Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness and Response

LRSC President Doug Darling will provide updates to the COVID-19 situation and its impact on the college, its students, faculty, staff, and community.

Please note the following changes regarding Dining Services and the Learning Commons: 

Dining Services will close Wednesday afternoon (April 1). The few remaining students in the resident halls are now living in apartments with kitchen facilities. College Care for Kids remains open and have made other arrangements for meals. 

The Learning Commons is now closed. Sheila will continue to support students, faculty, and staff with their material/resource needs by phone (701) 662-1533 or email: Sheila.Collins@lrsc.edu. Resources are also available at: https://www.lrsc.edu/student-life/library-learning-commons. New Horizons computer lab will still be accessible. 

Staff and faculty continue to reach out to current and prospective students. Through this entire process, Lake Region State College is continuing to show its grit and create positive results for students. 

Stay safe and healthy,

Doug Darling
 

Our first and highest priorities remain educating our students in the best way possible, as well as promoting the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. Because we are trying to have as few people as possible physically on campus in offices, we are adjusting the setup of the switchboard/information window.

•    Beginning tomorrow (Tuesday March 31st) the switchboard will be answered remotely (M-F 7:45-4:45) by Jennifer, Joycelyn, and/or Bobbi. 
•    Fed Ex, USPS, and UPS will continue deliveries of mail and packages each day as normal.  
•    Outgoing mail must be in the mailroom by 11:00 each day as one of them will come to campus to process at this time.  
•    To maintain social distancing, please stay in the hallway and communicate with them through the Information window while they are there.  
•    The mail boxes will be locked from the inside, so if you stop by to get your mail you will need your mailbox key.

A team from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers St. Paul division will be in North Dakota, and possibly on our campus, this week. The Corp is visiting many ND communities to analyze logistics of various facilities as temporary medical units in the fight against COVID-19. More information will be made available if future plans involve LRSC. 

I will send out additional messages as needed throughout the days and weeks ahead. Please stay safe and healthy. 
 

As the first full week with most of us working or learning from a distance concludes, I want to sincerely say “Thank You” to everyone who transitioned their daily routines into new practices.

Although we aren’t physically working face to face, we are keeping our teams and groups together thanks to technology. Thank you to all faculty, staff, and students who are continuing operations using Blackboard, Microsoft Teams, Instant Messaging, and other devices. Please be reassured, that while we are working remotely, we are staying connected.  Lake Region State College is a great place because of our flexibility and service to students and each other. Please don’t lose that camaraderie as we continue with the semester. 

Our first and highest priorities remain educating our students in the best way possible, and promoting the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff.

Soon we will start the preparation for recovery and return to Lake Region State College…bolder, brighter, and better than before. 

Taking a page from our Governor’s playbook, please show gratitude to your coworkers and to our health care workers and first responders.  

Please stay safe and healthy. 

Doug Darling, Ph.D. President
Lake Region State College
 

Today starts a new chapter at Lake Region State College. The new normal includes delivery of classes online and the majority of faculty and staff working remotely. As stated last week, there still are processes to work out and we will be in a constant state of change for some time. Please be understanding of each area’s and individual’s situation while we convert to these new workstyles.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, it became apparent that holding our traditional commencement activities in May would be impractical.  LRSC’s Spring 2020 graduation,  Nursing’s May pinning ceremony, and Adult Learning Center graduations are canceled. The Athletic banquet scheduled for May 14 has been canceled and the Booster drawing will take place during the Booster Golf Tournament in July.

We’ve continued to be responsive to students leaving our housing units. The move out process in the residence halls is progressing smoothly thanks to the organized procedure established by Housing. We hope to complete the process with all housing students in as precise a fashion.

To alleviate some traffic near offices and the Learning Commons, the College Care for Kids drop off and pick up entrance will be changed to the door between the Dining Room and the Adult Learning Center effective Tuesday morning (March 24). The Adult Learning Center reserved parking spots in the North Hall parking lot can be used for drop-off and pick up purposes. 

Communication with the campus remains key and we easily can become bombarded with messages. For the near future, the various listservs on campus will require approval before messages are sent to intended audiences. This will help limit repetitive messages during this time and stop messages meant for a small, specific group from being sent to such a large group.

Last week we shared that LRSC is creating a calling/texting plan, a checklist, and guidance to communicate with the large number of students who have transitioned from face to face classes into online. Faculty, please mark in Starfish should you suspect any issues with student learning.   Jennifer and Joycelyn will be the primary receptionists moving forward and will be a great resource for you if you need any assistance, have questions, or simply need to find someone or something.   

