Coronavirus information

Coronavirus (COVID-19)




Student COVID-19 Absence Request Form

The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff are our top priority. As the instances of COVID-19 increase in the U.S., Pittsburg State University is modifying operations. Here's what you need to know now.  

What's the latest news? 

Now that the fall semester is underway, each Wednesday (or more frequently as needed) we will update faculty, staff, students, and the community regarding COVID-19 and its impact on campus operations. 

August 26 Update: Video and news release

September 2 Update: Video and news release

September 9 Update: News release

September 16 Update: News release

September 23 Update: News release

September 30 Update: News release

October 7 Update: News release

October 14 Update: News release

October 21 Update: News release

 

coronavirus

University Messages

Messages and communication sent to Pittsburg State students, faculty and staff.

Current Week

Past weeks


FAQ's


  • What is the status of CARES Act relief for students?
Each Pell-eligible full-time student at Pittsburg State University recieved $800, and each Pell-eligible part-time student received $400. Non-Pell-eligible students are not guaranteed funds, but should submit an application. First consideration will be given to those who submitted by May 31, 2020. Distribution to non-Pell-eligible students will begin in July. Eligibility requirements and preparation suggestions can be found in the University Messages from 5/14/2020 and 5/15/ 2020. 
  • Should I cancel my spring break vacation plans?
  • What is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
  • How is it transmitted?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What is the treatment?
  • How can I protect myself and others?
  • What do I do if I have credible reason to believe I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?
  • Is it safe to travel to infected areas?
  • What is Pittsburg State University doing to prepare?
  • Are there any specific measures being taken in residence halls?
  • Are we still holding events?
  • Can I still travel to infected areas on university business or for academic reasons?
  • If I choose on my own to travel to an infected area, what happens when I return?
  • The CDC recommends staying home if coronavirus symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath) are present. Will Pittsburg State University implement a consistent process for students so they aren’t penalized by strict attendance policies by individual instructors?
  • What about employees who have coronavirus symptoms? Can they work from home?
  • Who can use the Student Health Center services?
  • How would PSU make a decision to close because of COVID-19?
  • Can I travel domestically on university business or for academic or club reasons?
Yes. We strongly encourage you to avoid travel at this time. The virus situation is evolving daily, and growth is accelerating. Destinations that seem less impacted today can change overnight and without warning. Practice social distancing, stay home as much as possible, and follow CDC guidelines for protecting yourself and others. If you do travel, expect a 14-day quarantine when you return, depending on the situation at your destination. 

COVID-19 is a respiratory virus in the family of coronaviruses.

It is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This can happen from direct contact, or contact with droplets on surfaces and then touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, and gastrointestinal issues. All can be mild or severe. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. Supportive care to relieve symptoms should be done while the virus runs its course. Severely ill people may be hospitalized.

The most important think you can do right now is to distance yourself from others. Social distancing (staying home, staying away from crowds, isolating) is an effective way to stop the spread.

Please also always follow the CDC recommendations:

  • 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.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when in public.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home and away from others when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Carry germ wipes and wipe down shared electronic devices (keyboards, mice, printers, copiers, phones) before using.
  • Regularly sanitize your own electronic devices, and avoid sharing devices

Contact your healthcare provider (which could be the Student Health Center) by phone and explain the reason you believe you’ve been exposed. Even if you do not have symptoms, self-isolate until released by your healthcare provider. If you have credible reason to believe you have been exposed or have symptoms of COVID-19, describe everything to your healthcare provider so a plan can be put in place for your diagnosis and care.

All university-realted travel will be handled on a case-by-case basis. 

The state of Kansas mandates a 14-day quarantine for anyone who travels to areas deemed high risk. For the list of locations, click here

Further, the CDC has issued travel notices and levels to determine risks in traveling to certain areas.

  • Warning Level 3:Avoid nonessential travel
  • Alert Level 2: Practice enhanced precautions
  • Watch Level 1:Practice usual precautions:
    • Avoid contact with sick people.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when in public.
    • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
For the latest information on cases in the US, click here. For the latest information on travel recommendations and the global situation, click here.

We have activated our Critical Response Management Team, which is meeting daily to determine how we reduce exposure for our students, faculty, and staff, and to prepare. All university-related travel is suspended. All events on our campus are canceled for the remainder of the semester, including commencement ceremonies in May. Students were released one week early for spring break. Residence halls have closed except to those students without permanent US residences or for a few other special circumstances. Coursework is moving away from face-to-face and will resume on Monday, March 30 via alternative delivery methods for the remainder of the semester. Most campus facilities are closed for two weeks starting end of day Friday, March 20. We’ll continue to monitor expert resources and follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. This is a dynamic situation, so we will monitor and take action on a daily basis.

UPDATE May 20, 2020

Summer coursework is moved online. On May 4, the University announced intent to resume face-to-face courses and student life for the fall. Three working groups across academics, student life, and budget/finance are setting the institution on a path to a safe return in August. 

UPDATE June 10, 2020

The University announced that the fall semester will start on time in August, but fall break will be combined with Thanksgiving, and face-to-face instruction will end November 20. The semester will be completed online afterward. Commencement will happen November 20 and 21. 

UPDATE June 25, 2020

The University announced that masks that cover the nose and mouth are required on campus by all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. This policy will be in effect for the forseeable future. 

Residence halls have closed except to those students without permanent US residences or for a few other special circumstances. Custodial services and food service will remain for these students. For fall 2020, students were given the option of selecting a single room. 

No. All events on the campus of Pittsburg State University are canceled for the remainder of the semester, including commencement ceremonies in May.

UPDATE May 20 2020

Events remain suspended through June 2020.

All university-led travel is suspended for the spring semester.

UPDATE May 20, 2020

All university-led travel will be handled on a case-by-case basis. University-led travel to areas identified as high-risk by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is suspended, as is international travel. 

If you proceed with vacation or other travel, you may be subject to a 14-day quarantine when you return. Please monitor travel alerts from the CDC, KDHE, and WHO for information. Travel restrictions and quarantine rules can change suddenly and without warning.
Individual instructor attendance policies are in place. Coursework resumes via alternative teaching methods on March 30.

Always stay home if you are sick to avoid the risk infecting others and worsening your own condition. Campus facilities are closed for two weeks starting end of day Friday, March 20. 

UPDATE MAY 20, 2020

As part of the Families First Act, the federal government is providing COVID-19 leave. Read about it here

All current students who pay fees can use the Student Health Center. Students in online degree programs who do not pay the Campus Privilege Fee and are therefore not eligible for access to the Student Health Fee may pay the student health fee ($76, paid at the Student Recreation Center) and get access to the Student Health Center. Visits are free, though charges could result if tests are necessary or medicine is prescribed. Employees of Pittsburg State University (faculty and staff) can use the Student Health Center for a $30 fee per visit, with additional charges for tests and prescriptions. The Student Health Center does not require any students, faculty, or staff to have health insurance.

Pittsburg State University is moving all instruction to alternative delivery methods starting March 30. No face-to-face courses will be held for the remainder of the semester. Campus facilities are also closed for two weeks starting end of day Friday, March 20. We are closely following the recommendations from the CDC, the KDHE, and the Crawford County Health Department for reopening facilities. 

UPDATE May 20, 2020

Most campus facilities remain closed. The University is carefully following Ad Astra: A Plan for Reopening Kansas, which was released by Governor Laura Kelly on May 1, 2020. All custodial, maintenance, trades, and grounds teams are working on campus, as are the staff of the Bryant Student Health Center. The campus post office operates, as does Printing & Design. Other offices for student services are reopening with modified schedules in the coming weeks. All other employees are working from home. 

All university-led travel will be handled on a case-by-case basis. All University-sponsored travel to areas deemed high risk by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is prohibited. 

University Messages



Town Hall - October 15, 2020

Friday 10/16/20 11:28 AM

Please watch a recording of the town hall here, and see answers to submitted questions here.

Spring 2021 Calendar Changes

Wednesday 10/07/20 03:41 PM

As we pass the midway point in our fall 2020 semester, it’s time to prepare for spring. While advances in science and mitigation strategies will continue to evolve as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we do not expect the virus to disappear in time for the spring semester. We also know that reducing exposure will continue to be the most critical element of keeping our campus open and healthy. We will start spring semester as scheduled, which is Tuesday, January 19.  

Thereafter, the following changes will be made to our spring calendar: 

  • Spring break, originally scheduled for the week of March 22, is moved to the week of May 10 
  • Dead week will be the week of April 26, and finals week will be the week of May 3 
  • Spring commencement is moved to May 7 and 8 

Spring break is traditionally a time when students travel for vacation, or at minimum return home to their hometowns. This schedule still provides this opportunity, though in combination with the start of summer rather than in the middle of the semester.   

As you know, we also changed our fall 2020 calendar to reflect virus mitigation best practices. We will dismiss face to face classes on November 20, and finish the semester online. This results in an 8-week time period between the end of face to face classes and the start of the spring semester, during a time when COVID-19 is expected to surge in our region, coupled with the traditional influenza season. Campus offices and services will remain open during this time, except for traditional holiday closures.    

This change to the spring 2021 calendar is done with the same intent – to reduce density on our campus and help keep our community safe.  

During the expected ongoing pandemic, we will continue to make changes to our schedule to keep our campus as safe and healthy as possible. Please let us know if you have questions.  


November 20-21 Commencement Information

Wednesday 10/07/20 04:05 PM

Thanks to all the students and faculty who participated in the commencement preferences survey in August. This feedback enabled us to devise a set of ceremonies that meets everyone’s priorities.

The Crawford County Health Department has signed off on a plan to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 while still enabling a celebratory and memorable occasion for graduates. Normally we hold two ceremonies each fall. This year, we’ll have seven – four for fall undergraduates, one for fall graduate students, and two for spring/summer graduates and undergraduates (since we canceled ceremonies in May). Please note:

  • Ceremonies are far smaller than normal, which means they’ll go fairly quickly.
  • Each graduate will be issued four tickets for guests. This enables us to maintain reduced occupancy requirements for the Plaster and the Weede.
  • All ceremonies will be livestreamed to accommodate additional family and friends from home.
  • Masks are required at all times, with an exception for students during the time they stand for professional photos and cross the stage to receive their diploma cover.
  • Ceremonies will be in near-constant movement with no seating for graduates or guests.

Commencement for fall 2020 undergraduate degree candidates will be held Friday, November 20. Times:

  • 2:00 p.m. – College of Technology
  • 4:00 p.m. – Kelce College of Business
  • 5:30 p.m. – College of Education
  • 7:00 p.m. – College of Arts & Sciences

Commencement for fall 2020 graduate degree candidates will be held Saturday, November 21 at 9:00 a.m.

Commencement for spring/summer 2020 graduate and undergraduate candidates will be held Saturday, November 21. Times:

  • 10:30 a.m. – College of Arts and Sciences and Kelce College of Business
  • 12:00 p.m. – College of Education and College of Technology

Graduates from spring/summer graduation who opted out of regalia can purchase regalia at the bookstore beginning October 26, 2020 by visiting the bookstore during normal hours, Monday – Friday, 9am-3pm or by calling 620-235-4875.  All persons who receive degrees must wear caps and gowns for the ceremony. 

All ceremonies will start in the Robert W. Plaster Center and then proceed to the Garfield Weede Building. Graduates and their guests will remain together as a group throughout, except when the graduate crosses the stage.

Additional details will come soon – please stay tuned!


STUDENTS: Keep Campus Healthy

Friday 09/25/20 04:25 PM

For the third week in a row, the number of positive cases among students on our campus has declined. Thanks for everything you have done to make this happen! Please remember that the downward trend is because of mitigation practices, so it's essential to keep these in place. Please keep up the good work and continue avoiding close contact with others, wearing your mask, and practicing good hygiene.

If you exhibit symptoms, stay home, call the Bryant Student Health Center, and GET TESTED. You are putting others at grave risk if you don't. Don't hesitate to get tested because you dread the rigor of isolation and quarantine for yourself and your close contacts. This is simply not safe - it is dangerous for everyone around you. You must take personal responsibility to keep our campus and community safe - stay home and get tested. 

