COVID-19 All College Messages

Date: Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 4:16 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #27 Wednesday, July 1

Good afternoon;

The fourth key focus area of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 Plan for all businesses, including Middlesex Community College, is staffing and operations protocols. 

In keeping within the state guidelines, Middlesex has taken steps to:

  • Ensure that employees who are displaying COVID019 like symptoms to not report to work;
  • Establish plans for employees getting ill from COVID-19 at work and a return-to-work plan
  • Provide training for employees regarding social distancing and hygiene protocols;

Middlesex Community College is committed to our employees’ health and well-being. MCC continues to maximize remote working, teaching, and learning opportunities during this pandemic.

 Below is a list of COVID-19 training videos to help protect your health and safety, and that of our college community.  These training materials also align with the recommendations made by the Governor.  Please watch the following training videos and complete the confirmation form (click here) indicating you have viewed the videos. (Click the title of each video to view).

In accordance with state guidance, if an employee reports to campus to work, individuals must continue to social distance, remaining 6 feet apart from each other whenever possible.  If employees are unable to remain 6 feet from each other, all individuals must be wearing a face covering.  You must also wear a face covering in all common areas on campus.  Facilities will continue to disinfect high touch areas in addition to routine cleaning duties.  If you are feeling sick and it is essential to perform your work on campus, please DO NOT come to campus, notify your supervisor, and stay home.

As a reminder, please visit the MCC Pandemic Response Guidelines webpage (click here) to review current leave policies and access additional resources for Professional Development.  Also, the following link to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act(click here) provides for additional leave provisions as needed.

Thank you to all of you who joined us for our recent Town Hall conversation.  A recording of that meeting can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i7i0270_i0&feature=youtu.be

Thank you to everyone who has continued to send in suggestions as we work through our Phasing plan on campus.  All of your feedback is being taken into account in our daily discussions.  We encourage you to continue to do so through email at emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu ​

We will be providing several key campus updates with photos of the work underway in the coming weeks.

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Date: Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 2:14 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #26 Thursday, June 11

Good afternoon;

The third key focus area of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 Plan for all businesses, including Middlesex Community College, is cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

In keeping within the state guidelines, Middlesex has taken steps to:

  • Establish and maintain cleaning protocols; 
  • Ensure that when an active employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, cleaning and disinfecting is performed
  • Prepare to disinfect all common surfaces at intervals appropriate to our campuses;

Thank you to everyone who has continued to send in suggestions as we work through our Phasing plan on campus.  All of your feedback is being taken into account in our daily discussions.  We encourage you to continue to do so through email at emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu ​

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Date:
Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 5:16 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #25 - Thursday, June 4

​​Good afternoon;

The second key focus area of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 Plan for all businesses, including Middlesex Community College, is hygiene protocols.

In keeping within the state guidelines, Middlesex has taken steps to:

  • Provide hand washing/sanitizing capabilities throughout our workplaces; our mounted and free standing hand sanitizers are fully stocked and deployed in pedestrian traffic areas;
  • Ensuring frequent hand washing by our employees, and providing adequate supplies to do so;
  • Providing regular sanitization of high touch areas, such as workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, and rest rooms; our Facilities and Purchasing departments have been securing cleaning supplies that will be available for all common areas, including cleaners and paper goods that can be used on technology equipment;
  • We are also in the process of working with department managers to install Plexiglas shields for work spaces in open areas or where face-to-face activity would occur, even under six-foot social distancing guidelines;

We will continue to keep our campus buildings closed to the public and do not anticipate any large-scale returns to our campuses at this time.

Thank you to everyone who has continued to send in suggestions as we work through our Phasing plan on campus.  All of your feedback is being taken into account in our daily discussions. We encourage you to continue to do so through email at emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu​  Horizontal Rule

Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at 4:48 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #24 - Wednesday, June 3

Good afternoon; 

The first key focus area of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 Plan for all businesses, including Middlesex Community College, is social distancing.

In keeping within the state guidelines, Middlesex has taken steps to:

  • Ensure that all persons, including employees, students, and vendors remain at least six feet apart to the greatest extent possible, both inside and outside of our properties;
  • Posted signage in our properties to ensure safe social distancing of six feet or more apart from one another; this includes new floor signage, and safety postings on our elevators, and in our common areas and all of our lobbies; 
  •  Establish protocols to ensure that all personnel can practice adequate social distancing; 
  • Required face coverings or masks for all of our employees, students, and vendors; should anyone arriving on campus not have a mask, one can be provided to them by our Public Safety personnel – these masks must be worn in all public places;

Many of you have sent in important questions and suggestions that are extremely helpful to assist the college’s Emergency Management Team reach many of its decisions.  We encourage you to continue to do so through email at emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu

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Date:
Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #23 - Tuesday, June 2

 Good afternoon; 

 MCC has created a Phasing subcommittee to evaluate all of our properties and create a safety plan in compliance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 Plan.

