SWCC COVID-19 Document #5
March 30, 2020
Governor Ralph Northam today issued a statewide Stay at Home order to protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The executive order takes effect immediately and will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order. The full release and a link to Executive Order Fifty-Five can be found here.
The executive order directs all Virginia institutions of higher education to stop in-person classes and instruction.
Southwest Virginia Community College previously migrated all programs to alternative delivery formats as of March 23, and we are positioned well to continue in this manner. However, there were select courses in healthcare and workforce training requiring in-person labs or instruction that were being held with only a few students. Those activities will be suspended immediately. While we may open up those opportunities again at a later date, we will begin offering alternative methods of instruction for these activities for the time being.
The health and safety of our students and employees are always a top priority and we are immediately complying with these new orders. While the method of delivering courses is changing, we are committed to providing the high-quality education Southwest is known for and our students expect. I am grateful to our motivated and trained faculty and staff who can adjust to this ever-changing landscape.
Southwest Virginia Community College is still open. Most of our employees have adopted teleworking and are operating, business-as-usual, just from different locations. We are still accepting applications to the college, registration for classes is available, financial aid continues to be processed, and student advising is available via video, voice, or text. Southwest is here for you in these changing times.
Dr. Tommy Wright
Read previous Southwest messages here
ALL CLASSES CONTINUE THROUGH ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY. Please refer to the student resources and FAQ sections for helpful resources and more information. The academic calendar has been modified to reflect Pass/Fail opt out deadlines by session.
LOCATIONS & EVENTS
All campus-events have been cancelled. The state-wide ban on travel remains in effect.
If visiting Southwest's main campus, please refer to temporary signage for direction to currently available staff and resources.
STAY SAFE ONLINEAs we transition to working and learning remotely, please be extra vigilant when responding to email/phone requests for information or clicking into websites for information. Southwest employees are available to respond to your requests and concerns, but will not contact you to request any personal information or login credentials.
The novel coronavirus (known as COVID-19) outbreak – and the resultant media coverage – has led to concern and uncertainty among many in our community, as well as across the nation and globe. Southwest Virginia Community College is closely monitoring the situation with the VCCS, the VA Dept. of Health and the CDC to ensure we are taking appropriate precautions.
There are several steps you can take to ensure you remain as healthy as possible:
Stay informed: US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Practice preventative care: Prevention (CDC)
Stay calm: While the progression of COVID-19 is still emerging, the CDC is reporting that for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to the virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
Please be assured that the health and safety of our employees and students are paramount.
Commonwealth Security has been monitoring the uptick in malware due to the COVID-19 virus. Phishing campaigns and fake websites are being used by attackers to steal sensitive information and to get malware installed on devices. As with other phishing campaigns, emails with COVID-19 in the subject are asking users to provide login credentials to get COVID-19 updates and/or information. Southwest Virginia Community College nor VCCS will need you to login or sign up to receive this type of information.
Some phishing campaigns are requesting donations to help find a cure, thus collecting a user's personal information to include credit card numbers. Other phishing campaigns are using malicious attachments to download malware to the machines. Use extreme caution when interacting with websites or emails that make these claims or request that you download anything.
As we move forward during this pandemic, please remember:
Report all phishing messages with headers to the Southwest helpdesk.
Report any suspicious websites to VCCS or Southwest's helpdesk.
Official sites are as follows:
- US Center for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov
- Virginia Department of Health: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/
- Word Health Organization: http://www.who.int
- Southwest-specific info: sw.edu/covid19