Covid-19 information, resources for the LBCC community

In Preparation for the Holidays

Nov. 23, 2021

As we prepare to observe the Thanksgiving holiday, the Executive Team would like to remind you of a few important COVID-related guidelines and resources.

Holiday travel: Currently Oregon and our local public health agencies have no travel restriction in place, including no need to quarantine after out-of-state visits. That said, if your holiday plans include travel, please be extra vigilant about taking precautionary measures to keep yourself, and those around you, healthy.

Department gatherings: We know this is traditionally a time to plan get-togethers with colleagues and share some cheer as we wrap up the calendar year -- but please remember that our current guideline involving employee gatherings is still in place. Work meetings of more than two people must be held virtually; and in-person special events (outside of the classroom or sports) must be no more than 10 people. This includes college events held off-campus.

Vaccination news: Though we do expect an Oregon public employee vaccination mandate to be forthcoming this winter, we do not yet have a date. In the meantime, as you may know, the vaccine booster has now been approved by the CDC for all people over the age of 18. To receive a booster, or, if you have not yet gotten vaccinated, please reach out to your local health provider or visit this page for free local resources and information in Linn County.

What to do if someone you are in close contact with gets COVID: If you learn you have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, there is no need to quarantine if you are fully vaccinated and are symptom-free. If you are not vaccinated, and/or do have symptoms, you will need to quarantine for up to 14 days. Your quarantine may involve remote work, or if none is available, require use of your sick leave. Please contact Sheldon Flom, VP of Finance and Operations, and Human Resources, if this is the case.

What to do if YOU get COVID: Please contact Sheldon Flom, VP of Finance and Operations, and Deana Culbertson in Human Resources by filling out the COVID reporting form. Your information will be kept confidential, and will assist in fulfilling required reporting and contact tracing. Staff will also be able to answer questions regarding your work options. 

Finally, we are looking forward to sharing the Winter Education Plan with you soon -- look for it to be distributed by Dec. 1st. In the meantime, you can anticipate that no major changes to work or classroom plans will be included.

 

COVID-19 Reporting, Update on N95 Mask Form 

Oct. 11, 2021

We are excited to share a new efficient process of reporting a COVID-19 case.  Please use this new COVID-19 reporting form to streamline the communication requirements for the VP of Finance and Operations office.    

LBCC is now offering N95 masks to employees by request. To clarify, OR OSHA is NOT including N95s as a recommendation for those who are working with students or the public at this time.  We are offering them as an option for those who may be seeking added protection. The use of N95s requires additional procedures for each individual. We have developed a new form and processes required by OR OSHA to make this option accessible to LBCC employees.  

You may submit your N95 mask request here

 

N95 Mask Availability

Oct. 1, 2021

As announced previously, LBCC will offer N95 masks to employees by request -- but we want to clarify that OR OSHA is NOT including N95s as a recommendation for those who are working with students or the public at this time and that we are offering them as a courtesy option for those who may be seeking added protection. The use of N95s also requires additional procedures for each individual. We are developing the forms and processes required by OR OSHA to make this option accessible to LBCC employees, and hope to have them completed next week.

Thank you for your patience.

 

LBCC and COVID: Important References for Fall Term

Sept. 24, 2021


Dear Staff and Students of the LBCC Community,

We ar​e delighted to celebrate the beginning of fall term on Monday, and to welcome new and returning students to ​LBCC for the academic year! Before the term begins officially, we'd like to take a moment to summarize our current coronavirus-related requirements and policies, and tell you about some NEW resources available to everyone. We hope this message can serve as a handy reference tool to give you a strong start! Thank you for taking a moment to familiarize yourself with these college-wide updates concerning virus management:

VACCINATIONS

Though LBCC strongly encourages all members of our learning community to get vaccinated, proof of vaccination status is not currently required. That said, community colleges around the state are working with our Governor's Office to determine what the Biden Administration's recent mandate means for higher education in Oregon -- and we do anticipate that employee vaccination requirements, and a list of corresponding exemptions, will be applied to our colleges, most likely beginning early next year. We will keep our community informed of resources in order to prepare for this announcement when the time comes so that we are in compliance with all local, state and federal laws. In the meantime, we have worked with local health authorities to make sure we put other safety measures in place -- including being able to offer free vaccinations and testing at LBCC locations this term! (See below for details). 

​FREE VACCINATION CLINIC​ ON CAMPUS

​Have you not yet had the opportunity to get vaccinated? On Monday, Sept. 27, we are pleased to kick off the term with a FREE vaccination clinic on the Albany Campus! The clinic will be located in front of Takena Hall, near the bus stop. ALL are welcome to drop in and participants will be able to choose from the Johnson & Johnson single dose, or the Pfizer or Moderna double dose vaccination courses. 

MASK REQUIREMENTS

To comply with Oregon state law,​ masks are required at all times whenever an individual is in a public indoor space at LBCC -- this includes cubicles or other spaces where walls do not go up to the ceiling and/or open doorways. Masks must fully cover the nose and mouth; mesh masks and masks with breathing valves are not permissible. Face shields are allowed only if also worn with a mask that covers the nose and mouth. In addition, masks are required outside whenever physical distancing is not observed.  

