Executive, facilities teams focus on COVID-19 preparedness
A message from SCCC President, Dr. Ken Trzaska
Greetings SCCC Team,
The spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has grabbed headlines worldwide, and Seward County Community College is keeping a close eye on potential risks to our team and students.
The good news is that Southwest Kansas is part of a High Plains region still untouched by COVID-19. However, it is reasonable to expect COVID-19 may eventually impact our area.
The SCCC executive team is engaged and will continue to monitor this possibility of impacting our area, and best responses. In the meantime please read though this fact-based information that can strengthen and encourage our community.
IS SCCC AT RISK? At this time, no. We have noted the single case of COVID-19 in our state, in the Kansas City area.
In our service area of Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles, eastern Colorado, and Southwest Kansas, no cases have yet been reported. With spring break travelers returning, there is some chance that COVID-19 might also arrive in our community.
The incubation period for someone exposed to the virus is two weeks. Our focus is on being prepared and informed about COVID-19, and best practices if and when it shows up.
PLANS IN PROGRESS: The executive team and facilities and security team are working on a campus plan to address our needs, should COVID-19 arrive.
This plan will include regular meetings and communication to assess risk and where we stand, and contingency plans if illness becomes widespread.
These plans will necessarily include clear communication through SCCC officialchannels (media, internal/direct, social media) consideration of how best to use our online resources for events like All Saints Days and coursework, as well as travel plans for activities sponsored by the College.
CERTAINTIES: While an emergency plan is not in action at this time, it is important for our team to work together to promote a safe and healthy campus. We ask that you:
• Continue to wash hands thoroughly and frequently
• Make use of the hand sanitizers installed on campus
• Cough or sneeze into tissues or your elbow
• Get enough rest and pay attention to how your body feels
• Remember that all our students, and especially our international students, feel anxiety and fear in these situations. They look to us for stability and kindness.
WHEN NOT TO WORRY: At this time, we know that COVID-19 seems to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough (data reported by international medical officials). After a week, it can lead to shortness of breath, with about 20% of patients requiring hospital treatment.
It is important to remember that COVID-19 infection rarely seems to cause a runny nose, sneezing, or sore throat (these symptoms have been observed in only about 5% of patients). Sore throat, sneezing, and stuffy nose are most often signs of a cold.
Please remember: more people worldwide have recovered from COVID-19 — 94 percent recovered — than are currently active. Of those active cases, 88 percent are listed as “mild.”
You can read more information about COVID-19 at https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
April is National Poetry Month, and SCCC Creative Writing and English instructor Dr. Lori Muntz has begun preparations. First on the agenda is the annual poetry contest, with a deadline of March 15.
This year’s competition rules and submission details can be found online, and entries from all across campus are welcome. Pick up that pen or pencil and “tell us something about your life,” Muntz says. While there’s no official theme, many voices make great art, so please join in.
Look ahead to details about our campus visit from Kansas Poet Laureate Huascar Medina, a workingman and poet, the annual coffee house, and a few new twists on a decade-long tradition.
The Travels of Hamlet
… will return following spring break
The theme for employee affirmation in 2019-20 is “Shine” with our awesome pig, Hamlet. He doesn’t let gravity — or anything else — limit his activities, and that reminds us of the Saints family. Amid the challenges of daily life and the dark clouds that sometimes come, our team shines. Let’s aspire to tell each other when we see those moments of awesomeness.
For those of you who haven’t met Hamlet, he travels the campus in search of excellence and hard work. Who better to ask than our own team members? Each week, Hamlet shows up in his green wagon, with a word of appreciation and a photo op for team members who merit a little extra recognition.