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Isothermal Community College

Novel Coronavirus [COVID-19]

Isothermal Community College, along with guidance from state and federal health agencies, is closely monitoring spread of COVID-19 in our area.

This is a very fluid and rapidly changing situation. Updates will be provided when available.

  • Campus COVID-19 Newsletter
  • Face coverings on campus

    In light of Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order of June 24, 2020, Isothermal Community College will require employees and students to wear face coverings on campus or in the classroom, unless a qualified exception exists or social distancing of at least 6 ft. from another individual can be maintained. This is intended to curb the spread of COVID-19.

    Face coverings will be provided, up to two for each student or employee, or you may use your own. Check with your instructor or supervisor if you need one. If you have an exception, please inform your instructor or supervisor.

    Exceptions, as defined by Cooper’s executive order, are:

    Note -- Some of these, locations, especially the restaurants, may have been effected by closure or suspension of regular operations.

    • Should not wear a Face Covering due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance);
    • Is under eleven (11) years of age;
    • Is actively eating or drinking;
    • Is strenuously exercising;
    • Is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
    • Is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience;
    • Is working at home or is in a personal vehicle;
    • Is temporarily removing his or her Face Covering to secure government or medical services or for identification purposes;
    • Would be at risk from wearing a Face Covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines;
    • Has found that his or her Face Covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle; or
    • Is a child whose parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place the Face Covering safely on the child's face.

    Anyone who declines to wear a Face Covering for these reasons should not be required to produce documentation or any other proof of a condition.

  • WiFi and Computer Access on Campus and Elsewhere

    We understand Internet access is a necessity for online instruction. We also understand that service is less than adequate or non-existent in many parts of Rutherford and Polk counties. With that in mind, below is a list of free WiFi sites on campus and throughout the area:

    On campus

    • Engineering Technologies and Workforce Development Center
    • Entire Front Parking Lot
    • Business Sciences Building
    • Front Parking (best signal strength closes to front door)
    • Health and Public Services Building
    • Parking Lot (across from the Business Sciences Building – facing Blue Room)
    • Side Parking lot (Parking Lot shared by WNCW – facing ICC Loop Road)

    Elsewhere

    Note -- Some of these, locations, especially the restaurants, may have been effected by closure or suspension of regular operations.

    • Rutherford County Libraries (all locations)
    • Rutherford County Health Department
    • Rutherford County Schools Cool Springs Administrative Offices
    • Lake Lure Classical Academy
    • Town of Forest City
    • Town of Spindale
    • Town of Rutherfordton
    • Ruth Town Hall
    • McDonalds (all locations)
    • Starbucks
    • Arby’s
    • Bojangles
    • Burger King
    • Wendy’s
    • Walmart

    The Isothermal Library on the Main Campus will also be open with a limited number of computers for students to use from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. These hours may change as the circumstances change.

  • Curriculum Class Status

    During the Fall 2020 term, classes are being offered in traditional, online, hybrid and web-based formats. Some classes will be modified due to the prohibition of face-to-face instructional contact in all but a few areas including nursing and Basic Law Enforcement Training. Sign in to Moodle to check the status of your individual class or search for your class in the Course Change Information PDF. As always, if you have specific questions about your classes, contact your instructor.

    2020SP Course Change Information PDF Moodle

  • Continuing Education Class Status

    Many Continuing Education classes are starting back find out more about these offerings.

    Allied Health Classes College and Career Readiness Emergency Services Polk Center

  • Covid Response Plan

    We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we navigate through this very challenging time. Isothermal Community College is committed to protecting the safety and welfare of students, employees and the community. The Isothermal community has met the challenges of providing outstanding online instruction while implementing necessary safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we begin the fall semester, we need your support and continued efforts to provide the safest experience for all. Efforts to adhere to measures laid out in this plan may ultimately prevent illness and save lives.