As always, please watch your email and the LRSC website for updates: https://www.lrsc.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-preparedness-and-response.

For the past week, each department and work unit has been creating staffing plans that will allow us to accomplish the important work that must be done, serve our students and faculty, and maximize the health and safety of everyone. 

We are using email, instant messaging, telephones, and technology to communicate with each other, maximizing social distancing by not entering another’s workspace unless invited to do so, and washing our hands with reckless abandon!  

We still have a lot of work to do and consider our staffing plan to be in a constant state of change.  Administration will be meeting daily to evaluate, monitor, and adjust operations as needed. Jennifer and Joycelyn will be the primary receptionists moving forward and will be a great resource for you if you need any assistance, have questions, or simply need to find someone or something.   

Updates related to COVID-19 will be listed in the news section on our website homepage or this page.

Cat, Brandi, and Steve are working on a plan to make contact with all of our full time liberal arts students who have been thrust into an online learning world they did not choose for themselves.  LRSC is creating a calling/texting plan, a checklist, and guidance sheet for callers.  Faculty MUST make raising a flag in Starfish an absolutely necessary task immediately should they suspect a problem.     

We are counting on our CTE faculty, who remain in contact with their students, to make sure the online-academic portion of their course load is going well.  I would ask each of you to proactively ask your students how things are going.  If you should learn that one of your students is struggling online, it is imperative that you let us know.   We want these students to be successful and we have the staffing resources to help.  The goal is to do such a good job with this that our retention and graduation rates actually increase!    

Gary and his team in IT are working hard to prepare the technology that employees need to fully function from home, but it is going to take some time.  I have asked him to prioritize the best he can.  Some machines are ready now, some not until next week.  Please be patient and more importantly demonstrate patience!    

Those working remotely need to remember to use safe practices regarding cyber security. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem issued a press release earlier this week advising North Dakotans to be cautious about coronavirus-related scams, including helpful tips.

As always, Please watch your email and the LRSC website for updates.

Lake Region State College is following the most recent information regarding the COVID-19 global pandemic.  As the information presents itself we are faced with making changes in how we deliver education, house and feed students, and provide other community services.    

Earlier today the Governor issued an executive order essentially closing in house dining in any food service establishment.  As such, LRSC Dining Services will transition to take out only and the Dining Room and Student Union will be closed to food consumption.    

He also issued an executive order declaring all state buildings closed to the public.  While not specific to colleges and universities, we face the same challenges in trying to protect those that live, learn, and work here.  Effective tomorrow, all exterior doors will be locked and require key card access.  College Care for Kids families will be allowed access only via the doors closest the Learning Commons and Athletic Offices.  

We previously notified everyone that we were transitioning all face to face academic and lecture based courses to online and had hoped to be able to accelerate lab learning for several of our career and technical education programs.  Unfortunately, we have had to transition to alternative delivery for the vast majority of these students.  Affected students have been notified of the changes and how it affects them.

As students come back from spring break and make arrangements with our housing director to leave the residence halls, we will be simultaneously launching a student outreach plan to ensure those students who chose face to face learning and now must do so online are not left without resources.

We are also following the Governor’s recommendation that employees practice social distancing, limit public interactions and gatherings, and telecommute when possible.   Although not all personnel will be physically present during the work day, all services are still available.  Please contact the LRSC switchboard, (800) 443-1313, (701) 662-1600, should you need any information or assistance.    

It is important to take note of the most current travel recommendations regarding self-quarantine. The North Dakota Department of Health has many resources for people regarding COVID-19. Guides, checklists and more information can be found at: https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus-public.  Anyone in the greater Devils Lake region feeling ill should call the Altru Hotline to discuss symptoms before going to the medical facility. That Hotline number is (701) 780-6358.  

