Preparations for Campus Repopulation - July 1, 2021
Dear Campus Community,
I am pleased to inform you that, since fewer positive COVID cases have been occurring among the STCC community, I will provide you with those updates in my weekly communications. For example, during the month of June (excluding today’s pending test results), 55 tests were administered by AMR (American Medical Response) on campus. Of those tests, all were negative. By way of overview, AMR has been providing on free on-campus COVID testing since September 2020. Over the year, they have administered more than 3,400 tests of which there were 19 positive cases. 1
The College will continue to collaborate with the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) whenever there is a positive COVID case among the STCC community. All individuals who have potential close contact with the confirmed cases are notified, directed to quarantine, and encouraged to contact their primary health care provider while the DHHS oversees the formal contact tracing process. In addition, our Facilities Department conducts a thorough cleaning of the affected buildings (see below for information about HVAC). These measures will continue to remain in effect throughout the summer and fall semester and beyond, depending on COVID conditions.
As you know, the College will continue to provide free COVID testing on campus on a walk-in basis with a one-time pre-registration form to be completed. During the summer, testing will be offered two days a week.
- Wednesdays: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Fridays: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
1 While we do not have a total figure for those who were tested off campus, we do know the positive results of those tests because of contact tracing. That figure was 115. Thus, over the 2020-21 academic year, there were 134 cases in the STCC community.
Vaccine Clinic on Campus!
STCC has partnered with Curative, Inc. to offer the Pfizer vaccine (12 years of age and older) as well as the Johnson & Johnson (one dose) vaccine to those who request it. The clinic, located in the former Corner Café in Garvey Hall (corner of building 15/16), will be open on Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The clinic is available to students, faculty, staff and their families.
Click here to schedule an appointment. Members of the greater Springfield community are also welcome as walk-ins and all participants are eligible for prizes:
- One free class at STCC (*restrictions apply)
- $50 gift cards (three raffled off each week)
- STCC-themed gift items (five winners per week)
Please note that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has also announced a "VaxMillions" lottery, which means eligible residents who receive a vaccine could win $1 million.
Facilities Department: Air Quality Updates
The College’s Facilities Department has taken steps to enhance heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems on campus to reduce airborne infectious aerosol exposure:
- Met all CDC recommendations for HVAC related recommendations.
- Complied with ASHRAE's (American Society of Heating, Air Conditioning Engineers) core COVID related recommendations.
- Installed air purifiers and filters including ionization and MERV filters, in HVAC systems in buildings, where possible.
- Adapted HVAC units that could not accept new filters and/or air purifiers with iwave ionization air purifiers in bldgs. 13, 17, 19, 20 and 27.
- Ordered new air handlers for B28 and installation is anticipated prior to the Fall semester.
- Modified HVAC in buildings to run the ventilation systems longer and at greater volume so air exchange and outdoor air in the buildings is at the highest level possible.
- Purchased an air purifier and dehumidifier for the wrestling room in B2.
- Ordered 24 air purifiers to be placed in common areas and open plan offices in older buildings with limited ability to increase air exchange.
- Monitoring current CDC, State, ASHRAE and OSHA guidelines and recommendations to ensure STCC meets those standards as we move forward
Campus Repopulation Workgroup
This week, the Campus Repopulation Workgroup held its second combined on-campus and Zoom meeting and the technology was much improved. The group discussed the winding down of the STCC Squad and check-in stations by the start of Summer Session II which begins on July 12th. As of that date, the wearing of masks both indoors and outdoors will be voluntary.
The group was told that athletics is preparing to welcome student athletes for pre-season activities in late August and early September. That includes, soccer, basketball and wrestling. As mentioned in last week’s update, credit classes for the fall semester include 620
online sections, 73 Hybrid sections and 283 face to face sections. The number of on-campus sections (including labs) scheduled at this time is 318 sections, which are currently at about 50% capacity with 130 faculty and 1,150 students. Updates on return to campus planning were provided by IT, the Health & Wellness Center, the Registrar, Library, Financial Aid and Facilities. I will share more details as they become available and confirmed.
Welcome Back to Campus Event!
Faculty and staff have been invited to a welcome back to campus voluntary event just before the start of the fall semester. It will be a time to enjoy food, music, catch up with colleagues, and welcome new faculty and staff to the STCC Community. As we plan, we would like your input to help us choose the best date for this social gathering. A survey has been distributed but you can use this link to let us know if Tuesday August 31st or Wednesday September 1st would be preferable. The time for the gathering will be 11:00 am – 2:00 pm either day.
As we learned from the wonderful Graduation Parade, our STCC community is ready to see each other in person and is eager to reconnect. I look forward to see you on campus.
Kathryn C. Senie, J.D., Ed. D
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources/Affirmative Action Officer