College Resources

New River CTC Frequently Asked Questions – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Spring 2020 CARES Act Emergency Grant FAQ for Students
Return to Campus Procedure New River CTC Safety Plan 08 05 2020
COVID-19 Exposure or Possible Exposure Procedure Certification of Illness or Quarantine Form
College operational resources (June 2020 presentation and signage) Faculty resource: Moving classes online
Higher education-specific CDC resources New River CTC online resources
COVID-19 exposure flow chart  

General Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) What you need to know about hand washing
What to do if you are sick with coronavirus (COVID-19) How to protect yourself
West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources (WV DHHR) Stopping the spread of germs
COVID-19 testing sites in West Virginia  

Message from Dr. Copenhaver (October 13, 2020)

As you are aware, New River CTC will implement Covid-19 testing starting this week.  Originally prescribed by the state, this free testing will ensure that we keep not only our campus community safe but also our family and friends as well because this testing is designed to identify those that might be asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19.

The Coronavirus Taskforce has worked very diligently to create a testing process that is easy and confidential, and our goal is to make sure that testing will be available either through an appointment or as a walk-in service on the campus where you are located so no travel will be involved, and you will be tested on the day that you work if you are only on campus once a week.

Each week of testing, at a minimum, we need 18 student, 7 employees, and 3 employees from the Greenbrier Valley School Board Office to meet the 10% sampling requirement.  We only need 10% of those employees and students who work/attend class at a campus on a regularly scheduled basis.  The Office of Institutional Research has created a randomization process to generate names for testing on a weekly basis; however, we will start each week with a request for volunteers who wish to be tested.  If we have enough volunteers to meet our minimum we will not move to the generated list. 

For this first week of testing, we are asking for volunteers to get us started.  Our testing kits did not arrive until yesterday, so we are working quickly to get started this week.  I am volunteering to be tested this week, and I hope you will join me by volunteering this week or in future weeks.  Instructions will be coming for how to volunteer this week and in future weeks.

For your information, for our students who test, each week they will be entered into a drawing for a $100 bookstore voucher that they can use in the spring.  The proverbial “hat” will be emptied each week, so that each week, a student’s chance of winning a voucher is good.  A student can go into the hat more than once and can win a voucher more than one time.  The vouchers are from funds that our bookstore vendor gives us to distribute to students as the College desires. 

Faculty or Student Affairs Staff:  I will be sending an email to students, similar to this email, so they will be brought into the communication loop, but please be prepared for questions.  Please refer questions that you are unsure of the answer to Robert Runion.

Very shortly, Mr. Runion will be sending out additional emails with instructions and more specific details about what to do to volunteer and what to do if you are selected.  The Communications Department will also be sending out information as well.  There will also be an FAQ handout coming as well to answer specific questions about the test and its efficacy, what won’t be tested, what happens to the saliva samples, etc.

Most likely, this testing will result in positive results among employees and students.  This is what this testing methodology is designed to so that those who are positive but asymptomatic can be isolated before contact spreading can occur.  As we become aware of each incident, we will take appropriate measures to ensure the wellbeing of all students and employees, but please remember that because we are dealing with personal health situations, not all information surrounding our actions may not be able to be shared.

Thank you for continuing to work on keeping our New River CTC family safe during this time, and I appreciate everyone’s willingness to help with this testing service.

Warm regards and continued health and safety,

Bonny Ball Copenhaver, Ed. D.
President
New River Community and Technical College

Message from Dr. Copenhaver (October 13, 2020)

Good morning to all.

New River CTC is required to submit weekly information to the WVCTCS office about those who have been infected and/or exposed to COVID-19.  The Coronavirus Taskforce has developed an exposure flow chart to outline clearly the process for employees and students who are infected or exposed. (You will also find the link in the table at the top of the Coronavirus page.)  Names and other personally identifying information will be confidential at the campus level and are not submitted to the system office; names and other personally identifying information will only be released on a need to know basis to campus personnel. 

