit the plan for complete remote instruction during summer sessions if restrictions change and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines are updated.

Palm Beach State College Cares

For additional updates please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) update website. This website contains all updates from the College as it pertains to the campus operations, remote instruction and virtual services. You will also find the latest information from local, state and federal health officials on how to protect yourself and those around you.

Thank you, be well and remember to remain Panther Proud and Panther Strong!

Dear Panther Family,

As the College comes to the close of its first week of remote instruction, the new normal of Palm Beach State College has begun to take shape. As the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, it remains imperative that the entire PBSC community stay connected and updated on all aspects of this unprecedented event.

Non-Essential Business Classification

As many counties and municipalities are beginning to institute “Stay-at-Home” orders, it is important to clarify what businesses are considered “non-essential” or “non-critical” and how these orders affect Palm Beach State College.

Please be advised that public colleges and universities are not included in these orders, as these entities do not have jurisdiction over Florida College System (FCS) and State University System (SUS) institutions.

In any case, the College has remained steadfast in preserving the safety and health of all students, faculty and staff by maintaining open communication with local and state health officials and following all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines as they are related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The College encourages the entire PBSC community to stay home and safe, but please understand that it is necessary for limited personnel to be on our campuses in order to provide the services necessary to continue academic instruction.

Student Laptop Loans and Distribution

In the College’s continuing efforts to maintain remote academic instruction and provide PBSC students with the necessary tools for success, Palm Beach State College is excited to announce that a limited number of laptops and other peripheral devices will be available to students on loan through Friday, May 8.

For students to request a device, they must contact their campus library director or administrator:

The campus library director or administrator will work with each request and discuss the loan procedure, arrange the distribution point on campus, verify the student’s identity and ensure the student signs the laptop agreement.

Distribution of laptops and other peripheral devices will occur Friday, March 27 – Friday, April 3 between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at separate times and locations designated by each campus representative. Devices must be returned no later than close of business day on Friday, May 8.

Please be advised that students will be required to log on to their loaned devices while on campus for it to function properly off campus. The College will enforce all CDC guidelines related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in order to maintain a safe space for distribution to occur.

Working Remotely

The transition for faculty and staff to remote working environments has been challenging, but also rewarding. The eLearning and IT teams have been working around the clock to ensure that faculty and staff are prepared, functioning and ready to assist students in their new academic environments. For additional resources in working remotely, please visit the Faculty/Staff section of the dedicated PBSC coronavirus (COVID-19) update page.

Protective Measures for Vulnerable Populations As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, it is important to discuss Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s Executive Order 20-83, which was issued Tuesday, March 24. The College strongly encourages all applicable students and employees to take note of this order.

The order, in part, urges persons over age 65 and those of any age with serious underlying medical conditions that place them at high risk of severe illness from the coronavirus (COVID-19) to stay home. Should you fall into one or both of these categories and are not already working remotely, please inform your supervisor immediately so alternative working arrangements can be made.

Supervisors should work with any such employees in their areas to immediately complete and implement an alternative work arrangement. If the employee’s duties cannot be performed remotely, supervisors should coordinate with their leaders and Human Resources to discuss all possible alternatives.

You can review the governor’s executive orders as they are posted online by clicking here.

Palm Beach State College Cares

For additional updates please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) update website. This website contains all updates from the College as it pertains to the campus operations, remote instruction and virtual services. You will also find the latest information from local, state and federal health officials on how to protect yourself and those around you.

The College understands the challenges you are experiencing during these extremely difficult times, so please know that Palm Beach State College will stick with you and support you.

Thank you, be well and remember to remain Panther Proud and Panther Strong!

Update #1

Dear Panther Family,

This has been a historic transition for Palm Beach State College. Throughout our storied past we have encountered several obstacles but none that compares to what we are currently facing. Amid this unprecedented situation, you have all persevered and are prepared to tackle the challenges we face today.