We know isolation and quarantine periods are tough. They disrupt your entire life. But they are critically important. Staying away from everyone when you are sick or have been exposed prevents spread. These are important tools in combatting the transmission of the virus. We all have to make safe choices.

Stay healthy, Gorillas. We're all in this together.

UPDATED: Pitt State Face Mask Policy

Thursday 08/27/20 01:06 PM

As you know, as guidance changes, we change with it. Today's news is that our face mask policy has changed related to the use of face shields. You can see the updated policy here. The policy's home has not changed. It's on pittstate.edu/coronavirus under Helpful Links. 
New language:
 
Face shields - clear plastic masks that cover the entire face. The CDC does not recommend the use of face shields as a substitute for masks. Face shields are not a replacement for face coverings, except in approved instances such as: 
  • While lecturing in a course to provide an accommodation for a student who may rely on seeing the instructor’s mouth to understand content clearly. 
  • While lecturing or speaking to a group to support the ability to project audibly better. 
  • Individuals who have received an exemption from the face coverings policy from the Student Accommodations (students) or the Office of Institutional Equity (employees) and a face shield is deemed a reasonable accommodation. 
Individuals wearing face shield without a mask must maintain six feet of physical distance from other individuals and it is recommended where possible to use an additional barrier such as plexiglass between an instructor and students.

STUDENTS: Stop Off-Campus Gatherings

Wednesday 08/26/20 05:03 PM

Today Pittsburg State University, together with the Crawford County Health Department, asked students to stop extracurricular gatherings and also announced modifications to University operations to help halt the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Tim Stebbins, Public Health Officer for Crawford County, has this directive for students:

“Stop all parties. Stop gathering. Stop going to bars,” he said. “Please stop all activity where the virus spreads easily so we can get this under control and move on.”

Since the start of classes at Pitt State on August 17, the county has seen a rapid increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases. 50% of those cases are in the 18-25 age range. The cases in this age range are directly linked to bars and off-campus parties.

The goal is to keep the University open, which we know is what most students want. We are in a position to achieve this goal if YOU take immediate action to make the right choices for public health.  

As an institution we must also take action to stop extracurricular student gatherings to help prevent spread. Starting Friday and extending potentially until September 14:

  • All athletics activities are suspended
  • All in-person activities hosted by student organizations are suspended or moved online
  • Intramural and club sports activities are suspended
  • The Student Rec Center and the Weede pool are reducing capacity to 30% (90 students)
  • Gibson Dining Hall will soon take carry-out orders by phone or email

The next update will come on or before September 2. If the number of positive cases is not leveling off by then, the University will take more aggressive action to mitigate spread of COVID-19.

Please read details here.

Please watch here.

We can stop this, but we must all do our part. Please act responsibly.

 -- Pitt State


STUDENTS: A few things for the first week back

Tuesday 08/18/20 02:39 PM

Good afternoon, Gorillas! We're glad you're back! A few things for the week: 

Don't forget to pick up your mask this week at one of the Just Ask booths. Each student gets one free mask courtesy of Mpix. 

As you likely know (or were part of), students living in residence halls were tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus. We tested 756 students over the past few weeks, and 15 were found to be positive. Some students have already completed their isolation period, and the remaining (as well as any of their close contacts) are isolating and quarantining off campus. Right now, our percent positive rate is around 2%. 

It’s important that we all acknowledge that this semester will be different from any in the past. Staying healthy and remaining open for the semester depends on all of us changing behavior to prevent transmission of the virus. Please take the Pitt State Together pledge – we’re all in this together! 

As you get started this semester, please remember that you can do MANY things online! This helps avoid congestion in many areas around campus that are often crowded at the beginning of the semester.

Pay your tuition and fees
Pay for a parking permit
Pay a parking ticket
Buy textbooks
Live chat with many departments
Get IT help
Load Banana Bucks
Get a Pitt State ID
Apply for a job
Make an appointment at the health center

Have an excellent first week!

-- Pitt State


STUDENTS: Get your Pitt State mask!

Friday 08/14/20 08:28 AM

As you know, face masks are required on campus. And thanks to the generosity of our supporter Mpix, each student will be supplied with a washable fabric Pitt State mask.

-You can pick up yours from the JUST ASK booths in the Oval and Cleveland Plaza on August 17-20. Booths are open 7:45 a.m. -2:00 p.m. Stop by, get your mask, and wear it with pride!

If you are unable to pick up your mask next week - don't worry! We'll have a location for later pick-ups. Watch your email for details. 

Each student gets one mask, and must pick it up on campus. If you need additional masks, please be prepared to supply them yourself. If you are unable to supply more yourself, please check with Gorilla Pantry (gorillapantry@pittstate.edu).


STUDENTS: Take the Pitt State Together Pledge

Tuesday 08/11/20 10:35 AM

Pitt State Students:

In these unprecedented times, Pittsburg State University is committed to the health and wellbeing of all students, faculty, staff, and our surrounding community while still offering a transformational learning experience. College life is powerful – lifelong friendships are launched; new ideas, people, and cultures are discovered; and tremendous personal growth takes place.   
 
The University’s goal is to reopen and welcome Gorilla Nation back to campus. More importantly, we want to STAY open and provide these powerful experiences all semester.
 
Students play an important role in this goal. We ask that each student take the Pitt State Together pledge, committing to behavior that helps keep our campus and community safe from COVID-19. Please pledge to:
 
  -  Limit your exposure to others in the time leading up to being on campus.
  -  Wear a face mask at all times when on campus, except in the exceptions
     outlined in our face mask policy.
  -  Practice social distancing, including at any parties, restaurants, and bars. 
  -  Carefully follow all public health guidelines when not on campus – wear a mask,
     avoid crowds, social distance, wash your hands frequently, and do not travel to
     high-risk areas.
  -  Observe good hygiene (frequent hand washing, avoid touching face, avoid
     contact with surfaces, frequent disinfecting of surfaces, etc.).
  -  Stay home and avoid other people if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  -  Contact the Bryant Student Health Center if you have COVID-19 symptoms
     (620-235-4452) or if you have been exposed.
  -  Isolate and/or quarantine if directed by the Bryant Student Health Center, the
     Crawford County Health Department, or the Kansas Department of Health and
     Environment.
 
Pitt State Together is about our collective responsibility to do the right thing in all challenges and decisions we face. Now, perhaps more than ever, this important reminder calls us to do the right things to protect our individual and collective health, helping keep the University we love open.

If you’re living in one of our residence halls, you’ve probably already taken a similar pledge. Take one or both – just commit to Pitt State Together!
 
To show your commitment to Pitt State Together, take the pledge now!


IMPORTANT: Pay Tuition and Fees Online

Monday 08/10/20 07:50 PM

As you prepare for the fall semester, please plan to pay your tuition and fees online. The lines at the cashier’s office are usually long, and during a pandemic it’s important to reduce your time around others. Paying online is easy, convenient, and helps keep you safe and healthy.

Online payments can be made two ways:

  • Electronic check. This option free. You can pay using multiple checks, and you can enable your parents, grandparents, and others to make payments on your behalf.
  • Credit or debit card. This option requires a 2.9% convenience fee. Again, anyone can make payments on your behalf.

Payment plans are now available. For most students, financial aid and scholarships will be applied to your account on August 10. The deadline for fall tuition and fees is August 24.

Online MBA students can see their fall deadlines here.

Online payments are immediately credited to your account, which you can see in your GUS account.

Pay online at www.pittstate.edu/cashier. If you have questions about this process, please contact Cashiers and Student Accounts at 620-235-4092.

If you are unable to pay online, the next-best option is to mail a check to our office. Otherwise, you can visit us in 112 Horace Mann to make your payments. Masks are required, and please follow all social distancing signage.

Message to Students: Pitt State in Two Weeks

Monday 08/03/20 04:15 PM

Good afternoon, Gorillas. A few things as you prepare for August 17:

Please take a moment to read the Student Guide for Returning to Campus, available at www.pittstate.edu/coronavirus. We're now two weeks away from the start of classes, so it's a good idea to limit your contact with others as you prepare. Let's start the semester as healthy as possible.

Remember that the course schedule updated to reflect new class locations and delivery methods. Please read the email you received on July 22 for this information. Students can see modifications to their course schedule at https://bit.ly/33mlAHj.

It's a good idea to read the Moving Forward series at www.pittstate.edu/news. This is a series of updates from each college and various other departments around campus - how we're preparing for fall.

PSU has created a new position - the COVID-19 Case Manager. Taylor Panczer will help students prevent spread of the virus and manage the cases of those infected. Read about it here: https://bit.ly/39Tgl3h.

Masks are required on our campus with few exceptions. Our generous donor Mpix is providing one washable mask to each student (distribution details to come), but you'll likely need more than one - be prepared!

To avoid congestion at the cashiers office, please pay your tuition and fees online at www.pittstate.edu/cashier using electronic check or debit/credit card.

Let us know if you've got questions - send to social@pittstate.edu.

See you soon.

  -- Pitt State

Fall 2020 Course Schedule Update

Wednesday 07/22/20 11:37 AM

As we prepare for our return to campus on August 17, our departments and instructors have evaluated courses and classrooms to determine the instructional methods and locations that enable us to deliver course content while also following all public health guidelines.  

Courses will be delivered in basically one of five ways this fall: 

  • Traditional face-to-face (in-person) - this method will be used in situations when the class size and the size of the classroom allow for it, and when the type of coursework demands it.  
  • Online - this method will be used when class sizes are too large to be accommodated safely, and when the type of coursework is easily supported by online delivery.  
  • Hybrid - this is a mix of face-to-face and online, and can take on a variety of scenarios.  
  • HyFlex - this is a new course delivery method we'll use this fall that combines all three of the other methods into a flexible option for students.
  • Other – for special conditions and circumstances.  

Our new course schedule is now available, with potential modifications to both the instructional method and the location of courses.  

Students can see modifications to their course schedule here: https://psuapps-lb.pittstate.edu/StudentInformationSystem/AlternateDeliveryTypeSchedule/FromAdmin 

Advisors can access individual course schedules using GUS Classic, following the normal processes.  

Anyone can see changes to individual courses here: https://psuapps-lb.pittstate.edu/StudentInformationSystem/AlternateDeliveryTypeSchedule/Index 

The continued threat of COVID-19 and its evolving nature mean that this course schedule will evolve. Instructional methods and locations can change at any time, so please check back often for updates as the situation continues to evolve. 

If after viewing the updated course schedule, students with remaining questions or concerns should contact their academic advisor or the chairperson for their department. Department chairpersons are listed in the contact information for each department at pittstate.edu/academics.  


Message to Parents - July 17, 2020

Monday 07/20/20 10:19 AM

Greetings Gorilla parents! Thank you for supporting your student through their experience at Pittsburg State University. We are VERY excited to welcome your student to campus next month. As we prepare for the fall semester during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’d like to make sure you have the latest information. Our goal is to not only reopen our campus, but to STAY openA few dates to know: 

  • Face-to-face classes and student life will resume as planned on August 17. 
  • Fall break is moved to November 23-24, combining with Thanksgiving. 
  • Face to face instruction will end November 20, and dead week and finals week will occur via alternate delivery methods starting November 30.  
  • Commencement is now scheduled for November 20 for December graduates, and the ceremony planned to honor May 2020 graduates is November 21. 

Reducing the amount of travel for students by eliminating the October fall break and condensing it into a single break at Thanksgiving, combined with enabling students to stay home and complete their semester via alternate delivery methods thereafter, lowers our risk of an outbreak on our campus and in our community. 

We are continually planning and preparing, and are committed to providing information when we have it, updating documents and FAQs, and communicating to students regularly.  

Given the nature of the COVID-19 virus, we cannot eliminate all risk on our campus. However, we are taking necessary steps to reduce that risk as much as possible. Please encourage your student to also take necessary steps – follow all public health guidelines, arrive at campus healthy in August, and find new ways to socialize that do not increase risk of virus spread.  