​AVAILABILITY OF DISPOSABLE MASKS, N95 MASKS, CLEANING SUPPLIES, ETC.

If you've accidentally forgotten your mask, LBCC will have supplies available through​out our campus locations and high-traffic areas. In addition, if you would like to request an N95 mask, the college will have a limited supply available and we will do our best to accommodate you. Cleaning supplies will also be made available for staff who request them. Please visit the Facilities Office for special supply requests, or visit one of these locations where general supplies will be available. 

PHY​SICAL DISTANCING ACCOMMODATIONS

The CDC and our local health authorities do not limit class sizes or require physical distancing for those classes being held in person. However, if you would like to request a physical-distancing accommodation, the office of Center for Disability Resources can help. Contact CFAR at 541-917-4789 or cfar@linnbenton.edu for more information.

EXTRA CLEANING AND HVAC MAINTENANCE

​LBCC staff have worked hard to prepare our campus spaces to be as safe as possible for fall term learning. These efforts have included deep cleaning offices, classrooms and common areas.  During the day we will have staff cleaning high touch areas to help keep our campus safe. We really appreciate our facilities crews!

WHERE TO REPORT A POSITIVE CASE OF COVID AND HOW TO KNOW IF YOU NEED TO QUARANTINE

In the event of a positive diagnosis of coronavirus, we appreciate your support in reporting ​it to our Office of Finance and Operations by contacting floms@linnbenton.edu. College administration will then work with local health authorities ​to begin contact tracing, ​and others who may have been exposed will be notified. The identity of the individual or individuals infected will be kept confidential, but you will be informed if a quarantine is necessary. If you are not informed about a close contact, you do not need to quarantine. 

WHERE TO VIEW LBCC'S SUMMARY OF COVID-RELATED REQUIREMENTS AND ACTION STEPS

All guidelines and policies concerning COVID and LBCC's requirements can be found by visiting our college's COVID website. We also appreciate your understanding that information will change depending on state requirements, so please refer back for the latest LBCC news.

Everyone, we are delighted you are a part of our Roadrunner family! We know that despite all of the challenges posed by the pandemic, together we can ensure a safe and strong academic year. Best wishes for a wonderful fall term!

 

Previous 2021 Updates 

Aug. 31, 2021

Yesterday’s paper shared a story describing the critical situation that has now arisen in our local hospitals due to increasing COVID cases. Likewise, our executive leadership team is working closely with our local health authorities as this situation continues to evolve in our community. 

As we all have experienced, the guidelines around personal vs. public vs. organizational authority and decision-making are complex, changing... and sometimes frustrating. Our college is committed to doing its best to follow the orders of our health authorities and governing bodies in order to keep us all safe -- and we are also working with our sister colleges to make the right decisions for our communities when the call is up to us. It's really challenging, and we want to thank you for bearing with all the changes and new parameters that we must communicate regularly.

Which brings us to this fall: We are staying the course when it comes to offering more in-person learning opportunities than we have in the last year and a half and are very excited to welcome people back to the classroom whenever possible! But in order to ensure those educational opportunities are protected, we have also made the difficult decision to cancel or modify other events that might pose controllable risks. Therefore for fall term, all in-person college special events outside of the classroom that gather more than 10 people together will be either postponed or moved to a remote format. Division and department meetings will need to be held remotely as well. Our one exception is Welcome Day, which is our traditional event to greet new students and help them find their way around LBCC as a critical first step in their college journeys -- however, this event is being greatly modified to stagger crowds, eliminate eating and drinking, and reduce contact. 

Colleagues, we know this is hard. We can only say thank you for your continued vigilance and understanding. It is likely that more restrictions / modifications might be coming, so we also thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this changing new world.

Aug. 26, 2021

We have received a number of questions about the use of face shields versus masks. After communications with the Linn County Health Department, we have confirmed that face shields are not recommended by OSHA or CDC because they are not considered effective in preventing the spread of COVID. Therefore at LBCC, we have made the decision that if face shields are used, face coverings must also be worn. Thank you very much for your understanding and assistance with this.

* Exception: If face shields are needed for special accommodation, please contact CFAR at cfar@linnbenton.edu to receive designation.

Aug. 24, 2021

Today Governor Brown announced new mask requirements in order to stop the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus, and to stem a sudden record of new hospitalizations now occurring throughout the state. Beginning this Friday, August 27, masks will be required in all public outdoor settings where physical distancing is not possible, regardless of vaccination status.

At LBCC, in addition to wearing masks indoors, we ask that employees now model wearing masks at large outdoor group events this fall, especially as students return and participate in our Welcome Day event, athletic events and more, and consider how this figures into your planning. Over the next few days, we will also be updating the LBCC Rebounding Plan and Temporary ARs accordingly -- including a new Executive Summary that will serve as a quick guide.

Colleagues, thank you for continuing to help protect our campus environment. We deeply appreciate your commitment.

Aug. 18, 2021

On August 11, 2021, Governor Kate Brown announced a reinstatement of face covering requirements in all public indoor spaces throughout the state of Oregon, effective on Friday, August 13.

The Administrative Rules 5095-06 and 5095-07, and the Fall 2021 Rebounding Plan has been updated to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE), and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) OAR 333-019-1025, and Governor’s mandate. Please click on the link below to review the updated information. 

