COVID-19 Employee Information
These are informational emails to employees related to our college responses to the emerging COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. All updates will include a date/time, with newer information at the top of this page.
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 25 @12:46 PM)
|IVCCD Mail Process during COVID-19
District Office – Plant Services will deliver the mail daily to the District Office. Business Office staff will continue to sort mail. Similar to how it currently works, the mail will be delivered to various areas by Plant Services and then it would be up to each area to distribute the mail to unit staff. Our plan is to do this daily but that may change depending on staffing. The District Office staff will continue to add postage and take mail to the Post Office. Our plan is to do it daily but that may change depending on staffing.
Cindy Schulte has volunteered to transport mail from District Office to Ellsworth Community College on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Ellsworth Community College – ECC will have a staff person sort mail on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to be distributed to campus areas (Admissions, Financial Aid, etc.) as well as faculty mailboxes. Faculty will have access to their mailboxes in Gentle Student Center each Friday from 9 am to noon by going in the southwest door of the Gentle Student Center; Plant Services will open the door. If there are specific needs or things that a faculty or staff person is looking for, email the Customer Service Specialist. Plant Services will continue to take the mail to the Post Office each afternoon. Vendors like UPS, FedEx, etc., have been contacted about their deliveries.
Marshalltown Community College – U.S. Mail will be delivered daily to Maintenance rather than via Door #2. Plant Services will bring both US and campus mail to room 115, then MCC staff will distribute to faculty and staff mailboxes using typical processes. Our plan is to do this daily but that may change depending on staffing.
Continuing Education – Plant Services will deliver the mail daily to Continuing Education. A CE staff member will be assigned to sort the mail and put it in staff mailboxes. If mail delivery changes, we will adjust the staffing structure.
Iowa Valley Grinnell – Planning to come to Marshalltown once a week (to the CE mailroom) with Grinnell mail. Since the Post Office delivers to campus, we are having them hold our mail for pick up a few times per week. Any other carriers will be contacted to communicate before delivering (only waiting for one order made prior to Spring Break).
Questions can be directed to Kathy Pink at Kathy.Pink@iavalley.edu or 641-844-5539.
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 24 @ 12:39 PM)
|Dear Iowa Valley Employees,
As a result of the increase in teleworking, the purchasing process will likely take longer than normal. To help us pay all invoices as timely as possible we are requesting that spending be reduced to only what will be needed from now until the end of April. Please continue to enter requisitions for purchases that have already been received. Please continue to send invoices and backup for all requisitions/PO’s as soon as possible through email ( email@example.com ) or interoffice mail.
Please try not to purchase anything through personal means at this time. Requests for Reimbursements have to go to multiple people for approval. With most employees working remotely at least part of the time, it is likely that the time between submitting a Request for Reimbursement and it being approved and paid will be increased. We cannot guarantee a quick turnaround of reimbursements for personal expenses.
A separate note regarding permanent changes to business office procedures
In an effort to ensure that information is available in the Business Office as it is needed, we have added two new email addresses to be used starting immediately.
Please send all INVOICES to this email instead of sending them directly to Tracie Sawyer. There are many instances where the vendor name in EX does not match the invoice so remember to include a requisition or PO number so the invoice can be paid in a timely manner.
Send all NEW VENDOR REQUESTS to this email as well. In order to set up a new vendor we need a signed W9 form. Fillable W9 forms are available on the intranet. Please use “W9 form for new vendor” in the subject line of your email. Using this description in the subject line will help expedite the vendor creation process. Once the new vendor is created, you will receive an email with the new Vendor ID#.
Send all requests for use of Marshalltown fleet vehicles to this email including the date, time, destination, and purpose for your request. Also include whether you are requesting a car or van and the minimum size van you need.
The first time you request a fleet vehicle you will be required to bring in a driver’s license to the District Office when you pick up the key.
Please do not send any personal emails or questions that need immediate attention to these email addresses. If you need to reach any individuals please email them directly.
This change will be permanent (and will continue after the COVID 19 situation resolves) to ensure efficiencies and customer service during times when Business Office staff are on leave, as multiple Business Office staff are able to access these emails.
Thank you for your cooperation.
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 24 @ 11:44 AM)
Thank you for your continued efforts and for your patience as we work through issues and challenges that no one could have foreseen just a few short weeks ago. Each day we are making progress, yet also working through a variety of questions and situations that sometimes make us feel as if we’re “taking one step forward and two steps backward.” I’m hopeful that as we work through these things over time, that feeling will lessen.