    SAFETY MASK REQUIREMENTS

    • Face coverings are required for all persons on campus when social distancing of at least 6 feet from another individual cannot be maintained. It is recommended that both face coverings and social distancing be practiced. 
    • Faculty and staff will be provided a face mask if needed and are encouraged to use their own if preferred. Face shields will be provided as needed.
    • Face coverings are not necessary when employees are alone in their offices.
    • Face coverings will be provided, up to two for each student and are encouraged to use their own if preferred.
    • If an individual cannot wear a face covering for medical reasons, face shields are available and they must inform their instructor or supervisor.

    SAFETY PRACTICE REQUIREMENTS

    To open the campus for face-to-face classes, all faculty, staff, students and visitors will need to comply with the following practices: 

    • Social Distancing (specifically, staying 6 feet away from others when you must go into a shared space).
    • Frequent washing hands for at least 20 seconds. Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) regularly throughout the day.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Always cover mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of elbow when coughing or sneezing. After coughing or sneezing, dispose of any tissues into trash receptacles, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
    • Stay home when sick.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with supplied disinfectant. 
    • Drinking fountains shall not be in operation.

    Compliance (Safety Practices)

    Failure to comply with the safety practices specified may result in disciplinary action and/or dismissal from ICC property.

    PREPARING FOR FALL SEMESTER

    • In areas where lines form, ground symbols shall be placed indicating the proper distancing for individuals maintaining a minimum of 6 feet.
    • In spaces where classes are held during the reopening phase, desks/workstations shall be spaced appropriately to accommodate proper social distancing.
    • College support services (IT support, Library and Tutoring) will maintain regular operations.
    • Testing will continue by appointment and with limited availability to ensure proper social distancing.

    PPE ACQUISITION

    Staff/faculty may request PPE as needed by completing a CoVid-19 PPE request form and submitting it to the Facilities and Maintenance Department. The college has an adequate supply of the following PPE:

    • Hand sanitizer (minimum 60%) alcohol
    • Disinfectant spray/towels for high traffic areas in each building
    • Disinfectant wipes for heavily used surfaces and desk items
    • Face shields and face coverings

    CAMPUS CLEANING

    General Cleaning

    Disinfectant PPE shall be used by ICC faculty and staff for cleaning in their respective areas.

    General cleaning will include, but is not limited to, the following:

    • High touch surfaces (light switches, door handles, toilets, faucets, sinks, shared equipment, desks, countertops, phones, keyboards)
    • Seating
    • Break rooms
    • Common areas

    The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed by using approved disinfectants. The EPA has compiled a list of disinfectant products that can be used to kill COVID-19, including ready-to-use sprays, concentrates, and wipes. ICC custodians shall only use disinfectant products included on the EPA approved list.

    Special Cleaning

    Special cleaning and disinfection is required after a known COVID-19 exposure has occurred. In this case, more extreme cleaning measures shall take place based on the recommendations of the Foothills Health District and the CDC. 

    COVID-19 ON CAMPUS

    It is imperative that ICC employees and students remain aware of their own physical condition. If feeling ill or exhibiting any symptoms of sickness, the following guidelines will apply:  

    Feeling Unwell

    If any ICC faculty, staff, or student feels ill while off-campus, they should not come to campus, but rather seek medical attention to determine if the symptoms occurring are related to potential COVID-19 infection. 

    If any ICC faculty, staff, or student feels ill while on campus, they should leave promptly and seek medical attention to determine if the symptoms occurring are related to potential COVID-19 infection and follow the medical advice/recommendations they receive. After departing campus, the individual must contact Human Resources and their supervisor, or instructor(s) to notify them that they have left campus due to illness.

    Self-Isolation

    If you suspect or have COVID-19 symptoms, do not come to campus. Employees should contact Human Resources at 828-395-1294 and complete the Self-Reporting Form found on the ICC Website. Additionally, employees should contact their immediate supervisor and follow the instructions below.  Students should immediately contact their instructor(s) and complete the Self-Reporting Form found on the ICC Website.  

