View our Coronavirus FAQ page for more information.

Coronavirus FAQ

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Information and Resources

For a Life Threatening Emergency:
Call Public Safety at 678-359-5111 or
Emergency Medical Services at 911
 

 

June 8, 2020

Gordon State College Announces Plans to Resume In-Person Classes for Fall 2020

Gordon State College is launching a phased program for employees and students to return to campus with guidance from the University System of Georgia (USG). The USG is working with the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) experts to mitigate the spread of the virus and to make informed decisions affecting the status of any USG campus or the system.

Since mid-March, the college has been operating primarily through remote teleworking environments associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The global pandemic has altered the way we will approach the Fall 2020 semester,” President Kirk A. Nooks said. “However, we are excited about the opportunity to resume face-to-face instruction and events in August. Over the next couple of months, we will invest our time and energy to ensure the campus is ready to receive eager students who are seeking an outstanding college experience.”  

The return to work plan includes a series of phases with gradual and staggered schedules. Some employees are fully on campus, others in a limited capacity on campus and others continuing to telework. The majority of staff and faculty will be back on campus August 12, the first day of classes for the fall semester.

“Preparing for a safe return has required us to re-think how we will offer classes and house students given the current guidance from disease experts,” Nooks said.

Cleaning will be enhanced on campus along with certain campus and office modifications are a part of the college’s approach.

During the phases of the return to work plan, staff will be present in offices on campus, but buildings and facilities on campus will be open to the public on an appointment-basis as the institution continues to take measures to train employees for the anticipated re-opening of campus in August.  Students, prospective students and guests are still encouraged to conduct business with the college by phone or email, with departments listed on the college website: https://www.gordonstate.edu/departments.

The Facilities team members have been on campus since mid-May along with limited a number of additional essential personnel to ensure the campus received the appropriate deep-cleaning in all areas. Facilities members have implemented an enhanced cleaning schedule to disinfect facilities per CDC guidelines. Additional and on-going updates will be posted to the college’s website.

 

April 30, 2020

To:         Gordon State College Students

From:    Matthew Robison, Ed.D., Dean of Students 

RE:         Additional Information Regarding CARES Act Emergency Funds

4/30/20

Dear Students,

I am happy to report additional information regarding the CARES Act Emergency Assistance Funds which you were informed about in an April 20, 2020 electronic memo from Dr. John Head, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.  Gordon State has received final approval from the US Department of Education and the University System of Georgia on the college’s CARES funds award plan.  Please find additional information below about eligibility, fund types, fund amounts, and distribution plans.

Who will be eligible to receive CARES funds?

Funding from the CARES Act is available to students who are eligible to participate in Title IV funding programs. In order to receive any CARES funds, you must have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you have not filed a FAFSA, you have up to June 30, 2020 for academic year 2019-2020 to apply and be considered for CARES funds.  Students who have filed a FAFSA must have an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) that is free of any flags or outstanding requirements to satisfy verification that would prevent you from being awarded Title IV aid. 

The CARES Act also stipulates that funding from this program is not available to students who were enrolled exclusively online prior to or on March 13, 2020, the date of the President’s Proclamation, “Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak.” Students who have been convicted of certain drug crimes while enrolled, and are ineligible to receive future Title IV aid, are not eligible for funding under the CARES Act.

Under these criteria, the following students are not eligible to receive funding from the CARES Act funding:

  • Those who either are not or could not become eligible for Title IV aid
  • Fully online students as of March 13, 2020 or prior
  • Transient students
  • Dual Enrollment students

If I meet the eligibility requirements, what type of funds (and how much) will I receive?

  • GSC CARES Student Grant—this grant will be given to all currently enrolled students as of April 20, 2020, who meet the above eligibility requirements.  Award amount will be $350 per eligible student.
  • GSC Emergency Assistance Grant—this grant will be given to all GSC students who filed the FAFSA and had an estimated family contribution that indicated they were eligible to receive the Pell grant.   Award amounts will be $450 per eligible student. Recipients of the GSC Emergency Assistance Grant will also receive the GSC CARES Student Grant for a combined total of $800 per eligible student.
  • GSC COVID Emergency Assistance Fund—this fund will be used to provide emergency grants to assist students during the COVID-19 crisis.  It is designed to enable a student to meet a short-term financial hardship and is managed by the Dean of Students.  GSC students who meet CARES fund eligibility requirements as outlined above may apply to the COVID Emergency Assistance Fund.  This fund could cover costs such as (but not limited to): food expenses, technology, course materials, travel costs related to a death or illness of immediate family member, unanticipated and/or extraordinary child expenses (i.e., child-care, formula, diapers, etc.), medical bills or medications, sudden emergency move or change in living conditions and/or to prevent homelessness, safety needs (i.e., lock changes). To apply to the COVID Emergency Assistance Fund, complete the application at: http://falcon.gordonstate.edu/scripts/survey/rws5.pl?FORM=CARESActEmergencyFundApp. You must provide detail in your application on why you need funding; applications will be reviewed by a campus committee of faculty and staff.  As part of the review process, you may be requested to submit additional documentation. After submitting an application, it will take up to two weeks to process and award funds. Emergency assistance award amounts will average $500 per eligible student.

