Covid-19 Campus News
PC Covid-19 Update 4 | 3.25.2020
Over the past few weeks, our PC community, our nation, and the world have witnessed rapidly changing guidelines and expectations for addressing the spread of COVID-19. Daily, we are learning lessons as other states in our country manage escalating caseloads. Currently, South Dakota is fortunate to have fewer confirmed COVID-19 cases than many other states. This provides us the opportunity to learn lessons from those other states to inform the actions we take to prevent the further spread of the virus. This is especially relevant now that Brown County, the county in which our campus is situated, has at least two confirmed cases. We at PC continue to monitor and share national health information to inform our campus community so that you and your families can make the best choices to protect your health and safety.
“Sheltering in Place” Practices
What we are learning from other states is the critical importance of voluntary social distancing, including “sheltering in place.” While we recognize this is challenging while we are feeling healthy, we also recognize that COVID-19 can spread before symptoms emerge, and that spread can be life-threatening for certain vulnerable populations. This is the reason, for example, that the convent closed to the public until further notice. At this time, we are also similarly closing the campus to outside visitors—other than registered students, faculty and staff. As Saints, we know the importance of thinking of how our actions can protect not just ourselves but also all others with whom we live and work in the larger community.
In some states, where voluntary measures have proven insufficient to slow the spread of the virus, those states have enacted state-wide restrictions on non-essential services, closing shopping centers, restaurants, banks, medical offices, and other service centers to the public. State lock-downs have also required residents to “shelter in place,” limiting travel outside the home for essential needs only, such as weekly grocery shopping and urgent medical care. Just this week, Michigan and Wisconsin have moved into lock-down status, providing approximately 24-48 hours of notice to their residents before enacting these measures. If current national health projections on the spread rate of the virus prove accurate, states not currently locked down may be facing that decision in the coming weeks. At the moment, we are in the fortunate position to have some time to plan for that possibility here.
How Can I Prepare?
We believe it is important for students and their families to determine the safest course of action for their individual circumstances. And we are here to support and help our students implement those actions. We have students, for example, whose home states (or home countries) have already locked down. We, at Presentation College, are committed to helping those students shelter in place on our campus through the duration of this pandemic, which, according to Governor Noem, could be months. This commitment is a direct result of our mission to serve not just educational needs but the needs of the whole person. You are a valued member of our PC family.
For those students whose travel is not currently restricted by their home locations, we urge you to plan ahead now to ensure you are where you need and want to be (i.e. with family) if and when a “shelter in place” order is received. Depending on the distance you may need to travel or the length of notice provided prior to the enacting of state “shelter in place” decisions, there could be a narrow window for making and carrying out travel. Knowing this, we want all students and their families to know that we are ready to support and assist you in your decisions now. If you need transportation to airports, storage options for personal items, or other assistance with travel, please contact Director of Housing, Semisi Malolo, for help. Our goal is to help all those moving from the campus to get safely to your destinations in a timely fashion.
Classes Continue Online
We want to assure you classes will continue at Presentation College, online. Our faculty and staff have done a great job moving all face-to-face learning online so you can complete the Spring 2020 semester. We are blessed to have faculty who understand and can assist in adapting learning strategies to these challenging circumstances. For Summer 2020, PC offers a full complement of classes. All classes, per usual summer practice, will be online. Our clinicals will be offered, though the mechanism for delivery will be dependent on future directives from our health care provider partners. PC will follow their lead, as well as the lead of professional licensing agencies associated with our programs. We have been experts in online education for years, and we will continue to be expert at online delivery. If you haven’t registered for Summer 2020 classes, please do so as soon as possible.
Saints, we are here for you and your decision-making during this unprecedented time in our world. The PC community is strong, diligent, and resilient. We WILL get through this and be stronger on the other side. In the meantime, please do what you can to remain healthy and know that both the Sisters and the PC leadership team are holding you and your families in our daily prayers as we weather this war on COVID19.
Dr. Paula Langteau,
President Presentation College