SLC directing staff to work from home, limiting entrance to college

As businesses, organizations and institutions continue to respond to the concerted effort to stop the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, St. Lawrence College (SLC) updated their contingency plans on Monday, Mar. 16, 2020.

“In light of the recent directives from the federal government and public health for intensified social distancing, and to reduce pressure for our staff, effective immediately, we are asking people to work from home, starting Tuesday, March 17,” Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO of SLC said in a press release. “We are informing students and members of the general public not to come to campus. This is a tri-campus decision intended to help our communities flatten the curve against the spread of this virus.”

At the same time and beginning on Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2020, the college will also be limiting admittance to its campuses to one entrance only, and solely for short-term access. Those coming to campus will be asked to sign in with campus security.

“This will reduce pressure on our cleaning and security staff, who must be on campus, as well, this measure will allow for easier tracking by public health, should the need arise. We ask anyone needing things from their office or campus to get it prior to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. These measures will be in place until further notice,” Vollebregt said.

Additionally, students living on campus in residence will be asked to go home, and residence staff are available to students to help with decisions and planning. For international students and other students who need to remain in residence, the SLC residence management teams are prepared to ensure their needs are met.

“The college has defined essential services as those required to support alternate delivery of academic programs and keep basic operating functions happening. Unless your manager confirms you perform an essential service, you will be asked to work from home. Essential services that will continue during this time (but that may be conducted from off-campus where possible) are payroll, HR (excluding organizational development), custodial, IT, security, and facility management services,” the release reads.

As well, all student placements are suspended until further notice.

“We are doing our part to limit interactions in the community and alleviate pressure on organizations who are trying to make their own plans. Information will be shared with students in coming days about how their course requirements will be met,” Vollebregt said. “We continue to work on alternate delivery methods that will allow our students to finish the winter semester. Faculty will be contacting their students and classes to inform them of new delivery plans. I would ask students to wait to hear from their faculty, as they are currently working very hard to ensure learning outcomes are met and new methods of course delivery are confirmed. I ask everyone to monitor their email and/or Blackboard for updates, as well as college social media accounts.”

On top of the federal travel advisory asking people to self-isolate after returning to Canada, SLC is asking members of its community with someone in their household who just got back to Canada to also self-isolate for 14 days.

These measures come after SLC announced it was suspending classes last week.

For more updates on SLC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

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