MASKS 

Please note that face masks are now required on our campus for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. You can read the policy at pittstate.edu/coronavirus in the Helpful Links section. Through the generosity of our supporters, a washable, reusable mask will be supplied to each student. We will reevaluate this requirement regularly, though we fully expect it to remain in place at minimum through the fall semester.  

Please help your student prepare – purchase comfortable reusable/washable masks or a good supply of disposable masks, if they need more than the mask provided to them from Pitt State. If this is a hardship for your family, please contact Gorilla Pantry at gorillapantry@pittstate.edu for assistance. The State of Kansas also implemented a mandatory mask requirement in public spaces, which could still be in effect when our semester starts in August.  

MAKING CAMPUS SAFE 

Though a return to campus life is planned, we fully expect this fall to look different from any previous fall. Our goal is to provide students with the rich college experience they desire while keeping our campus safe and healthy. We cannot remove all risk, but we can take every measure possible to reduce it.  

Three working groups comprised of Pitt State administrators, faculty, staff, and students are planning and preparing for reopening our campus to students for the fall semester.  

In addition, we are working closely with local and regional health professionals, watching national and regional virus updates, and carefully following best practices for other universities like ours. We’re finalizing procedures for dealing with active COVID-19 cases on our campus.  

We are facilitating social distancing in classrooms, revising course delivery to enable safety, requiring masks, ramping up disinfecting schedules, regularly communicating with students, and more. The health and safety of our campus community is our top priority. As the virus evolves, course delivery methods and campus operations can change at any time.    

HOW YOU CAN HELP 

First and foremost, help your student stay informed. Watch announcements on the Pitt State website, and tell them to carefully monitor their email and Pitt State’s social media accounts. Make sure they understand how to prevent virus spread.  

Please encourage your student to have a safe summer and to isolate for 14 days prior to their return to campus. We want to start the semester as strong and healthy as possible 

Please also encourage your student to follow all guidelines and requirements we set forth in the Student Guide for Returning to Campus (find it at pittstate.edu/coronavirus). Please take a few moments to read this guide yourself, and know that it will evolve and be updated continually as we have more information to share.  

Once your student is back on campus, encourage them to adhere to social distancing recommendations both on and off campus, and to practice good personal hygiene. Remind them to use the resources available to them at the Bryant Student Health Center.  

Please help us reinforce the necessity of taking personal responsibility for helping keep our campus and our community safe. We are all in this together, and we must all do our part. Encourage your student to take the Pitt State Together pledge, which will be available soon.    

RESIDENCE HALLS 

If your student plans to live in our residence halls in the fall, please ask them to pay attention to emails they receive from our Housing team regarding move-in dates and procedures, private room requests, information on post-Thanksgiving plans, and much more.  

STAY INFORMED 

Please watch Pitt State social media accounts and pittstate.edu/coronavirus for updates and the latest information. We also encourage you to submit your questions to us via this form 

We will continue to monitor, work toward the safest campus possible, and adjust as we go. We are committed to transparency, and communicating plans as early as we can. We appreciate your willingness to readily adapt as we respond to this ever-changing situation.  

Thanks, 

Pitt State 


Message to Students - July 17, 2020

Monday 07/20/20 10:18 AM

As you know, we plan to resume face to face coursework and student life on campus on August 17. Our goal is not only to open, but to STAY open until we dismiss students for fall break and online completion of the semester on November 20. A few things:

STUDENT GUIDE FOR RETURNING TO CAMPUS

Remaining open after the start of the semester strongly depends on all of us working together to keep our campus and our community safe – starting now. Reducing transmission in our region, and therefore the number of hospitalizations and deaths, is critical to our success in the fall. We have a responsibility to closely adhere to public health guidelines. We’ve developed a Student Guide for Returning to Campus, which includes guidelines for helping ensure an on-campus fall semester.

The guide is available at www.pittstate.edu/coronavirus. We encourage you to read it, review the information and resources, and contact us at social@pittstate.edu with questions. PLEASE NOTE: this is a living document and will updated continually as we have more information to share. 

MASK MANDATE AND POLICY

Starting Monday, June 29, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors were required to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth while on our campus. The evidence is on our side – if everyone wears masks, the chances of spreading COVID-19 are radically reduced. We are using every tool available to prevent the spread of the virus, and masks are an important part of our strategy. This requirement will be in place for the foreseeable future.  

Masks are required on all areas of campus, with few exceptions. Take a moment to read our face mask policy at www.pittstate.edu/coronavirus. Students with recognized disabilities that prevent wearing a mask should contact Student Accommodations.  

Thanks to the generosity of our supporter Mpix, each student will be supplied with a washable fabric Pitt State mask. We are working on a distribution process now. If you need additional masks, please be prepared to supply them yourself. If you are unable to supply more yourself, please check with Gorilla Pantry (gorillapantry@pittstate.edu). 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has great face mask information  – fitting, frequent washing, and more - which everyone should follow. See it here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

MORE TO COME

Please be patient as we finalize plans. We are committed to releasing information as soon as we have it. We know many unanswered questions remain. Send questions to social@pittstate.edu, and watch announcements at www.pittstate.edu/coronavirus.

We are in a position to lead by example to keep our communities safe – let’s do it together, Gorillas. 

  --  Pitt State  --

Message from President Scott - Support for International Students

Tuesday 07/14/20 11:15 AM

As the news of modifications to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) was announced this past week, Pittsburg State University paid close attention. Because we are home to approximately 250 international students, we carefully monitor all federal guidance related to their status in our county and at our institution.  

Under the new SEVP guidelines, international students must return home if their university opts to have entirely online coursework in the fall.   

The good news is that Pittsburg State University intends to reopen our campus to students and have face-to-face classes this fall. This means the new guidance for SEVP should not affect our international students.  

That said, I want to state very clearly that Pittsburg State University believes the new modifications to SEVP guidance are short-sighted and disappointing. Whether or not courses are online, international students infuse our communities with diversity in thought and ways of life and bring the world to our doorsteps. This diversity is critical to our development as a nation and member of a global society.  

Gorilla Nation is not a place – it’s a lifelong, worldwide bond that connects our students and graduates from all over the world. International students are a vital part of our vibrant, diverse campus culture, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure they remain a part of our campus this fall and forever.  

To our international students – please know that we stand behind you and are committed to helping you stay here this fall. Our International Programs and Services team is working hard to keep you informed and support you as you plan your fall at Pittsburg State University.    

We look forward to seeing ALL of our students back on our campus in August.  

Steve Scott, President

 


June 30 Town Hall Questions and Answers

Wednesday 07/01/20 05:27 PM

How are we educating students, faculty, and staff on the importance of adhering to the safety precautions we are taking to keep our campus safe from the virus?  

We regularly communicate public health guidelines to our students, faculty, and staff via email and social media. We’ve created a Guide for Returning to Campus for employees, and will soon release one for students. We maintain pittstate.edu/coronavirus with links to credible public health sources, frequently-asked questions, and announcements. We have created signage that will post across campus reminding everyone to socially distance, practice good hygiene, and wear masks.  

 

Will we require masks on our campus for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors?  

Yes. Starting June 29, masks are required on our campus. In addition, starting July 3, masks are mandated in all public spaces throughout the state of Kansas.  

 

How are we enforcing the mask requirement, given that the tobacco policy is not enforced? 

We are working on enforcement policies for students, faculty, and staff. More information will release soon. As with any policy like this, it will in part depend on all of us working together for the common good.  

 

The masks issued by the University don’t work well with my glasses. Can I get a different type of mask? Is the University going to provide additional reusable masks to employees? 

We are purchasing additional branded masks in a different, lighter design that works well with glasses, uses ear bands, and comes in two sizes to help with proper fitting. One will be distributed to each employee.  

 

Since masks are required on campus, does this also mean they will be required at football games and other fall sports – tailgating, skyboxes, stadium seating? 

We are awaiting more guidance from the MIAA and the NCAA, but given the mask mandate for the State of Kansas, it is probable that masks will be required at football games this fall.  

 

Can face shields be supplied to those with recognized disabilities that make wearing mask unsafe, as an alternative? 

Yes. We will supply face shields to faculty and staff for whom wearing a mask is prevented for medical reasons.  

 

Some Pitt State faculty, staff, and students post face mask information and opinions to their private social media accounts that contradict the University's mandate. How will this be handled? 

While we hope that everyone comes to understand the science and logic behind our face mask mandate, we cannot prevent faculty, staff, and students from posting contradictory information or their personal opinions to their private social media accounts. 

 

How are we handling class size and social distancing in classrooms of limited size? 

The Pitt State Together working group for Academic Affairs is working through this and will have guidelines soon. There are many different types of classrooms, coursework needs, and class sizes that present challenges, but also present opportunities. This will not be a one-size-fits-all solution, and will require that we all learn new ways to do things.  

 

What course delivery options will faculty have in the fall (online, hybrid, face to face, other), when will the options be shared with faculty so they can prepare?  

In addition to face to face, online, and hybrid, some courses will be delivered in a hyflex model – combining hybrid and online. These can be synchronous or asynchronous. The working group for Academic Affairs is leading this and will have information available soon.  

 

Will PSU employees be required to take mandatory furloughs and or pay reductions this year? If it is still unknown, when might a decision be made? 

The Pitt State Together working group for Budget and Finance is preparing data for these and other options to cut budgets should it become necessary. We’ve already implemented spending and hiring freezes, we’ve limited travel, and we are carefully following the budget situation in Topeka and our own enrollment trends. We are not taking salary reductions and furloughs off the table – we must be ready to take action if needed. Decisions about this could be ongoing depending on our evolving financial situation 

 

What safety measures are being put in place on campus to protect from the virus?  

We know that much of our campus safety is reliant on each person taking individual responsibility to keep our campus community safe and healthy. We regularly communicate public health guidelines to our students, faculty, and staff via email and social media. We’ve created a Guide for Returning to Campus for employees, and will soon release one for students. We have created signage that will post across campus reminding everyone to socially distance, practice good hygiene, and wear masks. We now require masks on our campus, and we will adopt future public health guidelines as needed. We have implemented increased disinfection practices, enabled employees to keep their work spaces clean, and we are working to determine how to keep students distanced in classrooms, how to keep faculty and staff safe, how to ensure visitors to our campus adhere to public health guidelines, and how to best educate students about the impact of their off-campus activities.  

 

Will instructors be required to adhere to a consistent, flexible attendance policy?  

Attendance policies will be in the course syllabus and are based on uniqueness of each course.  

 

How will residence halls be managed to protect from the virus?  

We’ve extended the option to every resident to request a single room, should they feel more comfortable living alone. Education for residents is critical – social distancing, hygiene, and when/how to wear masks. There will be continued elevated cleaning and disinfecting of common spaces. We’re working to reserve space for isolating residents if needed. We’ll also stagger move-in times to help reduce contact between groups. There is much left to plan and do, but we’ve got a good start.   

 

Masks can muffle voices. How will instructors be amplified so they can be heard?  

The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology is evaluating amplification needs for each classroom. While many classrooms are already equipped with technology, instructors will need to practice and try different masks to find which will allow for greatest amplification of their voice. 

 

Will classrooms be cleaned between classes? 

The process for this is under review. Classrooms will be cleaned frequently, but it is unlikely that time and staffing will allow cleaning between each class period. The University is working to obtain cleaning supplies to make available in classrooms. The end result will likely be a shared responsibility between our custodial team and academic departments. 


Campus Reopening Moved to July 20

Friday 06/26/20 09:33 AM

As you know, we plan to resume face to face coursework and student life in the fall. Our goal is not only to open, but to STAY openuntil we dismiss students for fall break and online completion of the semester on November 20. 

We are moving the broad reopening of campus to July 20. This pushes our original reopening date of July 7 by nearly two weeks. Given the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Crawford County, we feel we must do our part to keep our community safe by limiting contact and gatherings.Please note the announcement from June 25 that face masks are required for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors starting Monday, June 29.  

