Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Western Nevada College shares the concerns of our community about COVID-19 and is actively monitoring the outbreak. We will keep this page updated with information as it becomes available.
Updated: March 26 at 9:10 a.m.
Campus Updates & Messages
WNC classes are being held remotely/online through the end of the spring semester. All campus locations are closed, and our employees are working remotely. Student services including admissions, financial aid and advising/counseling continue to serve our students virtually using email, phone and video conferencing. All other WNC services also continue, but are being done remotely.
Nursing and allied health classes (NURS, EMS) will continue in limited capacity, moving to remote/online instruction as much as possible. Labs and clinicals will continue per established medical and CDC established protocols, which includes social distancing and groups of 10 or less.
Career and technical education classes (WELD, AUTO, MTT, AIT, etc.) and Science Lab Classes (BIO, CHEM, etc.) will continue with remote/online instruction only. In-person lab times will be suspended. Each instructor is working to help students complete the semester virtually.
Dual Enrollment programs will transition to online delivery, and follow the above plans. Jump Start classes will follow school district plans.
All proctored testing will be suspended until at least April 30. At the point that testing resumes, they will be scheduled by appointment only.
Our May 18 Commencement Ceremony will be postponed in light of the ongoing uncertainty about when our community can gather again. We have asked our graduates to tell us how they’d like to celebrate their accomplishments, and we expect to be able to announce an alternative plan for commencement soon.
Summer classes will be offered online only.
At this time, college-sponsored events are postponed.
Student services including admissions, financial aid and advising/counseling continue to serve our students virtually using email, phone and video conferencing. All other WNC services also continue, but are being done remotely.
Effective immediately, ACCEL programs will move to remote/online instruction until further notice. During this time, the Carson City ACCEL office, Fernley Adult Center, and Fallon Education Learning Center will be closed and all teachers, tutors, and staff will be working remotely.
We will use multiple modes of communication, including email, phone, and online technology to continue to serve our students.
Students can continue their study with:
- Burlington English Online
- Essential Education Online
- Work-at-home Lessons
Please call 775-445-4452 and leave your name and phone number for your teacher to be able to contact you.
The Child Development Center will remain closed until the end of May. During the closure, families will not be charged their tuition. For families who would prefer a refund over a credit for future use, please contact Anna Lisa Acosta via email at email@example.com.
Your health and safety are our first priority, and we are dedicated to doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 over the coming weeks. With that said, there will be no interruption to our online course services. However, our in-person motorcycle, driver education and fitness classes have been cancelled through April 20. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available. Updates will be posted here, and students enrolled in affected classes will be contacted via e-mail and phone.
All WNC libraries will be closed until at least April 20. Learning and Innovation staff will continue to support students and faculty with online resources, and will explore additional options, including computers for check out, if available.
During this time, late fees and fines will be waived. Keep your borrowed resources until we resume standard operations.
WNC is working closely with the Nevada System Of Higher Education (NSHE) to ensure Nevada students are supported during this time. To learn more about how NSHE is supporting all college communities in Nevada visit their website at https://nshe.nevada.edu/covid-19-information-center/.
Academic Faculty Information
Monitoring faculty-issued wnc.edu email is important. The COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing, and the latest communications from WNC leadership regarding campus planning and operations are sent via WNC email. For those needing help with access, please submit a support ticket via www.wnc.edu/support-ticket/.
The overall goal is to develop a plan to move instruction online as a response to a COVID 19 virus closure requirement if this is mandated. Plans will primarily use Canvas although there are other “creative” solutions that will emerge to teach remotely.
Your planning should include how you will address your courses, related materials, and assessments, and train yourself on the technological resources available.
Please focus on the stated Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) for each class first to ensure our academic requirements are met.
Please do not accelerate a class to “try to get it done” in a few days or weeks. Classes will continue through the semester. Attend training to learn how to keep going if we need to move classes online.
Labs, clinical’s, performance, career tech and similar programs will need creative solutions. Send your ideas!
The Academic Directors and I will be looking at classes in Canvas to determine where we can help most.