Fall 2021 Rebounding Plan

Temporary AR 5095-06 - Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 Physical Distancing Guidelines

Temporary AR 5095-07 - Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 Use of Face Coverings

Consistent with these guidelines, all LBCC staff and students will be required to wear a mask when indoors and around other people, regardless of vaccination status. To help those who have forgotten a mask, we will have plenty available throughout LBCC campuses.

We appreciate your continued support and commitment to protecting our learning community.

Aug. 11, 2021

As you have likely learned, today Governor Kate Brown announced a reinstatement of face covering requirements in all public indoor spaces throughout the state of Oregon, due to a sudden surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations. The new mandate goes into effect on this Friday, August 13.

Consistent with these requirements, starting on Friday, all LBCC staff and students will be required to wear a mask when indoors and around other people, regardless of vaccination status. (The updated Temporary AR and Rebounding Plan will be posted in the next few days to reflect this rule.) To help people who may have forgotten a mask, we will have plenty available throughout LBCC locations when fall term begins. We know mask-wearing is inconvenient, but it is a simple and effective way to keep from inadvertently infecting others and possibly causing a campus closure. We all want our students to be able to come back to the classroom. 

In addition, the college is taking extra precautions when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting before employees return to the office on Sept. 7. Using federal COVID relief funding, Facilities will work with a third-party vendor on our Albany Campus to clean and disinfect high touch surfaces within office spaces including light switches, doors, door frames, door handles, window ledges, keyboards, mice, desk surfaces, window ledges, table surfaces and other horizontal surfaces. Ceilings and floors will also be hepa-vacuumed for debris and cobwebs. (Please note: personal items and furniture will not be moved.) Facilities crews will lead similar cleaning at all of our centers. This pre-cleaning will be completed by Labor Day -- watch for further notifications about cleaning times and dates. College personnel are cleaning classrooms and common areas to prepare them for fall term and will continue to do so throughout the term.

Colleagues, we so appreciate your continued support and commitment to protecting our learning community. If you have not yet been vaccinated, please strongly consider it as the very best defense we have against serious COVID-related illness, and take steps to protect yourself and your family. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to me by email. Thank you in advance for your assistance in helping our community as we continue to try to keep ourselves and each other safe and healthy.

July 29, 2021

As fall term nears, our college is looking forward to continuing to teach, study, share ideas, solve problems, and create more opportunities for supporting our wider community -- all with more face-to-face engagement than we've been able to offer in 18 months. We are also committed to protecting the health of our learning environment. This message shares a framework for safely reopening many aspects of campus life. We hope this guidance allows you to make plans for the upcoming term.

  • Face Coverings and OHA Recommendations 
    As was announced yesterday, the Oregon Health Authority has issued new guidelines that strongly recommend all people -- vaccinated and unvaccinated -- wear face coverings when in indoor public settings. This comes as a result of a spike in COVID-19 cases stemming from the Delta variant, which is currently accounting for 80% of cases in Oregon and is much more contagious. (You can read the official announcement here.) LBCC fully supports these recommendations, and urges all on campus to take protective measures. Masks will be readily available throughout LBCC campus locations as we return this fall. 
  • Vaccinations
    Our college community thrives in an environment where we can feel safe. Therefore, LBCC encourages every person to please consider getting vaccinated. Please note that we will not be mandating vaccinations or asking for verification of vaccines, so if you need accommodation to continue physically distancing in classrooms or office spaces, our CFAR office is ready to assist you. Do not come to work if you are sick, and please continue to be vigilant about washing your hands and observing respiratory etiquette. If you do receive a positive COVID diagnosis, please continue to let the Office of Finance and Operations and Human Resources know so we can assist local authorities with contract tracing, and direct you to resources. (For complete guidelines, visit the college's Rebounding Plan here.)
  • Returning to Work on Campus
    Our official return-to-work date for employees is September 7th and we are looking forward to seeing one another in person once again. That said, the past 18 months have allowed the college to accommodate working styles that may thrive more in a remote environment, and in certain cases, we may be able to continue that option. A temporary AR is in place regarding remote work, eligibility, and what elements must be in place for a remote work agreement.  Employees who would like to continue a partial remote work schedule should contact their supervisor to discuss the possibility. Please note that decisions about remote work will be made on a case by case basis -- they will depend completely on the needs of the individual job and what is in the best interest of student success.
  • Travel
    Employees and students may opt to travel for conferences, trainings, events, etc., beginning this fall -- however, they must adhere to local travel standards. The CDC specifies that unvaccinated individuals get tested for COVID before and after a trip, and to quarantine upon return before resuming face-to-face activities. All individuals regardless of vaccination status are encouraged to wear a face covering. It's important to note that COVID guidelines could change any time when it comes to travel -- so please consider purchasing travel insurance to limit any LBCC liability should your trip need to be canceled.
  • Spectators at Sports and Performances
    We are pleased to announce that spectators may once again be welcomed to our fields, courts, performance spaces and more! We do encourage groups to provide physical distancing accomodations and to encourage face coverings.
  • Outside Groups -- Rentals and Trainings
    LBCC spaces may now be rented or reserved for outside groups visiting campus, however please let the Office of Finance and Operations know at least 3 weeks in advance so extra cleaning can be arranged after the group departs. Please also advise outside groups that restrictions may change at any point, so plan accordingly. LBCC also encourages staff to provide remote options whenever possible.
  • Food Service
    Food Service will reopen this fall term at a reduced scale, and the Commons area will reopen to indoor dining. The Courtyard Cafe will also be open. At this time, we are still working through decisions regarding the Santiam Room and Roastrunners, so please watch for a future announcement to confirm those specifics.

