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Previous College Communications about the Coronavirus

May 12, 2020:
A message from Notre Dame College President J. Michael Pressimone for students and their families on the reopening of the campus this fall.

To our students and their families,

Over the last few weeks, members of my senior team and others at the College have been involved in many discussions and focus group sessions to determine how to get back to business at Notre Dame College this fall.

You have done well making the adjustment to online education, but we know, for most of you, you want to be in the mix as a part of a campus community. So do we.

Our goal is to  be open for business as close to normal as possible for the fall semester and to keep you and our faculty and staff safe and healthy. So the beginning of the academic year might not look the same, but we hope it feels the same.

To keep you safe, we are going to continue to encourage the use of facemasks until further notice and intensify our cleaning and disinfecting efforts for campus facilities throughout the summer and fall. We are going to encourage you to use common sense and be great community members who think of the health and well-being of others before they think of themselves. This is what it means to be a part of our community.

Not all of these decisions are completely in our own hands. We need to follow mandates from the governor and the Ohio Department of Health, so we may have to make some adjustments as the governor revises recommendations. For sports, the NCAA is considering multiple options.

We are open for business even as I write this email. If you have questions for faculty, staff or coaches, you should reach out to them. We are here for you, and we look forward to being with you again this fall.

J. Michael Pressimone, Ed.D.
President
Notre Dame College

A video version of this message also is available online.

 

April 30, 2020: A Message from President J. Michael Pressimone

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this email finds you well as you continue to shelter in place and practice responsible social distancing.

This past Monday, April 27, Governor DeWine announced provisions for getting Ohioans back to work through his Responsible Restart Ohio plan. To that end, we will begin to slowly open campus offices on Monday, May 4, 2020 noting the following provisions:

  • All employees are required to wear facemasks at all times while on campus.
  • Supervisors will determine which employees will come to the office and which will continue to work remotely.
  • Each employee should contact her or his supervisor about work status for each week.
  • Prior to coming to campus, each employee must complete a daily health assessment, provided electronically, attesting that you are in good health and free of COVID-19 symptoms. If you are not feeling well, you should not come to work.
  • Buildings will remain locked and accessible by name badges.
  • While on campus, we will continue to practice social distancing and office spaces may be adjusted to accommodate this.
  • Gatherings are limited to 10 people or less and social distancing must remain in place while meeting.
  • When using elevators, capacity will be limited to one person per trip. Restroom capacity will be noted at each location.

Over the last several weeks we have all had a great deal of practice and experience keeping ourselves and our families safe. I would ask you to continue using your good common sense as we begin the process of opening for business.

There have been many discussions between administration, faculty and students about the status of the fall semester. We will roll out a plan for the fall within the next two weeks. As time passes, we will refine the practices listed above and make adjustments as necessary or required by state mandate.

I thank you all for your commitment to Notre Dame and our students during this extraordinary time.

 

April 27, 2020: State of Ohio Expected to Reveal Plans to Re-open Slowly, College Details Forthcoming

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced he will start slowly to re-open the state beginning Friday, May 1. The College carefully will follow the guidelines and recommendations of the plan, which is expected to be provided in more detail during his press conference on Monday, April 27.

Employees will be notified of the plan’s implications for the College as soon as decisions are made. Notre Dame anticipates its plan, like the Governor’s, will be carried out slowly and in phases. Sensitivity to providing advance notice is understood in order to provide adequate time for individuals to address personal return to work issues.

While waiting for information about returning to work, members of the campus community need to remember the College continues to provide online programming for students, but all campus facilities are closed. Access to buildings, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., requires College identification badges.

 

April 6, 2020: An Update on the Notre Dame College Community

A member of the Notre Dame College community (hereafter referred to as they, them, their) has informed the College they are exhibiting symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and has been advised by their doctor to self-quarantine. This person has not been tested but is following proper protocol as if they are COVID-19 positive. They have not had contact with anyone on campus since March 11, 2020. The College community’s thoughts and prayers go out to them and their loved ones.

Ensuring the anonymity of any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, or is being treated as if positive, is important. Anyone who is aware of their identity, is asked to please respect their privacy and to please abide by all laws related to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), personal health information (HIPAA and ADA) and expectations for the responsible use of social media. Notre Dame is committed to doing all that we can to support this person and the broader community through what is a stressful and challenging time.