Please continue your current office operations until July 20 unless directed otherwise by your supervisor. Note that outdoor facilities remain open, and many departments are operating on campus. See the list at pittstate.edu/coronavirus 

All offices should plan to be open to the public on July 20. This means all departments, offices, and buildings will be accessible.   

To aid in this, we have created a Guide for Returning to Campus. Please consult this guide and send any questions to social@pittstate.edu. The guide will be updated and expanded as the outcomes of the three working groups are final, and changes will be listed in the Daily Update. In addition, we’ve created an employee feedback form, which you can find at pittstate.edu/coronavirus.  

NOTE FOR JULY 4: We want everyone to enjoy the long holiday weekend, though note that if you travel to a high-risk area you are required to quarantine for 14 days upon your return. If you are required to quarantine, you must take accrued leave, possibly COVID-19 related leave or, if applicable, make alternative work arrangements with your supervisor (working from home).  

Once again, the health and safety of our campus community is our highest priority. We continue to prepare for a full reopening of our campus, and to carefully monitor the situation and assess needs, making adjustments as we go. Please stay in communication with your supervisor to understand your responsibilities.  


Campus Face Mask Requirement

Thursday 06/25/20 09:46 AM

As you know, we plan to resume face to face coursework and student life in the fall. Our goal is not only to open, but to STAY open until we dismiss students for fall break and online completion of the semester on November 20.  

Remaining open after the start of the semester strongly depends on all of us working together to keep our campus and our community safe – starting now. Reducing transmission in our region, and therefore the number of hospitalizations and deaths, is critical to our success in the fall. We have a responsibility to closely adhere to public health guidelines 

Starting Monday, June 29, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors are required to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth while on our campus. The evidence is on our side – if everyone wears masks, the chances of spreading COVID-19 are radically reduced. We are using every tool available to prevent the spread of the virusand masks are an important part of our strategy. This requirement will be in place for the foreseeable future.  

Masks are already required in work spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained. Now, masks are required on all areas of campus with these exceptions: 

  • If you are alone in your office or work space and well-distanced from others 

  • If a student is alone in their residence hall room 

  • If you are outside and well-distanced from others 

  • If you have a recognized disability and have an accommodation that prevents wearing a mask 

Employees with recognized disabilities that prevent wearing a mask should contact the Office of Institutional Equity. Students in the same situation should contact Student Accommodations.  

Masks have been provided to every full-time employee, and departments can request a mask for each part-time employee. Students should be prepared to supply their own masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has great facemask information – fitting, frequent washing, and more - which everyone should followWe are also working to get additional reusable PSU masks and disposable masks for visitors.  

A mask enforcement policy is under development and will release soon.  

In addition to masks, the working groups planning for resumption of face to face coursework and student life are weighing other measures to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. These include socially distanced classrooms, options for living alone in a residence hall room, how large events will be managed (including football), and many other things. 

Please be patient as we finalize plans. We are committed to releasing information as soon as we have it. We know many unanswered questions remain. Please pay close attention to any email from President’s Council, the Daily Update, and town halls to stay current.  

We are in a position to lead by example to keep our communities safe – let’s do it together, Gorillas. 


Fall 2020 Academic Calendar

Wednesday 06/10/20 05:17 PM

As you know, Pittsburg State University intends to resume face to face instruction on August 17. We are closely monitoring and planning how we adhere to national, state, and local public health guidelines while returning to on-campus instruction and student life. We know this fall will be unlike any other as we work to keep our campus and our community safe.

Public health officials predict COVID-19 will be a continued threat for the foreseeable future, so we must remain vigilant. An important factor in reducing transmission and spread is social distancing, particularly after traveling and participating in gatherings. To reduce this risk among our students, faculty, and staff, we are altering our academic calendar for the fall. Please note:

  • Face to face classes and student life will resume as planned on August 17.
  • Fall break is moved to November 23-24, combining with Thanksgiving.
  • Face to face instruction will end November 20, and dead week and finals week will occur via alternate delivery methods starting November 30.
  • Commencement for December graduates is now scheduled for November 20, and the ceremony planned to honor May graduates will be November 21.

All other dates in the academic calendar remain the same. You can see it here.

Keeping our campus community safe is our top priority. Reducing the amount of travel for students by eliminating the October fall break and condensing it into a single break at Thanksgiving, combined with enabling students to stay home thereafter, lowers our risk of an outbreak on our campus and in our community.

Further plans will be announced as they are finalized – whether our campus remains open and accessible after Thanksgiving, whether we alter the spring semester calendar, exact times for commencement, and more.

We will continue to monitor, work toward the safest campus possible, and adjust as we go. We appreciate your willingness to readily adapt as we respond to this ever-changing situation.


Campus Facilities Reopening July 7

Wednesday 06/10/20 01:03 PM

As our state and county continue the reopening process, Pittsburg State University is doing the same. Already many services are open to campus, and more facilities are open and accessible to the public on a weekly basis.

It is now time to announce our plans for reopening campus fully to students and the public in preparation for resumption of face to face classes and student life in the fall. All facilities at Pittsburg State University will reopen to students and the public on July 7. This means all departments, offices, and buildings will be open and accessible. The exceptions to this will be the residence halls, which will remain closed except to those students currently residing in them, and Axe Library, which will remain closed until August 17 to accommodate construction projects. 

It’s critical that our employees get back to campus and grow accustomed to new social distancing and other processes to maintain our health well in advance of our students’ return. We all need to set a good example and be ready to help our students follow the new procedures as well.

To aid in this, we have created a Guide for Returning to Campus. Please consult this guide and send any questions to social@pittstate.edu. The guide will be updated and expanded as the outcomes of the three working groups are final, and changes will be listed in the Daily Update. In addition, we’ve created an employee feedback form, which you can find at pittstate.edu/coronavirus.

SUPERVISORS – if your team is not already working on campus, please work with them and coordinate with your own leader to make a plan for reopening and providing access to all facilities, offices, and departments by July 7. You may reopen and be accessible sooner if convenient for your team or necessary to serve student needs. Starting July 7, all offices should be open and accessible during the standard summer hours, which is 8:00-4:30 M-Th, and 8:00-12:00 on Friday.

All employees returning at once is not required. Consider staggering times when employees are in the office. Our goal is to be fully open and accessible while minimizing density. All employees who normally work on campus should be back no later than August 3.

Also, please know that between now and July 7 work continues to prepare for our return. We are creating signage for common areas that remind us to maintain distance from others, maintain personal hygiene, protect yourself and others, and more. We’re also working to ensure every employee can disinfect their own work space and the areas in their offices shared with others. Many offices have already installed sneeze guards in high-traffic, public-facing areas. And you already know that masks are available to employees. Social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines remain in effect indefinitely.

To comply with Crawford County’s public health guidance, any employees reporting to campus for work are required to complete a daily health questionnaire. PDF and online versions of this questionnaire are available at pittstate.edu/coronavirus.

Many are open already or will reopen prior to July 7. For a list, visit pittstate.edu/coronavirus and watch the Daily Update.

NOTE FOR JULY 4: We want everyone to enjoy the holiday weekend, though note that if you travel to a high-risk area you are required to quarantine for 14 days upon your return. If you are required to self-quarantine, you must take accrued leave, possibly COVID-19 related leave or, if applicable, make alternative work arrangements with your supervisor (working from home). 

Once again, the health and safety of our campus community is our highest priority. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and assess needs, making adjustments as we go. Please stay in communication with your supervisor to understand your responsibilities.


Outdoor Campus Facilities Open June 1

Thursday 05/28/20 04:12 PM

As the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic relax for our region, Pittsburg State University is beginning the process of reopening facilities to the public, starting with our outdoor facilities.

As of Monday, June 1, outdoor facilities will be open to the public. These include:

  • Carnie Smith Stadium
  • Soccer fields
  • Outdoor basketball courts
  • Intramural softball fields
  • Sand volleyball courts

In addition, the baseball and softball fields are available for reservations. Contact Lacie Anderson at landerson@pittstate.edu to make a field reservation.  

Most other facilities remain closed and event hosting remains suspended as the University responds to new public health guidance, works to accommodate student needs, and prepares for a broad reopening of facilities this summer.

We expect users of these outdoor spaces to take personal responsibility for their health and that of the people around them. This means adhering to all public health guidelines that mitigate the spread of COVID-19: social distancing, good hygiene, and staying home when sick. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and assess needs, making adjustments as we go.


CARES Act: Assistance Availability for Students

Friday 05/15/20 03:50 PM

Last week we gave students a heads-up about determining their eligibility for financial assistance from the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  

Here’s what students need to know now:

PELL-ELIGIBLE STUDENTS

  • Every Pell-eligible student will receive assistance, if they meet the eligibility requirements below.
  • Pell-eligible full-time students will receive $800, and Pell-eligible part-time students will receive $400.
  • Pell-eligible students DO NOT apply for assistance – you will automatically qualify as long as you meet the eligibility requirements below
  • Pell-eligible students can expect to receive payments within 4 weeks if direct deposit information has been provided
  • Eligibility requirements for Pell students:
    • Must be enrolled in PSU on/after March 13, 2020
    • Must be a degree-seeking student (certificate, associates, bachelors, masters, or doctorate degree)
    • Must not be in loan default or have grant or loan over-payment status
    • Must be currently making satisfactory academic progress at PSU
    • Must have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. They still have time to file one at https://studentaid.gov, so they should do so if not done already.
    • Must be eligible to receive Title IV federal aid (as determined by FAFSA)
    • Must have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19
    • They are INELIGIBLE if they are an international or undocumented student, or if they were enrolled in an online-only program at the time of the emergency declaration on March 13, 2020.

NON-PELL-ELIGIBLE STUDENTS

  • Non-Pell students must apply for assistance at https://bit.ly/2Z5GPef.
  • Deadline for first consideration of applications is May 31
  • One application per student is allowed
  • Assistance is not guaranteed
  • The amount of assistance is not determined at this time
  • The date for payments to non-Pell students will be announced after May 31
  • Non-Pell students must meet these eligibility requirements:
    • Must be enrolled in PSU on/after March 13, 2020
    • Must be a degree-seeking student (certificate, associates, bachelors, masters, or doctorate degree)
    • Must not be in loan default or have grant or loan overpayment status
    • Must be currently making satisfactory academic progress at PSU
    • Must have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. You still have time to file one at https://studentaid.gov, so they should do so if not done already.
    • Must be eligible to receive Title IV federal aid (as determined by FAFSA)
    • Must have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19
    • They are INELIGIBLE if they are an international or undocumented student, or if they were enrolled in an online-only program at the time of the emergency declaration on March 13, 2020.

What can students do to prepare?


Campus facilities closure extended until June 1

Friday 05/15/20 11:46 AM

As Kansas progresses through AdAstra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas and assesses the state’s status, Governor Laura Kelly has added a new phase, Phase 1.5. The new phase starts Monday, and continues to prohibit gatherings of over 10 people but does allow certain business types to reopen with precautions.

Though progress is slow, we are getting closer to reopening our campus to our employees, students, and the public. Thanks to all of you for the health-focused practices you’ve put in place to protect our community from COVID-19. The resulting low number of cases in our county indicates they’re working.

Through Phase 1.5 at minimum, social distancing, limiting travel, mask wearing, and telework remain strongly encouraged. Therefore, the facilities of Pittsburg State University will remain largely closed for now. The next assessment regarding reopening campus will occur before June 1.

Employees currently working from home will continue to do so during this time. Essential personnel who are already coming to campus for work will continue to do so. Additional personnel will be added as required to support campus operations and prepare for a full reopening.

Custodial, maintenance, trades, and groundskeeping staff are working on campus. To aid prospective and current students, additional offices could open with limited hours and staggered work schedules.

To prepare for our eventual full reopening, we’ve purchased masks for every full-time employee, and departments will be able to request them for part-time employees and students as needed. We’re also purchasing plexiglass sneeze guards for high-traffic, public-facing areas, and floor stickers encouraging social distancing will be available.