Colleagues, thank you for your continued bravery and flexibility during these times. We hope that this framework signals new hope for a brighter future -- and appreciate everyone for working together to ensure LBCC can continue to bring our best service to students and the community.

 

June 29, 2021

Important news regarding COVID restrictions and safety measures at LBCC

Along with other guidelines around the state, as of tomorrow, June 30, the Governor is lifting her executive order concerning higher education institutions in Oregon -- meaning that face coverings and physical distancing will no longer be required for those who are fully vaccinated at LBCC. This is a big moment for us as a learning community, and we are grateful to everyone for supporting all the safety adherences we have asked of people these past many months, in order to safely reach this milestone together. 

That said, LBCC is continuing to work under the CDC - Institute of Higher Education (IHE) guidelines to keep us all safe, and we ask that you keep in mind / adhere to the following: 

  • The lifting of these restrictions applies to those who are vaccinated. Those who are not vaccinated must continue to wear a face covering and observe physical distancing rules.
  • Respect those who choose to continue to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. Some people might continue to make the personal choice of added face-covering protection. We ask that we continue to respect the privacy and individual choices of all those who take this option.
  • We will not be asking for verification of vaccinations. Lifting these restrictions will be on the honor system. If you do need accomodation to continue physically distancing in our classrooms or office spaces, please work with our CFAR office who may be able to assist you.
  • Please continue to self-monitor your health. Do not come to work if you are sick, and please continue to be vigilant about washing your hands and observing respiratory etiquette. 
  • Please report any positive COVID cases. Please continue to let the Office of Finance and Operations (VP Sheldon Flom), and Human Resources know if a positive case of COVID arises. LBCC will privately work with local health authorities to assist in contact tracing and we appreciate your help.

Our official return-to-campus date for employees will remain September 7th, however the easing of these restrictions means that employees may choose to come back to campus for work earlier, if they follow the guidelines listed above and work with their supervisors to establish a regular schedule.

***Please note: a regular schedule of on-campus activity is very important to communicate so our cleaning and maintenance staff groups can be sure to know which spaces need heightened attention. We will also begin the process of opening our campus to outside partners and groups at this time, with approval. 

Please be encouraged that to help support us as we transition back to some normalcy, LBCC is committed to remaining hyper-vigilant in supporting improvements to our HVAC systems and to maintaining extra cleaning levels in high-touch areas. We ask that you remain vigilant too, and appreciate all that you have done to continue to keep us safe.

Apr. 27, 2021

LBCC plans to offer flexible options for both in-person and remote classes for fall term 2021. These options, called "The Fall Educational Plan," will be posted to this website no later than Friday, May 14 — following the guidance of state and local health authorities. Read more.

Stay tuned as details will be posted here in the future.

 

Apr. 19, 2021

Today all Oregonians age 16 and older become eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. LBCC faculty and staff were already eligible to access vaccinations under the "frontline workers" provision, which included community college employees, and which became available on April 5th. Vaccines are now open to all Oregonian adults. Please do everything possible to ensure that the family members, community members, and students in your life are aware of this eligibility.

For those seeking a way to get vaccinated, create an account through the Get Vaccinated Oregon tool to confirm eligibility and to find a vaccination provider.

 

 

Apr. 1, 2021

Following up on the announcement that community college employees will be eligible for vaccinations beginning Monday, April 5th, please find a new set of important FAQs pertaining to LBCC employees

Mar. 17, 2021

With Spring Break starting next week, please keep the following in mind while making travel plans: The Governor's Travel Advisory has been updated, and Linn-Benton Community College is observing this advisory.  

Specifically:

  1. Faculty, staff, or students who travel out of state are asked to: self-quarantine for 14 days upon return; limit interactions to their immediate households; and not come to campus.
  2. The 14-day quarantine is the safest option for preventing the spread of COVID-19 to others. LBCC faculty, staff, or students may end quarantine early if they have had no symptoms after 10 days without testing or they may end quarantine after seven days if they have received a negative COVID test conducted within 48 hours of end of the seven-day period.
  3. Individuals need not quarantine if they have received the second or final dose of the vaccine, and it has been more than two weeks since receiving the final dose.
Feb. 9, 2021

As Oregonians continue to cope with the pandemic, we have received a bit of good news at Linn-Benton Community College. Thanks to adherence to safety protocols and our communities working together to make smart choices, Linn County has improved to be placed in the "High Risk" category beginning February 12th.  Benton County remains in the "Extreme Risk" category. View a complete list of counties and their associated risk levels

While we are glad for every small step forward toward community health, it is important to acknowledge that we still have a ways to go.

LBCC experienced a rise in the number of close contacts and cases of COVID at the start of winter term, and we are now seeing a second increase.