How will I receive CARES Funds?

If you meet eligibility requirements, GSC CARES Student Grant and GSC Emergency Assistance Grant funds will be applied directly to your student account. You will NOT need to apply for them.  However,  you must submit an application to be considered for receiving COVID Emergency Assistance Funds. This application can be found at:  http://falcon.gordonstate.edu/scripts/survey/rws5.pl?FORM=CARESActEmergencyFundApp.

When will I receive CARES Funds?

The Bursar’s Office will begin to process eligible students funds within the next week. Students that are eligible, and have opted for electronic refunds, should expect to see their refunds processed in their student accounts within 7 days. Students that have opted for a paper check will see their refunds processed on their student account within 7 days, but their checks will be mailed from Chicago, IL and therefore students should anticipate a delay.

The college hopes all of you are staying safe and healthy. And, we look forward to the day when we will all be back on campus to learn, live, and laugh together once more.  

Highlanders Forward!

Dean Robison

 

April 20, 2020

To:         Gordon State College Students

From:    John Head, Ed.D., Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

RE:         Federal Assistance from CARES Act

4/20/20

Over 2500 Gordon State College students will receive federal funding as part of stimulus package recently passed by Congress. The funding has been made available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and will be distributed "immediately" by the U.S. Department of Education, officials said. 

The CARES Act provides nearly $14 billion to support postsecondary education students and institutions.

The allocation to Gordon State totals $3.4 million, and will be dispersed in two phases.  Gordon State’s has been awarded $1,713,746 in the first phase of grants for students. 

Gordon State is required to utilize the funds to provide cash grants to students for expenses related to disruptions to their educations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including things like course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care, and childcare. Grants in the Cares Act target minority-serving institutions that enroll many Pell Grant-eligible students.

We are so thankful to be able to support our students through this funding provided by the CARES Act. Over half of our students qualify for the federal Pell grant, so we know that their needs are great under normal circumstances.  This funding is going to hopefully help them survive during this difficult period.

Our faculty and staff have been great about maintaining contact with our students.  We have heard of many instances of technology needs in order to do their work and we have tried to address those situations whenever possible.  However, we have also heard many stories of students and their families struggling with food insecurity, loss of income, and uncertainty about being able to pay the rent.  This funding is coming at the right time and we will be getting this money to our students as quickly as possible.

Gordon State’s grants are split into three funds: GSC CARES Grant, GSC Emergency Assistance Grant and the GSC COVID Emergency Fund. Based on their enrollment status and their demonstrated financial need as determined by the FAFSA, students may receive grants as high as $700 through the GSC CARES Grant plus the GSC Emergency Assistance Grant. These funds will not be available to Transient students or dual enrollment students. 

The third fund, the GSC COVID Emergency Fund, will be open to all students.   All GSC students will be eligible to complete an application and provide documents to receive a grant to assist with emergency expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Gordon’s Dean of Students will be charged with selecting and leading a campus review committee to receive and review applications for the GSC COVID Emergency Fund. 

Complete information about the grants and the application process for the GSC COVID Emergency fund will be sent to students in a separate email.

 

April 10, 2020

To:         Gordon State College Students

From:    C. Jeffery Knighton, Ph.D., Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

RE:         Spring 2020 Commencement  

4/10/2020

Graduating Highlanders,

First of all…congratulations!  While circumstances may not allow us to celebrate your accomplishments in the traditional sense in May, we still want to give you the recognition and accolades that you deserve.  The past few weeks have been challenging for all of us, and we share your sadness and disappointment in not being able to hold a commencement ceremony on campus this spring.  We have been working on some plans that we hope you will be very excited about.