This process is in effect immediately, and all personnel are expected to follow this process.  Please keep a copy of this flowchart handy at all times.  Faculty—please make sure that students understand this flowchart and assist them in following the process if any of your students disclose to you that they are ill or exposed.

We have been very fortunate that we have experience very low exposure and infection numbers since the start of this pandemic.  This is due in large part to our strict cleaning protocols, reduced campus access regulations, and participation in following screening and personal protective requirements.  I deeply appreciate everyone’s efforts in this regard and we are seeing the benefits of our practices by our low numbers.  Your continued diligence in following the rules and protocols will continue to keep the college family as safe as we can during this pandemic.

Warm regards and continued health and safety,

Bonny Ball Copenhaver, Ed. D.
President

Message from Dr. Copenhaver (September 25, 2020)

Please see the letter from Dr. Amjad and read the email below from Chancellor Tucker about COVID 19 testing that is scheduled to begin next week.  Mr. Runion will be handling the logistics of the process, and Mr. Lacek will be handing the sampling strategy.  As soon as there are specific details about how we will conduct our testing, they will be passed along to everyone.  It is my expectation that all those selected for testing will comply.

Faculty—please make sure that you pass the testing announcement along to students.

Of special note, the testing will apply to only those students and staff who are regularly at campus to teach or work.  If you are only teaching online or through Zoom, you and your students will not be included in the process.  However, remember that “your students” might also come to campus for program courses, so be mindful of this when you talk to your classes. 

Thank you, in advance, for your help and compliance with this state mandate.  If you have questions, please make sure you ask, and if I do not know the answer, I certainly will find out.

Warm regards and continued health and safety,

Bonny Ball Copenhaver, Ed. D.
President
New River Community and Technical College

Message  from Chancellor Tucker regarding surveillance testing on CTC campuses:

Dear Presidents,

As you know, the state has been discussing surveillance testing on our campuses.  DHHR has now created a plan for surveillance testing for higher education, which includes the community colleges. Hopefully beginning next week, this simple system will be ready to implement.

Background

The state will be supplying each school initially with a 2 week supply of saliva based PCR test kits (https://www.vaulthealth.com/covid). These kits will be used to randomly test 10% of your on campus students, faculty and staff weekly. This will likely be a low number for each of you. You will be responsible for doing the selection and the notification of students, faculty and staff who will be tested. You will need to identify a person or persons on your campus who will “administer” the tests, as well as the time when tests will be administered. You will be asked to record names for each daily set of tests on a spreadsheet that will be provided to you. Additional tests beyond the second week will be provided to you directly by the lab.

The test is simple. The person being tested is handed the test vial, they “spit” into the tube, the tube is capped and placed into a bio bag. Those bio bags are mailed to the lab on the day of collection  via overnight delivery. The only expense you will bear is the cost of overnight shipping to the lab. All other costs including the testing and the lab costs and reporting are covered by the state without any out of pocket expenses to you or to your campus community.

Training for the person or persons who will be involved in the collection and completing the spreadsheet will be done by DHHR later this week. Please send your contact person and their email address to Janene Stover as soon as possible. We hope to do training on Friday. Below are some FAQs. 

How can we find out more about the tests?

Please visit the website  https://www.vaulthealth.com/covid where you will find information about FDA emergency use approval, sensitivity and specificity, etc.

How many tests do we do weekly?

This depends on the number of students, faculty and staff on campus, even if they are only there once a week. You do not need to test students who never come to campus. Once you’ve identified the number of people who fall into the category of on campus, you will randomly select 10% of them weekly. You can manage this as appropriate for your campus, you might want to have testing hours on many different days, or you may want to have specific days and times when those selected for testing must appear.

How should we randomly select students, faculty, staff for testing?

This is left up to you. You will want to have 10% of those on campus randomly tested per week. You can stratify your samples if you’d like, for instance, you might want to be sure that you test some health sciences students, or students in high risk programs in every batch, rather than depending on random selection to assure they are tested.

What if someone refuses to test or doesn’t show up in the week they were selected?

