Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
April 1, 2020
Gadsden State offers on-campus WiFi hotspots to students
Gadsden, Ala. – Gadsden State Community College is offering WiFi hotspots to its enrolled students in select parking lots on three campuses, said President Dr. Martha Lavender.
“The announcement that all community colleges in Alabama would exclusively provide instruction online for the remainder of the spring semester left some students in a bind due to not having access to reliable WiFi services,” she said. “It is important that we do whatever we can to assist those students while practicing social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19.”
Gadsden State’s Information Technology Services has installed hotspots that can be used in the parking lots on three campuses. Locations include the parking lot around the Computer Science Building on the Ayers Campus in Anniston, the parking lot behind the Academic Building at Gadsden State Cherokee in Centre and the parking lot in front of Browder Hall on the Wallace Drive Campus in Gadsden.
“It is important for all students to continue social distancing by remaining in their vehicles at all times while using the WiFi on our campuses,” Lavender said.
The hotspots are available seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Security will patrol the areas offering WiFi to enhance safety for students.
To connect to WiFi, students should use the same username and password used for student email accounts and Blackboard, Gadsden State’s application for online teaching and learning. Students who have issues accessing WiFi should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gadsden State will continue to provide updates to the public during its closure at www.gadsdenstate.edu/coronavirus.
COVID-19 Safety Statement
Dr. Deborah Curry
Dean of Health Sciences
March 12: Letter from the President
March 12: ACCC statement on the Coronavirus
COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus. The virus is spread mainly from person-to-person. It’s spread between people within about six feet from one another and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly inhaled into the lungs.
People may also contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes but, according to the CDC, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
According to the CDC, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you’re sick, except if you need medical care.
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Wear a facemask if you are sick. If you are not sick, you do not need to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick and they are unable to wear a facemask. Facemasks are in short supply and should be saved for caregivers.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. Use EPA-registered disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
Call your doctor if systems develop.
- Stay home unless you need to get medical care. Home isolation tremendously decreases the chances of spreading the virus.
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
- Avoid public areas. Do not go to work, school or public areas.
- Avoid public transportation.
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your house. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and use a separate bathroom, if available.
- Limit contact with pets and animals. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people with the virus limit contact with pets until more information about the virus is known.
- Wear a facemask if you are sick and are around other people or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are unable to wear a facemask then people with you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Dispose of 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 at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid sharing personal household items. Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
- Clean all high-touch surfaces every day.
- Monitor your symptoms.
- Stay at home until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to below. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
- Gadsden State has transitioned to online or alternative instruction for all courses until April 3.
- In an effort to limit possible exposure, all events on all of Gadsden State’s campuses have been cancelled until further notice.
- During the absence of students on Gadsden State campuses, the Maintenance Team will practice enhanced cleaning procedures in all buildings.
- All international and domestic travel has been cancelled and will be enforced until the spread of the disease has been decreased or contained.
- Gadsden State is practicing its Infectious Disease Policy (link policy).
- Gadsden State will communicate with its students and faculty on a regular basis through College email and Blackboard. Communications will also be posted on this webpage.
- All courses will be taught online from March 17 to April 3. Spring Break will be observed as planned March 23-27.
- Alternative methods of assessment also includes online simulation for labs, online test proctoring and use of online library resources.
- Technical proficiency will be assessed using online resources, such as Google Classroom (for those without Banner access), Facetime, Zoom and faculty-designed assignments that allow for the evaluation of students’ proficiency.
- Programs/disciplines that required skill-based, hands-on competency assessments, lab and/or clinical requirements, preceptorships/internships or any other work-based learning component will be community to you by a member of your program’s faculty.
- Dual Enrollment course delivery will transition in the same manner as all other college courses.
- Faculty members will have “virtual office hours” and will be available to students online and via email during those hours.
- Online summer registration will take place as scheduled. Priority registration opens March 18 with regular registration beginning March 19.
- All services and support for registration will be available online and via email. You should contact your advisor by email if advisement is necessary.
Technical issues should be addressed to email@example.com. You will be contacted by a member of Information Technology Services as soon as possible.
- Monitor your campus email account for official updates. Regularly visit gadsdenstate.edu/coronavirus.
- Posts will be made to Blackboard when appropriate.
- Updates will also post to Gadsden State’s social media platforms. Facebook: @gadsdenstate Twitter: @gadsdenstate Instagram: @gadsdenstatecommunitycollege
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