 The plan addresses four key areas, which Middlesex Community College is complying with: 

  • Social Distancing
  • Hygiene Protocols
  • Staffing and Operations
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting 

In the coming days, we will be sharing with everyone the steps we have taken for each of those categories. In the meantime, we wanted to share with you a picture of signage that is now in place at our points of entry for our properties.

Sign on the floor of the Lowell Campus Federal Building Lobby.  

We want to make sure everyone understands the protective measures and protocols we are putting in place before any personnel return to our campuses.  We will continue to work in compliance with the guidelines being provided daily by Governor Charlie Baker.

As always, feel free to communicate with us via this email box at emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu

Thank you.

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Date: Monday, June 1, 2020 at 8:54 AM

Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #22 - Monday, June 1

Good morning;

Guided by the approach of the Governor and his Public Health Departments, we do not anticipate any large-scale returns to our campuses at this time. During this time, we are continuing to plan for a gradual and phased return to campus for some of our team members. Until you hear otherwise from your manager, focus on working effectively from home.

This coming week, we will be providing you with a series of concise updates from our Emergency Management Team to keep you updated as to the work already being performed on our campuses to help safely close out our spring semesters and to keep our facilities safe as we enter the month of June.

If you come to campus for any reason, we continue to mandate health and safety protocols including:

  • Face masks for anyone entering a campus building
  • Social distancing of at least six feet 

Please feel free to contact our Emergency Management Team, which continues to engage in planning conversations daily, through our email box emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu

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Date:
Monday, May 18, 2020 at 5:03 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #21 - Monday, May 18

Good afternoon;

Today, May 18, Governor Charlie Baker announced findings of the statewide Reopening Advisory Board, a group of business community, public health officials, and municipal leaders from across the Commonwealth tasked with creating guidelines for the resumption of activities in Massachusetts.  A Higher Education Task Force reported some preliminary plans earlier Monday.

Gov. Baker announced the beginning of a Four Phase Reopening plan which will move forward incrementally and guided by data related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout these two weeks, we will continue to examine and implement safety and health protocols for all of our areas, so that we can ensure that when a limited number of individuals begin to return to our buildings, it will be safe to do so.

We do not anticipate any abrupt or large-scale return to campus at this time. There are a number of Cabinet and Emergency Management subcommittees working daily to review all areas of our campuses to ensure that safe protocols are in place. Managers have been working with team members and we are collecting their input to make sure even a limited reopening is done collaboratively.

At this point we have small groups of students who needed to finish their semester’s clinical and health requirements coming to campus. Thank you to everyone from the health programs – our faculty and administrators – as well as our Public Safety and Facilities personnel who worked together to ensure it was a safe process of return. 

We will continue to mandate health and safety protocols including:

  • Face masks for anyone entering a campus building
  • Social distancing of at least six feet​

​Please feel free to send any questions or concerns you may be interested in having addressed to our Emergency Management Team at emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu

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Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 2:00 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #19 - Wednesday, April 22

To the MCC Community;

We hope that you and your loved ones are doing well during this stretch of time.  We marvel at the work being performed by our students, faculty and staff to continue the learning continuum, albeit remotely.  The efficiency with which our student body has adapted to this new learning experience is inspirational, and we want to thank everyone who has helped the college make the transition for the benefit of our community.

The Emergency Management Team continues to receive communications from our college population from individuals that have been diagnosed with COVID-19.  Nearly everyone has been off campus for an extended period of time, thereby significantly eliminating on-campus exposures.  However, we do ask that you continue to communicate with us via this mailbox to notify us if you have tested positive for COVID-19.

Our Dean of Students is working with her entire staff to make sure that they reach out to any students who need help during this period of time.  Diagnoses of a positive test result will help that staff and our academic leadership better provide assistance to students during this period.

Likewise, our Human Resources department stands ready to assist any faculty, staff or administrators who have received a positive diagnosis, or may be struggling with the loss of a loved one.  Lifeworks assistance programs are available to MCC employees, and we urge you to contact the Human Resources department directly for information on how to immediately access a myriad of those on-line resources to assist you during this time.

The college will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and our local departments of public health in terms of notifications and advisories that need to be made. The college also recommends that you contact your healthcare professional if you are concerned about your health or are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19.

If you have any other questions, please email our Emergency Management Team at emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu We are doing our best to respond in a timely manner.

Thank you, and stay safe.

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Date:
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 4:21 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #18 - Wednesday, April 1

To the MCC Community;

On Wednesday, April 1, the college received communication from the Lowell Public Health department that a member of our MCC community tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).  The individual has been communicating  with the public health agency and is following the directives of the health professionals in terms of steps needed to be taken during a period of mandatory isolation.

The individual has maintained contact with the college through the Emergency Management mailbox.  The individual involved self reported they have not been on our MCC campus for nearly three weeks, and was not symptomatic when last on campus. 

At this time there are NO members of our MCC community who are required to be notified as having been in close contact with the individual after the symptoms began presenting.

The college is following the guidance of the CDC, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and our local departments of public health in terms of notifications and advisories that need to be made.