In accordance with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s “Stay at Home” order, Notre Dame continues to encourage employees to work remotely, and the College has limited the number of employees who are on campus. For those required to come to campus, the College asks that they follow proper guidelines as listed below and practice physical distancing (6 feet away from another person).

We ask that members of the College community abide by the following federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to protect their health and the health of those around them:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Follow all recommendations provided by the CDC at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html.

If a member of the Notre Dame community or someone in their household exhibits COVID-19 related symptoms, they need to please notify Susan Anderson in Human Resources (andersons@ndc.edu or 216.373.6396) so that the College may track any potential outbreaks within its community. All such personal information will be maintained confidentially.

The health and safety of every member of the Notre Dame and extended community are a priority. The College’s coronavirus page is: https://www.notredamecollege.edu/about/experience-the-college/news-and-media/coronavirus-information/.

Please contact Human Resources with any questions or concerns.

Thank you.

March 31, 2020: Heartfelt Appreciation for our Notre Dame College Community

Dear Friends,

As the COVID-19 virus continues to impact our lives, we want to express heartfelt appreciation for your prayers and support, especially for our students and their education. Students are facing the daunting challenges of virtual learning, no more competitions and canceled events. Traditions like commencement will look very different this year. Can you imagine?

Our tremendous faculty, who shepherd our students, have converted our campus classes to online courses in less than two weeks. The acceptance and resilience of the Notre Dame College community in the face of this new reality is truly inspiring.

Today let us all continue to embrace the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame in believing in God’s goodness and providential care through this pandemic. We invite you to join the NDC community in prayer and reflection in the spirit of oneness with God and one another as all humanity copes with this global crisis:

Heavenly Father, God of Light and Hope,

We offer you our confusion and fear to hold and to heal during this extraordinary time.

We ask you, Father, to bless our students and our alumni with renewed courage and compassion as we learn to cope with social distancing (and remote learning).

Teach us how to reach beyond our isolation to touch one another with care and love.

During this time, inspire us to create an inner silence, so that the unfolding pandemic around the world becomes a reality that touches our hearts; so that your Love, dear Father, may inspire a creative and joyful response.

Amen.

God bless you and your family.

John P. Galovic, Ed.D.
Interim President
Notre Dame College

Michael Pressimone, Ed.D.
President-Elect
Notre Dame College

March 25, 2020: A Message of Hope and Faith from Notre Dame Interim President Especially for Students

Dear Students,

It is hard to imagine our Notre Dame College campus without any students. Even over winter, spring and summer breaks, there are always students on campus.

It is strangely quiet on campus, as it is around the campus neighborhood. I imagine it is the same where you are, too. I write to let you know that we here at Notre Dame realize how difficult this situation is for all of you.

Our hope and prayer is that you and all of yours are well. Be safe, be smart and every day take the precautions suggested by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

This is not forever and will end in time. Keep the faith, have courage and consider those around you. Things will get back to normal, and we will emerge stronger, more confident and ever thankful for the blessings bestowed upon us.

Let us keep in mind the words of Martin Luther King, “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”

Our faculty and staff believe in you and know you have the ability to adapt to these new modes of education. They only wish they were seeing you daily to help you through these uncertain times.

And remember, pursuing a college degree is not a race, it is not a contest. It does not go to the biggest, the fastest or the strongest.

Pursuing a college degree is a journey. It is a goal that goes to those who persevere, who stay the course, who don’t give up, and who understand that it takes hard work, courage and determination. It goes to those who can overcome adversity, adapt to change and can see the light when others cannot.

And you can do it. You can make it. You’ve got what it takes.

I have faith in you and in your future.

Despite what we as a nation are confronted with – the uncertainty, the sense of loss and at times a spirit that drags us down – I am passionately optimistic about you. Each of you has the capacity to rise above this, the intellectual capacity to overcome and the strength of character needed.

And take to heart the words in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (ESV).

John Galovic, Ed.D.
Interim President
Notre Dame College

March 24, 2020

Given the recent shelter-in-place order authorized by Ohio Governor DeWine, all campus facilities, including the Administration Building, are closed. Those who have badge access will be able to get into the building from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, using their ID. The two computer labs, room 208 and 211, will remain open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but all other doors in the building will be locked.

Virtual classes resume Monday, March 30. Students who do not have access to computers or Internet, can e-mail Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Vincent Palombo at vpalombo@ndc.edu.

Residence Halls are to be vacated by Tuesday, March 31. Only students with approved exceptions may remain. Contact housing@ndc.edu with questions.