  • A virtual ceremony will be held at 9:00 a.m. on May 15, 2020, the original date of your commencement ceremony.  We will recognize each graduate individually and it will be online and accessible to you, your family and friends everywhere.  We will also be sending each of you a program of the event that you can share with family and friends.  More detailed information will be coming your way very soon.
  • An on-campus ceremony is also being planned for all students who were scheduled to walk across the stage in May.  It is tentatively scheduled for August 9, pending restrictions being lifted by then.  We will share more information with you as it becomes available. 

As part of our virtual ceremony, we are requesting that each graduate submit a photo, to help you virtually walk across stage. For these photos, we encourage students to wear their official regalia or choose other celebratory clothes. Instructions for how to submit these photos will be forthcoming.

Please know that we are here for you and are committed to your success.  Don’t hesitate to let us know how we can assist you.  Take care, stay safe, and we will be in touch soon.

Again, congratulations on your significant accomplishment. 

 

March 25, 2020

Seven Steps To Navigating GSC Online Classes

Gordon State College uses Brightspace by D2L for online courses. Following guidance from the University System of Georgia, on Monday, March 30, 2020, Gordon will move all face-to-face instruction to an online or distance-based format using Brightspace by D2L. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they can login to their course(s), check for announcements, e-mail messages, discussions and more.

If you have never used Brightspace by D2L, this article will help walk you through getting started.  

online learningSeven Steps to Getting Started with Remote Learning:

1.       Make sure that you have Chrome or Firefox browser on your computer. These are the preferred browsers for D2L. You can download them for free here: Firefox Free Downloadhttps://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/  or the Chrome Free Download: https://www.google.com/chrome/?brand=CHBD&gclid=CjwKCAjw3-bzBRBhEiwAgnnLCguKSQF0eUJa1Kbbz9Wvs-s7DtMme813Pn11tAo7TR0zHRxb9HcZ8hoC09YQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

2.       Make sure that you can log into Brightspace by D2L. Go to the Gordon State webpage: www.gordonstate.edu and scroll to the bottom of the page. Choose "Brightspace by D2L". Log in with your Gordon email username, and do not include @gordonstate.edu. Use your current Gordon email password. If your log in doesn't work, reset your Gordon email password here: https://falcon.gordonstate.edu/changepass/gdnreset.asp

3.       Download Office 365 if it is not already on your computer. If you do not have  the programs included in Office 365 (Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook, etc…) on your computer, consider downloading it using your Gordon email here: https://www.gordonstate.edu/departments/computer-services/office-365/index.html. You can download Office 365 on up to five devices, including PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.

4.       Check your Gordon email by going to the Gordon State College website, www.gordonstate.edu, scroll to the bottom of the screen and choose "Gordon Email." Also consider downloading the Microsoft Outlook app onto your iOS Apple or Android phone, smart device or tablet and log in so you can receive emails from that platform as well.

5.       If you do not have consistent access to a laptop or computer, download the Brightspace by D2L Pulse app. This mobile version is available for iOS and Android devices and is free and available in all app stores. This will enable you to receive up to date announcements right from your phone or tablet.

6.       If you need assistance: Contact your professor by GSC email, if the question is about the content of the course. If the question is technical and related to D2L, please send an email to: d2lhelp@gordonstate.edu. Please make sure to include your name, the course/section, the professor's name and a clear description of the issue.

7.       If you are unfamiliar with D2L, check out these online resources and video tutorials: https://www.gordonstate.edu/departments/computer-services/brightspace-by-d2l/brightspace-by-d2l-student-resources/index.html

In order to be successful in online courses at GSC, students are encouraged to navigate D2L before the classes resume on Monday, and above all remain engaged with your instructors and classmates by checking your email and D2L daily!

 

March 24, 2020

Gordon State Temporarily Waives SAT/ACT Scores for Admission

admissions

First-year students applying to Gordon State College for the Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters can be admitted without an ACT or SAT score with the required 2.0 GPA. In light of the decision made by the College Board and ACT to suspend the availability of testing during the COVID-19 virus pandemic, prospective students applying for admission in Fall 2020 will not be required to submit an ACT or SAT score.

Dr. John D. Head, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs said, “My heart goes out to the students across Georgia and this country who have had their senior years upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The last thing we would ever want to have happen is for their college plans to be impacted or put on hold because the testing dates were cancelled.  I applaud this decision and am confident that the new class of Highlanders will be ready and prepared to begin their freshmen year at Gordon State College.  The faculty and staff at GSC are eager to welcome them to our family and we are all looking forward to what the 20-21 academic year holds.”