You should make every effort to get those who were selected tested. However, many schools are over-selecting to be sure they get to 10% weekly, knowing that some will not show up.  For refusals, please refer to your student code of conduct or your faculty/staff guidelines. There will be a letter from DHHR ordering this to happen, so that may help you on your campus. 

How will we know what information to collect to send with the tests? 

You will be provided with a spreadsheet template to use daily to email when you ship the tests. DHHR emergency command will accept that spreadsheet and will upload it to the lab for you.  Some of the information that we understand will be needed is first name, last name, local address, date of birth, phone number (for contact tracing with positives), race, and gender at birth (a CDC requirement). If a student does not want to provide gender at birth, you can note “no response”.  Please don’t let that be the default, but only for when a student refuses to provide that information.

When will training for collectors occur? Do collectors have to be health care providers?

We are working on setting that up this week. Collectors will have no contact with the test process except to hand the test to the person being tested and have the person place the capped test back into the bio bag so they do not need to be health care providers.

When will we start testing?

We are hoping for testing to begin next week and continue until Thanksgiving break.

How long will test results take?  How will we be notified of positives?

The test results will be received within 24-48 hours.  The lab will notify your local HD. The LHD will notify you and the positive person.

 

Message from Dr. Copenhaver (August 31, 2020)

As health officials and researchers are learning more about the Coronavirus and COVID-19, some of the practices and rules for dealing with infections are changing.  As a College, our reactions and methods of dealing with any exposure or infection must also change.  For example, if a room or a wing of a building has an exposure and/or a positive infection, only the room or wing must be cordoned off and disinfected instead of the entire building being closed and disinfected as we had been initially instructed. 

Another change is about defines a “close contact” for COVID-19. A “close contact” is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting from 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19.  This is why wearing masks as instructed in the building or even when you are out anywhere in public is so important.  Some additional information is available here:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/contact-tracing.html

With each exposure and/or infection incident that comes to my attention, decisions will be made according to not only CDC guidelines but what is in the best interest of the health and safety for the entire college community.  As additional information is available, it will be passed along.

The presentation, COVID-19 Persily Measured response for back to campus, was given to the Presidents last week and contains current information as compiled by Dr. Cynthia A. Persily, the Senior Director of Health Sciences at the WVHEPC.

The College is required to report active/positive cases of COVID 19 to the WVHEPC; the information must be reported each Monday.  The process to gather the required data is still being finalized.  As soon as the process is completed, the information will be shared.  It will be imperative that all cases of possible exposure and/or documented infections need to be reported so that the safety and welfare of everyone is maintained to the best of our ability.

The rate of change about how to prevent and deal with COVID 19 feels like standing on shifting sand, and I, for one, would prefer to stand on solid concrete for a while.  The only thing that I can do during times like these is to share what I know, when I know it, and to be as open and as intentional in my communication as I possibly can.

Please do not hesitate to forward me any questions/concerns or to take any questions/concerns to the Coronavirus Taskforce.

Warm regards and continued health and safety,

Bonny Ball Copenhaver, Ed. D.
President
New River Community and Technical College

Message from Dr. Copenhaver (August 24, 2020)

The precautionary closing of GVC last week and the more restricted access at RCC are now lifted.  For anyone needed access to these locations, please work through your supervisor to request permission.

Warm regards and continued health and safety,

Bonny Ball Copenhaver, Ed. D.
President
New River Community and Technical College

Message from Dr. Copenhaver (August 19, 2020)

We have been alerted to a possible COVID-19 exposure that will impact the Greenbrier Valley Campus on Thursday, August 20, 2020.

Please read the following announcements closely.

  1. As a precautionary measure, the GVC will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, August 20, 2020.  This includes both buildings at that location.
  2. The GVC will remain closed until at least Friday, August 21, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. 
  3. Maintenance teams at RCC and GVC will not work tomorrow, Thursday, August 20, 2020.
  4. Maintenance teams at MCC, NCC, and the ATC are not impacted and will work as usual.
  5. If you were scheduled to come to RCC tomorrow, please make other arrangements unless your work on campus is essential.

