Unfortunately, we have learned that a member of our College community has tested positive for COVID-19. I am writing to update you with some important information, and to reassure you that the College continues to take every step possible to ensure the health and safety of our faculty, students and staff.
The individual who has tested positive was last on Main Campus on March 12 and did not experience symptoms until March 16. The individual is at home, recovering from the virus. The College is working with the Philadelphia Department of Health, and anyone who was in contact with this person will be contacted. I want to remind our community: if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your physician immediately. If you do not have a primary care physician, you should contact the Philadelphia Health Department at 215-685-6741 for information on how to get tested. Only individuals experiencing symptoms of the virus should seek testing or medical attention.
At this time, the College remains closed, and faculty and staff should be working remotely unless otherwise notified. Students should be studying off-campus. The College will be following all CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting prior to campus reopening. We encourage all of you to continue following the CDC’s recommendations to remain healthy and well.
Donald Guy Generals, Ed.D.
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About the Coronavirus
Travel to Countries on the CDC Warning ListFollow these Guidelines if You Have Traveled Recently
Have there been any confirmed cases on campus?
As of March 22, 2020, one person in the College community has tested positive for COVID-19. The College is working with the Philadelphia Department of Health, and anyone who was in contact with this person will be contacted. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your physician immediately. If you do not have a primary care physician, you should contact the Philadelphia Health Department at 215-685-6741 for information on how to get tested. Only individuals experiencing symptoms of the virus should seek testing or medical attention.
How do I know if I need to self-quarantine?
The College has already required any faculty, staff and students who traveled to the higher-risk countries of China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan, to self-quarantine and not come to campus for a two-week time period from when they return from these countries. The College will be continue to follow CDC guidance on who else should self-quarantine and not come to campus. According to the CDC, if you were exposed to someone without symptoms who was potentially exposed to someone with the virus, it is not necessary for you to self-quarantine.
What steps should I take if I need to self-quarantine?
Faculty or staff who were exposed directly to someone with COVID-19 and need to self-quarantine should inform their department head(s)/supervisor(s) and contact Lisa Hutcherson, Associate Vice President of Human Resources. Students who have been exposed directly to someone with COVID-19 and need to self-quarantine should report this information to their instructors and the Dean of Students, David Asencio. Faculty or staff who need to self-quarantine and are concerned about their sick bank of time should contact Lisa Hutcherson. Students should work with their instructors to develop methods to stay on track.
Will the college share information if anyone on campus is being tested or determined to be infected?
The latest news about the College’s response to COVID-19 will continue to be distributed by email, on social media @ccpedu and updated at ccp.edu/coronavirus. Text message alerts will also be sent to the community as necessary.
Student and Class Information
Are classes canceled?
Classes are canceled while the College is closed from March 14, 2020 – March 28, 2020, to enable faculty to transition to online and other alternative course delivery methods for the remainder of the spring semester.
Is there a plan to move classes online?
Once classes resume, those classes where instruction can be delivered online may be moved to online delivery for the remainder of the spring semester. Faculty may also elect to hold hybrid online/in-person courses, or to pursue other alternative methods.
Will student workers be paid during the closure?
Student workers will continue to be paid for the hours they would normally be working. This also applies to students who are paid through Work Study, thanks to Department of Education approval. Work Study students who work for off-campus agencies can continue working with approval from those agencies. If those students cannot work, the College will ensure they are paid for their usual hours.
Can I register for classes during the closure?
Online registration will open for students as planned, beginning March 16, 2020. During this time, students will also be able to make payments online at MyCCP.
Where are meals available for Philadelphia School District students while schools are closed?
All schools within the School District of Philadelphia will be closed, Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27, 2020. The District is coordinating with the City’s Office of Children and Families, Parks & Recreation, and many other departments and nonprofit partners to provide meal service and activities in safe spaces throughout the city. Check here for a listing of locations and here for a map of locations where you can find meals during the week.