Working with Students
Please be flexible with students. Notify your students that you are working to move instruction to remote formats if this is required.
If students appear sick in class, don’t come to class due to illness, etc. please offer flexibility through online technologies and extension of deadlines. Have them follow the CDC and local health department guidelines for their condition.
If one of your students is sick, work with him/her independently, as needed, to keep on track.
We will work to address student technology, accessibility and connectivity needs in this process.
Thanks for all of your support with this process. If I can help or answer questions please contact me.
Vice President of Instruction and Institutional Effectiveness
Training for Tuesday March 17 at 12:30 p.m. is moving online via Zoom. Please check your WNC staff email for an invite to join.
Two trainings will take place on Monday (9:30am-12:30pm) and Tuesday (12:30pm-3:30pm) of next week (March 16 – 17) in Dini 201 (with Google hangouts to VRGH 308).
A module has been added to your canvas shell with basic Canvas organization that can be used during the training workshops and as you begin to develop your online classes.
We will be providing a $100 stipend for current faculty members, full and part time, who participate.
These will be hands-on workshops and will introduce a crash course of the tech “how to” to move your class content online. If you bring digital versions of your course materials to the workshop, you will walk out of the workshop with all of your materials uploaded and organized in your Canvas course.
The purpose of the workshop is to set up a basic online class. If you decide you want to continue to improve your online class, please see the Instructional Innovation team. These workshops are Canvas FEMA.
Contact Amy Ghilieri (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to attend these training workshops.
Things to bring to the workshop:
Any scanned readings or necessary documents
Any quiz or exam questions you want to upload
Your Canvas login information
You do not need to bring a laptop as these will be provided for you. However, if you would like to bring your own device, please come a few minutes early to set up your wi-fi connection.
We are developing a peer-to-peer network to work with faculty members directly as needed.
Help your colleagues! Some of us are more scared of Canvas than we are of the coronavirus! Reach out to those who may need some help moving materials online. If you are not proficient with Canvas, please don’t hesitate to connect with someone who can help guide you.
Professor of History
We know it can be stressful to consider undertaking the task of creating an online course in a rapid fashion. That’s natural, but please remember: you are not alone.
Over the coming days, you will receive guidance and materials designed to help you navigate all the twists and turns of the Canvas Learning Management System and bring what you do well in the traditional classroom environment into the online space. We are also available for one-on-one support on everything from “how to” support to talking through your concerns and plans.
If you would like one-on-one assistance or have any questions, please contact Justin McMenomy(justin.McMenomy@wnc.edu), Joshua Fleming (joshua.Fleming@wnc.edu), and Denise Frohlich (email@example.com). Don’t feel like you need to wait until you’re really stressed or really confused or have a really clear question before reaching out.
We are putting together a series of emails for you that you will receive over the coming days with best practices, tips, templates, and example assignments, and we are here to talk if you have any questions or concerns. These emails will cover:
- Considerations regarding the student situation, your situation, and a guide of best practices for rapid course conversion
- Establishing a communication plan with students
- Content uploading and organization
- Keeping students engaged
- Converting assignments to an online environment
In addition to these emails and one-on-one support from the Instructional Innovation Team, we’re rolling out a variety of other resources for you over this week and next week such as:
- Online “how to” guides for navigating Canvas
- Faculty Canvas Toolbox: You’ll have a “course” in Canvas added to your dashboard where we’ll compile all of the information in the emails, additional resources, “how to” guides, templates, example course components, and discussion forums with peer-to-peer support.
- Workshops: March 16th and March 17th (times to come) in Dini 201. Amy Ghileri will lead two half-day workshops where she will walk you through uploading and organizing your course content. You will all see a template module in your classes that you will be able to use during this workshop. We recommend you bring digital files of your course content to these workshops and know your Canvas login information. Laptops will be provided.
Let us know if you’d like any additional resources or have any questions, concerns, or ideas.