In response to the most recent information and to help mitigate the spread of COVID 19, LRSC has made the following operational changes:

  • Academic and lecture based courses, including those scheduled through the Devils Lake Campus, the GFAFB, and UND Launch!, will be taught online (for the remainder of the semester) using the Blackboard learning management system.  Students should watch for an email from their instructor, the base director, and/or the Launch! coordinator.  Students should log into their courses on Monday, March 23rd unless otherwise directed.  
  • Career and Technical Education students in Wind, Auto, Precision Ag, and Simulation Technology should return to campus after spring break and report to their program location at 9 am on Monday, March 23rd.
  • The Minot class of the Peace Officer Training Program will resume as scheduled.  Lt. Maritato will provide detailed information on Monday March 23rd regarding new protocol.    
  • The Devils Lake, Grand Forks, and Mayville students in the Dakota Nursing Program will resume learning, testing, clinicals, labs, and simulation as coordinated by the DNP Consortium Director. 
  • Residence hall students whose courses are all academic/lecture based and will be delivered online are asked not to return to the residence halls after spring break.  Please contact Housing Director Scott Dunbar for more information.  
  • International Students and students in Wind, Auto, Precision Ag, Simulation Technology, and Nursing who live in the residence halls may return as scheduled following spring break.     
  • The Lake Region State College campus is open to current students, faculty, and staff but is closed to the general public.  
  • College Care for Kids remains open.
  • The Learning Commons will be open 7:45 to 4:45 Monday through Friday and closed evenings and weekends.
  • Interlibrary loan will be unavailable.  
  • The LRSC Education Office at the Grand Forks Air Force Base has been closed as the GFAFB has been restricted to essential personnel only.      
  • All spring athletic seasons including, Volleyball, Softball, Baseball, and the Clay Target/Shooting Sports league have been cancelled.  

The following scheduled activities have been cancelled:

  • The Blood Drive scheduled for March 23rd
  • Walking in Two Worlds, Women’s Panel scheduled for March 25th
  • The Hypnotist, scheduled for March 26th
  • Campus Preview Day for April 4th 
  • Campus Registration Day for April 22nd 
  • Annual Scholarship Event for April 22nd 
  • Phi Theta Kappa Initiation for April 23rd 

An additional update will be provided on Wednesday, March 18th and again on Friday, March 20th.  Please watch your email and/or the LRSC website for these updates.  

https://www.governor.nd.gov/news/first-case-novel-coronavirus-confirmed-north-dakota-work-continues-prevent-spread

https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

In support of the national and state efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, Lake Region State College will be adjusting its plans for course delivery, hours of operation, and more. The new operational guidelines for the college will be sent out Monday, March 16th. Please watch your email and the LRSC website for updates: https://www.lrsc.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-preparedness-and-response.

In the meantime, students in need of services are expected to call rather than visit the campus in person. 

All staff should report to work as scheduled on Monday. 

The health and well-being of our community is of the utmost importance. This is a fluid situation, and Lake Region State College will continue to monitor and communicate changes. 

Living and working like we do, we can’t eliminate all contact completely, but we need to take prudent steps to slow down the spread of the virus. 

Information and updates on this ongoing medical issue can be found at the following sites:

https://www.governor.nd.gov/news/first-case-novel-coronavirus-confirmed-north-dakota-work-continues-prevent-spread

https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Gov. Doug Burgum today declared a state of emergency for North Dakota in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis and issued guidance to K-12 schools with Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler and State Health Officer Mylynn Tufte.

The governor’s executive order activates the State Emergency Operations Plan to assist local and tribal officials and directs all state agencies to provide resources and capabilities, including authorization to activate the North Dakota National Guard. President Trump, in declaration a national emergency this afternoon, urged every state to set up emergency operations centers immediately.

“We have been preparing for this since January when we activated Emergency Operations Center in the North Dakota Department of Health,” Burgum said. “Today’s emergency declaration is the next logical step in our proactive efforts to contain and mitigate the coronavirus disease through a whole-of-government and whole-of-community approach. It gives us more access to federal resources, including testing capabilities. We will continue to keep the public informed with updates and additional decisions as this situation rapidly evolves.”

Information and updates on this ongoing medical issue can be found at the following sites:

https://www.governor.nd.gov/news/first-case-novel-coronavirus-confirmed-north-dakota-work-continues-prevent-spread

https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

As of today (March 13th, 2020) LRSC plans include the following. Remember that these plans are fluid and could change at any time. Please watch your email and the LRSC website for updates: https://www.lrsc.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-preparedness-and-response

  • Classes at our home campus in Devils Lake will resume after spring break (March 23rd) as currently scheduled and in their original format.  
  • Classes at our Grand Forks Air Force Base will resume with the start of Term IV after spring break (March 23rd).   
  • UND Collaborative Enrollees will be accommodated by faculty and provided a way to participate remotely until UND resumes face to face delivery.
  • The Minot class of the Peace Officer Training Program will continue as scheduled.
  • The Devils Lake, Grand Forks, and Mayville students in the Dakota Nursing Program will participate as required by the LRSC Nursing Director.
  • As some Dakota Nursing Program campuses are suspending face to face classes, methods of instruction, testing, clinicals, labs, and simulation will be coordinated through the Director of the Dakota Nursing Program.  
  • LRSC Launch! classes on the campus of UND will suspend face to face classes and utilize technology to deliver coursework until UND resumes face to face operations. 
  • The Lake Region State College campus will remain open and faculty and staff should report to campus as scheduled.  
  • No changes have been made to Dining Services or our Residence Halls at this time.   