    14- Day Isolation & COVID 19 Exposure

    If you’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID you must isolate for 14 days after your last contact with that person, since symptoms can appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. Exposure is defined as:

    • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes
    • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
    • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
    • You shared eating or drinking utensils
    • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

    However, you may end isolation if you have a negative COVID19 test result.  

    10- Day Isolation & COVID-19 Positive

    People who are sick with COVID-19 or believe they might have it should stay home and separate themselves from other people in their home as much as possible. They can end self-isolation and return to their normal activities when they can answer YES to ALL of the following questions: 

    • Has it been at least 10 days since your symptoms started?
    • Has it been 24 hours since you last had fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications?
    • Have your symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath, improved?
    • Or, I had no symptoms and it has been at least 10 days since positive test

    If any ICC faculty or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, they must notify Human Resources by phone as soon as possible. Once a positive diagnosis is reported, Human Resources will determine the next steps regarding contact tracing and special cleaning measures.  Human Resources will regularly work with the Foothills Health District to ensure proper measures are being taken.

    ICC students diagnosed with COVID-19 must notify their instructor(s) as soon as possible. Once a positive diagnosis is reported, Human Resources will determine the next steps regarding contact tracing and special cleaning measures. Human Resources will regularly work with the Foothills Health District to ensure proper measures are being taken.

    LEADERSHIP

    To support and uphold Isothermal Community College’s commitment to the safety and well being of students, employees and the community, the College Leadership will do the following:

    Monitoring

    • Model the stated safety practices.
    • Reasonably accommodate the needs of employees vulnerable to and affected by the coronavirus through the Human Resources Department.
    • Allow flexibility for responding to students vulnerable to and affected by the coronavirus. Maintain the privacy and confidentiality of those seeking healthcare and those who may be part of any contact investigation.

    Educate

    • Human Resources will stay up to date on pandemic-related guidelines and compliance standards.
    • Ask for and be open to creative ideas and innovations related to the safety and the success of our students.
    • Communicate changes promptly.

    Administrate

    • Implement continuous improvement practices responding to the coronavirus.
    • Coordinate decision-making with local government officials and agencies, as applicable.
    • Uphold employee standards for professionalism and take appropriate remedial actions for repeated noncompliance.

    Faculty or staff who have concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it relates to their responsibilities to ICC may contact the Director of Human Resources. Students who express concern related to the COVID-19 pandemic or the expectations placed upon them for maintaining a safe environment may be referred to the Dean of Students for assistance.

    Coping with Stress

    Faculty or staff members who are having difficulty coping with stress related to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the ICC Employee Assistance Program at 800-633-3353. Students who are having difficulty coping with stress related to COVID-19 should contact the Accessibility Coordinator at 828-395-1732.


Self-Reporting Form

In an effort to aid public health agencies track the COVID-19 pandemic and in order to help the college plan internal responses, we are asking you to self-report any suspected contact with the virus. 

If you think you have contracted the virus or have come into contact with someone who has contracted it, you may report it using our self-reporting form.

Complete the self-reporting form

Precautions to take

The following precautions are a part of good health practices:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
  • Do not share food, drinks or toothbrushes with anyone
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home if you are sick unless the severity of your illness requires medical attention
  • Cover your cough with a tissue, then discard and wash your hands
  • If handwashing is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
  • Avoid unnecessary physical contact such as handshakes, hugs and kisses
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like phones and doorknobs

Take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever.  Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others.  Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period.  Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  • Avoid crowed places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet).

At Isothermal, we are taking the recommended actions as set forth by the CDC and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. We are sanitizing facilities with disinfectant as recommended by those agencies and we are observing social distancing in the classroom and on campus. Face coverings are required when at least six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. Furthermore, you will find directional signs which will guide you to the proper door to use in our buildings. In order to reduce face to face exposure, the buildings have a door designated for entrance and another at another location for exit.

Hand sanitizing stations are provided at the designated entrance for each building, as well as at other designated places. We encourage you to “Wait in line at least 6 feet apart, Wash your hands regularly, and wear a mask.” Stay healthy and help to keep others that way.