Director of Learning & Innovation
Know your students and understand their situation. Students may be enduring stress and distractions at home (watching kids, worrying about jobs, money, sickness etc.) They may have limited or varied technology options and internet connections. They may feel isolated and want to engage with the instructor and fellow students
You’re partnering with students to overcome these challenges. If students know and trust you, and if you make intentional efforts to show that you care about them, you can accomplish anything. Some strategies to develop that relationship:
- Create a sense of shared experience and community (we’re in this together)
- Embrace and talk about your struggles adapting to online environment (they’re not alone; you’re not perfect)
- Be extra kind– words can come across harshly online
Keep informed about the closure or event: Campus closures or emergencies will be reported on our campus homepage (www.wnc.edu). Your department may also provide additional details about the situation for your classes.
Leverage the LMS: Remember that all courses have a Canvas course shell automatically created each term; this system will help you manage communication with your students and provides a platform to share course materials. The Peer Support Network WNC has established can help you take advantage of Canvas. This network employs models for design (already in your WNC shell) that will help create a consistent experience for all WNC students, reducing stress and allowing students to focus on learning rather than to different online environments.
Consider realistic goals for continuing instruction: What do you think you can realistically accomplish during this time period? Do you think you can maintain your original syllabus and schedule? Do you hope students will keep up with the reading and adjusting with some assignments to add structure and accountability? Do you just want to keep them engaged with the course content somehow?
Review your course schedule to determine priorities: Identify your priorities during the disruption—providing lectures, structuring new opportunities for discussion or group work, collecting assignments, etc. What activities are better rescheduled, and what can or must be done online? Give yourself a little flexibility in that schedule, just in case the situation takes longer to resolve than you think.
Review your syllabus for items that must change: What will have to temporarily change in your syllabus (policies, due dates, assignments, etc.)? Since students will also be thrown off by the changes, they will appreciate as much detail as you can provide.
Identify your new expectations for students: You will have to reconsider some of your expectations for students, including participation, communication, and deadlines. As you think through those changes, keep in mind the impact this situation may have on students’ ability to meet those expectations, including illness, lacking power or internet connections, or needing to care for family members. Be ready to handle requests for extensions or accommodations equitably.
Pick tools and approaches familiar to you and your students: Try to rely on tools and workflows that are familiar to you and your students as emergency situations may make it difficult to introduce new tools and approaches. Err on the side of flexibility and extra time. Don’t worry about proctored tests, as they are not viable options in the short term. Consider converting exams/quizzes to open book or other forms of assessment.
Create a more detailed communications plan: Once you have more details about changes in the class, communicate them to students, along with more information about how they can contact you and how soon they can expect a reply.
This is an “all-hands-on-deck” effort, and we’re here to help you. For additional pedagogical resources, proceed to “Instructional Innovation: Canvas Toolbox” where these materials and others are “unpacked” in greater detail.
Professor of English
The Peer Support Network is led by Denise Frohlich and Amy Ghilleri with coordination support from Lauren Slemenda. Faculty members who are experienced with the Canvas learning management system have been identified to serve as Peer Support Facilitators, and every WNC faculty member (full time and adjunct) has been assigned a Peer Support Facilitator. Your facilitator will be reaching out to you shortly to see if you need anything.
Peer Support Facilitators are, essentially, “triage” – basic, level 1 faculty support in moving classes online. The purpose of this network is to provide first-line tech support only. In medical terms, they are the EMTs. They stabilize the patient (get the content online) and deliver faculty to the hospital doctors (Josh and Justin). Put another way, the PSN deal with quantitative (# of content items online) and Josh and Justin deal with qualitative (quality of those items). Basically, the Peer Support Network is the front line tech support and Instructional Innovation is the content development support.
So, faculty, if you need help on the tech side – to set up a discussion post, assignment, quiz, page, announcement, etc. in Canvas, contact your Peer Support Facilitator. If you need help with the content of any of those items, or help adapting your assignments, tests, quizzes, lectures, or discussions to the online environment, contact Josh and Justin.
As always, we are here to help and support you through this process. Don’t hesitate to reach out if we can be of help.