The Emergency Management Team recommends that if you need additional information, please review the CDC recommendations regarding exposure risks: Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Exposures: Geographic Risk and Contacts of Laboratory-confirmed Cases

Please refer to this graphic about what to do if you believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus. 


The College recommends that you contact your healthcare professional if you are concerned about your health or are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19. If you have any questions, please email the Emergency Management Team at emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu . We are doing our best to respond in a timely man

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Date: Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 3:10 PM
Subject: MCC Virtual Town Hall Meeting - 1 p.m. Friday, March 27

President James C. Mabry and the Emergency Management Team invite you to participate in a Virtual Town Hall Meeting 

Learn about how the MCC community has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and how the college is protecting the health and safety of our community while continuing to meet the mission of access and success for all students. There will be a brief presentation by the president followed by a question and answer period. Questions can be submitted in the Zoom Chat section or by email in advance to Emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu. We will do our best to answer as many questions as possible. 

To participate in this Zoom meeting, please click the link below and enter the meeting number and password if prompted. For those without internet access, you may call in using the mobile and dial-in instructions at the bottom of this message. A recording of the Town Hall Meeting will be available for community members who are unable to participate in the live presentation.

https://zoom.us/j/909079536?pwd=SWNoWmdBVmtpUjhQTHpUczgwYXZsUT09

Meeting ID: 909 079 536

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Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 6:10 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update #16 - Tuesday, March 2

To the MCC Community:

Across our college, dedicated staff and faculty are working creatively and smartly to provide a continuum of services for our students.  So many of you jumped in and helped to create remote learning opportunities for our students, and the work is much appreciated.

In the days ahead, we will be sharing more news about those innovative and helpful resources with you, spotlighting the tremendous work being performed under historic conditions.

We continue to meet virtually on several fronts, using Zoom teleconferences or conference calls every day.  As we have reported, we are also maintaining daily communications with the host communities for our campuses.

Some key items of note today:

  • Earlier today, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s administration rolled out a COVID-19 text message alert system, making it easy to stay connected and informed with statewide health bulletins during the COVID-19 outbreak.  If you are interested in receiving those Massachusetts updates, text COVIDMA to 877-777.

  • Our MCC Bookstores have staff onsite both in Lowell and Bedford filling online orders (WITH FREE SHIPPING), answering phones and emails, and preparing.  To assist the college in providing instruction remotely, Follett is offering free access to a wide variety of ebooks through Redshelf.   Students and Faculty can go to //Follett.com/Redshelf and, using their MCC email, create an account and access the Redshelf library without cost.  In addition, free shipping labels will be available to students through their online stores for rental returns at the end of this term, and the grace period for non-return charges will be extended from 72 hours to 15 days.

Again, please continue to visit our MCC-specific information page on matters pertaining to ongoing operations during this global pandemic at https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/disclosurestatements/covid_19.aspx

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Date:
Monday, March 23, 2020 at 7:07 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update #15 - Monday, March 23

As you know, on Monday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, as part of a statewide response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, issued an Emergency Order closing non-essential services, while designating certain essential services which may continue to operate. 

The Governor’s order takes effect - a span of two weeks.  Under the Governor’s order, Massachusetts community colleges may continue to operate and provide distance learning during the two week period, while following social distancing protocols as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

According to guidance from the community college system’s General Counsel office, colleges can continue activities that support the transition to remote work and remote teaching and learning along with supporting critical student support services and infrastructure services.

 At Middlesex, we intend to continue to maximize remote instruction, remote student support services and remote work.  We will continue to restrict public access to our campuses and significantly limit the number of personnel we allow on campus at one time.  In all of these instances, should someone need to come to the college to access their work area, social distancing of at least six feet apart from others must be maintained.  Any personnel looking to access campus facilities will continue to need to notify Public Safety, who will unlock the facility to provide access.

Our partners in our host communities of Lowell and Bedford continue to share information regarding their efforts to monitor cases in each of those communities.  Additionally, we are receiving updates from many of our neighboring communities as well.

We continue to urge all of our college community to visit MCC’s COVID-19 page https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/disclosurestatements/covid_19.aspx for ongoing updates on many other college departments.  We also ask that our community continues to useemergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu to communicate with our team during this time.

Thank you and continue to protect yourself and your loved ones during this stressful time.

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Date:
Friday, March 20, 2020 at 10:52 AM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #14 - Friday, March 20 - morning edition

To the MCC Community:

As a follow up to previous e-mail communications, there are MCC community members who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 who self-reported to us.  Those community members have been unable to be tested for COVID-19 due to a lack of testing, however they have been instructed by their healthcare professionals to self-isolate. The College notified other members of our community who were in contact with the MCC community members reporting symptoms and provided guidance to them as outlined by the CDC. 

The College, working with our partners from the Lowell Department of Public Health, has been advised that although we have multiple community members who are displaying symptoms, they are not considered “presumptive positive” for COVID-19 under health guidelines.

In the event that those MCC community members are tested or we have additional community members come forward with symptoms or confirmed positive test results, we will send further notifications to our community and individuals as appropriate.

