Campus Updates

CAMPUS UPDATES

In an effort to keep our campus and our community updated concerning the operations at Elizabeth City State University, we are housing all pertinent information here: 

 
Chancellor's Communique 
September 4, 2020

Greetings, Vikings.

As we wrap up week 4 of fall semester, I commend you for following the protocols and adhering to the guidelines. Wearing your face masks, social distancing, daily self-health checks, and frequent hand washing and sanitizing have kept the number of positive COVID-19 cases to a minimum. We appreciate your diligence in reporting symptoms and getting tested.

All ECSU employees received two ECSU-branded face masks. If you did not receive your face masks, you can pick them up starting Monday, Sept. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Chancellor’s Suite on the 3rd floor of the M.D Thorpe Administration Building. While the ECSU-branded face masks are great quality, if yours is damaged for some reason and you need an additional face mask, it can be picked up in the same location.

As part of their Viking Care Kits, all students received three ECSU-branded face masks along with a thermometer, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes. If students have not picked up their kits, they should see Ferreli McGilvary in Student Engagement. Students are encouraged to take care of their masks, as they are to last them throughout the year.

As we adhere to the guidelines, there is one best practice we want to ensure we all follow – washing our face masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has outlined how to properly wear face masks, including the best way to remove them, and how to wash face masks. The CDC recommends washing face masks regularly.

This is a reminder to wash your face masks! Your commitment and dedication have limited the spread and enabled us to remain on campus. Let’s continue to do our individual and collective parts to safeguard the health and well-being of our campus community.


Previous Campus Updates

 

On Aug. 12, ECSU launched a dashboard that shares the number of employees, students or subcontractors who have known, confirmed cases of COVID-19, have been present on campus in recent weeks and could have presented a risk of exposure to other members of the university community.

The dashboard does not include individuals who may have confirmed cases but have not reported to campus in the past 14 days or individuals who are self-quarantining without a confirmed diagnosis. This information is based on cases reported to the university and verified by the Student Health Center.

We were updating the dashboard weekly; we are now going to update it every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to provide timelier reporting.

We have received inquiries about the number of students in quarantine. Students who have experienced symptoms or who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 are tested and quarantined while waiting for their test results.

The number of students who are currently in quarantine on campus is now included as part of our COVID-19 reporting.

 ECSU will continue to follow its protocols. We ask that all faculty, staff and students adhere to the guidelines – wear face masks at all times unless you are in your office or residence hall room; maintain an acceptable social distance, preferably six feet; wash your hands frequently; and conduct daily self-health checks prior to leaving your place of residence based on CDC guidelines.

 It also is important that all ECSU employees and students follow the protocols for when they have symptoms, test positive, or have come in contact with someone who has tested positive. Immediate action and response will help isolate incidents and protect the campus community.

 Remember to visit the Viking Compass website for updates of COVID-19 confirmed cases on our campus. Let’s do our individual and collective parts to safeguard the health and well-being of the campus community.

 Remain safe and well as we live, work, and learn together.

Good afternoon, Vikings.

I am writing to inform you that UNC Chapel Hill has made the decision to pivot to all-remote instruction and move undergraduate students out of residence halls. This decision was based on several clusters of positive COVID-19 cases among students.

 According to UNC System President Peter Hans, “The decision to adapt operations applies to UNC-Chapel Hill only because no other UNC System institution has reported information, at this time, that would lead to similar modifications. Each campus is different, and I expect situations to evolve differently. In any circumstance, we will be grounded by reliable public health data and prevailing local health conditions. I will continue to stay in close contact with our chancellors and fully support their efforts to fulfill our core educational mission in safe learning environments.”

 Each UNC System institution developed its return to campus plan, and that plan addressed how each campus would address positive COVID-19 cases. This includes safety protocols, quarantine, testing, contact tracing, and monitoring clusters.

 Elizabeth City State University did a thorough job preparing the campus for your return this fall, and in doing so, we have only had four positive cases on campus. If we continue to do our part in following the guidelines, we will be able to control, if not prevent, the spread of the virus on our campus.

 ECSU will continue to follow established protocols. We ask that all faculty, staff and students adhere to the guidelines – wear face masks at all times unless you are in your office or residence hall room; maintain an acceptable social distance, preferably six feet; wash your hands frequently; and conduct daily self-health checks prior to leaving your place of residence based on CDC guidelines.