The scores are used by most U.S. colleges and universities as part of the application process to assist in the college acceptance process. The College Board and ACT voted to suspend all upcoming ACT and SAT testing dates. The College Board stated in a Tweet that all students who registered for the SAT will receive refunds and that additional SAT testing opportunities would be provided as soon as possible. This change for admissions for Summer and Fall 2020 semesters has been approved by the University System of Georgia. In the absence of test scores, prospective first-year students must meet all other admission requirements, including satisfactory completion of the required high-school curriculum and all other requested documentation.

The Office of Admissions at Gordon will continue to process applications as normal. Students can check the status of their applications online at https://www2.gordonstate.edu/application-status-check/ . Any questions can be directed to admissions@gordonstate.edu.  

Gordon State College continues to operate in a limited capacity with essential personnel on campus.  All visitors to campus are required to seek service at the Student Services Center, at the corner of Spencer and College, open Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. until 12 noon.

 

March 23, 2020

TO:                  Gordon State College Students and Parents/Guardians
FROM:            Dr. Kirk A. Nooks, President                   
SUBJECT:      Student Refund Plan – Please forward to your parents/guardians

Highlander Nation,

I want to say thank you to every single one of you!  Over the past week, we have seen our Gordon State family adjust and adapt to an ever-changing environment as we navigate our way to delivering remote instruction.  We have seen many of our resident students return to collect their belongings, and we have received many calls from you with questions regarding refunds.  As a member of the University System of Georgia (USG), we have worked closely with the system office to review the services that we will be able to deliver and what services will need to end.  

Gordon State College drafted a Student Refund Plan and submitted that to the USG last week.  The plan was reviewed and approved by the USG. Our plan calls for GSC to refund students who have paid or been assessed these fees for the Spring 2020 semester, with the following considerations:

  1. For College Housing residents, students on the Dining Services meal plan, and students with parking permits, the College has requested and received approval to implement refunds, with the following considerations:
    1. March 16 is considered the last service date for refunds.
    2. For College Housing residents, GSC will refund the respective Spring semester rate per individual resident based on their number of unutilized bed nights and the specific rate for the residence hall in which they lived.
    3. For students on the Residential Dining Services meal plan, 43.9% of the respective Spring semester rate will be refunded minus used Gordon Bucks.
    4. Commuter meal plans and Gordon Bucks will be refunded based on the unused balance.
    5. Students with paid parking permits will receive refunds based on days remaining in the term from March 16 forward.
  1. Consistent with the USG guidance, GSC will not provide refunds for tuition, the Special Institutional Fee, the Technology Fee, or other fees not previously mentioned as these remain critical in supporting continuity of instruction and associated support. Separately, students who choose to withdraw entirely will be refunded in accordance with GSC’s normal refund schedule.
    1. Technology is obviously playing a critical role as we transition to remote instructional delivery.  The technology fee that each student pays will play a critical role in making sure we can successful deliver instructional content in the weeks ahead.
    2. Health Services will remain open and available to see any enrolled student.  For many of our students, the GSC Health Services Center is their only healthcare option and we must keep this service open. For more information about making an appointment with Health Services, please contact Alice Turner via email alicet@gordonstate.edu or by phone at 678-359-5476.
    3. Counseling and Accessibility Services will remain in operation, as well.  The COVID – 19 pandemic, the resulting closures and quarantines have created much stress and anxiety for our students, and we are committed to continue offering counseling and support via telemental health. For more information about counseling services, contact Kelly Wilson via email at kellyw@gordonstate.edu or by phone at 678-359-5585
    4. Maintaining a sense of community is critical in stressful situations. GSC Student Life and Recreation is committed to helping all Highlanders stay connected and engaged, but also to help us have some fun and relieve some stress. GSC has plans to transition clubs and organization activities online.  Please continue to check your email for more information to follow.
  2. The Bookstore has not processed any graduation related items since the graduation fair. We are not processing any graduation related orders until more information about graduation is determined. 

We expect to begin issuing refunds after March 25, 2020. Refunds will be processed to the refund method that students have previously selected. Please note that direct deposit is the fastest refund method.  For information about refunds or how to update your refund preference, please visit https://www.gordonstate.edu/departments/bursars-office/refund-types/index.html

We did not include specific dollar amounts in this email because each student’s refund amount and schedule are unique, and we want to keep this initial communication succinct and clear.

While each student has a different situation at home, I have heard many concerns about the need for access to a computer. If you find yourself in this situation, I encourage you to use a portion of the refund to purchase a laptop or tablet that would better position you for success with this transition to remote instruction.

We understand you may have questions about this process, and we invite you to submit those to businessoffice@gordonstate.edu; we will respond as swiftly as possible. Again, thank you for your patience as we work to provide care and attention to each individual, which necessarily takes some time.