What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
On March 18, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in response to the spread of the coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19. The legislation provides up to 80 hours of paid-sick-leave benefits if employees need leave to care for their own or someone else's coronavirus-related issues. The FFCRA also updates the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide eligible employees with job-protected, paid leave when they are unable to work—either onsite or remotely—because their minor son's or daughter's school or child care service is closed due to the public health emergency. For additional details, please refer to the Human Resources section.
Is the College allowing employees to work from home?
The College is closing between March 14, 2020 and March 28, 2020. Staff who will be expected to report to campus or work remotely will be notified by their supervisors. Future decisions about remote work will be communicated to the community as necessary. Employees who are requesting to work from home under the medical advice of their doctors should notify Human Resources about accommodations under ADA online.
Will I be able to gain access to the College?
Public Safety will be at the Main Campus and Regional Center locations to accommodate those who must be on campus. On Main Campus, please use the 16th street entrance to gain access to the College. Please have your College ID card visible while on campus. The surface lot on 17th Street and CBI garage will be open for employee parking. The Main Garage will be closed. If you are registered to park at the CBI garage, you will have normal access and if you do not normally park there, present your College ID and you will be given access to park. Regional Center access remains the same, but the Public Safety team will be minimal, so expect routine service calls to be slowed a bit.
Is the College making any other Human Resources accommodations for employees?
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) has escalated into a serious global health threat, the College is working with our medical insurance provider, Independence Blue Cross, to make sure that our employees can receive appropriate testing and treatment for this virus if needed and making temporary modifications to our current benefit plan design and College policies.
Is the College going to make sure that our employees can receive appropriate testing and treatment for this virus if needed?
Yes, as the virus has escalated into a serious global threat, we have been working with Independence Blue Cross and CVS, our medical insurance and pharmaceutical providers, on the following measures:
Waiver of Co-Pays for COVID-19 Testing
Independence Blue Cross has agreed to cover and waive member cost-sharing (such as co-pays) for the COVID-19 test when performed at a hospital or an approved laboratory.
Given that the test is new and specific billing codes for commercially available tests were only recently designated, members should report any concerns about claim payment to IBC’s customer service staff at the number on your Keystone/Personal Choice member card. At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state labs currently performing the testing are not billing for COVID-19 testing, so members should not incur costs when tested by these labs.
At this time, there is no specific antiviral treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. You should receive care from your doctor to help relieve symptoms as you would other viral respiratory infections. Independence Blue Cross will continue to cover medically necessary health care costs to treat infectious diseases, including COVID-19, based on the terms of your insurance plans.
Prevent Interruption of Medication Availability
We know that access to needed medication is important to you and your family members during the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. For maintenance medications (prescriptions commonly used to treat conditions that are considered chronic or long-term), CVS Caremark is waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescriptions at any in-network pharmacy. Relaxing the “refill-too-soon” limitations will allow you to fill maintenance medication prescriptions ahead of their normal fill schedule to ensure you and your covered dependents are able to maintain an adequate supply of medication on hand. If you take long-term maintenance medications, we encourage you to take action now to refill your maintenance prescriptions for 90-day supplies.
Also beginning immediately, CVS Pharmacy will waive charges for home delivery of all prescription medications. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraging people at higher risk for COVID-19 complications to stay at home as much as possible, this is a convenient option to avoid coming to the pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.
College Services and Events
What services will still be available?
Students will continue to be able to make payments, register for classes and request help online, even while the College is closed.
Are events in April Canceled?
Yes, all internal and external College events are canceled for April.
How are we planning to deal with commencement or other large events?
As this situation is changing quickly, the College is paying close attention to city guidance related to large gatherings. We will communicate any changes to plans for commencement with as much notice as possible.
Is the Black & Gold Gala being postponed?
The College has not yet made decisions about any events scheduled for June 2020.
How can I make sure I don’t miss any COVID-19 updates from the College?
