NEWS & EVENTS / COVID-19
UPDATES ON COVID-19 AND INSTITUTIONAL PREPAREDNESS
White House Challenge for COVID-19!
Good afternoon Vaccine Champion Colleges/Universities!
We are so grateful for your participation in the White House COVID-19 College Challenge. I am thrilled to report that as of today we are more than 350 institutions strong, representing 46 states nationwide and a wide diversity of institutions. Thank you for being an early adopter in this initiative – and most of all, thank you for your leadership in getting your college community vaccinated.
This email contains a lot of links to resources from this week and other information that should be helpful in your planning and vaccination efforts. Please flag this email and use these resources.
Next week, we will kick off a series of engagements where we bring Challenge participants together to listen and learn from each other, and provide resources to advance vaccination in your college community.
We invite you to please join us for our first webinar this Friday, June 11 at 2:00pm ET, featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci. We will focus for this first webinar on what creative approaches colleges and universities are using to Engage every student, faculty, and staff member. Dr. Fauci will kick off the event, and we will hear from some of YOU on what creative approaches you are taking. Please register here (ideally by Wednesday 6/9) for the Zoom link. (And if you have a question for Dr. Fauci, please drop it in the form when you register!)
Responding to Challenge questions: As you know, our purpose in launching this Challenge is convening and calling college and university leaders – including student leaders – to action on vaccination. We are asking all of you to take responsibility right away for getting your college communities vaccinated, regardless of where your community is over the summer. We need vaccination action now – not later this summer when people are headed back to campus – and we need individual students, staff, and faculty to make a plan and get vaccinated even if they are not on campus. This is a steep challenge, but we need to sprint ahead towards the President’s goal to get as many Americans as possible vaccinated today, tomorrow, and in the weeks to come.
We will meet this Challenge by sharing information and learning from each other about what works. In order to Engage every student, faculty, and staff member, we want to hear from YOU:
- How are you partnering with student leaders and student organizations to reach all students in making and following through on a plan to get vaccinated – even if they have left campus for the summer?
- How are you using social media to reach every student, staff, and faculty on and off campus?
- What are you offering your college community as motivation, encouragement, or incentive to get vaccinated?
- What voices in your college community or surrounding region are your students most going to listen to and trust in getting vaccinated?
- What is the most creative approach you’ve used to engage students on the vaccine and/or to get them vaccinated?
Are you a college president/administrator, or a student leader? Got a creative approach you want to share in response to the above questions? Please tell us! We want to hear from you, and we want you to share across this community so more colleges and universities can learn from your good work. If you have ideas to share, please share them out on social media with #COVIDCollegeChallenge and/or send us responses at COVIDCollegeChallenge@ed.gov. We want to feature you and your ideas on a panel on next week’s webinar – please let us know by Wednesday 6/9 at noon if you would like you/your idea to possibly be featured during the panel. We very much welcome participation from both administrators and from students.
Please share out your progress on social media using #COVIDCollegeChallenge and #WeCanDoThis! This is how we get more people on board. The more colleges step up and the more momentum we build, the better we reach young people in getting vaccinated. Every vaccination is one step closer back to the campus life we know and love.
Ask other colleges to join the Challenge: Colleges around the country are already making plans to bring students back on-campus this summer and fall for in-person learning. Ask your colleagues to join the COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge as you help bring your community back in-person. Institutions can sign up on the White House website at whitehouse.gov/
THANK YOU for being a part of this important initiative. We look forward to hearing about your progress and sharing ideas with you all in the weeks ahead!
Mary C. Wall
Senior Policy Advisor
White House COVID-19 Response Team
Join the White House COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge today!
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- White House website COVID-19 College Challenge (where participating colleges are listed)
- U.S. Department of Education (ED) website on the COVID-19 College Challenge
- White House fact sheet on Month of Action (featuring COVID-19 College Challenge)
- U.S. Department of Education press release on the COVID-19 College Challenge
- @FLOTUS Dr. Jill Biden post on COVID-19 College Challenge
- @SecCardona Secretary Miguel Cardona post on COVID-19 College Challenge
- New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) toolkit for promoting vaccination efforts within your college community
- New ED COVID Handbook Volume 3: Strategies for Safe Operation and Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education Students, Faculty, and Staff
- New CDC Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs)
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) On-Site Vaccination Clinic Toolkit
- HHS COVID-19 Public Education Campaign library of resources and toolkits
- ED one pager on the COVID-19 College Challenge (attached)
- Social media toolkit for the COVID-19 College Challenge
- Four easy ways to get the people you know vaccinated – see below!
Promote the Four Ways for People to Learn How to Get a Vaccine Across All Your Channels
· Share where and how to get vaccinated:
- Vaccines.gov (English) and Vacunas.gov (Spanish)
- Text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX) in English or 822862 (VACUNA) in Spanish
- Call 1-800-232-0233 for assistance in English, Spanish, and 150+ other languages
· Post the Vaccines.Gov widget on your websites. For available widgets, please see here.
· Share this information on email lists; e-newsletters; social media channels; banners on your homepage; webinars or virtual events; text message campaigns; workplace signage.
· Share the Following Messages that Work to Help Build Confidence in the Vaccines
- Getting vaccinated gets us back to normal. Getting vaccinated is the best way to defeat this virus and get back to safely gathering with family, friends, weddings, sports, and travel.
- The vaccine is free and available to everyone. Vaccines are available at no cost to everyone age 12 and older living in the United States, regardless of immigration or insurance status.
- If you have questions, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider. Estimates show that 90% of doctors have gotten a shot themselves.
- More than 150 million Americans have been vaccinated. They are now protected from this deadly virus and are on the path back to normal.
Dear Paier Students & Faculty,
As promised, the Administration has evaluated current COVID levels in the State of Connecticut and would like to communicate next steps to resuming on-campus classes. We will be sending out several emails about your personal class situation later this week. Many of the classes at Paier will begin at 25% capacity for our on-ground classes Monday February 8th as the College has officially met the phase 3 threshold of 3.1%-6% average positivity rate for 7 continuous days as of today Tuesday February 2nd.
What this means:
- Studio classes and hybrid classes will be split into 2 groups and each will be allotted half of the class
- Example: 5-hour studio time will be split into 2-hour 15-minute sessions with a 15-minute sanitation time between groups.
- Online classes will continue in the manner that they have been.
- The Dean’s Office and/or Registrar will be reaching out to notify you and the students in your classes if you are affected by this change.
- Faculty-After the initial email is received, post an announcement on Canvas as soon as possible with information about who will be in which cohort and when they will be required to attend your class. If your class is now fully online, please post an announcement letting students know they will need to frequently access Canvas.
If you have any questions about the reduction in capacity please reach out to Chris DiStiso (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you need any assistance with getting content onto Canvas please reach out to Keegan Soncha (email@example.com).
Thank you as always for your flexibility and cooperation during this time,
Dr. Summer C. Amorosino
Dear Paier Community,
Since my message to you on Friday, I have received a lot of questions. Many regard how Paier College of Art will continue to proceed as an academic institution and an employer, yet others are looking for our opinion on COVID-19 and the local, state, and federal efforts. Today I will take time to address both topics and provide an update to last week’s timeline.
A question that several staff members and myself have gotten is whether we are scared. There is little doubt that this situation is unlike one we have faced before and I can admit that there have been times where the pang of fear has left me feeling underprepared. All that can be done to move forward is to recognize that fear, and focus on what we can control. For every worried thought that we have, there is a way to address it, and that is all we can hope to control. Focus on your preventive measures, educate yourself on the disease, and talk to others about your fears. Once they are out in the open, and you know what elements you can control, you will find much needed areas of refuge and moments of solace.
Educating yourself on the disease can present its challenges, as many articles, social media posts, and news stories seem to provide conflicting information. It is because of this that we have compiled a fact sheet with links to official sources, which is available at www.paier.edu/COVID-19. We will continue to add to this as more studies provide insight into the situation, so check back often.
From an academic perspective we have begun to pursue the course of action that was outlined on Friday, March 13, 2020. Today we had our first faculty training on the Blackboard platform and look to be on target to begin resuming all courses on March 23rd. As we begin this transition we recognize that some students may lack the basic technology, a cell phone at minimum, to participate in class. I ask you to please reach out to the Dean (CDistiso@paier.edu ) immediately so that he can assist you in addressing this issue.
Staff on Campus
We are beginning to assess the possibility of select staff working remotely. Currently this is being addressed on a case-by-case basis, although Paier College of Art remains prepared to accelerate the transition for staff to work remotely should the Governor’s executive orders require it. In the meantime, our Provost and Dean will be asking for insight from each member of the staff regarding their preparedness to work remotely.
Visitors on Campus
Effective March 18, 2020, Paier College of Art will no longer be allowing prospective students on campus. Efforts to digitize the workflow in both financial aid and admissions are well underway and guidance will be provided directly by the Director of Enrollment and the Director of Financial Aid. This measure is being taken to continue to reduce face-to-face interactions on campus. It is also important to note that all staff and faculty pay checks and stubs will be mailed home each week rather than available for pick up on campus.
Vendors, students, and faculty are asked to call ahead prior to visiting the campus unless they have already been scheduled to be on campus.
I will continue to provide updates all week, so please continue to direct any questions to the Dean, as I will look to answer some of them in each communication.
Thank you all for your patience and continue to be safe.
Joseph M. Bierbaum
COME JOIN THE COMMUNITY
We’re an institution preparing students for professional careers in art and marketing, Paier College is committed to a program of learning and services that provides intensive practice in art skills and other areas of study leading to diploma and certificate awards.