Thank you for your cooperation. Additionally we would like to share this graphic to help clarify reporting flows and decisions. Please feel free to share. Horizontal Rule

Date: Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 6:14 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #13 - Thursday, March 19

To the MCC Community:

We would like to thank everyone at the college who has stepped up, pitched in, and worked collaboratively to develop creative responses to this unprecedented situation. We can see that the college is coming together to find solutions that will allow us to continue to support our mission. Despite being on Spring Break, faculty have responded with the kind of creative solutions only they can come up with and are actively helping and supporting their peers. They are the teaching and learning experts at this college and it is clear they are rising to this challenge. 

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, we need to keep the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff first and foremost in all our decision-making. After consultation with our MCCC union leadership, we have identified the following path forward to balance the health and safety of our college community with the successful completion of the spring semester 2020.

  • At this time, we are not providing in-person services to our students or to the public.
  • At this time, all instruction is transitioning to remote formats wherever possible. We are working with faculty across the college to find alternatives formats for all course elements which are not easily moved to remote formats.
  • All Spring semester 2020 instruction and student services will be delivered in remote formats until further notice.
  • Anticipate that your class will continue in a remote format. Your faculty member will be in touch with you about how remote teaching and learning will take place.
  • Students should wait for instructions from their professor about how they will complete their hybrid and in-person classes.
  • There will be minimal staffing on campus and most employees at the college will be working remotely. We are in the process of developing ways to keep business operations of the college functioning through remote formats.

 Thank you.

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Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 4:00 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #12 - Wednesday, March 18

To the MCC Community:

As information and guidance on the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we are able to report that considerable progress has been made on maximizing remote work, remote teaching and learning opportunities and adjusting our practices to deal with this unprecedented situation. Collectively, the Massachusetts Community Colleges are fully committed to maximizing remote work, and remote teaching, and learning for the foreseeable future. We will continue to work to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff as we find creative ways to meet our mission.

The Emergency Management Team and college leaders have developed an actionable plan for the coming weeks, which includes the following:

  • During this time period, your supervisor will work with you to implement remote work opportunities, and/or other ways to serve the college mission.
  • There will be minimal staffing on campus and before people are asked to return to campus, plans to insure a safe environment will be in place.
  • Beginning 3/23, those students who are already enrolled in online classes will resume their classes as normal and the Minimester 2 online courses will begin.
  • Students enrolled in hybrid and in-person classes should wait for instructions from their professor about how the course will proceed.
  • The resumption of In-person courses, labs, and clinicals (including the in-person meetings of blended courses) are being delayed, as we implement plans to transition to remote instruction and continue to evaluate the situation. 
  • During the week of March 23, at the guidance of your supervisor, training and/or other resources for remote working, teaching and learning will take place.  Work schedules will be developed, and other plans will be implemented to promote the move to remote work and teaching. 
  • The Facilities Team is working around the clock to ensure that the College is cleaned, focusing on high touch areas. All cleaning products being used are on the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency’s list of approved cleaners. 

COVID-19 Case Update

  • We are notifying the MCC community that we have four presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 within our community. These members of our community, two in Bedford and two in Lowell, have symptoms of COVID-19, however they are unable to be tested due to lack of testing kits.

  • The MCC Emergency Management Team has notified MCC community members that were in close contact with these individuals and advised them to seek medical attention.

Thank you once again for your continued patience, understanding and flexibility as we work together to keep all of us safe during this difficult time.  Please continue to check your MCC email and the https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/disclosurestatements/covid_19.aspx site. 

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Date:
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 6:43 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #11 - Tuesday, March 17

Good evening; 

We continue to monitor the developments of COVID-19 both on the statewide level, but on the local level as well.  Specifically, we are acutely aware of the impact this has had on the college – the students who are enrolled in our classes, and the faculty and staff that provide the backbone of the institution.

AT THIS TIME, we still do not have any confirmed cases on campus involving our MCC family.  We have, however, received several communications from students, faculty and staff who have been in contact in off-campus settings with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.  Based on those email communications to us, and after CDC protocol questions have been answered, we have begun notifying individuals on campus that have been identified as coming in contact with the secondary exposure individual.  Some of you may have heard of those emails arriving, and we want to assure you we are following our college protocols to make sure we communicate effectively with the potentially impacted individuals and are doing everything possible to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of any of the college members who are communicating with us.

We want to be clear: First and foremost – the safety and well-being of our entire college community is paramount, and foremost in all of the discussions being made in terms of maintaining college operations and properly responding to this crisis.

During this time of unprecedented uncertainty, we want to assure our full and part-time employees will continue to be paid.  You should mark your time sheets as REGULAR during this time period until further notice.  Supervisors will approve timesheet entries of scheduled work hours as usual.  We want to make sure that none of you have the added stress of worrying about your finances.