Please stay vigilant: wear your face coverings, keep social distancing, and let's continue to do whatever we can to keep our learning community safe and on track. Additionally, please note that the Governor's Travel Advisory is still in effect: if you choose to travel out of state, you will need to isolate for 14 days upon your return, should you need to come to campus.

At this time, higher education is not included in the initial round of vaccines, but our state associations continue to push for this access. While we will not require a vaccine from our employees, we do encourage you to find out if you are eligible to receive it in the meantime. 

Finally, more financial help for our students is also on its way in the form of federal CRRSAA funding. A task force is working on an initial distribution plan and students will receive award checks soon to help with hardships experienced as a result of the pandemic. There is also a portion of CRRSA that is aimed at assisting the institution itself; we are still reviewing guidelines to determine how we are allowed/able to best make use of these funds.

As more information emerges, we will be sure to share it with our college community.

Thank you for all that you do.

 
 
 

2020 Updates

Nov. 16, 2020: New Restrictions from Governor Brown
As you may have learned, on Friday, November 13th, Governor Kate Brown issued the most extensive set of restrictions since her March stay-at-home order, closing some businesses and restricting social gatherings for at least 2 weeks in order to stem an alarmingly rapid spread of coronavirus across the state of Oregon. You can read about the new "2-week freeze" restrictions here.
 
What does this mean for LBCC?
Because LBCC is already fully complying with state and local health guidelines, our activities and instruction will continue to be guided by our current Rebounding Plan and Administrative RulesHowever, the new freeze calls upon organizations and businesses throughout Oregon to "support working-from-home to the greatest extent possible." For those LB employees who are approved to work regularly on campus, we therefore ask that only people who cannot do their jobs from home plan to work from our buildings over the next two weeks, from Wednesday, Nov. 18, to Wednesday, Dec. 2. If you are not in that category, please work from home. If you have any questions about this, please contact your manager, or reach out to the Office of Operations and Finance via sparksc@linnbenton.edu
 
The Governor's freeze extends to all counties, though some counties will be "frozen" for longer than two weeks, due to their number of cases. Within our two counties, Linn County is especially close to being considered for an extended freeze. Let's all do our part to make sure we keep the risk level down as much as we possibly can -- thank you so much for your help.
 
Oct. 19, 2020: In the Case of a Future Positive COVID Diagnosis

To help us all be empowered to take action in case of a positive COVID diagnosis, here are some FAQs to reference:

In the case of a future positive COVID diagnosis:

Q: Employees will be contacted by Linn County Health Services if they were in close contact with a person who tested positively. What does "close contact" mean?

A: "Close contact" means you were in the presence of the person, standing six feet apart, and wearing a mask, for more than 15 minutes. If you were not wearing a mask, any length of time is considered "close contact."

Q: If "close contact" includes people who were wearing a mask but were within 6 feet of the individual for more than 15 minutes, why is it important to wear a mask?

A: Besides protecting yourself and others from getting sick (and complying with LBCC's strict guidelines), this is important because our classroom desks are placed 6 feet apart. That means if everyone in the classroom is wearing a mask at all times, there is a much greater chance that we won't have to quarantine everyone in the classroom and can continue operating the class.

Q: If I was determined to be within close contact of an individual who tested positively for the virus, when can I expect to be contacted by Linn County Health Services (LCHS)?

A: LCHS will attempt to contact you within 48 hours after learning of the positive diagnosis.

Q: What should I do if a student I know tests positive for Coronavirus?

  1. Do two things:
    Contact the Office of Finance and Operations at sparksc@linnbenton.edu, or call 541-917-4330 right away. Timeliness is important: as soon as you know for certain, please reach out so we can get information to the LCHS.
  2. Encourage the student to reach out to the Center for Accessibility Resources (CFAR) to explore options for continuing their studies while quarantining. 

Q: What should I do if I, or an employee I work with, tests positive for Coronavirus?

Do two things:

  1. Contact the Office of Finance and Operations at sparksc@linnbenton.edu, or call 541-917-4330 right away. Complete confidentiality will be maintained, and timeliness is important: as soon as you know for certain, please reach out so we can get information to the LCHS.
  2. Affected employees are encouraged to reach out to HR Manager, Deana Culbertson Human Resources to explore options related to continuing work while quarantining, or assessing Family Medical Leave.

If you have further questions, contact Jennifer Boehmer privately. Jennifer will work with the Executive Team to respond to your questions, and to add further information to these FAQs.

Aug. 18, 2020: Fall Rebound Plan
  • Rebound Plan Approved for Fall – The LBCC Board of Education has officially approved the college's Rebound Plan. You can read the plan in full (PDF), also available for download and summarized on our website. Many thanks to the Rebound Task Force, and to VPs Sheldon Flom and Ann Buchele, for their leadership in developing safe learning and working environment protocols that will allow us to continue to serve our community well this fall. 
  • Educational Plan In Place for Incoming Students – Additionally, the college has developed a thoughtful and smart approach to fall course delivery, following the guidelines of state and local authorities. The Fall Education Plan is ready for download (PDF), and can also be found on our Education Plan webpage. The web page is structured to include a number of accessible approaches for users to quickly find out about delivery methods for programs, lectures, labs, student services and more.
  • Message for New Students: 'Your Future is Within Reach Now' – During this difficult time, it is more important than ever to let all students know LBCC is ready for them and committed to offering safe, smart ways to stay on track. In support of enrollment, on our homepage, you will notice a link to a new landing page called "LB Now." This page, supported by a full range of community marketing and outreach, will help new students discover our plan for fall and make the choice to enroll. Additionally, current students will be contacted directly with all fall plan information, and an overview has been sent to local media.
  • COVID-19 Site will Continue to Serve as a Resource – All information related to the pandemic will continue to be linked from the COVID website, accessed from the college's homepage. Thank you for helping us maintain a single-point-of-contact for our students and community.
Aug. 3, 2020: Fall Rebound Bulletin
Rebounding Draft Complete; Sent to College Council
The Rebounding Task Force has completed the final draft of our Rebounding Plan. It will now go to College Council for review, to be discussed at this Wednesday’s meeting. College Council is comprised of representatives throughout the college and members will be soliciting feedback from their constituents.
 