To the students of Palm Beach State College, there has been no greater effort seen to adjust to our new normal and take on the challenge of remote instruction in such a positive way. These panther students are truly the engine that keep this college going and their dedication has everyone at the College impressed and impassioned.

Please be assured that Palm Beach State College and the entire leadership team are working on the issues that you are thinking about and experiencing in order to anticipate matters that will be front and center in the future. The College is taking into account every message, social media comment and concern received and is working with colleagues around the state to make decisions that are thoughtful, legally sound and in concert with mandates from local, state and federal authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Class is Back in Session

This week, the spring semester resumed with a transition to remote instruction. While we understand this may be a difficult shift, we understand your issues and are ready and willing to provide the assistance necessary to complete your coursework for this semester. Our faculty and staff have been preparing for the past week in order to provide our full array of services to our students in a virtual manner. All the updated hours of operation and contact information for such services can be found on our dedicated PBSC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update Website.

Although most of the College’s classes and courses were able to make the transition to remote learning, leadership had to make the difficult decision to suspend a few courses. The College weighed every alternative before making that decision.

Blackboard Support

As we all transition into the virtual life of Palm Beach State College, it remains imperative that the College offer resources, support and assistance in learning within the Blackboard platform. PBSC has dedicated assistance provided for faculty and staff, for more information please use the following forms of contact:

Student Services FAQs

With this change in teaching method and the stresses that come along with it, we recognize that our students will have a variety of questions, concerns and issues. With that in mind, PBSC has developed a single source FAQ section dedicated to the changes the College has made as it relates to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the changes that have occurred in our academic instruction. To view these frequently asked questions, please visit our Student Services FAQs page. This page will be updated daily as the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation develops.

PBSC Call Center

As an added method of contact, the Palm Beach State College Enrollment Processing Call Center is available to answer all your questions as they relate to admissions, registration, academic advising, financial aid, testing and a host of other academic and student service topics. To reach the call center, call 561-967-7222, 561-868-3350 or toll free at 866-576-7222, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also interact with our call center via our Live Chat feature on the PBSC website.

PBSC Libraries

Keeping spaces open on our campuses to faculty, staff and students is important in order to maintain the level of service required to properly provide an education to our students. Our libraries play an important role in support of teaching, learning, research and other activities and therefore the College has made the decision to keep the campus libraries open. The libraries allow students to utilize technology that they may not have available at home. They offer materials that students need in order to complete their coursework. Also, the libraries house several areas for faculty, staff and students to safely work and provide remote services.

The libraries will continue to strictly enforce CDC guidelines pertaining to social distancing, gathering and health precaution. Additional hand sanitizing stations have been added, maintenance staff have increased their cleaning and sanitation services to these areas and every precaution will be made in order to maintain these areas as safe as possible.

The College encourages everyone to use the library’s remote services as much as possible and here is a link to those services and resources for distance learning students: https://palmbeachstate.libguides.com/DL

The libraries at the Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens and Belle Glade campuses will remain open and operational for PBSC students, faculty and staff (Panther Card identification must be provided) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice (with the exception of the Belle Glade campus which closes at noon on Fridays).

Palm Beach State College continues to actively monitor information and updates about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from the CDC, the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and other entities with the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff as our top priority.

Thank you, be well and remember to remain Panther Proud and Panther Strong!

 

Update #2

Dear Panther Family,

In our continued effort to keep our PBSC community updated on all aspects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the College would like to provide an important update and let you know the steps that have been taken to address the matter.

The College has learned that a PBSC employee at the Lake Worth campus tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). The College has confirmed this report through the Florida Department of Health (FDOH). This individual was last on the Lake Worth campus on Monday, March 16.

The College immediately contacted all PBSC faculty, staff and students who are known to have been in close contact with the employee. Those individuals have been advised to consult with their medical professionals and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDOH guidelines as they pertain to self-quarantine.