At this time, based on the information and guidance that have been provided to us by Governor Charlie Baker, the Secretary of Education and the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges, here is where discussions and planning stand:

The college will continue to not be open to the public and students, and will have minimal staffing through the end of this week.  Unless notified otherwise by a supervisor, you are not expected to come to campus.  We anticipate the movement to remote learning and work will continue as quickly as possible over the coming weeks.  Additional information will be forthcoming once impact bargaining is complete.

We expect statewide guidance based on the impact bargaining taking place at the state level at this time.   At every turn, we want to encourage social distancing protocols (that of six feet apart) whenever possible for any personnel who do come to our campuses.

These are increasingly stressful times, more so as localized cases begin to get reported, including some that directly impact our college community.  We appreciate all of the feedback you have been providing to us through the emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu email account.  We promise you all of those correspondences are read, and are being forwarded to the appropriate personnel within the college to help provide answers or some type of resolution.  We would ask that you continue that dialogue through that account so we can make sure that your interactions with us during this crisis are being heard.

The issues we are facing at MCC are being mirrored on public higher education institutions across the entire state.  The college will continue to operate with minimal staffing as is happening at all the other state college and universities at this time.  There have been daily conference calls with all of the college presidents, and it is abundantly clear that all our sister campuses are grappling with the same continuity and health concerns that we are trying to address.

We anticipate issuing another bulletin as soon as possible to provide further updates and guidance regarding the coming weeks.  We greatly appreciate your patience and cooperation during this time, and promise we will continue to provide these college-wide emails as frequently as we are able to provide updated information.

Again, thank you for your assistance during this pandemic.  We will provide you with another update as soon as the information is available.

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Date:
Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 9:16 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #9 - Sunday, March 15

Good evening - 

On Sunday, March 15, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a series of sweeping actions regarding the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  Included in his announcements were developments that directly impact Massachusetts public higher education.

With regard to Monday 3/16 and Tuesday 3/17, MCC personnel should not report to work on campus either day.  Cabinet members will be in touch with senior managers from their respective areas to help create remote access plans for their departments.  Information about coding entries on your personal timesheets will be forthcoming.

Should anyone wish to access their individual offices for any reason on either Monday or Tuesday, please contact Public Safety upon arrival on campus.  In Bedford, that number is 781-589-0234.  In Lowell, that number is 781-589-1384Anyone who does visit campus should sanitize your hands immediately upon arrival and practice social distancing, maintaining a six foot separation between individuals.  Public Safety will be on campus, as will our Facilities staff, who will continue deep cleaning our properties. 

Members of our Emergency Management Team have been in constant contact throughout the weekend, and will continue to do so in the coming days.  We ask you to continue to contact the team via emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu

Also please continue using our MCC COVID-19 information web page https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/disclosurestatements/covid_19.aspx

In these trying times, we continue to ask our entire Middlesex family to continue practicing good hygiene practices, and to make sure to take care of yourself, and your loved ones.  Thank you.

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Date:
Friday, March 13, 2020 at 6:08 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #8 - Friday, March 13

Based on the most recent guidance received from the Mass. Secretary of Education, Commissioner of Education and the Mass. Association of Community Colleges General Counsel, and based on CDC guidelines the College will stay open during Spring Break.

Following Spring Break, although there will not be any on-campus classes held the week of March 23-28, the College WILL BE OPEN, including the library, faculty offices, cafeterias, advising and tutoring centers, similar support services, etc.

While most student services and resources will be available, for the health and safety of Middlesex Community College (MCC) students, faculty and staff, the College is encouraging people to access college resources remotely — online and by phone. Reducing the amount of people on college properties will allow the College to:

                •minimize group interactions between students and staff

                •follow the CDC’s recommendation of increasing social distancing and limiting close contact between individuals. 

In order to keep students up to date with course requirements and learning outcomes, faculty are being asked to communicate to and provide whatever course materials students need in an alternative format, whenever possible. Clinical experiences, internships, practicums and service-learning will continue in those facilities that are still allowing students to attend.

Faculty and/or departments are encouraged to use time that week to discuss and plan for how students can meet course outcomes for the remainder of the spring semester. Professional development opportunities for full- and part-time faculty will continue to be available in a face-to-face and online format, to enhance online teaching fluency.

AT THIS TIME, we are not authorized to support community college employees’ ability to work remotely. Ongoing discussions about working remotely will continue at the state level and MCC will keep the college community informed.

We understand that this situation is stressful for employees and our communities. If you need time away from work to care for yourself or family, please inform your supervisor, in accordance with the procedures outlined in your employee handbook or collective bargaining agreement. Please visit the Human Resources website for more information. https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/humanresources/policy.aspx

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Date:
Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 6:20 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #7 - Thursday, March 12

The Emergency Management Team (EMT) has been meeting daily to evaluate the information being received from our local and state partners.  We appreciate the updates that all of you are providing to us, it is valuable and is being used to help us make critical decisions.

Our EMT also understands the complexity of the situation and appreciates that there is heightened concern among our community. EMT members are in constant communication with one another and we will continue to closely monitor the situation and its impact on our community.