March 17, 2020

Dear Members of the Notre Dame College Community,

As COVID-19 continues to spread in the United States and Ohio showing no signs yet of relenting, our lives will continue to change in unpredictable ways in the coming days, weeks and months.

Notre Dame College, based on information from the Ohio Department of Health, is making frequent recommendations for our campus with your health and safety, and that of your families and our community, in mind.

Most recent developments include:

  • Staff are encouraged to work remotely, if possible, by the end of the workday, Friday, March 20. All who are able to should work from home. Managers are working directly with the Director of Human Resources and IT to provide access for employees to work remotely. Employees will be notified by IT when their computers have been updated to support off-site use. Specific communications regarding work schedules will be handled by each department supervisor. Eligible staff can begin working remotely immediately upon approval of their supervisor and the Director of Human Resources. Essential personnel who must work on campus will be identified by their supervisors.
  • We have made the very difficult decision to not hold Commencement 2020 as planned. Following the CDC’s recommendations to limit gatherings and in anticipation of additional restrictions that may be forthcoming, we are not moving forward with our Commencement exercises as previously planned for May 9, 2020. We will explore other possibilities to celebrate the accomplishments of the Notre Dame Class of 2020.
  • We have decided to extend our virtual learning method of instruction through the end of the spring semester. We believe this is necessary to protect the health and safety of our community and to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 on our campus and within our larger Notre Dame community. It will also provide academic consistency with remote learning extending for the remainder of the semester.Beginning Monday, March 30, classes will resume remotely until the end of the spring semester. The Office of Academic Affairs is providing specific guidance to faculty and students to maximize the use of Moodle as a learning platform over the coming weeks. Please watch for information provided by Academic Affairs regarding remote learning expectations. Notre Dame is committed to quality instruction even during these unexpected and challenging times.
  • Our campus remains open, but on-campus services will be limited. As of Friday, March 20, 2020, at 4:30 p.m., ONLY the Administration Building will be open/unlocked from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Computer labs in Rooms 208 and 211 will be open and all other classrooms will be locked. Faculty and staff who have badge access to specific buildings not open/unlocked (to include Regina Hall, Regina Auditorium, Clara Fritzsche Library, Keller Center, Falcons’ Nest) may continue to use their badges for access from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. While the Clara Fritzsche Library is closed, all services will continue to be available virtually to students and faculty for the remainder of the semester.
  • Residence Halls are to be vacated by Tuesday, March 31. Residential students will receive an email from Residence Life detailing the plan for moving out. Given the guidance we have received and our concern for our students, their families and our community, the move out process will need to be completed March 31, 2020. Only students with approved exceptions may remain. Contact housing@ndc.edu with any questions.
  • The College is working on decisions related to prorated housing and campus meal plans. These arrangements will be communicated by the end of the semester.
  • All indoor and outdoor recreational and athletic facilities are closed until further notice.
  • Before coming to campus, students should call or email the office or department they plan to visit to ensure it is open. Faculty, academic staff and support staff are available through phone and email.
  • At this time, all campus events are canceled through the end of the spring semester. Watch for updates as this date is likely to be extended.
  • We know you will continue to have questions that have not been answered. Please know that we are working diligently to provide answers. Frequently check the NotreDameCollege.edu website for updates. Members of the community can submit questions to pr@ndc.edu.

During this unprecedented time, we thank you for your adaptability, understanding and support of Notre Dame College. We are committed to your success as a student, your continued relationship as a friend or graduate of the College or an employee of this outstanding institution. Working together, we will get through this global crisis and be stronger as a result.

Though we are disappointed by having to make many of the actions we must take under these dire circumstances, we trust that you know we are doing so for the health and well-being of the entire Notre Dame family.

Thank you for your understanding, cooperation and prayers. Our good and provident God will get us through this critical point of time, a time for caution, cooperation and a calm, measured approach to decision making.

John P. Galovic, Ed.D.
Interim President
Notre Dame College

March 16, 2020

In keeping with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s recommendations on limiting personal contact as a means of slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Notre Dame College is reducing its hours of operation effective Wednesday, March 18. Regina Hall and the Administration Building will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed Saturdays and Sundays. Faculty members are welcome to use their offices during these hours.

All other campus facilities, including the Falcons’ Nest, Falcon Café, Keller Center, Library and Regina Auditorium will be closed until further notice.