Once again, thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented and challenging time. We are strengthened by witnessing the undaunted determination of students and their families to continue learning, to progress in their education, and to make this the best educational experience possible. Our faculty and staff are earnestly working alongside you in this effort.

Highlanders Forward!

 

March 20, 2020

Residence Life Move Out Instructions

First, please know that we are all truly sorry that your on-campus experience this semester has been cut short due to the Coronavirus pandemic. As we all work together to ensure your safety and well-being, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to implement the plan for the University System of Georgia (USG).

As we transition to online coursework for the remainder of the semester, all college residence halls will be closing and students will be moving out, with extremely limited exceptions for students unable to return home or who cannot find housing elsewhere. The Office of Housing and Residence Life (HRL) has developed a plan to facilitate the move-out process in a safe, efficient, and orderly manner. HRL will be implementing a sign-up process for students to confirm a time to come to campus and remove their belongings. Move-out time slots will be available beginning Friday, March 20 through Tuesday, March 24th for all residence halls. We will also have slots available on Wednesday, March 25, Thursday, March 26 and Friday, March 27th for the Village. We will be limiting the number of students per time slot to minimize the number of students on campus at any one time.

Students unable to return home or who cannot find alternate housing may request an exception to the move-out requirement by emailing gchousing@gordonstate.edu . In this email, include your name, 929#, phone number, and residence hall room number. In addition, please clearly articulate why you must remain on campus.

Before confirming your move-out time, please review the following move-out requirements and best practices:

1) Please bring no more than two individuals with you to campus to assist with move-out. Please keep CDC recommendations in mind and do not bring anyone with a compromised immune system to campus.

2) You must bring your own carts/boxes/moving supplies. The college will have a limited number of carts available; we will provide no boxes/moving supplies.

3) You must take all personal items you want from the room/apartment. In addition, remove all perishable items.

4) You may leave any items you no longer want. Housing staff will dispose any items that are left behind in the rooms.

5) You will be required to abide by the two-hour arrival and move-out window. This timeframe includes your arrival to campus, gathering your belongings, cleaning your room, returning your keys, and leaving campus. This is not a time for socialization and/or hanging out.

6) All students are to proceed directly to their room and begin packing their belongings. Residents will not be permitted to go into friend’s/peer’s rooms, and/or hang-out in lobbies/public areas. There is a limited time window to complete the move-out process, and we want to allow everyone an opportunity to collect their things in a safe and orderly fashion.

7) The college cannot provide storage. For storage companies in the area, go to:

All In One Storage, Forsyth, GA- http://allin1storage.net/

Extra Space Storage, Griffin, GA- https://www.extraspace.com/storage/facilities/us/georgia/griffin/1000000396/?cid=org::maps&utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=org::maps

Eagle Safe Storage, Macon, GA- https://www.eagleselfstoragega.com/self-storage-macon-ga-f2364?utm_source=GoogleLocal&utm_medium=storEDGE&utm_content=f2364

8) You are not permitted to be on campus outside of your move-out window.

9) Please refer to link in student email to select your move-out time. 

We appreciate your understanding and patience as HRL does its best to provide a smooth move-out to our entire residential student population. If you have additional questions or need additional information, please email gchousing@gordonstate.edu.

Sincerely,
Housing and Residence Life
Gordon State College

 

March 17, 2020

TO: Faculty, Staff and Students
FROM: Kirk A. Nooks, Ed.D., President
RE:  COVID-19 Information Update for Gordon State College (#3)

Highlander Nation-

Although we are in unchartered territory, we want to assure you that one commitment remains first and foremost in our planning: the health, wellbeing, and safety of our Gordon State College community.

 All of us, through our various roles and functions, are providing critical campus support to mitigate the impact of this global pandemic on our local community. Whether preparing to deliver instruction in the virtual setting or ensuring daily processes continue uninterrupted, we are devoting every available resource at our disposal to addressing this significant challenge. We will not waver in this commitment.

 The past several days have demonstrated that in order to successfully navigate this unprecedented situation, we must be flexible, responsive to new developments and cooperative in our responses.

 Last week, in coordination with the Governor’s Office and the Department of Public Health,  the University System of Georgia provided guidance resulting in Gordon State College temporarily suspending instruction for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. 

 On March 16, updated guidance was issued resulting in Gordon State College delivering instruction “on-line only” for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester effective March 30, 2020.