As the news coverage provides updates on significant developments happening throughout our nation, we ask that you to continue to keep yourself informed, and share necessary updates with your families and friends.

As we have previously stated, if you are traveling during Spring Break, either internationally or domestically, we ask that you provide details about that trip using the Travel Request Formhttps://www.middlesex.mass.edu/disclosurestatements/travelform.aspx so that we are able to effectively communicate with individuals returning from Level 3 countries as identified by the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html

Please continue to monitor your MCC emails, and visit the college’s COVID-19 webpage, and to use emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu to communicate with our team. 

Thank  you.

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Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 7:08 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #6 - Wednesday, March 11

On Wednesday, March 11, our campus Emergency Management Team was joined by academic deans and the leaders of our MCCC and AFSCME unions to discuss teaching, learning and business continuity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of today’s deliberations, Middlesex Community College will be suspending all face-to-face credit classes the week AFTER Spring Break, March 23-28.  The suspension of face-to-face credit classes for March 23-28 will provide us with the opportunity to continue planning, and participate in additional professional development opportunities for alternative instructional modalities, should the need arise.

This will provide our academic teams the opportunity to:

  • engage with faculty and explore what instructional options make the most sense for students in their content discipline;
  • allow faculty to seek out/participate in additional professional development opportunities to integrate other modalities appropriate to their disciplines and their students;
  • make adjustments to syllabi to meet the student learning outcomes of the course;
  • collect faculty and student input on what resources and supports are needed to ensure a successful completion of the spring semester.

Based on recommendations from Governor Charlie Baker, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Emergency Management Team is evaluating all gatherings taking place on college property.
If you have a question about a specific event, including any community-based events utilizing college property, please contact the campus organizer for the event.

All academic curriculum-based activities, including service learning, clinical, internships, and practicum will continue AT THIS TIME.  We will continue to monitor public health alerts and will adjust accordingly if further cancellations are warranted.

Throughout the coming weeks, our Facilities departments will be conducting targeted deep cleanings and disinfecting of all areas of the college, with specific attention to vacant classrooms, common areas and rest rooms.

If you are traveling during Spring Break, either internationally or domestically, we ask that you provide details about that trip using the Travel Request Form https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/disclosurestatements/travelform.aspx so that we are able to effectively communicate with individuals returning from Level 3 countries as identified by the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html

Additional details will be shared following continued discussions with our local, state and community partners.  This is clearly an unprecedented, challenging and critical time in our communities.  Your flexibility and ongoing communications during this fluid and rapidly changing environment is appreciated.  Thank you for your cooperation.
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Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 7:12 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #5 - Tuesday, March 10 - MCC FAQ

Please read and share the attached Frequently Asked Questions, current as of Tuesday afternoon - thank you

Horizontal RuleDate: Monday, March 9, 2020 at 7:09 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #4 - Monday, March 9

To the MCC Community:

We want to thank all of you for your open and ongoing communication throughout the last couple of weeks with relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health matter.  It has proven extremely valuable and has helped us use information and data to help shape the college's response plans. Please continue to openly communicate with us as this continues to unfold.

On Saturday, March 7, the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) reported to the Bedford Board of Health (BOH) that a Bedford resident was reported to be a close contact of a presumptive positive case of COVID-19 who attended the Biogen conference. The resident was identified as a Person Under Investigation (PUI), was tested for COVID-19, and his immediate family is in home quarantine, awaiting the results of his test.

Should conditions change and the test results indicate that the Bedford resident is presumptively positive for COVID-19, the BOH and Town officials will work with State officials and MCC to communicate with anyone who may have had close contact with this resident to reduce any spread of illness.

Due to the increasing reports of domestic cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the college has cancelled its upcoming sponsored trips to international locations.  Effective today, March, 9, 2020, that ban will also hold true for college-sponsored domestic travel as well.  This will impact planned trips over Spring Break for Maine, Florida, and New York City.  Personnel from Academic and Student Affairs are communicating with the respective faculty members and staff connected with those specific trips.

Additionally, all college-sponsored out-of-state domestic travel for faculty and staff is also cancelled for the foreseeable future, including conferences and workshops.  Any costs that have been already incurred with relation to these trips need to be immediately communicated to the respective supervisors from the impacted areas.  Our finance team will work toward investigating whatever reimbursement options are available to the college.

This cessation of travel does not impact self-sponsored travel plans that students, faculty and staff may have, including during Spring Break.

We continue to remind all of our college community to visit the MCC web page created specifically to collect our college-based announcements, in addition to including post to worldwide information being provided by, among others, the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/disclosurestatements/covid_19.aspx

A special email account has been created allowing the college community to email any feedback or concerns they would like to have addressed by MCC's Emergency Management Team.

On Tuesday, we will be sharing a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document through our website.  We encourage you to share it with your co-workers, fellow students, and community partners.