The College has already secured all areas visited by this individual and will continue to follow CDC and FDOH protocols for remedial sanitization of these areas.

We will continue to do everything we can to keep our PBSC community safe.

For additional information regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, continue to check our dedicated website, monitor our social media accounts and check your college email.

 

Dear Panther Family,

Please click here to view a short message from President Ava L. Parker, J.D.

We thank everyone for their efforts in preparing the College’s transition to remote instruction which will start on Monday, March 23, and continue until the end of the spring semester May 7. Your faculty, professors and instructors are available for you to assist with the transition, so we encourage you to continue to keep in contact with them in order to assess your needs and to prepare to resume coursework next week.

Throughout this difficult time, the College’s primary focus will remain the health and safety of the PBSC community.

As we prepare for classes to resume this Monday, March 23 - here are a few updates on services for our fellow panthers:

Library Access

Our libraries play an important role in support of teaching, learning, research and other activities. In anticipation of the need to supply access to our PBSC family, beginning March 23, the libraries at the Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens and Belle Glade campuses will remain open and operational for PBSC students, faculty and staff (Panther Card identification must be provided) Monday through Friday from 8

a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice (with the exception of the Belle Glade campus which closes at noon on Fridays).

The libraries will enforce social distancing protocols as dictated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and have hand sanitizing wipes available for library users. Library staff and facilities personnel have increased cleaning protocols of library equipment and spaces.

Online Tutoring Services

Beginning Monday, March 23rd, Palm Beach State College Student Learning Centers (SLC) will be offering fully online tutoring for students.

Appointment times are available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.; Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. You can begin setting up your appointment by visiting https://palmbeachstate.mywconline.com/

If you need additional help or have questions, please visit the SLC Website or call 561-862-4485.

Panther’s Pantry

Due to depleted resources, beginning Monday, March 23rd, the Panther’s Pantry will be closed until further notice. Please continue to check the Panther’s Pantry webpage for updated information. For a list of food pantries and related resource available throughout Palm Beach County, please check the student development webpage.

Continued Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

For additional updates please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) update website. This website contains all updates from the College as it pertains to the campus operations, remote instruction and virtual services. You will also find the latest information from local, state and federal health officials on how to protect yourself and those around you.

Thank you, be well and remember to remain Panther Proud and Panther Strong!

 

Dear Panther Community,

Clarification on Remote Learning and Campus Availability

The Florida Department of Education has directed all Florida College System institutions to deploy all available resources to operate virtually or through other remote means for the remainder of the 2020 spring semester. Campuses are recommended to be closed to most regular activities, and institutions should adhere to the CDC’s guidelines for mass gatherings and community events when continuing operations that, to the greatest extent possible, support remote student learning, including delivery of educational and student services and resources.

Palm Beach State College remains open virtually and will continue to provide its services to students remotely through the end of the semester. Remote instruction will commence Monday, March 23, and continue until the end of the spring semester.

Transitioning to Remote Work

The College continues to transition its faculty and staff to remote working locations. By Monday, March 23, as many members of the PBSC family will be fully functional to provide their services virtually or remotely. For those individuals who cannot perform their duties remotely, the College is developing plans to reassign their duties, provide safe working conditions on campus (based on CDC social distancing guidelines) and ensure that all faculty and staff have job duties that can be performed throughout this period. If an individual cannot perform job duties as assigned they will work with their supervisor and Human Resources to develop an alternative plan of work, if possible.

If you are a member of the PBSC community and test positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19):

1. Students, please contact your specific campus student deans:

2. Faculty/Staff, please contact your supervisor.

If you have questions about your potential exposure to the virus, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Public Health Management Decision Making guide.

Anyone who tests positive must also follow the requirements of self-quarantine.

PBSC continues to closely monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The health and safety of students, faculty and staff is the highest priority and PBSC officials are working closely with local, state and federal agencies to share the most updated information. For additional updates please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) update website.

