In light of the growing concern about COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, Marilyn Holt, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, released the following concerning the district’s stance on the situation:
News of the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is at the forefront of conversations across the country. District and college leadership have been receiving regular updates from the Illinois Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, our local health departments and the Illinois Community College Board. They have provided invaluable information to us about how to proceed in light of this quickly developing situation.
On March 12, leadership from the colleges and the district office came together to discuss contingency planning in the event we are required to make adjustments in the delivery of our educational service. There are a few key points from this meeting that I would like to share with you:
1. There are no documented cases of the virus in our district or in our surrounding counties.
2. Although many universities are already adjusting their instructional delivery, most of these are universities with faculty, students and staff who travel internationally regularly.
3. We are being advised that the best course of action for IECC is to continue with preventative measures. These preventative measures can be found on the CDC website (cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/workplace/index.html). We will continue to use enhanced disinfecting procedures similar to those we employ during the flu season.
4. We have received word that members of the Great Rivers Athletic Conference can expect interruption of spring competition. We do not yet know if this is cancellation or suspension.
5. Effective immediately, IECC is canceling all non-competitive college-related travel until April 3. This decision will be re-evaluated weekly. Anyone with travel plans who are affected by this decision should speak with the college president or district administration.
Any future action taken by IECC or our four colleges will be based on facts and in careful consultation with the health officials mentioned above. College and district leadership has already prepared contingency plans in the event we need to practice social distancing and virtualize our instruction as some other colleges and universities have done. We will provide updates regarding our plans surrounding COVID-19, which can be found at iecc.edu/covid.