Board to Approve Plan this Month
Once the draft is approved by College Council, the purposed Rebounding Plan will be sent to the Board of Education for review and approval at a special session held later this month. 
 
Readying the Fall Course Schedule
As you know, this summer staff have been working hard to prepare a fall course schedule that keeps students on track and as safe as possible. At this time, percentages of Fall Term delivery methods breakdown as follows:
  • Face-to-Face classes = 14%
  • Online and/or Virtual classes = 71%
  • Hybrid classes = 15%
  • In addition, the vast majority of our core student services (such as the Library, Learning Center, First Resort, New Student Center) will be delivered remotely.

July 16, 2020: LBCC Names Return to Campus "Fall Rebound"
We are now calling the return to campus the "Fall Rebound"... we are using rebound rather than reopen because—as you all well know—we never closed! These updates will continue to cover all the ways in which LBCC is rebounding from the impact of COVID-19, and how we are progressing in our plans for serving students and staff this fall term.

Governor's New Executive Order
Yesterday the Governor's newest guidelines went into effect state-wide. Face coverings are currently required statewide for indoor public spaces. In addition, face coverings are now required in outdoor public spaces when physical distancing is not possible, effective this week; and indoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people. Note: the 10-person indoor restriction does not include classrooms, and LBCC is currently working to create future learning spaces where individuals will be able to maintain 6 feet of distance or more. 

LBCC Summer Guidelines Remain in Place
LBCC will continue to require that all faculty, staff, students and visitors wear face coverings when on campus, unless an exception is pre-arranged. LBCC is staying the course this summer with our current guidelines that only allow pre-approved staff to work regularly on campus.

Fall Term Planning
The college's Rebounding Task Force is continuing its work on developing back-to-campus plans for Fall. We have a goal of finalizing the plan for the Board of Education's review by August 10th. Once approved, I will share the full document with our college community.

Taking Temperatures this Fall
We've received a number of questions related to the possibility of the college taking temperatures to test for fever before individuals are allowed on campus. While we will not be attempting this, we will be setting up a system that asks staff to self-monitor their health and report daily as to whether they are symptom-free. More information about this will be coming in the weeks ahead.

Purchasing PPE for your Program or Department
If you determine a need to purchase Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for your program or department, please send a request to your supervisor. All requests will be evaluated by VP Sheldon Flom. The college does have some supplies of PPE on-hand, and, combined with some federal funding we may be able to access under the CARES Act, it is likely the cost of PPE will not have to come from your department budget. We therefore encourage you to not let budgetary restrictions prevent you from asking the question.

CARES Act Funding for Students this Summer
LBCC will be distributing another round of funding to students facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Funds will be awarded to students taking summer courses who meet the federal eligibility requirements. Awards range in amount from $100 to $700 depending on unmet need as determined through the FAFSA process, and are intended to widely provide a helping hand to our students this summer. If you have any questions about these awards, please contact the Business Office. More information can be found online.
July 1, 2020: Governor's New Executive Order and More

Governor's new Executive Order
Responding to new state guidelines issued by the Governor this week, LBCC will now require that all faculty, staff, students and visitors across all LBCC locations use face coverings when in public and common areas, and in areas where physical distancing can't be easily maintained, unless an exception is pre-arranged. The goal is to join in efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and to do everything we can to ensure a healthy learning and working environment. LBCC is staying the course with our current guidelines remaining in place, continuing to only allow essential staff to work regularly on campus.

Policy Information on COVID Site
A set of new temporary ARs further describing the face covering and physical distancing policy details has been posted on the college's COVID-19 website.

Back-to-Campus Planning Continues
The Reopening Task Force is working hard to develop the college's back-to-campus plan. Once the draft is completed and approved, I will be sure to share our guidelines. The plan addresses circumstances for when and how work and learning may take place on campus, cleaning, personal responsibilities, communication and much more. We anticipate completion this month, in coordination with state and local health authorities. In the meantime, I will continue to send updates regarding LBCC's responses to changing state guidelines.

June 15, 2020: Expiration of Executive Order for Higher Education

Responding to changing state guidelines
Though the Executive Order concerning colleges in Oregon expired on June 13th, the Governor has issued new guidance that requires each college put forth an individual plan for reopening within their specific learning environment. LBCC is working on that plan now within the Reopening Task Force committee. It is a detailed, comprehensive process...until it is completed and receives official approval, LBCC is staying the course with our current guidelines remaining in place, continuing to only allow essential staff to work regularly on campus. I will certainly share the approved plan as soon as it is available. If you have questions or concerns, I invite you to reach out to me or any member of the Task Force committee.

