Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a virus group that can infect and spread between humans through close personal contact, coughing/sneezing, and touching surfaces with coronavirus on them and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. Coronaviruses circulate regularly and cause cold and flu-like illnesses every year. These illnesses usually last for a short amount of time. Sometimes, new strains such as COVID-19 can become more widespread.

 

Welcome Back Message for Students
Monday, March 30, 2020

Hello CVTC Students,

Welcome back! I realize we are not physically on any of the CVTC campuses, but we are back in session and ready to continue with your education. While continued progress towards your chosen career remains a primary goal, we must also remember that nothing is more important than your health and safety. 

In order to protect CVTC students and employees some major changes have occurred during the recent extended break. We have moved all operational activities off site. All enrollment and student support services are now provided remotely. While instruction in online courses will continue unchanged, many classes will see changes in delivery methods, assignments and timelines.

We know these are difficult and extremely challenging times. Please know that we are here to support you during this time of transition, and we continue to be committed to your success.  Details and contact information for student support can be found on the MyCVTC student portal.  

CVTC will continue to consult with local and state health officials. We are also in contact with the Wisconsin Technical College state office, the Higher Learning Commission and many accreditation agencies to ensure that the program modifications are acceptable. Many questions still need answers. We will continue to share information as it becomes available. Your patience and cooperation are greatly appreciated. 

Throughout our country’s history we have faced world wars, recessions and depressions, natural disasters and even previous pandemics. We know by working together we can meet this current challenge and return to our normal lives. It will take time but today was a major step in reclaiming our lives and future. 

I’m looking forward to working with you and the entire CVTC community to make a difference and a better tomorrow.

Best Wishes,
Bruce Barker
President, CVTC

COVID-19 Update: Campus Accessibility
Friday, March 20, 2020

As you are aware, the COVID-19 situation is evolving by the minute, with guidelines provided by our federal, state and local agencies changing every day. We are taking the situation very seriously and are committed to doing our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus. I understand that it may be difficult to keep up with the rapid changes being implemented and multiple communications. For the most current information, visit www.cvtc.edu/covid19. I appreciate your patience and flexibility as we take the necessary action to keep our students, employees and community safe.

Effective, Friday, March 20 at 5:00 p.m., all campuses will be closed to the public until further notice. This includes the Learning Center, Assessment Center, and computer labs on all campuses. Student life will be in contact with students to make arrangements for retrieval of items from their lockers. Instructors will work directly with students who require other course-related equipment, tools or kits.

As communicated earlier this week, all CVTC classes are suspended until Monday, March 30. This includes existing online courses. This will allow time for our instructional teams to make final arrangements to provide all classes via online delivery or other remote technology format beginning March 30. There will be no face-to-face instruction until further notice. Please contact your instructor(s) directly if you have any questions about your specific class(es).

I understand that this time of transition may be challenging for you due to the nature of our traditional hands-on, applied learning instruction. As always, we are committed to your success and we will work closely with our students to provide the support needed to achieve positive outcomes in this modified delivery format.

All services that can be converted to remote options have been in transition this week and will be fully implemented by the end of the day today.

Student Central will be available to assist students remotely via chat and email. During this time, their walk-in and phone assistance options will be temporarily suspended. Students can reach them between the hours of 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on chat by selecting the “Chat With Us” box in the bottom, right-hand corner of their myCVTC page. Students can reach us via email at StudentCentral@cvtc.edu.

Kelsey Anderson, CVTC’s E-Learning Specialist, will be available to students for help with online learning best practices, Canvas, Microsoft Office 365 and Google Drive, recording and submitting videos, and more. You can contact Kelsey at e-LearningSupport@cvtc.edu or 715-833-6376.

A complete list of student services and how to access them is available on the MyCVTC student portal.

I wish you and your family good health and safety.

Be well,
President Bruce Barker

Academic Schedule and Campus Staffing Modifications for COVID-19
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, CVTC’s primary focus remains on education. While instruction has been disrupted, we are committed to the safety of our students, employees and the community and doing our part to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease. In response to the directive of Governor Tony Evers to suspend face-to-face instruction, Chippewa Valley Technical College will implement modifications to the academic schedule and campus staffing as outlined below.