I trust that many employees are able to participate in the daily all-employee Zoom calls at 1 pm. Some of the information in this email was covered yesterday on that call, but I wanted to get that in writing for those who could not participate. There is also some new information in this email, so please review the contents carefully.
First, all employees are asked to do whatever they can do at this time. Leadership is compiling a list of Critical Tasks, some of which must be done on campus (e.g. cleaning, campus mail delivery, care of students living on campus) and some of which can be done remotely for those able and approved to work from home (e.g. some payroll processing steps, teaching, updating website notices).
Previous communication indicated that other non-faculty employees would use paid leave. As we prepare to implement the newest federal guidelines, the following changes now apply to benefit eligible employees through April 1:
Specific guidance related to leave after April 1 will be issued later this week.
For now, one of our goals is to manage the number of people on campus doing Critical Tasks, and to ensure social distancing between those who are on campus.
For everyone’s peace of mind, as of today our intent is to pay benefit-eligible employees through May 31, 2020. We hope to pay beyond that, of course, but we need to study the potential impact of refund requests and summer term enrollments and facility rentals on our District cash flow before we can make a longer-term commitment. Some of our hourly non-benefit eligible employees may qualify for unemployment benefits from the state. Specific guidance and information related to unemployment benefits was distributed on March 23, 2020.
Early reports about online learning are exceedingly positive, which is great news! Many thanks and congratulations to our faculty and IT staff for their efforts thus far! At the same time, we are watching closely how the technology infrastructure is functioning because our IT is in “uncharted waters” as far as the demand on limited District bandwidth and outdated servers. Our ability to continue classes counts on the technology withstanding the surge of usage. Because of this, we will be monitoring activity for unusually high usage or anomalies and we will be reaching out to discuss.
Last week our biggest focus was on teaching/learning with the transition of face-to-face classes to online formats. We are continuing to keep our eyes on that, but leadership this week will now focus on District operations and ensuring that Critical Tasks are handled in the interest of our longer-term sustainability as an institution.
A few last bullet points of information:
Stay tuned and stay healthy! Kristie Fisher
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 23 @ 6:00 PM)
In case you missed the 1 PM All Employee call, we discussed that we would be sharing this with all employees. We decided to share broadly because we all likely have someone in our lives who may be dealing with this issue in the future.
We are working on some additional employee guidance that addresses other questions we have received; it will be issued as soon as it is ready.
Thank you for your ongoing work, flexibility and dedication to our students.
Stay healthy, Kristie Fisher
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 23 @ 2:20 PM)
Hello Iowa Valley Family!
We wanted to reach out and let you know that there are resources available to you while we are out of our normal routine.
YMCA: A new free online community program, YMCA 360, offers on-demand programs and digital coaching. The program includes some of the Y’s most popular group exercise classes like boot camp, barre, yoga, and low impact programs for seniors.
MOSSA Move has cardio and strength workouts for all ability levels. This program is free for Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA members for 60 days.
Nike Training Club: This app lets you download free 15-, 30-, and 45-minute workouts designed by Nike trainers. Most of the workouts are equipment-free and use GIFs to demonstrate how to do each exercise — from squats, to walkouts, to lunges. There’s a premium version, too, that includes nutrition advice.
The Yoga Collective app and website make it easy to search for yoga, Pilates or guided meditation by type, level and length. It has plenty of options so you can choose what area of your body you want to tone and you can squeeze in a workout or meditation if you have just five minutes or a whole hour.
The bike path in Marshalltown and Grimes farm also provide great hiking and biking trails.
In addition, to help with stress the CDC offers the following guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html
Lastly, if you are willing and able please consider donating blood at this time as there is a critical shortage across the country.
Stay healthy and safe! IVCCD Wellness Committee
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 20 @ 12:35 PM)
Thank you for your continued good work and kind support as we come to the close of what has certainly been one of the most professionally challenging weeks most of us have ever experienced. It would be naïve to think that the worst is behind us, but I believe we can all feel confident that what we’ve learned and accomplished this week has positioned us to move forward and deal with whatever happens next. I can honestly say there is no other group of professionals I’d rather be standing beside right now than all of you.
Prior to this morning’s email about the MCC housing employee with respiratory symptoms, I had planned to send out an all employee health-related message today. Given what’s transpired, I think the timing is perfect. This information has come to us from a variety of sources, and I hope you will find it helpful as you head into the weekend. Please get some rest and take good care of yourselves!
Can I refer someone with flu-like symptoms to ECC and MCC nursing faculty?