Update for those on campus
For those essential staff working on campus, you will see new signage. Our facilities crew has been hard at work placing physical distance spacing guidelines around campus, including limiting adjacent bathroom sinks and stalls, and blocking off spaces where higher traffic traditionally occurs.

Anticipating fall term
As registration for fall gets under way, we are letting students know that everyone on campus -- students and employees -- may be required to wear a face covering. If that is the case, the college will recognize some exceptions as needed/allowed, and people will be asked to make those in advance. (More guidelines concerning fall will be released as soon as they are approved.)


June 1, 2020: Fall Term

As we prepare for fall term, we are making plans to resume some classes in person.

Each academic department is currently working to determine which courses and programs will remain online, and which courses and programs can safely be offered face-to-face for students. When students register for fall term, there will be a mix of both delivery methods at LBCC, according to each particular course and/or program. With new guidance from Governor Kate Brown, LBCC is now switching from state-wide coordination to developing a focused plan with our local health authorities. This provides more flexibility to offer a schedule that both protects the health and safety of our students and instructors, and keeps students on track toward their educational goals.

As decisions about individual fall term courses and programs are made, we will reflect those changes in the schedule, so students can choose their paths accordingly. We will also provide updates about when students can be allowed back on campus, and under what circumstances and safety guidelines.

We ask that students reach out to their advisors for assistance.

May 14, 2020: Phased Reopening

Linn and Benton Counties have been approved for Phase I Reopening beginning Friday, May 15th. Please refer to Page 17 in the Governor's presentation for more detailed information about what this means.

Please note: The reopening of educational facilities is dictated by a separate Executive Order and all LBCC buildings remain closed to the public until further notice. However, this information is indicative of ways that LBCC might be given permission to update guidelines in the near future.

May 13, 2020: Distribution of Federal CARES Act Stimulus Funds

Linn-Benton Community College was provided with funds from the CARES Act to distribute to our students to help manage some of the disruption created by the current COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked diligently to make these distributions fair and equitable to all students who are eligible based on the CARES Act guidelines.

 
Disbursement of these funds will begin May 13, 2020. Read more about distribution of funds and what students need to know before accepting funds.


May 8, 2020: Federal CARES Act

LBCC is in the process of finalizing the distribution of the emergency funds to students who qualify under the federal CARES Act. Notices of awards will be sent to students as early as possible, with an anticipated distribution process taking place May 14 through May 22. More information regarding specific requirements, amounts distributed, and alternatives for students who don't qualify, will be posted shortly. Please check back for updates.

LBCC is in the process of finalizing the distribution of the emergency funds to students who qualify under the federal CARES Act. Notices of awards will be sent to students as early as possible, with an anticipated distribution process taking place May 14 through May 22. More information regarding specific requirements, amounts distributed, and alternatives for students who don't qualify, will be posted shortly. Please check back for updates.


Apr. 6, 2020: LBCC is Open for Education
LBCC is open for education — but following the Oregon Governor's executive order to curb the spread of Coronavirus, all instruction is now being held online until further notice. 
 
All in-person events and activities are canceled until at least June 13th. Summer and fall registration will begin soon! Despite our changing situation, we encourage you to register as soon as possible and speak with an advisor about options. Your advisor will help you chart a course forward and keep you on track to achieve your goals. 
Mar. 23, 2020: Governor's Executive Order to Stay Home, Stay Safe

This morning Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued a new Executive Order (EO) directing everyone to stay at home to the maximum extent possible and adding to the list of businesses that will be temporarily closed to stem the spread of the virus in Oregon.

Thanks to the cooperation of staff, faculty, students, and all those in the LBCC community, our college is already on track to do what we need to be doing as a college by having announced the move of Spring Term classes to online formats and public closure of our buildings (please see detailed information about this change in our March 17th update). This EO will help broaden measures so that general citizens and other businesses will have the guidance needed to make similar decisions... If LBCC needs to make further decisions in the days ahead about our college's response, we will post information and contact people directly just as soon as possible. Thanks for continuing to check this page for updates.

Mar. 19, 2020: Resonse to New Executive Order 
Responding to an Executive Order from Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued last night, classes will now be held entirely remotely (online) for the remainder of the Spring Term. College facilities will continue to be closed to the public and student body during this time, as the college shifts to a virtual workspace. More specific information is forthcoming; please stay tuned. (Emails are also being sent to students, staff and all groups within the LBCC community.)
Mar. 17, 2020: Building Closures and Spring Term

As new guidelines for dealing with COVID-19 continue to be issued, we would like to thank our college community for showing such tremendous flexibility, understanding, compassion and responsibility, and for rolling with changes to ensure that LBCC remains a safe learning environment for everyone.

Today, we are announcing a set of important new decisions for LBCC:

  1. LBCC Buildings: As of Wednesday, March 18, all LBCC buildings will no longer be open to the public or general student body. (There are a few in-person finals which are the only exceptions.) Most instruction will continue by going online or delivered through other alternative means. Please visit our Student FAQ page for important information that addresses specific questions.

