The following posts were archived from the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020


Previous Updates

Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III has issued an emergency declaration for Bergen County due to COVID-19 that makes recommendations about containment and mitigation of the virus.

Working in collaboration with him and health officials, Bergen has decided to take the proactive measure of extending spring break by one week in an effort to reduce the possible transmission COVID-19 on campus. Note the following:

  • Just as scheduled for this week, the College will remain open, but all classes are cancelled for the week of March 16.
  • Classes will resume Monday, March 23.
  • During this week and next, College leaders will continue to develop academic/business continuity plans to ensure a continuation of the academic schedule in the event of cancellations extending beyond March 23.
  • A plan for making up next week’s classes also remains in development. Additional information will follow for faculty and students.
  • The College will continue to communicate with students, faculty and staff as protocols evolve. We appreciate your patience as we, and the world, navigate this public health concern. Students, faculty and staff should expect frequently updated guidance.

Additionally, the College has banned all institution-sponsored domestic and international travel including to conferences, events and seminars until March 23. If possible, please cancel any reservations. This expands the existing temporary travel policy established last week that asks any student, faculty or staff member travelling internationally to inform the College nurse at (201) 447-9257.


Throughout the progression of COVID-19, the College has monitored the latest guidance from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Bergen County Department of Health Services to inform our response. As an open-access, public institution reflecting the diversity of our county, we believe it remains especially important for us to diligently monitor COVID-19’s progression. As such, we will continue to review the latest guidance and do so until the global progression ceases.

Specialized Precautions
To specifically address COVID-19, the College has implemented the following measures:

  • Practicing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of physical surfaces, including handrails, door knobs/handles and countertops, at all locations;
  • Promoting everyday measures to maintain good health and hygiene through printed and online materials such as the e-library of resources;
  • Frequently refilling soap, hand sanitizer and toiletries at all locations;
  • Securing a robust supply of disinfecting products through numerous vendors;
  • Establishing a temporary travel policy that requests any student, faculty or staff member travelling abroad to notify the Office of Health Services at (201) 447-9257 prior to their return to campus. Should one travel to – or through – any “Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel” nation, the student, faculty or staff member must complete a self-isolation period (currently 14 days) and a follow-up medical screening through the Office of Health Services before returning to campus. Impacted countries may change with little notice. Domestic travel remains discretionary, but continue to monitor advisories and CDC guidance;
  • Monitoring the latest guidance from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, New Jersey Department of Health and Bergen County Department of Health Services; and
  • Forming a taskforce of College leadership divided into four working groups: academic continuity, business continuity, health response and communication to address the institution’s response.

“Everyday” Precautions
You can do your part to protect against COVID-19 by washing your hands regularly, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, remaining home when dealing with the flu or viral illness and other everyday measures outlined in the e-library.

Continuity of Academic/Business Operations
A working group of taskforce members has begun to develop plans that could enable academic continuity in the event of a campus closure. This group has outlined resources that support continuing classes and academic events, while also assessing implications for travel. With the consultation of various constituencies, the group will examine existing academic policies and the College calendar.

Meanwhile, a second working group will address the institution’s business operations, identifying essential functions, determining strategies for maintaining critical campus utilities and infrastructure and developing policies that enable remote operations. The group will also discuss implications for staff and plans for acquiring supplies in the event of supply chain disruption.

Respect
Given our diverse community encompassing students, faculty and staff from many different nations and cultures – including those most negatively affected by COVID-19 – this remains a time for unity, not division. As always, the College will not tolerate racism or bigotry directed at any group simply because of their heritage, culture or nationality. COVID-19 remains a global concern – and we at Bergen stand in support of all members of our own global community.

Communication
The College will continue to update the community via printed materials at all locations, the e-library of resources, e-mail, social media, Bergen.edu, the Record newspaper and Bergen County-organized news conferences.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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