The CDC continues to urge all Institution of Higher Education to be prepared that the outbreak may impact students' ability to participate in face-to-face classes. College leadership and the Emergency Management Team will be sharing details about whether or not there needs to be a modification of course assessment strategies, class attendance policies and/or course delivery formats. Faculty who are interested and/or need assistance with getting their course materials online should contact Roxanne McCorry, Director of Academic Technology & Distance Learning

Thank you and please take care of yourself.

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Date:
Friday, March 6, 2020 at 4:48 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #3 - Friday, March 6

To the MCC Community:

The college’s Emergency Management Team continues to meet regularly to discuss local developments regarding the college’s preparedness and plans to keep the college community safe. On a daily basis, there are new developments, globally, nationally and locally regarding information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The college has created a web page for updates from Middlesex, and it includes links to the latest updates from worldwide organizations such as the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Health.  Please click the links below to review helpful information about COVID-19.

Know the facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth Busters

Download a printable flier with CDC tips for stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

At today’s meeting of the Emergency Management Team, several new items were discussed.

  1. Our Facilities department has been performing daily cleanings of surfaces and touchpoints throughout both of campuses, including our libraries and classrooms.  There will be an amplification of those cleaning activities especially during the high traffic times in the coming days. Our college has several months worth of cleaning supplies on hand, and it was confirmed today that the reorders we have placed in the last few weeks have begun arriving already and will continue through the coming weeks.  We appreciate the communications you have been providing to us this week regarding specific areas, and we have tried to be as responsive as possible to your requests for services. If you encounter a station without sanitizer or a bathroom missing soap or paper towels, please submit a facilities work order right away.


  2. Office of the Provost: In general, keeping the lines of communication open between faculty and students is a critical component of student success. During flu season and especially as we confront the potential for COVID-19, that communication between faculty and students is even more important. All students should review their course syllabi and make sure they are aware of ways that they can communicate with their faculty members should the need arise for health purposes. Workshops and assistance for faculty who are not familiar with Blackboard will be available through the Office of Distance Learning and I encourage all faculty to use Blackboard to enhance communication with students.

The Department of Online Learning: There are many tools that Faculty can use to keep classes running and students progressing toward their goals.  By making your course content available online, students can continue their studies.

Every course, whether it is online, hybrid, or a traditional face-to-face class is provided with a Blackboard course shell. Assignments, tests, documents, videos, images and more can all be added to your Bb course shell.  Please contact Director of Academic Technology & Distance Learning, Roxanne McCorry, mccorryr@middlesex.mass.edu     Office Phone: 781-280-3511; or Daniela Loghin, Instructional Designer, loghind@middlesex.mass.edu for assistance. Here are resources to get started:

  • Blackboard Faculty guide to show you how to access your Bb shell and add course content,
  • Office Hours on Monday in Bedford TLRC, 11am to 1pm; and on Friday in Lowell’s TLRC 11am to 1pm.  Meet with Instructional Designer to learn Bb.
  • Access Bb webpage; Where Do I Start?  Building my course in the Bb Original Experience : https://help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Getting_Started/Where_Do_I_Start#plan
  • Look in Newscaster for online workshops, “Create Your Course Online”.  We will use Blackboard Collaborate for these sessions.
  1. As of today, there is still only one CONFIRMED case of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, according to Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and there are seven PRESUMPTIVE positive cases of the virus in the state.  Those presumptive cases include three in Suffolk County, three in Norfolk County and one in Middlesex County.  The seven presumptive cases are reported based on local testing but are still awaiting confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We remind you that we have created an email address at which you can communicate with us on matters or questions related to the college’s preparedness for COVID-19.  That email is emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu


  2. In the meantime, as Spring Break approaches, we know our students, faculty and staff may be personally travelling both domestically and internationally.  In light of the spread of the coronavirus, MCC strongly advises everyone to follow travel alerts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of State (DOS), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DOS has also issued an emergency alert related to COVID-19. More information about travel and emergency alerts is available through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).

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Date:
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 4:40 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - Wednesday, March 4

To the MCC Community;

On a daily basis, there are new developments, globally, nationally and locally regarding information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

At Middlesex Community College, our Emergency Management Team has been meeting daily to discuss the college’s preparations and protocols regarding handling the matter on our two campuses.  We intend to provide constant communication to our students, faculty, and staff.

We have created a specific page on our website, at which we have collected all of the information provided to us by our partners at the state and federal levels.  You can visit that website here:

https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/disclosurestatements/covid_19.aspx

Additionally, we have created an email address at which you can communicate with us on matters or questions related to the college’s preparedness for COVID-19.  That email is emergencymanagement@middlesex.mass.edu

Today, we specifically want to address the matter of international travel.  On Wednesday morning, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker held a press conference to discuss several matters, one of which was international travel emanating from colleges and universities.  Our Student Affairs personnel are currently evaluating the college’s multiple planned upcoming trips and a decision regarding the status of those trips will be made imminently.

In the meantime, as Spring Break approaches, we know our students, faculty and staff will be travelling both domestically and internationally.  In light of the spread of the coronavirus, MCC strongly advises everyone to follow travel alerts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of State (DOS), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DOS has also issued an emergency alert related to COVID-19. More information about travel and emergency alerts is available through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).