 It also is important that all ECSU employees and students follow the protocols for when they have symptoms, have come in contact with someone who has tested positive or test positive themselves. Immediate action and response will help isolate incidents and protect the campus community.

 

To our Viking family,

Elizabeth City State University has spent the summer preparing for fall semester as faculty, staff and students return to campus. Part of that preparation has been the development of guidelines and practices to keep our campus safe and healthy as well as protocols that outline the campus’ response to any positive cases of COVID-19. All of these guidelines, practices and protocols have been outlined on our Viking Compass website, which also includes other information about ECSU’s return to campus.

One of the areas on the Viking Compass website is a section on COVID reporting, which contains a dashboard similar to the one published by Albemarle Regional Health Services. The dashboard shares the employees, students or subcontractors who have known, confirmed cases of COVID-19, have been present on campus in recent weeks and could have presented a risk of exposure to other members of the university community.

The dashboard does not include individuals who may have confirmed cases but have not reported to campus in the past 14 days or individuals who are self-quarantining without a confirmed diagnosis. This information is based on cases reported to the university and verified by the Student Health Center. ECSU will update the dashboard weekly.

This week’s update will include the confirmation of the first two positive COVID-19 cases on the ECSU campus. To protect individuals’ private health information, ECSU will not identify employees or students diagnosed with COVID-19.

ECSU immediately implemented the protocols in place, including quarantining the individuals upon receiving confirmation of positive test results. ECSU also conducted contact tracing, notified individuals that have had direct contact with the individuals, and then tested and quarantined those individuals.

ECSU will continue to follow its protocols. We ask that all faculty, staff and students adhere to the guidelines – wear face masks at all times unless you are in your office or residence hall room; maintain an acceptable social distance, preferably six feet; wash your hands frequently; and conduct daily self-health checks prior to leaving your place of residence based on CDC guidelines.

It also is important that all ECSU employees and students follow the protocols for when they have symptoms, have come in contact with someone who has tested positive or test positive themselves. Immediate action and response will help isolate incidents and protect the campus community.

 

Greetings, Vikings.

You have likely seen the news reports about the recent request the UNC System institutions received from the Board of Governors regarding scenarios for potential state budget reductions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I understand the concerns that these reports have created, and I will remain transparent in my communications with you.

The institutions have been asked to conduct a financial scenario planning exercise related to potential reductions in campus revenues due to the pandemic. The financial models address “worst-case” scenarios, including double-digit budget reductions of 25 percent and 50 percent caused by corresponding drops in enrollment.

While this request may cause concerns throughout our campus community, this is not an unusual request. The Board of Governors and UNC System office often request information as part of their planning and oversight, and, according to Chairman Randy Ramsey, “this scenario-planning directive is an important part of our Board’s responsible oversight as we continue to confront and adapt to an unprecedented and unpredictable situation.”

Per our current numbers, we are trending to show an increase in enrollment this year. I also want our faculty and staff to know that we are being proactive and strategic in anticipating a budget shortfall. We will be intentional in our deliberations to ensure we safeguard ECSU’s future while being prudent in our fiscal affairs.

While ECSU continues to receive funding for grants and special projects, like the $6 million from Senate Bill 750 for two capital projects—these types of funds must be used for specific projects and cannot be used to offset the budget.

With the challenges that ECSU and the state face, we will need all hands on deck. We can weather this storm as we have in the past if we are willing to sacrifice and serve for the greater good of the university. This may mean taking on additional responsibilities, being flexible in doing business differently, and continuing to support each other in all that we do.

Although we are planning for students to return to campus in August, we also have a contingency plan in place to pivot to remote instruction and teleworking if it becomes necessary to safeguard the health of our students, faculty and staff.

Each of you have shown your commitment and dedication to this institution as we made adjustments in the spring. And, I know you will continue to show your Viking Pride as we navigate the challenges of this coming year. Together, we will get through this.

Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon hosts a virtual town hall event with the College of The Albemarle, Mid-Atlantic Christian University, and the City of Elizabeth City. Presenters include Chancellor Dixon, COA President Jack Bagwell, MACU Vice President for Student Life Jay Banks, Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker, and Elizabeth City Chief of Police Eddie Buffaloe.