Professor of English
Distance Education Coordinator
Communicating with your students is an important aspect when using an online or distance learning approach. Canvas can assist in providing several avenues to communicating with your students.
Canvas Inbox – Canvas Internal messaging system connects you and your students. Allows conversations and private messages with your students.
Canvas Chat – Instant messaging system at the course level. Allows simulations messaging with your students.
Canvas Conferences – Online conferencing feature. Allows video and audio presentation along with an online white board. Has limited video recording capabilities.
Canvas Announcements – Course level announcements that go out to your students. Designed for brief communication with your entire course.
Everyone has access to a Canvas course, which makes using Canvas for communication easier for you and your students. If you need any help crafting a message, please let us know.
In order to manage the impacts of COVID-19, remote work may be employed on a temporary basis if approved by the supervisor as part of a campus-wide authorized response.
Items to discuss include the following:
- Equipment and supplies necessary for the employee to perform the duties of their position. In order to work remotely, the employee may need to utilize personal equipment. No additional reimbursement or payment is anticipated for use of personal equipment or space.
- The start date must be approved by the supervisor. The employee and/or supervisor may end remote work at any time.
- Practices to ensure department information is stored in web-based applications or departmental servers to protect the security of information; use encryption tools when needed; safeguard records and papers for their return to the office.
For questions or concerns please contact Human Resources via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employees on campus: Employees whose job functions must be performed on campus to keep the campus safe and to protect against loss or undue hardship for university employees. Examples of these positions may include, but are not limited to: employees working in research labs, animal facilities, facilities services, police services.
Employees working remotely: Employees whose job functions must be performed to maintain education and/or business continuity, or to protect against loss or undue hardship for university employees. Examples of these positions may include, but are not limited to: employees working in business and finance functions, human resources, residential life, enrollment, information technology, student support, research services, development and administration personnel.
Employees on administrative leave: Employees not able to perform their normal jobs remotely will be placed on administrative leave. Employees do not have to perform work but they must be available to work while on administrative leave. Employees must continue to be available if called to perform work while on administrative leave. Employees may be reassigned or be directed to perform tasks outside of their normal departments or units. If an employee is unavailable for work, annual leave, sick leave or leave without pay must be taken.
Supervisors should do the following:
- Ensure approving remote work will not disrupt business operations or productivity
- Establish and maintain regular communication intervals
- Communicate with employees regularly to give work assignment and direction and to review completed work
- Establish standard work hours or an agreed upon flexible work schedule with the supervisor
- Account for time worked for hourly employees in the same manner as on-campus work
Employees should do the following:
- Establish a remote work environment that is conducive to work
- Remain accessible for group meetings and/or status updates. Attendance is confirmed by the employee being available during assigned working hours. Time off requests should be submitted as needed
- Report back to supervisor with work plans and provide a written summary of progress via an agreed to method and schedule. This information will be used to support performance evaluation
- Let supervisor know when additional assignments or work is needed to fill work hours
- Classified and temporary hourly employees should take scheduled breaks and a lunch hour
- In case of injury, theft, loss or other liability, allow agents of the university to investigate and/or inspect the work site with reasonable notice
- Report to the supervisor immediately any Job-related incidents or accidents that occur during remote work
- Accept responsibility for costs incurred related to residential insurance and utility costs
During this challenging time, please remember our Employee Assistance Program through LifeWorks. LifeWorks offers all WNC employees and their families free support and assistance during any difficult time and has a few resources specific to COVID-19 that may be helpful to you. Please see below for links to more information on LifeWorks as well as links to a few relevant articles. LifeWorks can be reached by phone or online using the information below.
To access their articles and other online resources, you may login to LifeWorks using the User ID: NSHE and Password: eap. Please note, these are both case-sensitive: “NSHE” (all caps) and “eap” (all lowercase).
Call any time, day or night.
English – 1-877-234-5151
Spanish – 1-888-732-9020
More information on the Employee Assistance Program: https://www.unr.edu/bcn-nshe/benefits/eap
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Coronavirus (COVID) Information
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to believe that the risk of acquiring this virus in the United States is low.