Be sure to monitor your email as well as ccp.edu/coronavirus. The College community will also be alerted via text message as necessary.
Noncredit Continuing Education, Workforce and Professional Development Students
I am a noncredit student in a continuing education, workforce and/or professional development program. Will my classes, workshops, and/or programs be suspended over the next 2 weeks?
Noncredit classes, workshops, contract trainings, and workforce programs operated by the Division of Workforce and Economic Innovation (WEI) will be postponed until March 28, 2020.
About the Coronavirus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all Americans take safety precautions and continue to monitor news of the coronavirus outbreak, which causes a respiratory illness known as COVID-19.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases in humans and other mammals, birds, bats and reptiles. In humans, they cause upper respiratory infection symptoms such as fever, cough, stuffy nose and shortness of breath. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Many mild cases can be treated with rest and over-the-counter medication. In the more severe cases, breathing difficulties may occur and medical intervention should be sought.
Epidemiology experts have said the best form of preparedness is to remain calm and take the same steps taken to avoid the flu and common cold.
What to Do About the Coronavirus
There is no vaccine for the coronavirus. To help prevent an infection, avoid travel to areas with high outbreaks, comply with travel bans and do the same things you would do to avoid the common cold.
Cover your coughs and sneezes.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trashcan; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hand, but still wash your hands.
Clean your hands often.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Try to avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes.
Avoid sharing personal household items.
Don’t share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people or pets in your home. All these items should be washed thoroughly after use with soap and water.
Stay home from classes or work if you are ill; monitor your symptoms; seek medical intervention as needed.
If you have any symptoms, such as a cough, fever or breathing difficulties, do not come to class or work. Students should inform their instructor(s) if they need to be absent due to illness and comply with their instructor(s)' policies. Faculty and staff should inform their department head/supervisor if they are ill and need to be absent from work in accordance with College and department policies. Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your health care provider and tell them that you may have, or may need to be evaluated for the coronavirus. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility.
What the College is Doing About the Coronavirus
Hand sanitizing stations.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers will be located in numerous areas around the College's Main Campus and Regional Centers, including but not limited to reception areas and bathrooms.
Cleaning high-traffic areas.
Additional personnel and additional efforts are being made to clean and disinfect high-traffic areas of the College.
Coronavirus information session.
Faculty in Community College of Philadelphia's Biology and Nursing departments hosted an online information session to present current information on the coronavirus on Thursday, March 12. Dr. Linda Powell and other Biology faculty members discussed the known pathophysiology and the trending of the virus. Dr. Carol Moriarity from the Nursing Department presented information on personal protection, prevention of spread and treatment. You can watch the presentation here.
Travel to Countries on the CDC Warning List
The Centers for Disease Control has issued elevated travel warnings for five locations around the world where the COVID-19 coronavirus has become sustained or widespread. They are: China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea.
Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our students, faculty and staff, the College is requiring anyone who traveled within the last two weeks to any of the five countries on the CDC’s warning list to refrain from coming to campus until Monday, March 23. This is based on CDC recommendations of 14-day self-containment after potential exposure.
During that time, we ask you to monitor your health carefully for signs of infection, including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Please seek medical attention in the event you develop these symptoms.
If this message applies to you, please email your faculty members and copy Dean of Students Dave Asencio ( ) to let them know that you will need to refrain from coming to campus until March 23. You should work with them to determine next steps to continue your coursework while you are off campus. Upon your return to campus, you will need to submit documentation of your travel to a high-alert country.
Faculty and Staff
If this message applies to you, please notify your supervisor or department head as quickly as possible, and let them know you will be away from campus until March 23, using sick time. You should also copy Associate Vice President of Human Resources Lisa Hutcherson ( ) when you do so. If your bank of sick time is of concern, please let Lisa Hutcherson know right away. Upon your return to campus, you will need to submit documentation of your travel to a high-alert country.