To comply with Crawford County’s public health order, any employees reporting to campus for work are required to complete a daily health questionnaire. PDF and online versions of this questionnaire are available at pittstate.edu/coronavirus.

Once again, the health and safety of our campus community is our highest priority. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and assess needs, making adjustments as we go. 


CARES Act: What it means for PSU students

Thursday 05/14/20 06:16 PM

As we weather the pandemic, the federal government has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide financial relief to states, workers, and small businesses.

In addition, the CARES Act includes the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund that enables universities like ours to provide direct financial assistance to students.

Pittsburg State University will receive approximately $2.6 million reserved specifically for student financial relief. The federal government requires strict eligibility guidelines – not every student will qualify for relief.

Students must meet the following eligibility requirements:
   - Must be enrolled in PSU on/after March 13, 2020
   - Must be a degree-seeking student (certificate, associates, bachelors, masters,
     or doctorate degree)
   - Must not be in loan default or have grant or loan overpayment status
   - Must be currently making satisfactory academic progress at PSU
   - Must have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. You still
     have time to file one at https://studentaid.gov, so please do that if you have not
     already.
   - Must be eligible to receive Title IV federal aid (as determined by FAFSA)
   - Must have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to
     COVID-19

Who is NOT eligible?
   - International and undocumented students
   - Students enrolled in only online programs before the COVID-19 emergency
     declaration on March 13, 2020

We are hard at work creating a CARES Act student relief application system, and it’ll be released within the next week. 

What can students do to prepare now?
   - Make sure students have a FAFSA on file. If not, they can do so at https://studentaid.gov.
   - Set up direct deposit with Pitt State so your payment comes as soon as
     possible. Do so at https://psuapps.pittstate.edu/ui/CASH/studentbanking/bankinfo.

May 6 Town Hall Questions and Answers

Wednesday 05/06/20 04:45 AM

I’m a student and I have an underlying health condition that prevents my return to campus until there is a vaccine. Will I be able to take all of my courses online?

The answer to this question is unique to each student, and is dependent on the student’s major. It might be possible for some students and not possible for others, but every effort will be made to help students stay on a path to graduation in some form. Students in this position should immediately begin talking to their advisor to determine options.

Will PSU students receive CARES Act relief?

Eligible students (which likely is not all students) will receive relief payments. We have submitted an application for our portion of the funding. The language of the CARES Act gives us some flexibility in how we disperse the funds, and we are planning this carefully to ensure our decisions adhere to the guidelines. We need to get it right.

Are we raising tuition given the financial strain most students are suffering?

We do expect a modest tuition increase to ensure we can continue to operate at the standard our students expect. We are working hard to balance our budget, reduce spending, and secure an appropriate level of state funding so we can limit our increases in tuition.

When we return to campus, will faculty and students be required to wear masks?

It is unlikely that we will require masks for everyone, but in keeping with the recommendations from public health officials it is very likely that we will strongly encourage it for all and require it for those who work in close proximity to others.

What extra precautions will we take in the fall to keep students, faculty, and staff safe?

The work groups for Academics and Student Life are working through these now. We will set these based on recommendations from public health officials.

Will Pitt State host summer camps this year?

We will not host any camps in June. Some camps are rescheduling for July, and barring any further restrictions from state and local public health officials, we should be able to hold camps by then while adhering to group size orders for that time.

Will we have events on the Oval and at the Bicknell when we return?

Every event and every venue is different, so we can’t say definitively right now whether all events can happen as they normally would. We do expect changes, and expect ingenuity and innovation in how we host and manage events on campus. The Student Life working group will be discussing events in the coming months.  

When will we know if we will have a football season?

That timeline is not clear. Discussions at the MIAA and NCAA are underway. We are hopeful we’ll have football and all fall sports.

PSU’s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology was a huge help when we had to swiftly move to online instruction. Can we expand their resources to prepare for this in the future, and the general increase in online instruction?

We agree they have done excellent work and are an indispensable part of our campus. We can’t guarantee any additional resources for CTLT specifically, but we know the work they do is a priority.

Is there an expectation that some or all PSU offices on campus will have open office hours over the summer? 

We expect this to change and evolve as summer starts and progresses. Given the nature of their work and our commitment to students, we do plan to open a few offices such as Admission and Student Financial Assistance. These will open with modified hours and with staggered employee schedules. As the threat of the virus subsides and more needs arise, other offices will open.

Is it possible we’ll have furloughs, layoffs, and salary reductions?

We are fortunate to live in a state that has carefully managed resources and is financially sound, and we are in the same position on our own campus. While this helps us and means we have not had to make any immediate changes, we will likely not be immune from cuts similar to those being made by other universities across the nation. We must make sure our institution remains viable, and given the financial outlook in our state we are not taking cuts of this nature off the table at this time.


Fall at Pittsburg State University

Monday 05/04/20 02:26 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our institution in ways that were difficult to predict. It changed how we provide instruction, how we honor our students and graduates, how we welcome the public to our campus, and how we orient our new students for fall. All of these swift and temporary changes were made to protect the health and safety of our campus community.

At the same time, our mission has not changed. We have a commitment to our students and to the community to provide transformational experiences and to live up to our founding principle “by doing, learn.” At the heart of these is a thriving campus with students actively pursuing their goals. 

With this in mind, we intend to return to campus in the fall with face-to-face classes, open residence halls, and a resumption of student life. There are still many unknowns. Campus life will not be the same – there will be differences – though not all of those differences are defined. What we can say with certainty now is that health and safety will remain the top priority.

Bringing Pitt State back together will require careful planning, close communication with our public health officials, and well-coordinated decision making across campus. To accomplish this, President Steve Scott has assembled three Pitt State Together working groups to determine how we’ll safely return to campus in the fall.  

  • Academics – chaired by Dr. Howard Smith, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. This group will explore and make recommendations for safely resuming face-to-face instruction for the fall semester, including consideration of course schedules, the academic calendar, curricular design, and classroom, lab, library, and office safety.
  • Student Life – chaired by Dr. Steve Erwin, Vice President for Student Life. This group will explore and make recommendations for safely returning students to university housing and access to student life resources and activities.
  • Budget and Finance – chaired by Doug Ball, Chief Financial Officer. This group will explore and make recommendations to address the financial impact of returning to campus this fall as well as responding to the overall impact of the virus on University finances, including tuition and fee discounts, revenue opportunities, options for budget reductions, and more.

The membership in these groups is broad to ensure we hear from and represent the interests of every area of the University. We know we cannot eliminate all risk, but we can anticipate challenges and mitigate as much as possible to ensure we have options.

On Wednesday, May 6 at 11:00 a.m. on KRPS, Dr. Scott and Dr. Howard Smith will host their second town hall to discuss the Pitt State Together planning process. They’ll take questions in advance and live during the broadcast at social@pittstate.edu.

Working Groups:

Academics – chaired by Dr. Howard Smith. Members are:

  • James Truelove, Dean
  • Greg Murray, Chairperson
  • Kevin Bracker/Dr. Cole Shewmake, Faculty Senate
  • Grant Moss/Dr. Khamis Siam, PSU-KNEA
  • Kristi Frisbee, Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing
  • Susan Dellasega, Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology
  • Julie Blanken, Student Financial Assistance
  • Melinda Roelfs, Registrar
  • Rita Girth, Bryant Student Health Center
  • Bill Hoyt, Information Technology Systems
  • Brad Stefanoni, Purchasing and Unclassified Professional Staff
  • Tim Senecaut, Physical Plant Services and Grounds
  • Kristi Geier, Administrative Staff
  • Seth George, Student Government Association
  • Amy Hammesfahr, Graduate Student

Student Life – chaired by Dr. Steve Erwin. Members are:

  • Kathleen Sandness, Bryant Student Health Center
  • Connie Malle, Student Housing
  • Stu Hite, University Police & Parking
  • Eva Sager, Campus Activities
  • Vince Daino, Campus Recreation
  • Kristina Taylor, Sodexo Campus Services
  • Fawn Arndt, Barnes & Noble
  • Jim Johnson, Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Rocky Restivo, Faculty
  • Mandy Peak, Faculty
  • Deatrea Rose, Student Diversity
  • Kevin Malle, Physical Plant Services and Grounds
  • Lexi Houser, Students
  • Barbara Jemison, Purchasing
  • Becky Krause, Information Technology Systems
  • Joe Firman, Bicknell Family Center for the Arts
  • Randy Roberts, Axe Library
  • Jeff Steinmiller, Overman Student Center

Budget and Finances, chaired by Doug Ball. Members are:

  • Kathleen Flannery, University Advancement
  • Shawn Naccarato, University Strategic Initiatives and Government Affairs
  • Barbara Winter, Business Office
  • Jim Hughes, Purchasing
  • Lauren Werner, Budget
  • Debbie Amershek/Lori Dreiling, Human Resource Services
  • Tammy Higgins, Student Financial Assistance
  • La Donna Flynn, Internal Audit
  • Angela Neria, Information Technology Services
  • Paul Grimes, Dean
  • Cheryl Giefer, Chairperson
  • Joe Levens, Faculty
  • Brian Sims, Faculty
  • Jason Kegler, Student Life
  • Tom Westhoff, Student Housing
  • Terry Pierce, Unclassified Support Staff

Ex officio members for all working groups are:

  • Abby Fern, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer
  • Jamie Brooksher, General Counsel
  • Jaime Dalton, Chief of Staff

 

 


Campus facilities closure extended until May 18

Friday 05/01/20 11:55 AM

As part of a larger plan to reopen the state’s economy, last night Governor Kelly released Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas. The phased plan lifts the stay-at-home order that expires on May 3 and sets the baseline level of state-wide restrictions, all of which reduce over time as the threat of COVID-19 subsides in our state. The threat reduction is measured by a stable or declining number of new cases, hospital admissions, and deaths; communities’ ability to test, trace contacts, and isolate those infected; and the availability of personal protective equipment for those who require it.

The statewide plan allows for gatherings of fewer than ten people and enables the reopening of restaurants, shops, and other businesses so long as safety protocols are followed. At the same time, social distancing, limiting travel, mask wearing, and telework remain strongly encouraged. Read the state’s plan here.

Further, the plan calls for individual counties to set additional restrictions locally as needed, depending on the situation in their communities. Read Crawford County’s plan here, which provides additional guidance to employers and workplaces.

This does not immediately change our processes at Pitt State. Our campus facilities will remain closed at least until May 18, aligning with expected end of Phase 1 of the governor’s plan.

Employees currently working from home will continue to do so during this time. Essential personnel who are already coming to campus for work will continue to do so. Additional personnel will be added as required to support campus operations. Social distancing is required for those on campus, as well as additional precautionary measures in place within departments.

To comply with the county’s order, any employees reporting to campus for work will be required to complete a daily questionnaire about their health as it relates to COVID-19 symptoms or activities that potentially exposed them to an infected person. Supervisors will receive additional guidance about this today.

This is no doubt the beginning of a process to reopen our campus, but this cannot happen overnight. The health and safety of our campus community is paramount. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and assess needs, making adjustments as we go. Please stay in close contact with your supervisor to understand your responsibilities.


Spring Commencement

Wednesday 04/29/20 03:15 PM

In March, we made the difficult decision to cancel our May commencement ceremonies due to ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, our commencement team has been hard at work devising a new plan to honor our graduates and their accomplishments in other ways.

To help us make our decisions, we surveyed seniors to understand their preferences. A majority of students prefer a face-to-face ceremony dedicated to those who would have walked across the stage in May. We are happy to announce that this ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 12.

We fully recognize and appreciate that many of our graduates will depart Pittsburg for jobs and lives after Pittsburg State University, and making their way back to campus in December could be challenging. We’ve done our best to choose a date that allows for the most flexibility and time to plan. Also, this date is safest considering the public health threat related to large gatherings, which is expected to extend through the summer.

Whether or not a graduate walks in December, their name will appear in the recording posted to the University’s Vimeo and YouTube channels after the event.