Health officials, the College, and state and local governments remind you that maintaining a sense of calm is of utmost importance at this time. Avoid feeding into or fueling speculation or hysteria that is prevalent during such global events.
We cannot emphasize strongly enough the value of practicing daily health precautions and proper hygiene, and to follow the information from the sources listed on this site.
In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances. In particular, please consult the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, which provides updated information regarding this topic.
The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be all encompassing and should not be considered medical or legal advice.
State of Nevada Releases New “Nevada Health Response” Website to Provide Resources and Guidance on COVID-19
Carson City, NV – Yesterday, as part of issuing a declaration of emergency in the State of Nevada, the Governor activated the State Emergency Operations Center and the Nevada Health Response Team. To support that effort, the Nevada Governor’s Office, in close coordination with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), released a new “Nevada Health Response” website to provide up-to-date information and guidance pertaining to COVID-19.
“The new Nevada Health Response website provides a central, state-wide hub for individuals, businesses, and organizations looking for the most recent guidance and resources to make informed decisions surrounding the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation in Nevada,” said Gov. Steve Sisolak. “It is absolutely critical that Nevadans and visitors are able to quickly and easily access the most accurate and up-to-date information possible in our State so they can take precautionary measures.”
The Nevada Health Response website is the product of extensive, around-the-clock collaboration between DHHS, the Governor’s Office, and local health partners over the past two weeks. This site provides access to preventative guidance as recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and state and local health experts. It also provides Nevada-specific information and resources for organizations as well as individuals and groups living in and traveling to Nevada. Additionally, the site contains comprehensive frequently asked questions and answers to questions about COVID-19, on-going updates on the State of Nevada’s response and testing results, and centralizes press releases from local and State agencies, hospitals, and related organizations within the State.
You can access the Nevada Health Response website by visiting https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/.
As of March 10, 2020, NSHE has recommended restrictions on international travel, including:
- As advised by federal and state health authorities, in conjunction with the CDC, NSHE is following new guidelines that stipulate that all individuals returning from or through China, Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea, must be self-quarantined for 14 days after their return.
- Students and staff who recently had their study abroad programs cancelled are all to observe a 14-day self-quarantine upon their return to the United States. These students and faculty have been contacted in an abundance of caution, which mirrors actions taken by institutions across the country and internationally.
- Spring Break travel abroad: Given the dynamic nature of the outbreak of novel coronavirus, students, faculty and staff who are planning on personal travel overseas during the upcoming spring break are strongly encouraged to follow the latest guidelines for travel by visiting CDC’s traveler information.
- Please carefully weigh the risks and benefits of any international travel, stay actively alert and monitor changes and developments that may affect your plans. Monitor travel advisories daily, including potential restrictions on border crossings or closed borders. Prepare for the possibility that countries that you visit could decide to implement travel restrictions with short notice, impacting your ability to return to the United States, and to campus. The 14-day self-quarantine period for certain countries could change.
- Be aware if you choose to go on personal travel to or through China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, or Japan, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return before returning to campus, work or classes.
- Faculty and staff will be required to use sick leave or annual leave and follow NSHE policy on finding substitutes for classes. The College recommends that instructors offer students understanding and accommodations such as makeup exams, alternate assignments, or alternate weighting of missed work due to illness.
We encourage you to follow the everyday preventative actions recommended by the CDC, which include:
- 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;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Stay home when you are sick (and see your physician if in doubt); and
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (then throw the tissue in the trash)
- If you know someone who is in self-quarantine, please consider supporting them through emails and texts, but respect the quarantine; do not visit them in person.
Please see the CDC FAQs for more of these measures and for more information about the coronavirus.
Call your health care provider or doctor to identify a safe way to receive care. Let them know about your travel history or if you have been in close contact with a known COVID-19 case within the last 14 days.
Stay home, except to get medical care
You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxi.
Call ahead before visiting your doctor
If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day
High-touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
Monitor your symptoms
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed. Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department. Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.