 This email includes the latest information regarding this decision. This information will be posted to our COVID-19 landing pageand we encourage you to continue checking your email and our campus website regularly for updates. If you have questions related to this on-going situation, you can also send a message to COVID19@gordonstate.edu

First, based on the USG release, “Students will receive specific instructions from campus leaders regarding when they will be allowed to return to campus to retrieve their belongings from residence halls. Students must follow those instructions. For those students who are unable to depart campus, we will make every effort to accommodate these students.” Should you have any questions during this time, please reach out to Dean Matthew Robison at matthewr@gordonstate.edu. Again, until instructions are issued and permission is granted, students will not be allowed back on campus or in the residence halls. We are aware that students will have questions about refunds. The “USG will be providing guidance to campuses on refunds for housing, dining, and other services. Students should wait for their campus to contact them.”

Second, the campus will continue to operate in a limited capacity through Sunday, March 29, 2020, with essential personnel, which includes Public Safety and Facilities staff members. All other faculty and staff should be telecommuting at this point. Faculty and staff have through Wednesday, March 18 to pick up essential belongings. Please pick up items and do not congregate on campus. If staff need to be on campus to conduct an institutional transaction or process, it will require Presidential approval via your Vice President. All visitors to campus are required to seek service at the Student Services Center (at the corner of Spencer and College).

Third, as a reminder, Gordon State College is postponing or cancelling on-campus or off-campus events between now and March 29.  This includes recruitment events, tours, Open House, student programs, advisory board meetings, reunions, concerts, performances, conferences, athletics, community education, competitions, club and social events. In addition, all GSC non-essential travel has been cancelled.

We will continue to work with the University System of Georgia to develop plans that are tailored to meet the specific needs of our institution. Further decisions that affect the continuity of our operations—including the status of campus events and instruction beyond March 29, 2020—will be provided to you via updates as the situation evolves.

 In closing, we would remind you that each of us has important responsibility in managing this public health crisis.  You can find the latest CDC guidelines here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

We are calling on each of you to closely review and abide by these guidelines.  We must stand together, support each other and protect each other during this difficult time. We know we will because we have often demonstrated a great capacity to care for one another and to care for others.  That’s the Power of WE! Together, we will persevere.

March 16, 2020

The University System of Georgia (USG) has decided that all 26 institutions will move to online instruction for all courses for the remainder of the semester with extremely limited exceptions. For more information: https://www.usg.edu/coronavirus

 Gordon State College is open and operating on a limited capacity through Sunday, March 29, 2020. All campus visitors will be greeted and served at the Student Services Center Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. til 12 Noon. If you need to reach the Department of Public Safety call 678-359-5111.

 

March 14, 2020

COVID-19 Information Item #2 - Department of Public Health Update

This week has presented an extremely challenging time for the faculty, staff, students and supporters of Highlander Nation. We appreciate your patience and support as we all continue to grapple with the facts surrounding this global pandemic. This is new territory for all of us and know that there will be more questions than answers in the coming weeks. We will do our best to keep you updated on the facts as they pertain to Gordon State College.

We previously shared that Gordon State College had been notified that two students may have been exposed to COVID-19 while working at an off-campus location. I am glad to share that the student who was the first to self-disclose is still under self-quarantine and remains asymptomatic. This is very encouraging news. The second student was tested due to potential COVID-19 symptoms and has been found not to have COVID-19. The students remain quarantined at home, off-campus.

While this is positive news and while the overall risk of COVID-19 to students at Gordon State College is low, we encourage you to continue to follow best preventative measures.

The best prevention measures for any respiratory virus, including COVID-19 are:

· Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

· Stay home when you are sick.

· Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

 While we understand the concerns and fear around COVID-19, it is extremely important that students stay calm and not panic. The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Most cases of COVID-19 are mild with symptoms similar to a cold.

To reiterate, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students at Gordon State College at this time. We will provide updates as we learn more.

For accurate and reliable information about COVID-19 log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

March 13, 2020 

For the last several weeks, the Gordon State College Task Force has been working diligently to prepare for and plan our institution’s approach to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Phase One included “Education and Prevention,” which was captured in the Nooks’ Notes from March 6. Phase Two included “Readiness,” in which we prepared for the possibility of online instruction and remote services should there be a confirmed outbreak or guidance by the University System of Georgia and the Department of Public Health. As of yesterday, we find ourselves entering into Phase Three of “The Response.”