Do not refer individuals to ECC or MCC nursing faculty. This is not their job and would increase their risk of exposure. Instead, inform the individual to contact his/her healthcare provider.
On a personal note, this COVID-19 situation is new and unpredictable, and we’re all likely experiencing some emotional discomfort. Here are some thoughts and resources on staying emotionally well during these times.
Be careful of COVID-19 overload. Limit the time you spend taking in COVID-19 news. Turn off/stop reading the news, or maybe check it just once a day.
Be cautious of COVID-19 misinformation. Rumors abound right now. Check out state and local government sites for up-to-date information about closings. Go to the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/) or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/) for correct information about the virus.
Emotions reside in our bodies, so take good care of yours! Try some (or all) of these:
Stay healthy! Kristie Fisher
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 20 @ 11:13 AM)
As the landscape continues to shift, so do our plans. When you leave today please take anything you may need to work from home in the near future. You will still have access to campus if you need it.
More details at the 1 pm call.
Stay healthy, Kristie Fisher
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 20 @ 10:28 AM)
|Good morning everyone,
The IT staff and I appreciate your understanding and patience as we work to get our systems ready for telework. With yesterday’s pause, we were able to make some good progress. Thank you!
The IT staff is again looking at helpdesk tickets and is working to resolve open issues.
We will do our best to support you and your equipment in this new and unique environment. With that said, our ability to support District computers and devices that have been taken off-campus is limited. The typical tools that we use will not allow us to remote into computers outside of the District’s network. We will need to walk you through the troubleshooting steps. Please be patient as this process will be slower. Also, our ability to support personal computers and devices is limited. This is for a variety of reasons, including not being familiar with your specific device, the software installed, or the security state (virus/malware).
As a reminder, if you are experiencing issues with any of the District’s IT systems or have questions, you should contact Help Desk. This can be done by phone (extension 5555) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our preferred method of communication is email. Emailing Help Desk automatically creates a ticket, notifies our Help Desk personnel, and places your issue in the queue, all leading to a quicker response. While it is easy to email someone directly about your issue, it is also more likely that your issue will “slip through the cracks” as that individual goes about his/her day. Emailing Help Desk ensures your issue gets logged and assigned to the correct individual.
As we receive many requests a day, adhering to the following guidelines when emailing Help Desk will help us to better serve you:
All issues, whether received by email, phone, or in-person, are tracked in our Help Desk system and are monitored to make sure the issue is resolved in as timely a manner as possible.
Thank you, Mike Mosher, Chief Information Officer
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 20 @ 9:24 AM)
Around 1:30 am this morning I was notified by a supervisor that a MCC housing employee had visited the emergency room with respiratory issues but no fever. The employee did not meet the criteria for a COVID-19 test and was sent home; the employee will self-quarantine for seven days. The employee immediately contacted his/her supervisor and shared the discharge paperwork from the emergency room.
Around 2:00 am I called the emergency room, identified myself to the charge nurse, and asked for guidance on the situation for those who may have had contact with the employee. I was told those who had contact with the employee are not required to self-quarantine unless exhibiting symptoms, but social distancing is required for everyone. She said to her knowledge Marshall County does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 yet. I told her we would contact the county department of health and ask for additional guidance in the morning. Both the housing employee and I (on the employee’s behalf) asked for special consideration for the test, but the employee did not meet criteria. I should note the Emergency Room was gracious, informative, and helpful but simply could not offer the test.
The supervisor shared a list of those who have been in contact with this housing employee. I sent those people an email at 2:12 am notifying them and requesting they remain home on Friday out of an abundance of caution.
One of the employees notified to stay home was scheduled to drive international students to Des Moines at 3:30 am … again, out of an abundance of caution, this employee notified the students that I would be driving them to the airport instead. The students successfully caught their flight early this morning.
Robin Lilienthal has reached out to Marshall County Public Health this morning to request a guidance conference call. She is awaiting a return call. I expect that we will suggest the employees who had contact with the housing employee self-isolate for seven days out of an abundance of caution.
At the beginning of the week, the housing employee was not feeling well. The employee told his/her supervisor that he/she had visited a senior citizen in Illinois. The employee subsequently self-isolated because the senior citizen met qualifications for a COVID-19 test and was waiting for results. The employee was then seen by a doctor and sent home, having been notified that it was a cold and not COVID-19. The employee stayed home until receiving word that the senior citizen’s test came back negative.
I appreciate every employee involved for being proactive and transparent!
Stay health, Kristie Fisher
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 19 @ 11:21 AM)
IT was able to create a fillable form for your use. IF YOU HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED A FORM AND SUBMITTED IT, PLEASE DO NOT COMPLETE A SECOND FORM.