In addition, we’ve planned a variety of features of our graduating seniors, which you’ll see on our social media channels and website over the coming weeks. We’ll revisit this process in December.

Finally, each graduating senior will receive copies of the commencement program as well as a unique keepsake that marks the occasion. 

Graduation from college is a defining milestone in one’s life, and our goal is to recognize our graduates in the most robust way possible in these unprecedented times.


Fall 2020 New Student Orientation Moving Online

Thursday 04/23/20 04:10 PM

As we've shifted academic experiences online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we did the same for new student recruitment and current student support services. Now that all summer coursework will also be online to ensure health and safety on our campus, we are doing the same for new student orientation (Pitt CARES). It will also be shifted online for the fall 2020 semester.

All orientation activities will be online in Canvas. All required orientation activities must be completed online, and students required to participate in Pitt CARES must attend a live Zoom session on their orientation date to be eligible to enroll. Reminder: enrollment for new students occurs on their orientation date.

Pitt CARES is required for all 2020 high school graduates, and optional for transfer students. Online orientation will not require a fee. If students have already registered and paid the fee, they will be refunded.

Further, on Saturday, August 15, an optional orientation gathering for students, parents, and families is planned on the campus of Pittsburg State University. Should this event be canceled due to ongoing health concerns, everyone will be notified.

We look forward to welcoming our new students to campus as soon as possible, but in the meantime we will welcome them with the same level of care and attention – but online. If you have any questions about this process, please direct them to orientation@pittstate.edu


April 21 Town Hall Questions and Answers

Tuesday 04/21/20 04:30 PM

Will we be operating under traditional summer hours this year?

Yes. Summer hours will start as planned on May 17 and end August 8. More details about this will come soon.

Can we assign new duties to those staying home but not working? Help in other departments?

This is certainly an option, though not necessary at this time. We are slowly restarting some functions on campus that will bring these employees back to work safely. We encourage everyone in this position to stay in close contact with supervisors to ensure you’re available when needed.

How are we honoring graduates in lieu of commencement?

Canceling May commencement was a very difficult decision, and we’re working hard to ensure these graduates know how much we value their commitment to their futures. To understand their preferences, we polled them. A majority of respondents prefer a dedicated face-to-face ceremony later in the year, so we are adding a third ceremony devoted to May graduates to our December commencement plans (details coming soon). We’re also honoring them on social media in the week around what would have been May commencement, and we’re working on a commemorative keepsake for each graduate.

Can we reinstate students if they dropped before the pass/fail grading policy news?

With permission from the instructor, this may be possible. Please contact our registrar, Melinda Roelfs, for details. 

Will the rules for granting incompletes stay the same, or be altered under these circumstances?

The incomplete policy is not changing, though please remember that instructors can grant deadline extensions to students who need more time to complete the coursework.

What is our financial outlook now that we’ve had to give refunds for housing?

Our budget is complex. Granting housing and dining refunds will amount to $1.5-1.8 million, or nearly 25% of our annual housing revenue. This is no small amount, though tells only part of the story, as Pitt State has various impacted revenue streams, including from the State of Kansas, grants, tuition, and outreach activities like summer camps, which typically serve about 5,000 young people and result in more than $200,000 in annual revenue. We are on target to get through the remainder of this fiscal year (ends June 30), though we are keeping a close eye on the bleak 2-year outlook from the State of Kansas issued on April 20. On the positive and hopeful side, we have responded to global higher education enrollment declines over the last several years, making difficult but fiscally responsible decisions that have put us in a good position to manage our way through this.

How will federal stimulus money help us? How will it help our students?

Pittsburg State University is expected to receive $5.2 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Half will be direct payments to students to offset costs incurred this semester, and the remaining $2.6 million will be used to defray expenses or revenue lost due to our COVID-19 response. Guidelines for distribution and proper use of the funds have been slow, and Dr. Howard Smith is leading a group responsible for ensuring we interpret and implement the Act with full compliance on our campus. We also expect more legislation and funding opportunities from the federal government, and there is potential for more resources from the State of Kansas. The important thing to remember is that while this extra funding is very helpful, it does not entirely fill all the gaps for our institution or our students. More work and decisions are necessary to ensure we stay ahead of further cuts, which we expect given the projected 2-year $1.3 billion decline in state revenue projections.  

What are we doing to ensure strong enrollment in the fall?

We are doing everything we can to maintain our pre-COVID19 student recruitment momentum. Our recruiters are working virtually via online chat, virtual campus tours, and lots of emails, texts, and phone calls. We’re exploring the option of hosting very small groups on campus as soon as it’s feasible. For students who are hesitant about college right now, we are focusing on helping them see that a credential beyond high school puts them in a far better position in any job market – particularly one with high unemployment in many sectors. Now is not the time to stray from goals. Enrollment started April 19, and CARES registration is also open. So far numbers look good, but we’ll monitor this weekly. We’ll have the best data by the end of June. In the meantime, it’s important to remember that we all represent Pitt State, and we are all recruiters in our own way by staying positive and encouraging with the young adults in our lives, and connecting them to resources.

Do we expect retention to suffer if we must stay online for the fall semester?

It’s difficult to say, because different students are impacted by the move to online than others. What we do know is that the likelihood that they’ll continue their education with Pitt State is much higher if they have an excellent experience this spring. Though not what they envisioned for Spring 2020, they can still finish the semester strong and positively if we do everything we can do to show compassion, go the extra mile to help a student, and put them in touch with resources. All the focus we put on students now will pay off in the fall.

Is there an indication about whether we’ll reopen after May 3?

If the governor of Kansas follows a similar timeline for announcements as in the past, we should hear news of this by April 29. 

Are we moving the summer tuition deadline past June 2?

No. This deadline will not change.

Will the pandemic bring permanence to the prevalence of online vs. face to face courses? If so, will this mean alumni will have less affinity/give less over time?

The entirety of this pandemic and our response is certainly causing us to look at our operations and offerings differently. Faculty are adjusting coursework delivery and innovating how they teach – sometimes in positive ways they did not expect. Students are adjusting as well, and setting new expectations for their college experience. All of this could mean we are better equipped to be flexible and agile, but none of it changes our DNA. Our motto is “by doing, learn”, and we know that being face-to-face matters. We believe that having a holistic higher education experience drives transformation, and also feeds affinity for Pittsburg State University among our graduates. While this crisis has opened our eyes even more to what’s possible, and it’s likely many of the great changes will stick, it won’t change who we are and why our graduates continue to support us.

Will this mean we’re more open to faculty and staff working remotely?

If there is a silver lining in this, it’s that we have learned we can adjust to new ways of working. For staff, we have not discussed policy changes that would precipitate sustained remote work, but please refer to the existing Telework and Alternative Work Schedules Policies. Remote faculty require a different discussion.

Can we put the tenure and promotion process on hold if we don’t return to campus in the fall?

This is a contract decision that will be discussed by PSU-KNEA and administration, with final approval for changes by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Will faculty who are promoted still get their raises?

Yes, we are honoring the long-standing promotion guidelines.  

Are non-tenured faculty in danger of losing their jobs?

If budget reductions are necessary, then all expenses must be considered. At this point, we have not discussed layoffs or furloughs for any particular group.

When we return to campus, how will we be protected from the virus? Will we require testing before returning to work? Will we take temps? Will we be required to wear masks and gloves? If so, will PSU provide this centrally, or will each department purchase their own?

We have not made decisions about this yet, but will rely on information from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Crawford County Health Department to guide our actions. What we can say now is that we’ve learned lessons from this pandemic, particularly in the areas of safety and cleanliness. Our outstanding custodial staff already did a great job, and we’ve learned new things that can help them be even more effective. Our goal is that we return to normal operations as soon as possible, but we do it safely.

Are students returning to campus in the fall?

Given the nature of the pandemic, we are unable to make this decision at this time. Our intent with the measures we’ve taken so far, and those we’ll take in the summer, is to return to face-to-face courses in the fall. We don’t yet know when we can make the decision, or whether students will return to residence halls, but we are working daily to define a path toward this decision and we are relying on recommendations and expertise from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Crawford County Health Department.

Do you have confidence that our faculty can offer transformational learning experiences for our students this fall even if there continue to be disruptions in face to face learning due to the pandemic?

First, we are doing everything we can to return to face to face coursework in the fall. We are hopeful that the precautions we take now lead to a relaxation of restrictions by August. That said, should the ongoing health crisis prevent us from safely resuming normal operations for the fall semester there is one major difference: we have more time to prepare. Many faculty have already indicated they are preparing their courses for both alternative and traditional delivery methods. For the spring semester, everything happened very quickly and we understand the circumstances weren't ideal for anyone. Still, faculty are delivering and students are progressing toward their degrees. 

Do you think PSU students will continue to see the kind of care and personal attention Pitt State is known for even if classes are sometimes online?

Yes but in different ways from our traditional approach. From a practical standpoint, we've worked hard to remove all barriers between students, faculty, and staff by making use of the tremendous technology resources on our campus. Students can reach out and get prompt answers in a variety of ways, and it's typically 1:1 and personal. While we prefer they could get help in person, we are using technology to help everyone remain connected. From an emotional standpoint, the extra care we take this semester will help our students feel supported. It's important that we all go the extra mile all the time, but especially now.

How are innovative ideas and solutions being documented?

President’s Council is documenting ideas, successes, and challenges from each of the divisions through a structured after-action review process. Members of the team are in regular contact with all areas of the university. As things are learned – what works and what doesn’t – it’s captured. A transition plan is being developed (and will be shared), and a thorough review will happen and discussion will occur across campus to ensure we implement best practices going forward.   

If we can’t return in the fall, will both synchronous and asynchronous options be available?

We have not made these decisions yet, but we have certainly learned a lot about how we can remain flexible, agile, and serve our students in the ways that best fit their needs. More to come on this.

Is the work resulting from the RPK recommendations still happening? What will be done in FY21?

The work and progress we made from the RPK recommendations is absolutely still very relevant. Work continues to implement recommendations, and we are learning further good lessons through this pandemic as we move our offerings into the future. Particularly, determining how we live our mission and retain our culture as we move more courses online is a challenge we’re tackling.


Spring 2020 Grading Policy

Friday 04/17/20 03:25 PM

The Spring 2020 semester is not unfolding as any of us planned. The disruption brought by the COVID-19 pandemic has required us to make tremendous changes in a short amount of time to ensure students at Pittsburg State University maintain momentum toward a degree. And for that we are very proud – our faculty and staff have stepped up and we are continuing to deliver with the excellence expected by our students.

That said, challenges remain. Students are still adapting to new ways of learning, and faculty are still adapting to new ways of instructing. Some have less-than-ideal devices to work with, and others might not have convenient internet access. Living arrangements and family responsibilities might have changed. In sort, this is an unprecedented time.

To help ease anxiety, our student leaders, faculty, and academic leadership have collaborated on a revised grading policy for this semester that enables students to take a Pass or Fail rather than a letter grade.

This policy is for Spring 2020 only, and applies to both undergraduate and graduate courses. Students have until May 8 to select the Pass/Fail option in lieu of a letter grade.

Students are strongly encouraged to carefully consider any request to convert a letter grade to a Pass/Fail designation, and to fully understand the implications and limitations this brings. It is important for students to seek advice from their advisor before making decisions.

For complete information, including a list of implications, guidance from specific programs, and a link to request the designation, please visit this page.


Summer Courses

Friday 04/17/20 12:00 PM

To ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff while uncertainty surrounds the COVID-19 pandemic, Pittsburg State University will continue online delivery of courses through the summer. Enrollment for summer and fall courses begins Sunday, April 19.

The intent behind the decision is to do everything we can now to limit the spread of the virus so we set ourselves up for a return in the fall. Over 90% of summer courses at Pitt State are already delivered online, so the level of disruption for summer should be far less than the spring semester.

Even so, early notice of this change means students, faculty, and staff have more time to prepare. Courses already slated for online delivery in the summer will continue as planned. Faculty planning face-to-face courses in the summer should begin preparations to move the coursework to alternative delivery methods.