Due to the health risks associated with the coronavirus, MCC is establishing a reporting system for students, faculty and staff traveling internationally, especially to countries where travel advisories have been issued by the CDC.  Reporting is strongly encouraged so that the College can take appropriate preventative measures, offer available resources, and immediately assist any member of our community who may become ill or has been in close proximity with someone who has become ill.  Also, the information reported will assist MCC in implementing any precautions or protocols recommended by public health agencies.  In the event additional countries are designated for reporting due to the spread of the virus, the reporting form will be updated accordingly.

MCC has prepared an on-line Travel Reporting Form to report all applicable travel information.  The reporting form is available at:

https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/disclosurestatements/travelform.aspx

This form can be completed and submitted electronically.

Students, faculty and staff who travel to any of the countries listed above, as well as other areas that may be added to the CDC travel guidance, may be required by MCC to self-quarantine prior to returning to campus.  In the event this occurs, the information gathered through the Travel Reporting Form will help the College to work with individual students and/or employees to plan accordingly for absences and, if applicable, offering instructional options in conjunction with applicable collective bargaining agreements.

All information gathered through this process will be maintained confidentially and separate from personnel or student record files and shall be used only to assist MCC in providing and maintaining a healthy learning environment.

Although the risk of COVID-19 to Massachusetts residents remains low, and the risk of the flu is high, people are advised to take many of the same steps they do to help prevent colds and the flu, including:

  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes and face.
  • Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • Stay home when feeling sick.
  • Stay informed.
  • Get a flu shot.


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Date: Monday, March 2, 2020 at 4:10 PM
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update - Monday, March 2 

To the MCC community:

Included below are some of the latest updates being provided at both the federal and state levels of government with relation to the Coronavirus outbreak.  The first link is a new website with Massachusetts specific information included within.

On Tuesday, members of MCC’s Emergency Management Team will be joining a conversation taking place with state education leaders specifically related to colleges and universities in Massachusetts, and we will be sure to share the contents of that conversation with the college as well.

Massachusetts

As of March 2, there has been one confirmed case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Massachusetts, although a second potential case was being reported late today in Cohasset. The risk to residents in Massachusetts remains low.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health webpage for all of the latest information on the Coronavirus may be found at https://www.mass.gov/guides/information-on-the-outbreak-of-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19

This site will offer general information as well as Massachusetts-specific resources and updates.

CDC Information on Coronavirus Disease 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put together a webpage covering many different facets of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), including but not limited to; symptoms, testing, prevention/treatment, risk assessment, travel, and a current list of locations known to be affected by COVID-19. This information can be found by clicking on the following link:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Everyday Preventative Measures

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent the disease and the treatment plan to combat COVID-19 continues to evolve, there are everyday precautions that may be taken to lower the risk of contracting the disease. The CDC has issued a list of preventative measures, including tips on effective hand washing and hand hygiene, which can be found at the following:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

We have heard from many of you with ideas and concerns specific to our campus, and encourage you to continue sending them along.  Thank you.

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From: Patrick Cook <COOKP@middlesex.mass.edu>
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update - Friday, February 28

Members of the MCC Community:

With the recent global outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the continuing developments in precautionary measures, it is important that we do our utmost to keep you all up-to-date on campus communications.

The college’s Emergency Management Team (EMT) has a meeting scheduled next week to discuss ongoing campus protocols and procedures.

Our top priority is to keep our community safe and informed.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued a guide on Information on the Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) which is available at: http://www.mass.gov/guides/information-on-the-outbreak-of-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19

The guide includes a variety of useful information on prevention and treatment, as well as a printable Factsheet (https://www.mass.gov/doc/english-2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-0/download).

Study Abroad Programs

As of now, many U.S. colleges and universities are cancelling or suspending study abroad programs in affected countries. Our Student Affairs personnel are closely monitoring developments, and any updates on MCC-specific scheduled trips will be provided in the coming days.   

See the following Inside Higher Ed article, dated February 26, 2020, for more information on the impact of the virus on study aboard programs.https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/02/26/programs-italy-south-korea-cancel-classes-and-make-other-changes-coronavirus-spreads

Travel Reporting

At this time, we suggest that all members of staff and all students who engage in personal travel to areas known to be affected report such travel to the Human Resources Department or the Dean of Students.

Precautions

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently issued an Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html 

This guidance is useful in assisting us in implementing prevention measures and response plans.

The guidance emphasizes that employers should direct sick employees to stay home, have employees leave work immediately upon becoming ill, encourage respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene, and conduct routine cleaning and disinfecting of high traffic areas.

Please review the information available in the following links:

https://www.mass.gov/doc/english-2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-0/download

https://www.mass.gov/guides/information-on-the-outbreak-of-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19

 

In the meantime, and in advance of our Emergency Management Team meeting, please forward any feedback or concerns you would like to have addressed.  Thank you.

 

Last Modified: 7/30/20