Per the direction from the University System of Georgia, Gordon State College, will temporarily suspend instruction for two weeks starting March 16, 2020. We take very seriously the responsibility to make prudent and well-informed choices for the well-being of our campus communities and the public. We continue to prepare for all scenarios in this rapidly evolving situation. All USG institutions have plans to ensure academic continuity as operations are impacted. The USG is providing regular updates to all institutions and the public at its website, https://www.usg.edu/coronavirus.

Today in consultation with the GSC Task Force and Cabinet, we have made some decisions that will guide our actions over the next couple of weeks.

1.       Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, Gordon State College will be open to the public in a limited capacity. Visitors to the campus will be greeted and served at the Student Services Center. We know there may be a delay in our response time and we appreciate your patience.

2.       The Facilities team will continue to sanitize per CDC guidelines and deep clean campus buildings during the break.

3.       Effective immediately, Gordon State College is postponing or cancelling on-campus or off-campus events between now and March 29.  This includes recruitment events, tours, Open House, student programs, advisory board meetings, reunions, concerts, performances, conferences, athletics, community education, competitions, club and social events. In addition, all GSC non-essential travel has been cancelled.

4.       We will provide timely and updated information as it becomes available to our GSC website in order to keep you informed with factual information. Please monitor frequently.

This is a significant challenge for our college, region and nation. This is also an opportunity to demonstrate “The Power of WE” and our commitment to our campus community as we learn to adapt and support one another through these circumstances. We are an institution with a history of putting self aside and focusing on the common goal. Thanks for all you continue to do on behalf of our students and Highlander Nation.

March 12, 2020

The University System of Georgia (USG) is consulting constantly with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force. 

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp today announced state agencies, school systems and local communities have been given the flexibility to implement closures.

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all 26 USG institutions will temporarily suspend instruction for two weeks to allow time for USG institutions to test their business continuity plans and online instruction modules and for state officials to continue to assess the current situation regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Georgia.

Students who are currently on spring break are strongly encouraged not to return to campus. Students on campus are asked to depart campus by close of business Friday, March 13, 2020, and to remain away from campus until March 29, 2020. At this time, students are not being asked to move out of their dorms for the remainder of the semester. All institutions are being asked to work with students who are unable to leave campus.

We take very seriously the responsibility to make prudent and well-informed choices for the well-being of our campus communities and the public. We continue to prepare for all scenarios in this rapidly evolving situation. All USG institutions have plans to ensure academic continuity as operations are impacted.

The USG is providing regular updates to all institutions and the public at its website, https://www.usg.edu/coronavirus.

In the interim, all students, faculty and staff who may be traveling in any capacity (either domestically or internationally) are being encouraged to register their travel information.  This can be done using the following link: http://falcon.gordonstate.edu/scripts/survey/rws5.pl?FORM=GSCTravelSurvey

The CDC strongly advises against anyone traveling to a location subject to a Level 3 or higher Travel Health Notice, including most of Europe, South Korea, China and Iran. We also encourage community members to check with the U.S. Department of State website, and talk with family and travel companions to make a wise decision about travel plans, particularly related to travel in Europe.

We urge all community members to practice good preventive measures and to visit the USG resource guide for the latest information concerning travel advisories and other guidance. You can also find additional information from the CDC here.

Prevention of COVID-19 is paramount, and we urge everyone to take appropriate measures such as:

  • Wash hands regularly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Be responsible and courteous to others and stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms.
  • Respect personal space when greeting others and during conversations.
  • Be mindful of those in high risk populations such as those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.
  • Follow CDC and DPH guidance on personal and business travel to avoid increasing your risk and that of others.

Guidance from DPH identifies those with the highest risk to contract COVID-19 are travelers to countries with widespread outbreaks, as well as those travelers’ close contacts. Additionally, those most likely to develop serious illness after contracting COVID-19 include persons who are older than 60, as well as persons with chronic health conditions.

Health officials advise that the incubation period of COVID-19 is 2-14 days, with an average period of 5 days. Symptoms include coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Most people experience mild to moderate symptoms. Those who experience flu-like symptoms are urged to contact the Department of Public Health at 1-866-PUB-HLTH.

The health of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority. We will continue to work with USG leaders in collaboration with state officials and DPH to act on the most up-to-date guidance available.

 

March 11, 2020

To: Gordon College Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: Kirk A. Nooks, Ed.D., President
RE: COVID-19 Information Update from the Department of Public Health for Gordon State College

 

In an effort to keep you updated on recent developments, please review this information update that has been provided in consultation with the Department of Public Health:

Gordon State College has been notified that two students may have been exposed to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) while working at an off-campus location. The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is expediting testing for the students to determine if they are infected with the virus. The students currently are quarantined at home, off-campus and self-monitoring for symptoms.