On-site staff coverage is being reviewed by College administration. Possibilities include staggering shifts, telecommuting and other options. Schedules will be determined on a departmental basis in concert with Human Resources and department supervisors. Details will be sent to staff via Notre Dame email.

March 11, 2020

Dear Members of the Notre Dame College Community,

I write to you today with the announcement of significant measures to protect our community from COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We are at a pivotal time in our region to make a positive impact to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Yesterday, Governor Mike DeWine made the recommendation to Ohio-based higher education institutions to transition face-to-face classes to virtual learning for the foreseeable future in an effort to combat the spread of Coronavirus.

It is important to reiterate that there are no known cases of Coronavirus on Notre Dame College’s campus at this time. However, following Governor DeWine’s recommendation and given the proximity of confirmed cases in Cuyahoga County, we have made the following decisions:

  • All in-person, face-to-face classes will be cancelled for the remainder of today as well as tomorrow (March 12, 2020) and Friday (March 13, 2020).
  • Spring Break will be extended through Sunday, March 29, 2020.
  • Classes will resume on Monday, March 30, 2020, using our Moodle learning platform.
  • Current online courses (D4 term) will continue as scheduled.

Information for Students:

  • The campus will remain open through the extended Spring Break and throughout the duration of the semester.
  • Students are encouraged to use the extended Spring Break to prepare for virtual learning. This includes making arrangements to be able to access Moodle on a regular basis. Computer access will be available on campus.
  • Residential students are strongly encouraged to return to their permanent address until face-to-face classes resume (more information will follow via NDC email).
  • At this time, students who cannot make arrangements to return home will be permitted to stay in the residence halls. Residence Life will send follow-up information via Notre Dame email.
  • As planned, dining services will be closed from 8:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020, until 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Further information will be sent via Notre Dame email.
  • Students who ultimately remain on campus should practice social distancing and intentional hygiene measures.

Information for Faculty:

  • Faculty members are permitted to use their offices and classrooms.
  • Faculty are expected to use the extended spring break to prepare for a virtual classroom experience.
  • Updates for faculty will be forthcoming from IT and the Office of Academic Affairs.

Information for Staff:

  • The College remains open and staff are expected to report to campus.
  • In the coming days, Human Resources will issue a follow-up communication to staff members providing more clarity.

For All Notre Dame Community Members:

  • If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (a fever of 100.4 or higher, respiratory issues like a cough or shortness of breath) or you have been in direct contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19, please do not come to campus. Instead, call your healthcare provider and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health at 216-201-2000, and follow the CDC guidelines for self-quarantining.
  • Effective immediately, all indoor campus events are cancelled through and including April 13, 2020. Event organizers should inform guests and attendees that their events are cancelled.
  • Student athletes, we are monitoring the situation with guidance from the NCAA and Mountain East Conference. Please watch for communication from the Athletic Department.
  • No new events should be scheduled on campus through at least April 14, 2020.
  • College-sponsored international travel is suspended until further notice.
  • Non-essential College-sponsored domestic travel is suspended until further notice.

Our goal with these measures is to proactively limit the potential transmission of the virus in our community. Certainly, these decisions will be disruptive, but they have been made with the health and well-being of our campus community in mind. Members of the community can submit specific questions to pr@ndc.edu. Please be sure to monitor your email regularly as additional information becomes available.

John Galovic, Ed.D.
Interim President
Notre Dame College

 

March 9, 2020 

Notre Dame College is providing an update on the growing national concern about the novel Corona virus (also known as COVID-19) and the College’s management planning for it locally on campus, the broader environment and the likelihood of contagion spreading.

Spring break is approaching. As of today, March 9, 2020, all on-campus operational systems are NORMAL, but students and travelers are advised to monitor the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) websites for current recommendations on travel safety. There is a wealth of information with links provided below:

Ohio Department of Health Resources for Colleges and Universities:

https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/novel-coronavirus/resources/novel-coronavirus-covid-2019-fact-sheet-campuses

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

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

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people are not at risk of contracting the virus if they have not had direct contact with a person with active symptoms of the disease. Direct contact includes exposure to an infected person’s body fluids or providing care to an individual with active symptoms. Simply shaking hands with an individual is considered a very low risk contact. Being in the near vicinity (within 6 feet) of another individual or passing an individual in the street is considered of no risk.

But everyone must be alert. As of today, the corona virus disease has affected more than 500 people nationwide resulting in 22 deaths. There are a few reported cases reported in the state of Ohio, so the College remains on high alert.

