Message from the Chancellor: Novel coronavirus preparation

Dear CCCS Community,

I know that the developing news about Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has generated a great deal of concern throughout our communities and campuses and that many of you have legitimate questions about how we will continue to serve our students while doing all we can to protect everyone’s health and safety. I want to take this opportunity to provide an update on the steps we are already taking based on what we know now and what our plans are to respond to the rapidly evolving situation that seems to change hourly.

I am working closely with the System Office leadership team, including Greg Busch, CCCS Emergency Management Director, and our college presidents to address COVID-19.  We are also working closely with and taking guidance from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CO Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in implementing the System and College emergency preparedness plans for potential pandemic incidents. Staff on the CCCS Executive Team are taking the lead in developing plans that fall in their various functional areas.  Specifically, the System is developing plans and guidance for continued academic instruction; official System and College travel guidance; personnel-related questions; and IT support of students, staff and faculty.  This information will be refined, in collaboration with College Presidents and their staff, and you can expect more direct guidance and communications from your college leadership.

Please see the links below for the most current information about ways to protect yourself from COVID-19:

We recognize this is a rapidly evolving situation and I ask that you watch for continued updates as the situation changes.  In our effort to provide you with real-time information as it develops, you should expect to hear from me and/or your college president on a regular basis, perhaps as often as several times a week until the situation is resolved.  CCCS has made preparing for COVID-19 a top priority and we are committed to ensuring that our offices and campuses are safe for employees and students.

I do not intend to minimize the severity of the current situation, nor do I want people to be unduly alarmed.  As many others have said, the best thing we can do now is not to panic, but to prepare.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation, for sharing your ideas, and for working together in the best interests of our students and our college families and communities.

Joe Garcia
Colorado Community College System