  2. Spring Term: We are announcing that Spring Term classes will now begin one week later: April 6th. The term will still end on time, as planned (June 12th). This adjusted class start date will allow college faculty and staff to fully put remote and alternative plans into place so we can best support our students and their success. LBCC is joining most other Oregon community colleges in announcing this change at this time. Please also see our information about Extended Learning classes and training

  3. Communication: We are striving to keep our entire community of learners and workers well-informed of updates. College leaders are working directly with the Oregon Health Authority and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to convey health information and to receive important and evolving guidance on a more-than-daily basis. All updates about LBCC are being posted here, to the LBCC Coronavirus Information page, as quickly as we can make changes. We will continue to add information to our Student FAQ section as more questions emerge. We will also continue to email and text students directly, place announcements on social media, alert the press when appropriate, and are in the process of placing physical signs on building exteriors.

Additionally, here are helpful contact resources regarding Coronavirus-related changes you can use and share:

  • At any time, including evenings and weekends, you can send an email to the following address: contact@linnbenton.edu
  • During the hours of 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, you can call our Campus Help Line and get questions routed to the appropriate administrator: 541-917-4222.

(For all other regular, ongoing college business like Financial Aid, Library, Book Store, Admissions, etc., please contact departments by phone or email directly. Again, please check the Student FAQ page for helpful specific information.)

This is an unprecedented, changing situation. Once again, thank you most sincerely for working together to support solutions -- both for the short-term need, and for the long-term health and vitality of our college and the entire LBCC community. 

With gratitude,
The LBCC Executive Team 


Mar. 13, 2020: New Student FAQ
Frequently asked questions that are specific to student issues are now listed in the COVID-19 FAQ section. We will add new answers as we identify additional areas of concern to our student population. 
Mar. 12, 2020: LBCC Response to COVID-19

We know that the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) throughout Oregon is of growing concern to our students, staff and community. LBCC is committed to providing a safe and healthy educational environment, but recognizes the way we provide service will need to shift for a time in response to recommendations from the Governor, Oregon Health Authority, public health officials, Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) and the CDC to help slow the rate of exposure and potential illness.

As of Monday, March 16th, LBCC has made the official decision to do the following:

  • Again following the recommendations of the Governor's Office, the Oregon Health Authority, and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, all LBCC locations and facilities will remain open, with further precautionary measures described below.
  • Winter term finals week exam and activities will be delivered remotely where possible.
  • Where remote testing is not possible, maximum “social distancing” measures will be utilized. ("Social distancing" refers to the practice of maintaining a distance of at least 3 feet from others.)
  • For exams that must be held in-person, LBCC will seek to relocate final exams to locations where room capacity is three times the number of people registered to take that test.
  • Where appropriate, faculty will have discretion to cancel finals or provide an alternative exercise.
  • Faculty will be reaching out to their students to explain specific course plans for finals.
  • Until at least April 10th, all non-essential LBCC-sponsored (employees and students) travel will be suspended.
  • Until at least April 10th, no LBCC events, or events hosted by other organizations that are scheduled to take place on our properties, will be permitted if they involve an attendance of more than 50 people. All events with fewer than 50 attendees will be held with maximum social distancing. Please check the link to the left for your event status. Please note: some events will be rescheduled, so we will update this page as information becomes available.
  • We will continue to monitor recommendations by state authorities, and share what approach will be taken with events taking place after April 10th as we get closer to that date.

Mar. 11, 2020

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to make headlines in the U.S. and around the world. We are closely monitoring the situation and working closely with local, state and national health agencies on prevention and management in the event of an outbreak in our community. 

This is an evolving situation. Our primary concern is to continue to ensure LBCC is a safe learning and working environment for students, faculty, staff and guests.  

We are working directly with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the Oregon Department of Education and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to follow guidance, best practices and decision-making concerning coronavirus in Oregon.

The Oregon Health Authority is explicitly not recommending school closures at this time. Health officials continue to emphasize the importance of education in efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Check back here for regular status updates.


Mar. 10, 2020: LBCC Working with Oregon Health Authority

LBCC is working very closely with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and is following the recommendations they have issued for all Oregon colleges and universities.  

At this time, the guidance is against closing schools and campuses where no cases of COVID-19 are present. It also recommends that schools, colleges and universities consider all alternatives before closing a school, college or university in the event that a COVID-19 case is detected among students or staff. Our sister community colleges have all agreed to follow this recommendation until external health agencies instruct us to do otherwise. We are grateful LBCC has no indications of an outbreak at this time.

We are carefully monitoring this situation and creating contingency plans if we need them. We are also increasing and changing our cleaning products and practices, in alignment with the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC).

It is important that we all practice personal wellness. Follow these guidelines:

  • Stay home when you are sick. Particularly if you have a fever, you should stay home until you have been fever-free for 72 hours without medication.
  •  Increase handwashing. Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy warm water or use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol if you are unable to wash.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow.
  • Students: If you are worried about missing class, please reach out to your instructors. We will work with you to make up lost instruction time so you can be successful.

We will post regular status updates in this section of the website. Our TOP priority is to provide you with a safe learning and working environment so that you can be successful -- this is the principle that guides all of our decisions. 

Thank you for committing to staying safe and practicing wellness.


 

 

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