All classes (including online) will be suspended until Monday, March 30. This will allow time for our instructional teams to make final arrangements to provide all classes via online delivery or other remote technology format beginning March 30. There will be no face-to-face instruction at this time. We will strive to reconvene regular instruction as soon as possible, pending further guidance from federal, state and local agencies.

Currently, we do not plan to lengthen the spring semester beyond the academic schedule of May 15.

Events, seminars and other special training activities will also be suspended effective immediately. The Spring Open House, Spring Gala and Scholarship Award Reception have all been postponed.

CVTC campus buildings will remain open at this time, however, we will be minimizing the number of individuals present at the facilities and abiding by CDC recommendations regarding the size of events and social distancing. Effective immediately, we will be transitioning employees to a remote work environment, with limited on-site presence. This transition is in progress and will be completed no later than the end of the day on Wednesday, March 18. Employees will continue to work their regularly scheduled hours and will be available to serve our students and the community.

Student Central will continue to be accessible via remote location. The Learning Center will be open at the Eau Claire Business Education Center to assist students who need access to technology for remote learning. Computer labs will be accessible in Chippewa Falls, Menomonie and River Falls. Academic services will be available virtually. The Bookstore will process orders online to be shipped to the student’s home. A complete list of support services will be provided on MyCVTC.

We are taking things one step at a time as we navigate unknown territory. I understand that there are many questions now and there will be more as we move forward. We will do our very best to answer them as they arise to make these transitions as smooth as possible. I thank you in advance for your commitment to education and the greater good of the community.

COVID-19 Closure Update
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Thank you for your patience as we navigate this ever-changing situation and work diligently to provide information and the best possible solutions for our valued students, staff and community. Please note that as changes rapidly occur, the most current communication should supersede any previous information. This writing is intended to provide an update on the closure status of Chippewa Valley Technical College for face-to-face instruction. We will communicate one or more times daily in the days ahead as details are resolved.

As shared in our communication yesterday evening, Gov. Tony Evers announced late Friday that he's directing the state Department of Health Services to issue an order mandating statewide closure of all public and private schools because of the spreading COVID-19. This mandate is as follows:

ORDER FOR STATEWIDE SCHOOL CLOSURE
Under authority of Wis. Stat. § 252.02(3) and at the direction of Governor Tony Evers, I, Andrea Palm, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, order the closure of all public and private Wisconsin schools for purposes of pupil instruction and extracurricular activities, beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020, with an anticipated reopening on April 6, 2020. The date of reopening is subject to change pending further information. Based on the assessment of the information available regarding the infectious disease, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”), closure is a reasonable and necessary step to prevent, suppress, and control this disease. To prevent further illness, the schools will be closed until the aforementioned anticipated date of reopening. This order does not prevent a school from providing virtual instruction to pupils.

Andrea Palm Secretary State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Following the lead of the Governor and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, effective the end of the day Wednesday, March 18, all face-to-face classes at CVTC will be suspended through April 6. CVTC will continue to work with local, state and federal agencies to assess the COVID-19 situation and determine if in-person classes should resume at that time.

Spring break begins on Monday, March 16. All regularly scheduled employees should report to work on Monday. Campus buildings will be open as scheduled through Wednesday, March 18. Building access, staffing, and levels of services (onsite and remote) beyond March 18 will be determined and communicated by the end of the day on Wednesday.

Any classes and trainings scheduled for the week of March 15-21 will be reviewed by the administrative team on Monday morning. Employees, students and attendees will be notified as soon as possible following that discussion.

Online and MyChoice classes will resume following spring break and are expected to complete on time, as scheduled. Details regarding other services and courses will be provided in future communications.

We understand that everyone has many questions and we are working diligently to implement the plans we have in place and provide effective options for our students, employees and community members. Please continue to watch your email as updates will be provided on a continuous basis.