The overall risk of COVID-19 to students at Gordon State College is low. However, DPH will contact anyone who may have been in close contact with either of these students and who may be at risk of exposure.

The best prevention measures for any respiratory virus, including COVID-19 are:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

While we understand the concerns and fear around COVID-19, it is extremely important that students stay calm and not panic. The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Most cases of COVID-19 are mild with symptoms similar to a cold. 

If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and develop fever with cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, stay home and call your health care provider or local health department right away. Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

To reiterate, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students at Gordon State College at this time. We will provide updates as we learn more.

For accurate and reliable information about COVID-19 log on tohttps://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

 

March 10, 2020

At Highlander Nation, the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority. Gordon State College is closely following all Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) developments. Leadership is coordinating our response efforts closely with the University System of Georgia (USG) and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).

As of March 7, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed five cases of COVID-19 in Georgia. Three cases have been confirmed in Fulton County, one case in Floyd County and one case in Cobb County. There are no reported cases of exposure to COVID-19 at Gordon State College, or within the university system. Both DPH and CDC stress that the risk to the American public is low. The state and the university system also have systems in place to monitor and address possible infectious diseases. In addition, Gordon State College has comprehensive plans to address emergencies, including infectious diseases, plus a working task force in place to monitor and plan appropriately. 

On March 5th, the CDC updated their guidance for any traveler who is returning to the U.S. from a country with a Level 3 travel warning. China, Italy, Iran and South Korea are all currently designated as Level 3.

The CDC said that those individuals returning to the U.S. should self-quarantine for 14 days from the time they left a Level 3 country. The links below give additional guidance about what the person should do.

Gordon State College does not have any study abroad programs for spring and summer for these countries in 2020.

Spring Break 

 If you are planning to travel during Spring Break, in light of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), here are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Check the travel information on the CDC and State Department websites and talk with your family and travel companions to make a wise decision about travel plans.
    • China, South Korea, Iran and Italy — all Level 3 or higher countries on the State Department and CDC websites. The CDC strongly advises that you should not travel to a location with a Level 3 or higher Travel Health Notice. 
    • In an abundance of caution and consistent with guidelines from the CDC and Georgia Department of Health, all travelers originating from, returning from, or connecting through a CDC Warning Level 3 or higher travel notice area MUST NOT return to a Gordon State College campus or facility until they have been asymptomatic for a period of 14 days from the date of entering/reentering the United States. Travelers should self-quarantine and follow CDC and local health authority guidelines.  
    • Guidelines for self-quarantine from the CDC include:
      • Restricting activities outside the home except for appointments with a medical professional for evaluation.
      • Limited contact with others in the home, including pets. 
      • Frequent hand washing.
      • Regular cleaning of all high-touch surfaces including tables, countertops, doorknobs, keyboards, tablets, bathroom fixtures, television remotes, and phones.
      • Limiting the sharing of household items like drinking glasses, plates, utensils, bedding, towels, and clothing.
      • Washing dishes, clothing, and bedding regularly. 
  • Remember, the status of countries or regions regarding coronavirus may change while you are traveling and affect airport or other travel processes. Stay connected to the CDC and State Department websites to ensure you have the latest information. We want you to return to Georgia safely.
  • Until further notice, for all faculty and staff, if you are traveling internationally in any capacity -- through Gordon State or on personal travel – we request that you consider reporting your travel to the Office of Human Resources.
  • Until further notice, for all students, if you are traveling internationally in any capacity -- through Gordon State or on personal travel – we request that you consider reporting your travel to the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs:  http://falcon.gordonstate.edu/scripts/survey/rws5.pl?FORM=GSCTravelSurvey
  • If, at any time, you experience symptoms similar to COVID-19, take precautions by self-isolating, and call ahead to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or other appropriate health care facility.

We need Highlander Nation safe and healthy in order to finish the semester well. As a reminder, we have COVID-19 information and resources available at https://www.gordonstate.edu/corona-virus/index.html  and will be updating the site regularly. Thank you for staying informed and working to stay healthy -- for yourself and our entire community.  

Enjoy your Spring Break. We look forward to having everyone back on campus on March 23.

Prevention

Prevention is a key strategy with any virus, such as influenza or this coronavirus, so it is important to both protect yourself and take measures against spread to others:

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home if you’re sick, especially with a fever.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • cdc-covid_img_2.png

Resources

We want to share tips on how to stay healthy and inform our community as we receive communication to help minimize the spread of illness. Gordon State College relies on information and guidance from: