March 21, 2020
March 20, 2020
Ocean County College To Remain Remote Through Spring Semester; College Is Cancelling Commencement Ceremony Due To The Covid-19 Pandemic
Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Ocean County College has made the decision to continue online-only instruction and remote business practices through the Spring 2020 semester. During this period, student services will be available on-line and by phone, including the ability to register for future semesters.
The College further regrets to announce that 2020 Commencement ceremonies will be cancelled. This was a difficult decision but one OCC believes is necessary to keep students, families, faculty, and staff safe. OCC is working on some alternate ways to celebrate the accomplishments of graduates including a video overview of the past year on campus. Additional information will be available on the OCC website.
Executive Vice President of Finance & Administration
March 18, 2020
To Members of the Campus Community:
I am writing to inform you that the College has been assessing the global, national, and local factors relating to the rapidly shifting situation of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). Although there are few confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ocean County, making the risk of community transmission of the virus low, it is continuing to spread in various parts of the country and the state. As a result, a number of changes are being implemented at the College in response to the virus.
Beginning Monday, March 16, and until further notice, the College will move to virtual instruction and primarily remote business practices. OCC, like many other institutions following the guidance of public health officials, is adopting a practice of social distancing in an effort to safeguard its students and employees while still fulfilling its mission of academic excellence.
The College will continue to provide services via email and phone during regular business hours. Contact information for each department is available in our faculty and staff directory. Students are on Spring Break from Monday, March 16, through Sunday, March 22. All face-to-face classes are cancelled, from Monday, March 23, and until further notice, and will instead move to online instruction. Faculty members and lecturers will work with their deans to determine how best to continue class instruction.
- In-person classes are cancelled from March 23 until further notice, and instead will be conducted remotely. Students will be contacted and provided instructions by their professors. Professors should contact their deans regarding continuity of instruction.
- Some face-to-face classes cannot easily be moved to an online format. Alternate arrangements will be provided by instructors for those classes.
- All online classes will continue as usual following Spring Break.
- The OCC Library will be closed but remote access continues to be available.
- Continuing education classes are postponed or may continue by way of distance learning. All continuing education students should contact their instructor for specific details regarding CPE meeting times.
Athletics and Student Life
- Ocean County College recognizes the health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Given the constantly evolving landscape of closures and cancellations due to the COVID-19, the leadership of our institution has made the challenging decision to cancel all outdoor spring sports seasons, effective immediately. Our Executive Director of Athletics will work within the guidelines of NJCAA, to have all student-athletes regain their year of eligibility back for the 2020 spring season.
- The HUB is available via phone and email during regular business hours to help you with financial aid, registration, academic advising appointments and much more! Visit go.ocean.edu/hub for online services or email email@example.com or call 732-255-0482.
- All events scheduled to take place from March 14 through March 29, 2020, will be cancelled or rescheduled, including theatre productions, planetarium shows, outside rentals, employee meetings, student events, and trustee meetings.
- The campus is closed, however, personnel who are considered to be essential to College operations will continue to report to work on campus. Essential personnel will receive instructions from their supervisors.
- Employees who have the ability to work remotely will continue their responsibilities from home and will receive instructions from their supervisors.
- Supervisors may assign project work to employees during this period.
- Supervisors may request employees to return to work if there is a reason to do so.
- Work-related meetings should be conducted remotely.
- Canteen Food Service will be closed.
- Security will continue to provide 24 hour service on campus.
- A deep cleaning will be undertaken by custodial personnel throughout the campus.
- Campus construction will continue.
At this time, it is anticipated that all on-campus operations will resume on Monday, March 30, 2020, including face-to-face classroom instruction; however, another assessment will be made before then to ensure it is safe for students and employees to return. We will continue to keep abreast of local, state, and federal guidelines and will communicate with you through email and the OCC website. If any student or employee tests positive for COVID-19 during this time, please report it via firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-255-0379.
I want to express my appreciation to College members who have been monitoring the status of COVID-19 and its effects on OCC and Ocean County. I also appreciate your continued cooperation as we work together to maintain the health and well-being of our campus community.
Jon H. Larson, Ph.D.
The health and safety of our students and employees is paramount. Out of an abundance of caution, if you or someone close to you is not feeling well or experiencing any type of cold or flu symptoms, please stay home. Students should work individually with their instructors to make up coursework; the instructors will accommodate such requests. Students who plan to travel during spring break should consider their options carefully, take precautions as recommended by the CDC, and self-quarantine if necessary. Any student or employee who has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should stay home and contact the College at email@example.com and/or 732-255-0379.
The CDC has issued new fact sheets on COVID-19 and how best to prevent exposure:
We will continue to update you on any news regarding COVID-19 as it becomes available.
IMPORTANT PREVENTION METHODS (CDC RECOMMENDATIONS)
In light of this matter and the ongoing cold and flu season, we continue to encourage students, faculty, and staff to take some basic precautionary measures.
To minimize the effects and spread of the COVID-19, flu and seasonal flu, please remember to:
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 30 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose. Immediately dispose of the tissue.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Maintain social distancing of 6 feet.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- And perhaps most importantly, if you are feeling ill – particularly with a respiratory ailment – see a health care professional immediately.
- If you are a resident in a community where person-to-person spread of COVID-19 has been detected and you develop COVID-19 symptoms, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms.
- For people who are ill with COVID-19 but are not sick enough to be hospitalized, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others.
- If you have been in a country with a CDC Level 3 Warning or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you will face some limitations on your movement and activity for up to 14 days. Please follow instructions during this time. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow the spread of this virus. Employees who believe it is necessary to self-quarantine, should contact Human Resources.
Executive Vice President of Finance & Administration
March 3, 2020
To the College Community:
Dr. Larson requested that the following information be shared college-wide:
Update – Information on the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV)
In response to the concerns regarding the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV), the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are regularly updating their websites with current information. The best way to stay abreast of developments on the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) is to visit these websites, or make use of hotlines put in place to answer questions. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are our highest priority and we will continue to follow the guidance provided by public health authorities as it becomes available.
The websites are as follows:
New Jersey Department of Health: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml
Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
Here is some general information that remains in place:
What are the common symptoms of 2019-nCoV?
Information to date suggests this virus is causing symptoms consistent with a respiratory illness, such as cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
How is 2019-nCoV spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
What measures should you take to prevent 2019-nCoV?
There is currently no vaccine available to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues or your sleeve, not your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wash your hands often for at least twenty seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Stay home from class and work if you are sick.
- Avoid people who are sick.
- Get a flu shot – it is not too late to be protected from the flu.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and objects.
Remote Student Services
Our Student Services offices are available to assist you via email and phone during regular business hours. View our Remote Student Services page at go.ocean.edu/remote
Questions Regarding COVID-19 Testing at OCC Should Be Directed to County
In response to a number of inquiries regarding coronavirus testing on the Ocean County College campus, individuals seeking information should call the Ocean County COVID-19 Hotline at 732-341-9700, ext. 7411, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connectivity Options and Information for Students
- FCC agreement 2 stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.
- Comcast COVID-19 response: offers free WiFi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time
- Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months
- AT&T COVID-19 response: offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families
- Verizon COVID-19 response: no special offers, but following the FCC agreement.
- Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- T-Mobile COVID-19 response 1: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
Canvas is the Learning Management System utilized by Ocean County College for online instruction.
Complete our Canvas orientation at go.ocean.edu/canvas
Resources for New Jersey Community College Students and Community Members Affected by the Coronavirus
Do you need a job?
Businesses across New Jersey need thousands of workers for immediate hire. Learn more about who is hiring in your community:
Have you lost your job or work hours been reduced?
If you have lost your job, your work hours have been reduced, or your place of work has closed you may qualify for unemployment insurance. Please visit the following websites for more information: https://myunemployment.nj.gov/
Has your job been impacted?
New Jersey has among the most comprehensive Earned Sick Leave, Temporary Disability, and Family Leave Insurance laws in the country, which cover all employees – full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal. Please visit the following websites for more information: https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/earnedsick/covid.shtml
If you need food or financial assistance
If you and/or your family are in need of food or financial assistance, you may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and/or General Assistance (GA): https://www.njhelps.org/
If you need help paying home energy bills
The Home Energy Assistance Program helps very low-income residents with their heating and cooling bills, and makes provisions for emergency heating system services and emergency fuel assistance within the Home Energy Assistance Program: https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/hea.html
If you need help paying the rent
The State Rental Assistance Program provides rental assistance grants. To get more information and determine your eligibility, visit: https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/srap.html
If you are caring for family members with special needs
The New Jersey Department of Human Services has guidance for individuals and families caring for people with developmental disabilities:
How to protect yourself
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has the most up-to-date information on protecting yourself from COVID-19:
If you think you are sick
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has the most up-to-date information as to what to do if you think you are sick:
If you need your local health department visit: www.localhealth.nj.gov
If you need health insurance
NJ FamilyCare is New Jersey’s publicly funded health insurance program. It includes CHIP, Medicaid and Medicaid expansion populations. That means qualified NJ residents of any age may be eligible for free or low cost health insurance that covers doctor visits, prescriptions, vision, dental care, mental health and substance use services and even hospitalization. https://www.njhelps.org/
If you are anxious or stressed
Coping with stress during infectious disease outbreaks can cause anxiety and stress. These guidelines can help: https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4885.pdf
If you need access to mental health professionals
NJMentalHealthCares is New Jersey’s behavioral health information and referral service. To get help now, call 866-202-HELP (4357) or visit:
If you want updates on COVID-19 from the State of New Jersey
For updates on COVID-19 in New Jersey, text NJCOVID to 898-211. For live text assistance, text your zip code to 898-211. You can also visit:
To see the New Jersey Department of Health’s COVID-19 Online Dashboard, visit:
More information on the Coronavirus can be found at: https://www.njccc.org/coronavirus
State of New Jersey COVID-19 Jobs and Hiring Portal
The State of New Jersey has developed a centralized resource to match talent with opportunities in industries on the front lines of serving New Jerseyans during the outbreak. Learn more about who is hiring in your community at https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/
Employers in critical industries can submit information about openings with urgent hiring needs related to COVID19 at jobs.covid19.nj.gov/intake.