Thanks, Kristie Fisher
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 19 @ 9:53 AM)
We have triggered a “circuit breaker” for IT. Effective immediately, I have asked them to cease answering individual questions or needs so they can focus on immediate districtwide priorities. If you believe you have an IT emergency that must be addressed during this time, please call or email Barb Jennings and we will triage the need prior to pulling IT off critical tasks. As soon as this has been lifted we will issue another notice.
Thank you for your patience, Kristie Fisher
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 18 @ 5:14 PM)
As promised on today’s 1:00 Daily Update Call, we have attached the teleworking policy and employee request form. Please know we have worked hard to balance to needs of employees, our students, and our community while supporting social distancing for public health. We may have additional communications later, but I didn’t want to delay issuance of this guidance any further. And given time constraints, the form is not fillable so please complete by hand. If you choose to use vacation or sick leave while you await a decision on approval, please take a photo of the completed form and attach to an email if you do not have the ability to scan.
Because I don’t want specific questions related to this important document to wait for my attention in email, please send any questions about the guidance in this document to email@example.com with the subject line Question Regarding TeleWork Policy Issued March 18.
As always, thank you for your commitment and hard work.
Stay healthy, Kristie Fisher
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 18 @ 10:24 AM)
|Colleagues (especially faculty),
I have had a few questions this morning about faculty regarding their need to be on campus to teach. Faculty has been resolved and you can work from home or on campus at your discretion.
On page two of the document emailed yesterday and linked below:
Faculty and campus directives for classes at ECC, IVG and MCC were released on March 16. Faculty members who are teaching via Zoom do not have to report to campus, but access to offices and work spaces remain available to these faculty. Faculty who have lab or other campus related requirements will receive additional guidance from provosts as it is developed. Please follow academic leadership guidance on reporting your class delivery plans to your academic dean.
Stay healthy and thank you for your hard work! Kristie Fisher
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 17 @ 7:43 PM)
Continued thanks for everyone’s efforts to address the many aspects of COVID-19 planning that are in the works. This email is to follow up on today’s 2:00 p.m. employee conference call. I want to better explain the rationale for the decision to designate specific employees for work on Wednesday, March 18, and to assure each of you that you are essential. My intent was simply to identify specific employees and tasks that must be performed tomorrow, and essential was not the correct word choice.
Now to the rationale for tomorrow. Given the Governor’s proclamation today and emerging news from various state and federal agencies, I decided we need to follow the model of the New York Stock Exchange and trigger a “circuit breaker” to give leadership time to communicate, collaborate and plan for future work arrangements. We will issue additional guidance on topics like tele-working tomorrow after a series of meetings.
The following information applies for tomorrow (Wednesday, March 18) only.
No one is required to report to campus tomorrow (Wednesday, March 18) unless you are notified by a member of the Administrative Leadership Team (or a designee) that you are needed physically on campus. Some other specific employees will also be notified that you are needed for specific work tomorrow but it will be your choice whether to conduct that work at home or on campus.
While I suggested employees should take all items they might need with them today, the campus will remain open as long as we can comply with social distancing requirements.
We are asking everyone who is able to be available on email from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. tomorrow.
Tomorrow all employees who are not asked to work should charge the day to “Excused Release Time” in Paycor – https://secure.paycor.com/Accounts/Authentication/Signin?Logout=1. Once logged in, click on “Me” in the header, then “Time and Attendance”. Click on Request Time Off, then Full Day (note the correct number of hours based on your own work schedule):
General Guidance not Related to Wednesday, March 18
The attached file contains the employee communication document as promised. Please note that the information is effective as of this moment and was created for general use. It does not address the plan for Wednesday, March 18, as noted above. All information contained in the attached document is subject to change based on continued evolving guidance from state agencies and the Centers for Disease Control. For example, we are watching potential legislation on both the federal and state level that might influence how IVCCD would approach the information contained in this guideline.
Finally, I will revisit a theme from our all employee call yesterday. I will ask for grace as you review the document. The team working on this was in meetings, calls and working on this late into the night yesterday and back working on it long before sunrise this morning, so eyes and minds are not as fresh as we would prefer.
Because I don’t want specific questions related to this important document to wait for my attention in email, please send any questions about the guidance in this document to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Question regarding Employee Guidance Issued March 17
Stay healthy, Kristie Fisher
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 16, 2020 @ 7:21 PM)
Words cannot express how grateful I am for your dedication and service today. We stayed focused on guiding principles and worked hard to serve our students and our community today while also supporting each other.