Thanks again for your cooperation and patience as we work together during this challenging time.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: COVID-19 - COLLEGE CLOSURE STATUS
Friday, March 13, 2020

As communicated in our message this afternoon, Chippewa Valley Technical College has been working in close alignment with state and local officials regarding actions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based upon the most recent communications and Governor mandate for K12 schools in Wisconsin, CVTC will also be following this directive. The Governor has indicated Wednesday, March 18th as the start of the mandated closure. CVTC administration will be working over the weekend and early next week to prepare details for our students and employees and will provide updates as they become available.

COVID-19 Update
Friday, March 13, 2020

We continue to align our pandemic procedures with guidelines from the local city and county health departments as well as local, state and federal agencies including, but not limited to, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Several higher education institutions have decided to extend spring break or take their instruction online for varying periods of time. In an effort to be prepared, CVTC faculty are evaluating potential online teaching capabilities and essential business operating departments are preparing remote work environments in order to maintain business operations if necessary. Based on state, federal and local recommendations, as of today, CVTC campuses remain open. 

College decisions regarding closure will be based upon the guidance of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and local health departments. Information regarding the College closing, or reopening, will be communicated through various resources including this website, email, CVTC’s RAVE communication system or media outlets.

Travel Policy Changes as of March 13, 2020

Effective today, College travel shall be limited to essential travel within the district only. All business or club travel outside of the CVTC district (including out-of-state), is suspended until further notice. Determination of what is essential travel should be discussed with and approved by your supervisor and Vice President or President. Any prior approvals need to be reevaluated with the aforementioned individuals.

Employee and Student Travel or Exposure

Effective immediately, we will begin to impose the following travel and exposure practices.

Travel:
If you or a member of your household traveled to a Level Two or Three area, please notify CVTC Human Resources prior to your return to the College at humanresources@cvtc.edu. This includes U.S. states with community transmission including Washington, California and New York. Refer to the most updated CDC travel notices here.

If the above situation applies to you, CDC recommendations include self-quarantine for a period of 14 days prior to returning to campus.

Exposure:
If you believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, according to city and county health agencies, monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the individual(s). Seek medical guidance regarding potential self-quarantine recommendations.

Activities and events for the week of March 15-21 and beyond

Based upon a state and county recommendation this afternoon, CVTC is evaluating large events scheduled in the next thirty days and making decisions on those anticipated to be greater than 250 people.

Events, activities, classes and training for next week will be held as scheduled with the exception of Wednesday, March 18 due to a college-wide business continuity exercise.

Student Health Services

Due to the nature of COVID-19, it is recommended to call first and minimize walk-in appointments.

  • Eau Claire students enrolled in CVTC’s student health services may contact Prevea at: 715-839-5175
  • River Falls students enrolled in CVTC’s student health services may contact Vibrant at: 715-425-6701

For a comprehensive list of covered and non-covered services, hours of operation and eligibility, visit myCVTC > Student Services & Support > Health Services.

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This situation is evolving daily, and these guidelines are subject to change as emerging circumstances warrant. Our leadership team will monitor conditions regularly and will adjust as needed with the well-being of our campus communities at top of mind and we will communicate those changes regularly. Updates will be provided at this website.

Your cooperation and collaboration will help to ensure an appropriate response across our institution to this rapidly changing matter.

Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Update
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Chippewa Valley Technical College administration continues to work closely with local health officials, community partners, and educational institutions to prepare, monitor and implement plans as relative to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The President’s Cabinet is meeting multiple times a week, sometimes daily, to discuss new developments and assess situations as they arise at the College, in the community, the country, and across the globe.

This communication is to provide an update as relative to upcoming CVTC events.

At this time, our community remains at low risk and the health department is not recommending the cancellation of community events. Therefore, we will proceed with events as scheduled until further notice. The Manufacturing Show scheduled for March 12 will be conducted as planned with precautionary measures in place for large events as provided in the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Actions will include, but are not limited to, communications to known participants and exterior building signage requesting individuals to opt-out if they are not feeling will (i.e. fever, cough, shortness of breath), increased cleaning of high touch surfaces throughout the event, and thorough cleaning following the show.

The safety of our employees, students and community guests is of greatest importance.  We will continue to review and evaluate upcoming events, tours and facility usage by external groups and make decisions as appropriate based upon the most current information available.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

As you are aware, Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing major disruptions across the globe. As we move into the upcoming weeks of spring break travel in the United States and surrounding countries, we continue preparations for a possible pandemic situation closer to home, affecting CVTC employees and students. As of March 9, 2020, there is a new confirmed case of COVID-19 in Wisconsin; additionally, area residents have been screened following travel to affected regions of the world. As further cases have been reported elsewhere in the United States, we should continue to prepare but not panic. Important updates, reminders, and resources are below. 

CVTC Business and Student Travel
  • At the time of this writing, CVTC business travel and student club travel is permitted. However, should escalation of COVID-19 increase or areas of travel become unsafe or restricted, CVTC may temporarily suspend travel entirely.

Currently the following travel guidelines apply:

  • Business and student club travel within the state of Wisconsin
    • Travel is permitted, but not mandatory.
    • Travel must be approved by your supervisor.
  • Business and student club travel outside the state of Wisconsin
    • Travel is permitted, but not mandatory.
    • Travel must be approved by your supervisor and your department VP or College President.
    • Currently booked travel, must be reviewed again with your supervisor.
    • Future travel must be necessary or crucial travel only.
Student International Trips
  • An announcement regarding Student International Trips will be made this week.
Personal Travel

If you are traveling domestically or internationally in the upcoming weeks, please take precaution and follow local, state or national guidance pertaining to your travel destinations. These sites may be helpful: 

​Faculty Preparation

Faculty colleagues, if you have not yet had a chance to review the following document, please do so at your earliest convenience. CPD is available to help in adapting courses for online delivery; recognizing that schedules can be an obstacle, CPD is available for one-on-one training as needed.

College Closing

In the event COVID-19 is declared a pandemic in the United States whereby affecting CVTC, the College will make a decision to close following the guidance of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and local health departments. Should the College close, the current employee handbook will apply whereby if employees are scheduled to work on days closed, employees will be paid. Should the need arise, information regarding the College closing, or reopening, would be found at www.cvtc.edu or through CVTC’s RAVE communication system.

Essential Business Operations and Key Positions

In the event a number of illnesses occur large enough to affect College departments, or the College makes a decision to close, essential business operations of the College must continue (e, g., building and maintenance controls, financial responsibilities, employee and student communication, etc.). As such, key positions and personnel are being identified and plans are being made to allow remote work or work permissible locations in order to ensure business operations continue. As time progresses, more will be communicated.

Sick Leave, Family Medical Leave (FML) or Personal Time

If you suspect you have any symptoms, please consider consulting with a medical professional and staying home for a self-imposed incubation period. The current handbook guidelines remain for sick leave, FML and personal time. As the end of the fiscal year approaches, if individual benefitted time banks are exhausted, unpaid Administrative Leave may be an option (contact HR for Administrative leave details). The definition for care of a family member remains the same: self, dependent child, spouse, parent (of the employee or spouse), or person(s) with whom a formal legal caretaker relationship exists. 

Coronaviruses Symptoms and Treatment
  • At this time, the incubation period from exposure to illness is believed to be within 14 days; there remains no current antiviral treatment.
  • Individuals affected with COVID-19 have displayed the following symptoms:
    • Mild to severe respiratory illness
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Fever
    • Cough
Stay in the Loop
Continue to Practice Prevention Daily
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or tissue; use tissues and dispose immediately
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Do not share drinks, food or utensils; get good sleep and drink plenty of water
  • Clean and disinfect commonly utilized surfaces/areas frequently

A Message from the CVTC President
Monday, March 2, 2020

The past few weeks we have seen the Coronavirus become a major worldwide health concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have urged the public to be preparing for the possibility of additional outbreaks at more locations.

