Northeast Community College to lock buildings to minimize spread of COVID-19

Special to The Viewpoint

NORFOLK, Neb. – Northeast Community College will begin offering all credit classes in an online format and limit access to the general public to all of its campuses on Monday, March 23, as the COVID-19 virus continues to cause health concerns across the world.

From the initial activation of Northeast’s incident command team, the goal has been and continues to be to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus. Leah Barrett, Northeast president, said the College will implement several initiatives that specifically address the safety and health of employees.

“This virus does not impact our buildings or systems, it impacts our people, the most precious asset of Northeast. In order to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, all Northeast building doors on all campuses will be locked with a sign posted on them noting the reason. The College phone number will be posted for guests to call to connect with an office,” she said.

Going forward, Northeast Community College will reduce the number of employees on its main campus in Norfolk, extended campuses in O’Neill, South Sioux City, and West Point and regional offices in Ainsworth and Hartington.

Barrett said, “We have several people who will work remotely to reduce the risk to individuals who will continue to be working on campus.”

In addition, Northeast Community College is finalizing its business continuity plan that identifies essential functions from each division in order for the institution to continue to operate during a 30-90-day period if employees are mandated to shelter-in-place in their homes by a federal, state or local authority.

While credit classes are moving to an online format, Northeast Community College has begun taking steps to cancel some non-credit classes through May 13 at all of its campuses. Current non-credit healthcare classes currently in-session will be delivered in online or small group formats. Additional credit and non-credit classes, many that are healthcare-related, are scheduled to continue at the request of area healthcare providers.

The Northeast Adult Education Department continues to work on developing remote learning opportunities. Adult Education students are encouraged to reach out to their instructors or the Adult Education office in Norfolk at (402) 844-7253 or email to [email protected] for guidance on how to proceed on learning opportunities until face-to-face classes resume.

In addition, all hobby and recreation classes at all locations are cancelled through mid-May.

Northeast Community College is also providing updated information on the growing COVID-19 virus outbreak at  https://northeast.edu/Coronavirus/.

Barrett is appreciative of all the work and patience of Northeast faculty and staff over the past week since preparations for alternative learning and work methods have been developed.

“I know it is not easy to live with so much unknown. We as a college are in this together,” she said. “I look forward to a more typical day in the life of the college where we can celebrate the work of our most valuable resource.”

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