I wanted to share that both student and public statements will be disseminated this evening as well as share some staff and faculty focused information. While I encourage you to read both in their entirety when they are posted online, the most important items to note are:
While both these statements will address College-Sponsored travel for students and employees, I wanted to add some additional context for all of you.
FYI – IVCCD residence halls and food service will remain open, but food service expects to serve housing students only (employees should bring their own lunches). Students who are able are being encouraged to return to their homes. Guidelines for students returning home will be provided by the Residence Life staff on each campus.
The COVID-19 Sharepoint site is open to all employees and we will be posting information regularly. During the All Employee Zoom Conversation today, there was a question asked about cleaning protocols. Chris Bland and Dave Henry shared a brief overview with the COVID-19 Response Team today and they will post detailed information for all employees in the coming days.
And finally, Colleen Springer and Kathy Pink worked most of the day on employee policies and guidance related to topics such as leave and tele-work. We are still reviewing this and hope to have detailed employee specific information distributed tomorrow. We appreciate your patience.
Tomorrow will be another busy day for us, so I wish you all a restful evening.
Stay Healthy, Kristie Fisher
EMPLOYEE EMAIL (MAR. 15, 2020 @ 9:51 AM)
Throughout spring break many individuals have been monitoring and working on an initial COVID-19 response. In addition, a small group met to make immediate decisions, discuss communication needs and create a plan for Monday. As we prepare for our workdays on Monday and Tuesday, I wanted to share some preliminary information from the work that occurred last week.
Guiding Principles for our COVID-19 Response
Informed: We will use the IDPH, CDC and local public health officials as key resources. When in doubt check these sources first. Cite and include links to relevant guidance when it is appropriate.
Honoring Individual Concerns: There will be many personal decisions made over the next few weeks. We will not judge our colleagues or students for “over-reaction.” We acknowledge we don’t know others’ situations: Are they caring for an elderly parent or dealing with a private health concern? Remember, all concerns are valid and we need to balance concern with measured actions.
Collaboration is Key: The need to distribute work to subject matter experts but also maintain clarity and accountability caused us to identify some leads in several areas. While many individuals are capable of serving in lead roles, we simply selected some of our many qualified employees to serve in these roles. These leads will be engaging others for expertise.
Responsible: We will strive to make decisions that will allow us to contribute to the social distancing initiatives to support public health while maintaining services and learning as our local situation allows. We understand this response will have a financial impact. We will be responsible in making financial decisions ensuring we are maximizing our resources and ensuring the future sustainability of Iowa Valley.
Consistency across locations: Consistency and clarity are important. We will strive to make decisions, communications, and practices consistent across the District unless guidance from a local county health department calls for variation.
Communication: In a quickly changing environment, we will strive to offer clear, consistent, regular communications in transparent way.
Decisions to date
EMAIL TO EMPLOYEES (MAR. 13, 2020 @ 12:44 PM)
Shortly we will be sending an emergency notification that classes will be cancelled on Monday and Tuesday for students. All staff and faculty will work on Monday and Tuesday to ensure we have a plan that allows us to maximize learning while minimizing the risk of exposure to our employees, students and communities. We are all partners in public health and we value each of you.
Over break we have been carefully following the guidance from the CDC and IDPH. Until Thursday evening, we had planned to follow the guidance from the Center for Disease Control for Institutions of Higher Education that do not have COVID-19 identified in their community. However, the accelerated rate of change over the last 24 hours has led us to the decision to cancel classes for students on Monday and Tuesday. It is important to note at the time of this message there are no confirmed cases in our service area but we believe the extra time to plan will be well spent.
While classes will be cancelled Monday and Tuesday, all services and departments will be open and many of you will be engaged in small group work to prepare and plan for our response to COVID-19. We will be sending additional guidance prior to campuses opening on Monday am. All employees should check email over the weekend or first thing on Monday for meeting notifications.
We will also be issuing a student and community statement later today following the emergency notification; you all will receive this notice as well.
As always please stay home if you are ill. In addition to COVID-19, there are a variety of other illnesses including influenza that are striking communities and work places so please keep yourself and your colleagues healthy.
If you are interested, the Iowa Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control both are excellent resources available online.www.cdc.govCoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.
Other helpful links:
- Iowa Department of Public Health
- Hardin County Public Health
- Marshall County Health Department
- Poweshiek County Department of Public Health
- Tama County Public Health & Home Care Department
Stay healthy, Kristie Fisher