Academic labs will remain closed for whole-class work. Axe Library will continue to operate in its current limited capacity.


Campus facilities closure extended through May 3

Wednesday 04/15/20 02:20 PM

In accordance with Governor Laura Kelly’s extension of the state of Kansas’s stay-at-home order today, the facilities of Pittsburg State University will remain closed at least through May 3.

The original stay-at-home order issued by the governor expired on April 6, but was extended to April 19. This further extension adds two more weeks as the state monitors the status of COVID-19 in Kansas. There could be further extensions, so please pay close attention to future updates.

Employees currently working from home will continue to do so during this time. Essential personnel who are already coming to campus for work will continue to do so and additional personnel will be added as required to support campus operations.

Social distancing and other precautionary measures will continue to ensure the health and safety of employees working on campus.

We will carefully monitor the situation beyond May 3 and make every effort to give a week’s notice to employees when we are able to reopen campus. In the meantime, we will continue to assess needs on our campus and make adjustments. 


Stay-at-home message from President Scott

Thursday 04/09/20 01:00 PM


Campus facilities closure extended through April 19

Tuesday 03/31/20 12:00 PM

In accordance with the stay-at-home order issued by the Crawford County Commission on March 27, and Governor Kelly’s order on March 30, the facilities of Pittsburg State University will remain closed at least until April 19.

Originally, we announced that facilities would close for two weeks, reopening April 6. Given new guidance the campus facilities will remain closed an additional two weeks. This may be extended, so please pay close attention to future updates.

The closure of academic labs will remain in place for the remainder of the semester.

Please note that nearly every department on campus is working remotely. Emails and voicemails will be answered, and students can chat online with Admission, Gorilla Geeks, Registrar, Student Financial Assistance, International Programs and Services, Cashiers & Student Accounts, Student Success Programs, Student Life, and the Library.

We will continue to assess necessary campus functions with supervisors, and will make adjustments as we move forward.


Order of Governor of Kansas Laura Kelly

Monday 03/30/20 08:00 AM


Student Laptop Checkout

Monday 03/30/20 08:00 AM

If you need a laptop to complete this semester’s courses, no worries – we have you covered.

Students can check out a laptop for the remainder of the semester next week at Axe Library's main entrance.

   -  Monday, March 30 from 8:00-4:00
   -  Tuesday, March 31 from 8:00-4:00

Students should line up outside with social distancing in mind. Students will be allowed into the Axe Library lobby one at a time to check out a laptop.

Students must present their PSU student ID and email.

If students are already enrolled in summer courses, they may keep the laptop until fall.

Laptop return procedures will be announced at later date via email, so stay tuned.

Order of the Crawford County Board of Health

Tuesday 03/24/20 12:00 PM


All central IT services are open

Monday 03/23/20 09:00 AM

If you are working or learning remotely and need IT assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to the ITS Help Desk (aka The Gorilla Geeks):

Call-In and Email Hours For the Weeks of March 22nd and March 29th:
  • Monday through Thursday 7:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Live Chat Hours for the Week of Mar. 22nd:
  • Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m
  • No Sunday Chat Hours on Mar. 22nd (Due to Spring Break)
Live Chat Hours for the Week of Mar. 29th:
  • Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Check out our Remote IT Support page for tips and best practices!

Update for Thursday, 3/19/2020

Thursday 03/19/20 09:00 AM

As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates across the nation, the facilities of Pittsburg State University will close for two weeks starting on Monday, March 23.  

During this time, employees able to work remotely, as determined by their supervisor, will do soAll employees will continue to be paid.  

Coursework will resume as planned on March 30 via alternative delivery methods.  

A small number of employees will be required to work on campus. Those employees will be notified by their supervisor with additional information. 

Student employees will continue to be paid. More guidance on this and for reporting time is forthcoming next week. 

During this time, most campus buildings are closed, including but not limited to academic labs, administrative and academic offices, Axe Library, the Rec Center, and any other physical space. Bryant Student Health Center remains open to serve students.   

These are unprecedented times, and we appreciate your patience. Our plan is influenced by Governor Kelly’s announcement about executive branch employees on March 17, and adapted to fit the unique nature of our university as we work to preserve progress toward degrees for our students.  

Please keep in touch with your supervisors, check your email dailywatch Pitt State social media, and monitor pittstate.edu/coronavirus for future alerts and information about our university’s response.  

IMPORTANT MESSAGES 

  • University facilities are closed for two weeks starting March 23 
  • Employees able to work from home during this time will do so 
  • All employees will continue to be paid, including students 
  • A small number of employees will be required to work on campus 
  • The University will issue further guidance during the next two weeks  

Update for Tuesday, 3/17/2020

Tuesday 03/17/20 12:00 PM

As you know, the situation with COVID-19 in our region is evolving every day. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment believes the widespread transmission of COVID-19 will accelerate during the next several weeks. In addition to proper hygiene, the most effective method of mitigating the spread of this highly contagious respiratory illness is social distancing. 

Given guidance from federal and state public health officials for the next eight weeks, Pittsburg State University will deliver courses via alternative delivery methods through the end of the spring semester. This removes further disruptions for faculty and students. 

In-person commencement ceremonies are also canceled, along with all commencement-related activities. We will soon begin work on alternative ways to celebrate this great accomplishment, so please stay tuned for more information. Graduates will also be welcomed to walk at future ceremonies.  

Residence halls on our main campus will close starting March 23. All residential international students and a small number of domestic students in exceptional circumstances will be allowed to stay but should be prepared to move to different room to reduce density. The closure does not apply to the student residences at Block22. Students in main campus housing will receive additional instructions about moving out by Sunday, March 22.  

These decisions are not easy to weigh and finalize, but we must prioritize the health and welfare of our students, faculty, staff, and community based on expert recommendations. Though none of this is ideal, we also know removing ambiguity is helpful and settling in these uncertain times.  

IMPORTANT MESSAGES: 

  • Pittsburg State University will deliver courses via alternative teaching methods through the end of the spring semester. 

  • In-person commencement ceremonies are canceled 

  • Residence halls on our main campus and Gibson Dining Hall will close starting March 23 


COVID-19 Update from the Bryant Student Health Center

Monday 03/16/20 02:00 PM

Bryant Student Health Center wants you to be informed about Pittsburg State University’s response to COVID-19 and how you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus. We are working with our University, local and state officials to ensure the health and safety of the PSU community with guidance from CDC.

RECENT TRAVEL

Discuss all travel with your supervisor before leaving. Closely monitor KDHE/CDC website for the most up to date travel guidelines. New recommendations include 14 day home quarantine if someone has traveled on a cruise ship, or to a state with known widespread community transmission (currently California, New York, Washington, and some counties in Colorado). *Travel to these community spread areas are reportable to the county health department for home quarantine monitoring.

If you have traveled recently to an area with confirmed cases of COVID-19 (international or within the US) that does not meet the community spread criteria, please monitor your health and seek medical advice for any symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19 infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath) for 14 days after your return home or to campus.

STAY HOME WHEN SICK

Do not come to work if you are sick, especially if you have a fever and upper respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath.

CALL FIRST

If you have symptoms (fever AND cough or shortness of breath) and concerns of exposure to COVID-19, please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first; your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic.

Start with calling any of the following medical facilities first:   (COVID-19 testing requires prior approval by KDHE.)

  • your personal medical provider
  • Crawford County Health Department—620-231-5411 (Monday—Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm)
  • Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas—866-888-8650 (Monday—Sunday 7 am to 7 pm)
  • Bryant Student Health Center—620-235-4452 (Monday—Friday 8 am to 4 pm)

**DO NOT go to the emergency room for COVID-19 screening UNLESS YOU ARE EXPERIENCING FEVER AND RESPIRATORY DISTRESS.**

WORK LEAVE

If home-isolation or quarantine related to COVID-19 is recommended by a healthcare official, please ask for appropriate documentation for submission to your supervisor.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Call KDHE at 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF) if you have general questions regarding COVID-19.

For the latest updates from the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, go here: http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/


Update for Monday, 3/16/2020

Monday 03/16/20 12:00 PM

The situation with COVID-19 changes daily, therefore our response can and likely will change daily. Please monitor email, Pitt State social media, and pittstate.edu/coronavirus for updates. 

Events 

All events on the campus of Pittsburg State University (PSU or other) are canceled through the end of the spring semester. The status of May commencement ceremonies is undecided.   

University travel 

ALL university travel is now suspended unless it is in directly related to the health and welfare of our campus community.  

Personal vacation travel 

We strongly discourage all personal vacation travel. Please note that as of today (3/16/2020) the KDHE recommends a 14-day self-isolation if you travel by cruise ship, travel internationally, or travel to Washington, New York, California, or a few counties in Colorado on or after March 15. Those traveling to these destinations will be reported to KDHE and their self-isolation will be monitored by the county health department upon return. Read about it here.  

If you choose to travel for vacation to a place not currently recommending self-isolation, please understand that the situation at your destination can change suddenly and without warning. You too could be subject to self-isolation when you return.  

Before you depart, check travel advisories for your destination, and continue to check warnings while away 

Meetings 

Use caution when scheduling face-to-face meetings. Keep meetings small, and practice CDC-recommended guidelines for hygiene and social distancing. Reconsider non-essential meetings. Use Teams or Skype to hold meetings instead.  

Use of remote work options 

Supervisors should enable and allow telework to reduce density of people on our campus. Find helpful resources for telework here. Follow the telework policy, though relax restrictions and previously-held decisions to make this work for as many people as possible (including students, if applicable). Each employee who works from home should complete the new alternative work/telework form and submit to their supervisor. These will be submitted to VPs for a consolidated record of employee agreements. The new form will be available this afternoon on the HRS webpages and also emailed to supervisors.

This is an unprecedented situation on our campus, and we must take temporary measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Please stay current on PSU’s response by checking your email, watching Pitt State social media, and monitoring pittstate.edu/coronavirus.  


Admission events - all on-campus visits sponsored by the Admission Office through March 27 are canceled.

Monday 03/16/20 08:00 AM

As of March 17, all on-campus visits sponsored by the Admission Office through March 27 are canceled. Future on-campus visits will be evaluated after this date, so please check back for updates.

This cancellation of events is very disappointing for us, as we love meeting prospective students and their families. Luckily, we have a virtual tour so you can see how beautiful our campus is, and what awesome things we offer.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, our Admission office will remain open so we can assist and answer questions.


Student info on modified operations at PSU

Friday 03/13/20 12:00 PM

As you know, the Critical Response Management Team at PSU has closely monitored the developing public health challenge, COVID-19, across our state, region, and country. Though there are no cases in Pittsburg, our state already is impacted and Governor Kelly has declared a state of emergency. Institutions like ours in communities of our size will not be immune from this virus. Our team makes recommendations based on our priorities: 

  • Ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff and prevent the spread of COVID-19  
  • Maintain transparency with thorough and frequent communication as the situation evolves 
  • Provide high-quality, though potentially alternative, experiences for our students that preserve progress toward a degree  

Pittsburg State University is releasing students in face to face courses a week early for spring break at the end of today, March 13.  

Next week, our faculty will work to redesign their face to face courses and move them to alternative teaching formats. THERE WILL BE NO SCHEDULE CHANGE TO COURSES ALREADY TAUGHT ONLINE. Extended spring break applies only to face-to-face courses. 

Courses will resume on schedule following spring break on Monday, March 30, through online or via other alternative teaching methods – indefinitely.  

We will resume face to face classes when it becomes feasible to do so based on the status of COVID-19 and at the recommendation of public health officials. 

Campus will remain open 

We will maintain normal operations in our administrative to ensure students are served remotely as they navigate this new reality.  

In addition, Axe Library will remain open to provide workspace for students who do not have internet access and computers. Depending on course content, some labs could remain accessible, though that will be determined over the next week by individual instructors and the college deans.  

Student workers may continue in their positions if approved by supervisors. 