Let me stress that we are taking these measures as a precaution and the exposure to COVID-19 is not yet confirmed; testing is in process.   As the situation changes, additional information will be forthcoming.

Warm regards and continued health and safety,

Bonny Ball Copenhaver, Ed. D.
President
New River Community and Technical College

Message from Dr. Copenhaver (August 17, 2020)

I have a few updates with regard to our ongoing efforts to address issues related to the Coronavirus.

The complete and updated campus safety plan is attached.  As was mentioned last week in the Faculty/Staff Institute, the plan was approved and accepted by HEPC.  The updated version includes the Human Resource procedure for campus safety.  The procedure is attached for easy reference and includes what to do if you or a student is exposed to or develops COVID-19.  Please review this procedure and keep a copy handy for reference; questions concerning this procedure should go to Human Resources.  As the reporting procedure for those touched by COVID-19 is refined or amended, additional instructions will be sent to you.

Over the past couple of weeks, access to College buildings has been loosened to allow for our registration events and so that those working remotely can retrieve items from their offices so that remote working can continue.  By the end of this week, campus access will return to strictly limited permission.  Lists of employees and their schedules for campus access will be finalized this week, and exceptions will be thoroughly reviewed prior to granting access.

If you are not already granted campus access, you must contact your supervisor to request permission to come to campus.  Your supervisor will route the request to the appropriate Vice President, and ultimately to me for a final decision. At a minimum, 24 hour notice is needed, and requests made on Friday afternoons or over the weekend will not be reviewed until the start of business on Monday.  DO NOT contact Mr. Runion or any of his staff directly for campus access.

I realize these restrictions are difficult on all of us, but as we increase access to campus we increase our risk of exposure.  Because it is important that our students have laboratory time to complete some of their program requirements, I want to ensure that the environment is safe for them and for our employees. 

Finally, we are starting to receive reports from students who have COVID-19 or who are in quarantine because of a COVID-19 exposure; unfortunately, this may become  more of an issue during the semester.  As much as we don’t want to think about it, we also might have colleagues who become ill or exposed.  We must work with our students in a compassionate way when this illness impacts their ability to perform in our classes; likewise, our colleagues may need that same compassion for the same reason.  Education is a very personal endeavor, and nowhere will we feel just how personal it is as we will over this academic year.  Only by working with each other can we pull together to meet this challenge head on and New River Strong.

Warm regards and continued health and safety,

Bonny Ball Copenhaver, Ed. D.
President
New River Community and Technical College

Message from Dr. Copenhaver (July 24, 2020)

A part of Governor Justice’s Executive Order 9-20 (the Stay at Home Order) needed to be rescinded so that K12 schools and public/private higher education institutions could fully restart in the fall. 

During his press conference today, the Governor announced he will be signing that order.  Higher education institutions had some latitude to continue under Executive Order 9-20, and many institutions, like New River CTC, have been operating under the provided latitude.  In short, his actions today were a necessity for the K12 systems and a formality for higher education institutions.  His new Executive Order about reopening will not change any plans that New River CTC has in place regarding the fall semester, opening of our facilities to the public, or bring everyone back to campus to work.  We are continuing as we have planned.

The Governor stressed that each higher education institution had detailed plans for the fall, and he was confident that each institution would be following their plans and working to keep students and employees safe.

As a point of reference, I have attached New River CTC’s fall safety plan to this email.  This plan was submitted to Chancellor Tucker and was developed by our Task Force.  This plan only deals with safety related items and facilities usage/cleaning, etc., and  our plan is still fluid and evolving, so it will be updated on an ongoing basis.  The newest version of the plan will be on the website not only as a resource but also as part of our transparency and accountability in addressing the pandemic. 

Please do not hesitate to ask if you have a question.

Warm regards and continued health and safety,

Bonny Ball Copenhaver, Ed. D.
President
New River Community and Technical College

 

Prior Coronavirus updates