CVTC is closely monitoring this developing situation. Our comprehensive Pandemic Preparation Plan, first created during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, has been updated. All of our departments have also developed business recovery plans in preparation for situations that may result in disruption of operations at the College. These plans prepare us for business continuation during times of interruption due to various situations.

I believe CVTC will be prepared and very capable of responding appropriately and taking whatever steps are needed as advised. The Eau Claire City-County Health Department, state officials, CDC as well as our risk management and insurance experts will be assisting us throughout the duration of this threat. If we see cases in our area, we will take steps to protect everyone’s health and safety.

To help prevent the spread of illness (it’s still flu season), we strongly recommend everyone practice good hygiene and above all WASH YOUR HANDS. If you do experience symptoms, avoid crowds, including the College and contact your healthcare providers. Telemedicine is now available and recommended for these situations since it is readily available and minimizes unnecessary contact. 

Sincerely,
Bruce Barker
College President

Campus Accessibility

Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, all CVTC Campuses will be closed to the public at this time.

 

College Events Updates

 

Additional Resources

Coronavirus Quick Reference Guide

Center for Disease Control (CDC) - COVID-19

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel

CDC Travel Health Notices

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Eau Claire City-County Health Department - COVID-19 Update

City of River Falls - COVID-19 Update

Dunn County Public Health Update

Coronavirus Update - University Health Services at UW-Madison

CDC Resources for Health Care Providers, Businesses, and Schools

Do your part to slow the spread of germs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is the disease caused by a virus strain that began spreading in people in December 2019. The virus is contagious and potentially fatal. It is suspected that it is transmitted through coughing and sneezing of infected individuals. At the present time, there is no vaccine, cure or specific treatment.

Health experts are concerned because little is known about this new respiratory virus, and it can cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people.

  • The COVID-19 virus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
  • The COVID-19 virus is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
  • Formerly, this disease was referred to as "2019 Novel Coronavirus" or "2019-nCoV."
How is Coronavirus spread?

Health authorities have not confirmed how Coronavirus is transmitted, but suspect it is spread person-to-person. There is also evidence that the virus has been spread by animal sources, including individuals with links to seafood or animal markets. They do not believe you can get it from air, water or food.

What are the signs and symptoms of Coronavirus?

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
How can I protect myself and others?

Because there is currently no vaccine to prevent infection, the best way to protect yourself is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The CDC recommends the following additional steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
What should I do when I return from overseas travel?

At this time, out of an abundance of caution, we are recommending that any travelers returning from countries with a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice follow the voluntary self-quarantine and self-monitoring instructions listed below.

Based on CDC guidance, people who traveled to China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran in the past 14 days, who do not present with symptoms on re-entry, are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return home. Returning travelers must comply with all CDC directions and guidance received from authorities at the point of reentry to the U.S.

Please see the CDC Traveler’s Health website for up to date information on travel advisories and risk levels.

Self-quarantine (isolation of people who are healthy and exposed) instruction:

  • Stay home (or other location approved by your local health department). This means do not go to school, work, public areas, or attend large gatherings. If you need medical care, call your health care provider. Call ahead before you go to your doctor’s office or to an emergency room. Tell them your symptoms and that you traveled to an area of the world experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Postpone any travel. If travel is absolutely necessary, you need to coordinate with your local health department. If you travel and become ill, you may not be able to return home.
  • Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene. 
  • As long as you feel healthy, you may leave the home (in a private vehicle) for a limited time to take care of routine and necessary activities, such as grocery shopping or visiting the pharmacy. Try to avoid busy times of day.
  • Postpone all non-essential medical appointments until you are out of quarantine. If you have an essential appoint during the quarantine, please tell your local health department who will help coordinate the visit.
  • Consider minimizing contact with people and animals in your home (stay in your own room and, if possible, use your own bathroom). Avoid sharing personal household items such as dishes, towels, and bedding.

Self-monitoring instructions:

  • Measure your temperature twice a day. If you do not have a thermometer, or need instructions for using one, let your local public health department know.
  • Watch for cough or difficulty breathing.