Lake Region State College is committed to the health and well-being of our entire community of faculty, staff, and students.   

We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary.  As such, a decision to suspend the face to face delivery of courses could be made quickly as new information presents itself.  Faculty should prepare to teach utilizing the Blackboard Learning Management System and students should prepare to learn in this way.   

Please check the LRSC home page and your email daily for additional updates.  

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We are all aware of the steadily increasing reports of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) which is causing disease and deaths in most countries. With cases now being reported in ND, MN, and SD, it is rapidly approaching our own communities. To better protect our students, staff, and faculty, Lake Region State College has instituted a suspension of all college-sponsored international travel through March 31. As of now, we are not suspending college-sponsored domestic travel, but all college-sponsored travel will receive ongoing regular assessment as this outbreak progresses. It is important for students to be prepared to continue their academic coursework in the event the situation escalates and the campus is unable to hold face to face classes. We would ask students and faculty to take their electronic devices and books with them when they leave for spring break so that teaching and learning can continue uninterrupted online using the Blackboard Learning Management System.

Whether you are traveling domestically for a college-sponsored program, or traveling anywhere for personal reasons, we ask you to thoughtfully take several things into consideration to protect yourselves and others around you. These considerations are particularly important now as many of you have travel related plans over spring break.

  1. The risk of acquiring infection increases substantially the more you are around other people. One of the key principles of mitigating serious communicable diseases is to practice social distancing, (i.e. avoiding events and situations that put us in close contact with many people). Travel frequently puts us in close contact with many people, such as in airplanes, airports, restaurants, and large events or gatherings. Please consider if your travel is necessary, and if it could possibly be postponed or altogether canceled.
  2. People who are at higher risk of more severe outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 should strongly consider foregoing any travel. This would include people over the age of 60, or those with underlying chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, or immunosuppressive conditions.  
  3. If you must travel, try as much as possible to practice social distancing by avoiding large crowds and keeping space between you and others where people congregate. Practice frequent hand-hygiene by washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based product.  
  4. Once you return home, please be vigilant for the development of any signs or symptoms of respiratory tract infection in yourself. If you develop any symptoms of fever, cough, or sore throat, please present to your own medical provider as appropriate, and do not come to work or class until you have been evaluated and your symptoms have resolved.
  • Classes at our home campus in Devils Lake will resume after spring break (March 23rd) as currently scheduled and in their original format.  
  • Classes at our Grand Forks Air Force Base will resume with the start of Term IV after spring break (March 23rd).   
  • UND Collaborative Enrollees will be accommodated by faculty and provided a way to participate remotely until UND resumes face to face delivery.
  • The Minot class of the Peace Officer Training Program will continue as scheduled.
  • The Devils Lake, Grand Forks, and Mayville students in the Dakota Nursing Program will participate as required by the LRSC Nursing Director.
  • As some Dakota Nursing Program campuses are suspending face to face classes, methods of instruction, testing, clinicals, labs, and simulation will be coordinated through the Director of the Dakota Nursing Program.  
  • LRSC Launch! classes on the campus of UND will suspend face to face classes and utilize technology to deliver coursework until UND resumes face to face operations. 
  • The Lake Region State College campus will remain open and faculty and staff should report to campus as scheduled.  
  • No changes have been made to Dining Services or our Residence Halls.   

Lake Region State College is committed to the health and well-being of our entire community of faculty, staff, and students.   

We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary.  As such, a decision to suspend the face to face delivery of courses could be made quickly as new information presents itself.  Faculty should prepare to teach utilizing the Blackboard Learning Management System and students should prepare to learn in this way.   Please check the LRSC home page and your email daily for additional updates.  

Keep watch in your email for further notices regarding measures being taken by the NDUS or Lake Region State College. 

Please have a safe and healthy spring break.

Information and updates on this ongoing medical issue can be found at the following sites:

https://www.governor.nd.gov/news/first-case-novel-coronavirus-confirmed-north-dakota-work-continues-prevent-spread

https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Thank you for your consideration, and I wish you a happy and healthy spring break!