College Remains Virtually Open

The College remains open virtually and will continue to provide its services to students remotely through the end of the semester.

Campuses are available with restricted access and the College will adhere to the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The College is also following social distancing protocols and will continue to do so as they are updated.

Faculty and Staff are Transitioning to Remote Work Conditions

Faculty and staff have been advised to prepare to work remotely by providing plans to their supervisors and working with IT for technology needs in order to provide the College’s full slate of services without having to visit campus. Once remote work plans have been approved by their supervisor, faculty and staff can begin working remotely. The College is preparing to have as many faculty and staff working remotely by Monday, March 23. Exceptions are anticipated and will be addressed on an individual basis. For those individuals who still need access to College facilities, the campuses will remain open, with limited access, but will adhere stringently to the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing and health protocols.

Student Preparation for Remote Instruction

Since the decision was made to transition to remote instruction (with special considerations for certain programs yet to be determined), faculty and staff have been in contact with their students to assess their needs and prepare them to resume their course work. The College remains diligent in continuing the academic progress of its students.

No Confirmed Cases of Coronavirus at PBSC

At this time, the College does not have any confirmed reports of students, faculty or staff who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19). The College continues to work closely with the Florida Department of Health to ensure the safety and health of all individuals in the PBSC community.

Spring Development Day Converted to a Day of Instruction

Due to the week of suspended class instruction, Spring Development Day has been converted to a day of instruction.

Dear Panther Family,

As the College continues its preparation for remote instruction and remote work conditions, here is an update on certain services and hours of operation for the remainder of this week.

The safety and health of the Palm Beach County community is a foremost concern for Palm Beach State College.

REMINDERS

  • Saturday, March 14 to Sunday, March 22: Classes suspended
  • All events on campus including Athletics and Theater shows have been canceled until further notice.
  • All Music Department performances throughout March and April have been canceled. 

 

PANTHER’S PANTRY

The Panther’s Pantry will remain open and continue its services to assist our entire community with their needs. The Panther’s Pantry will have pre-bagged packages of goods available for pickup. Please contact the Panther‘s Pantry at 561-868-3980 or visit their website for more information.

STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

Effective Wednesday March 18, all academic and student service locations will be closed to students as we prepare to assist students during remote instruction. Advisors for admissions, registration, financial aid and all other services are still available via the Palm Beach State College Call Center at 561-868-3350 , 561-967-7222 or toll free at 866-576-7222.

DINING SERVICES

Please be advised that effective Wednesday, March 18, all dining facilities on all campuses, including Dunkin’ locations, will be closed until further notice.

After Tuesday, if you are coming to campus for work, use of services or other appointments, please plan accordingly.

BOOKSTORES

Please be advised that effective Wednesday, March 18, all bookstore locations on all campuses, will be closed until further notice.

LIBRARIES, STUDENT LEARNING CENTERS & COMPUTER LABS

Libraries, Student Learning Centers (SLC) and Computer Labs will be closed during this class suspension period in order to prepare these areas for virtual tutoring and computer access for the beginning of remote instruction which starts Monday, March 23.

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.

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.

Students

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

All course instruction, including courses currently being offered online, will be suspended for students effective Saturday, March 14 through Sunday, March 22, for the College to make the necessary preparations to provide remote instruction beginning on Monday, March 23.

Based on the latest developments of the COVID-19 outbreak in Florida and in particular Palm Beach County, Palm Beach State College will transition its spring courses to remote instruction. Staff and faculty will continue to report to their regular work location to ensure the continuation of services to students throughout the entirety of the spring semester. The College is not closing.

Faculty and Staff

All staff and faculty will continue to report to campus so we can ready for the transition. The College will remain operational and all staff and faculty will report to work as scheduled.

As this situation continues to develop, we want to thank you for your continued support and diligence through this very difficult time.

For additional information, continue to check our dedicated website, monitor our social media accounts and check your college email.

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 Preventionand 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

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: https://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.

Print page