PCC makes plans to cope with COVID-19

Gale Rose
Pratt Community College continues to monitor COVID-19 impact, while insuring that students have access to normal classes and educational opportunities, like this Phi Thetta Kappa induction ceremony last week. Plans are in place to move all classes to online access, if necessary.

Pratt Community College has plans in place and is working on options to cope with the novel coronavirus disease making headlines across the world.

The college is monitoring the local situation with the county health department as well as monitoring the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control, said PCC President Michael Calvert.

At this time, there are no plans to delay the start of classes after spring break. Calvert said the college has to ability to notify students, faculty and staff at a moments notice if things should escalate but for now, its operations as normal.

If it becomes necessary to move all classes to an online basis, the campus has a system already in place and the change could be completed in 24 to 48 hours, Calvert said.

"In two days, we can be up and running," Calvert said. "We have the capacity to do that but were not doing so right now."

The college is communicating with students on good health practices like washing hands and avoiding touching the face. The staff is increasing the use of antibacterial products on door knobs, tables and surfaces frequently touched.

No events have been canceled but the college has the ability to notify students, faculty, staff and the community if necessary through social media and the campus emergency notification system.

Alternative accommodations for International students and students who live a long distance from campus are being investigated if PCC has to close the residence halls. Calvert said he hopes these plans don't have to put into action but the college is ready if it is necessary.

While the college has some plans already in place and are working on others, in a situation like this, there could be unexpected action that needs to be taken.

"There's no way you can think of everything," Calvert said.

For now, the college will continue to operate as usual but it's prepared to take action quickly if necessary.