Residence halls will remain open 
The move to alternative delivery methods for courses does not currently impact residence halls and dining hall services. However, while completing classes online, students may choose to return to their family residence. 

Events and outreach 

Until further notice, all Pittsburg State University events are cancelled starting March 16 

Keep yourself healthy 

Please do everything you can to stay healthy and informed. Carefully follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: wash your hands, don’t touch your face, disinfect surfaces, stay away from sick people, and stay home if you’re sick. Stay current on public health recommendations. Limit social gatherings and other places where people congregate. Stay home as much as possible. These methods work.  

Taking action to limit exposure helps everyone. Following the guidelines helps keep our community healthy and safe. It will take everyone working together to reduce exposure and transmission of COVID-19.  

We also encourage you to remain connected with your family and friends throughout this trying time by using the technology most of have in our hands. Texting, social media, and phone calls are good ways to maintain structure and social connections. 

What can you do now to prepare? 

  • Be on the lookout for communication from instructors about the logistics of the move to an alternate delivery of classes. Be patient as some instructors will need some time – to test and practice before providing more finalized details ahead of the switch to the alternate delivery of classes. 
  • Work with your instructors to ensure that you will have access to the class content online wherever you may be – on campus or otherwise. 
  • Make sure you have current cell phone information and email in PSU GUS System as well as Canvas in case we need to contact you directly via text with any updates. 

Please watch Pitt State’s Twitter and Facebook, as well as email and pittstate.edu/coronavirus for updates and notices.  


Faculty/Staff info on modified operations at PSU

Friday 03/13/20 12:00 PM

As you know, the Critical Response Management Team at PSU has closely monitored the developing public health challenge, COVID-19, across our state, region, and country. Though there are no cases in Pittsburg, our state and region already are impacted and Governor Kelly has declared a state of emergency. Institutions like ours in communities of our size will not be immune from this virus. Our team makes recommendations based on our priorities: 

  • Ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff and prevent the spread of COVID-19  
  • Maintain transparency with thorough and frequent communication as the situation evolves 
  • Provide high-quality, though potentially alternative, experiences for our students that preserve progress toward a degree  

Pittsburg State University is releasing students in face to face courses a week early for spring break at the end of today, March 13.  

Next week, our faculty will work to redesign their face-to-face courses and move them to alternative teaching formatsThere will be no schedule change to courses already taught online – extended spring break applies only to face-to-face courses.  

Faculty: Expect further communication from your chairperson or dean regarding training and preparation assistance available next week.  

At this time, the move to alternative delivery of instruction methods does not directly impact staff members other than those who will assist students and faculty who are adjusting to alternate methods of course delivery. 

Courses will resume on schedule following spring break on Monday, March 30, via online or other alternative teaching methods – indefinitely.  

Upon return from spring break and until further notice all classes will be delivered online or by other than face to face delivery as determined by the instructor but approved by the chair. 

Our colleagues in CTLT and ITS have collaborated to create a very helpful resource - IT Support for Remote Work & Instruction. This comprehensive site links to all the resources available (and there are a LOT of them) that enable remote instruction. One of the most important is the information on Canvas, which includes information about the Faculty Resources Course developed by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. 

Please discuss challenges and potential solutions with your chair and/or dean, and also share among each other so we can learn from each other. If your classes are already prepared or can be done so quickly, please help others.  

We understand this is not a small task, nor is it an easy one for many of our courses, and we appreciate the work it will take. Our goal is that our students have the best possible experiences under these trying circumstances.  

We will resume face-to-face classes when it becomes feasible to do so based on the status of COVID-19 and at the recommendation of public health officials.  

Campus will remain open - we are not “closed” 

Though students won’t be on campus, we will maintain normal operations to ensure students are served remotely as they navigate this new reality. Faculty and staff are expected to work unless they are sick, isolated due to potential COVID-19 exposure, or have chronic health conditions that put them at higher risk. Please continue to practice social distancing and other preventive measures moving forward.  

Once classes resume on March 30, Axe Library will remain open to provide workspace for students who do not have internet access and computers. Depending on certain courses, it’s possible some labs will remain in operation.  

Student workers may continue in their positions if approved by supervisors.  

Leaders are encouraged to use flexibility when evaluating alternate work schedules and telecommuting, as governed by our Telework and Alternate Work Schedules PolicyLeave policies can be found here 

We know spring is an important time to hire new faculty and staff and engage with prospective graduate students. Please limit face-to-face contact and travel by using Skype/Teams as much as possible. Reach out to ITS if you need assistance – 620-235-4600 or geeks@pittstate.edu.   

Residence halls will remain open 
The move to alternative delivery methods for courses does not currently impact residence halls and dining hall services. However, while completing classes online, students may choose to return to their family residence. 

Events and outreach 

Until further notice, all Pittsburg State University events are cancelled starting March 16Employees are encouraged to limit the size of meetings or move meetings online when possible using Skype/Teams 

Large group visits of prospective students will be transitioned to virtual tours with accompanying online/phone meetings. Single student visits will continue, though advance arrangements are required. This could change at any time.       

Travel 

All university-led travel outside Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas is suspended for the remainder of the spring semester. More information on resumption of travel during the summer will come later.  

Look out for yourself, your family, and our community 

Please do everything you can to stay healthy and informed. Carefully follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionwash your hands, don’t touch your face, disinfect surfaces, stay away from sick people, and stay home if you’re sick. Stay current on public health recommendations. Limit social gatherings and other places where people congregate. Stay home as much as possible. These methods work.  

Taking action to limit exposure helps everyone. Following the guidelines helps keep our community healthy and safe. It will take everyone working together to reduce exposure and transmission of COVID-19.  

We also encourage you to remain connected with your family, friends, and colleagues throughout this trying time by using the technology most of us have in our hands. Texting, online meetings, social media, and phone calls are good ways to maintain structure and social connections.  

Our team will continually update pittstate.edu/coronavirus to keep our students, faculty, and staff current.  

Thank you everyone – students, faculty, and staff – for the work, flexibility, and patience required as we chart a path through this difficult time.  


Faculty Canvas Support

Thursday 03/12/20 03:00 PM

For resources to support teaching within Canvas:

  1. Log into Canvas
  2. Click on the Help icon at the bottom of the global navigation
  3. Select, “Faculty Support” from the help menu

This takes faculty to a landing page with contact information for support by college as well as a link to currently “join” the Faculty Resources Course.  This course includes information to get up and running with the following tools:

  • DesignPLUS
  • Respondus LDB and Monitor
  • Turnitin
  • VidGrid
  • Zoom

Event Cancellation Guidance

Thursday 03/12/20 01:58 PM

If your department or program cancels an event, please follow these steps. 

  1. Add the word “Canceled” to the title of the event on the University Calendar at www.pittstate.edu. Do not delete it. If your department/program does not have access to the events in CMS and you need assistance with this, contact Andra Stefanoni in University Marketing & Communication at astefanoni@pittstate.edu. 
  2. If a Facebook event exists for the event, use Facebook’s option to cancel the event. Anyone who has subscribed to the event will get an automatic alert that it has been canceled. 
  3. On that Facebook page, write a short note announcing the cancellation. Sample: Please note that the trombone recital planned for March 18 in McCray Hall has been canceled. Questions? Call Bob at 235-4474. 
  4. If a news release has already been sent out about the event or a news release is in process, notify Andra in UMC at astefanoni@pittstate.edu. 
  5. If the event is listed on your department’s/program’s websitedo not delete it. Please add “Canceled” next to the event so it is visible (recommended in red) to anyone who goes to that page. 
  6. If posters are hanging on bulletin boards for that event, please ensure they’re all removed. 

Questions? Contact Andra at ext. 4124 or by email at astefanoni@pittstate.edu.


Coronavirus + All Travel

Thursday 03/12/20 10:13 AM

Please note that this guidance can change at any time given the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 public health challenge.

As of today, March 12, 2020, Pittsburg State University is suspending all university-led travel outside Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. 

Previously, we announced that all university-led international travel is suspended for the remainder of the spring semester. We are now extending that suspension to all domestic travel. This includes conferences, meetings, or any other university-related reason. Travel in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas is currently exempt from this suspension, though please watch for further guidance on a daily basis. Exemptions from the suspension will be made only under very specific circumstances determined by the vice presidents.  

All existing university-led travel for the summer (any trips departing after May 15) will be reevaluated.  

If you have already booked travel and require help cancelling, please contact the dean of your college or your director.  

We understand travel suspensions are disappointing, and additional scrutiny can be frustrating. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority, and these precautions are part of our plan to reduce the impact of this global health threat.


Coronavirus + International Travel

Tuesday 03/10/20 04:40 PM

Given the growth of reported cases and the dynamic nature of COVID-19 worldwide, all university-related travel outside the US for the spring semester is suspended. This includes upcoming study abroad programs, international travel by student groups, and international faculty travel. This directive goes into effect immediately.

If you have already booked travel and need help securing refunds for yourself or your students, please contact the dean of your college or your director.

All existing university-led international travel for the summer (any trips departing after May 15) will be reevaluated. At this time, no new programs for the summer that include international travel will be considered, and no travelers will be added to any existing trips.

Currently domestic travel is decided on a case-by-case basis. Travel requests will be evaluated weekly by the vice presidents to determine necessity and risk.

We understand travel suspensions are disappointing, and additional scrutiny can be frustrating. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority, and these precautions are part of our plan to reduce the impact of this global health threat.

Increased Sanitation

Monday 03/09/20 08:00 AM

As the instances of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, grow in the US, Pittsburg State University continues to prepare. There are no cases reported in Pittsburg, but we fully understand the virus spreads easily so we’re taking steps to limit its presence among our students, faculty, and staff.

First and foremost, we have increased disinfection of high-traffic areas and high-use surfaces. We have implemented a daily sanitation regimen for door handles, light switches, bathroom surfaces, frequently-used counters, and hand rails in stairwells.

In addition, the Critical Incident Management Team convenes each morning to discuss the status of the situation on our campus and determine preparedness and response plans. This group is carefully monitoring information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. 

Preventive Measures

Wednesday 03/04/20 08:00 AM

At Pittsburg State University, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff are top priority. We are committed to regular communication and guidance as the nation prepares for the potential spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Currently there are no cases in the four-state region, and risk of exposure is low at this point. We are carefully monitoring information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and reports from Student Health Services. 

Members of President Scott’s council are actively developing plans to address concerns. Our institution will follow the procedures set forth in our existing Critical Incident/Crisis Response Management Operations Plan, plus any additional recommendations specific and unique to COVID-19. More information and guidance will be released in the coming days.

In the meantime, remember that COVID-19 has the same basic symptoms and is spread in the exact same way as influenza – through droplets produced when coughing or sneezing. The same measures you’d take to reduce risk of contracting (or spreading) the flu will be effective for COVID-19. Please always follow the CDC recommendations:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home and away from others 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 daily 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.
  • Carry germ wipes and wipe down shared electronic devices (keyboards, mice, printers, copiers, phones) before using.
  • Regularly sanitize your own electronic devices

You can also choose to not shake hands, hug, or otherwise contact other individuals.

If you have travel plans, please check the CDC website for the list of high-risk areas in which the virus is active and spreading. Traveling to destinations that are high-risk is not advised, and could result in health screenings and restricted movement (potential quarantine) for up to 14 days by the federal government upon your return.

Coronavirus

Friday 02/28/20 08:00 AM

In addition to the seasonal flu, there is now concern with the emerging outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a new strain of a well-known coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. There are currently only five confirmed cases in the US. While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is low at this point, everyone can do their part to help respond to this emerging outbreak with the following recommendations:

  • Recognize symptoms of the coronavirus which typically begin about two-weeks after exposure. Symptoms are similar to flu and other respiratory illness - fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and wheezing.
  • Evaluate recent travel to Wuhan or contact with someone from Wuhan, China who is experiencing respiratory or influenza-like symptoms.
  •  Seek medical attention immediately If you have had travel to Wuhan, or have had contact with a sick person from this region within the last two weeks, and are experiencing these symptoms.