Because the disease is spreading, the College has formed a committee to keep current on the daily changes and recommendations of knowledgeable public safety officials. This on-campus group includes nursing, biology, administrative and staff personnel meeting regularly to stay on top of the situation.

The College is closely following the policies being established by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH), the ODH and the CDC. A growing number of public events are being cancelled to slow the spread of illness; the College will follow CCBH and ODH recommendations on what, if any, events or activities may be affected.

Considering the potential disruption of campus services, the College asks all students, faculty and staff to evaluate such things as:

  • Can my job, class, lab assignment, research, internship or any other of my daily academic requirements be accomplished remotely (off campus)? If so, do I have the resources I would need to do my work and or studies such as computer, Internet, software, etc.?
  • Do I have medical insurance or a support system that will cover all or most of my expenses should I contact the virus?
  • If I need to be quarantined for a period of time, would I be able to take care of my medical and pharmaceutical needs or would I require additional nursing or financial support?

The CDC protocol recommends  a person seek medical care immediately if they develop a mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Symptoms of virus

Additional information about symptoms is available from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

As always, the best remedy is to be prepared in advance.

  • Avoid close contact with people who show any symptoms;
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then immediately dispose of it in the trash;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas and surfaces, such as phones and television remotes;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Stay home when you are sick. Isolate yourself and get appropriate medical care.

If the situation on campus should change, members of the community will be notified through the established communications channels of: email, text messages, Alertus notifications (for those who have enrolled in this no-cost service) and the primary College Website (NotreDameCollege.edu). Details about Alertus campus safety alerts and other emergency procedures are available on the College Police webpages.

Nearby medical facilities include:

  • Sender’s Pediatrics is just across from campus on Green Road.
  • Beachwood Family Health Center is a part of the Cleveland Clinic and is near Beachwood Mall.
  • UH Suburban is a part of University Hospitals and is down Green Road before Mayfield Road.
  • Family Urgent Care is on Mayfield Road just east of Richmond Road.

More information about the Coronavirus can be found online:

CDC Main Web site

https://cdc.gov

The World Health Organization

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

More from the Ohio Department of Health:

https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/Novel-Coronavirus/2019-nCoV

Cuyahoga County Board of Health

https://www.ccbh.net/coronavirus/

As always, the health and safety of all of students, faculty, staff, visitors and the community is the College’s top priority.

Additional updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

 

February 5, 2020

As the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus is our top priority, we are issuing this Health Advisory for the Novel Coronavirus (Coronavirus) that originated in Wuhan, China.

Be assured that currently there are NO cases of Coronavirus on the Notre Dame College campus, none confirmed in Ohio and 11 confirmed nationally to date. The College is following information and updates provided by the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of State, the Ohio Department of Health and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to monitor the situation and follow their recommended protocols.

At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to categorize the virus as “low risk to Americans.”  Unless you have recently traveled to China or have been around someone who has been to China and is exhibiting symptoms of the Coronavirus, your risk of getting sick is low.

If you have traveled to China in the last 14 days and are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus – fever, cough, shortness of breath -it  is recommended you call your health practitioner before seeking care.

Be aware also that we are in the midst of the annual flu season, and it is not too late to get vaccinated. This season’s strain of the virus is especially aggressive, and it is highly recommended that all who are able to be vaccinated do so. The CDC estimates more than 10,000 people in the US will die from influenza this year.

As always, it is important to remember that the best way to prevent any respiratory illness is to practice routine good hygiene habits:

  • Wash your hands often, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer in between washings.
  • Avoid others who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect common-touch surfaces frequently.
  • Sneeze or cough into the bend of your elbow to keep germs from spreading.
  • Don’t share cups, spoons, forks, etc. with anyone.
  • Contact a doctor, urgent care facility or emergency department if you become sick – don’t take chances.
  • Stay home at the first sign of symptoms such as fever, sore throat and cough. If you are sick, don’t go to school or work. Don’t cough or sneeze near others.
  • Take care of yourself. Be sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy and drink plenty of water.

Additional resources are available

There are many sources of detailed information about Coronavirus including answers to frequently asked questions, travel information and frequent updates to other important information. They include:

To ensure the health and well-being of all students and community members, we will provide updates and new guidance when appropriate.

Questions should be directed to Tera Johnson, Dean of Students, at 216.373.5181 or by email at tjohnson@ndc.edu.