Southwestern students,

As Spring Break approaches, we want you to continue to be alert and aware in regard to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As mentioned in yesterday’s SWCC Weekly, a campus workgroup met yesterday and will continue to meet in an effort to plan for prevention and response in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in Iowa. We’re working with city and county health officials coordinating plans daily. Currently, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 on the Southwestern Community College campus or in the state of Iowa.

If your Spring Break plans include travel, be sure to check the latest Travel Alerts on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health websites. If you travel to an affected area or feel sick upon return to campus, please notify me as soon as possible.

Please help us protect everyone’s health here on campus as well. If you are sick, please stay home. As SWCC students, it is still your responsibility to notify your instructors and work with them to make up work missed when you are not in class. Instructors are encouraged to work with all students who aren’t able to be in class due to illness. And likewise, instructors are encouraged to stay home if they are not feeling well. As a reminder, Greater Regional Health is designated as the official agency to provide health services for Southwestern students. If your primary health provider is not close-by, please utilize Greater Regional’s services when needed. They are located at 1610 W. Townline St., Suite 200, in Creston, and their phone number is 641.782.2131.

Southwestern’s housekeeping staff is working to assist in eliminating the spread of germs on campus as well. Daily, they are disinfecting all contact surfaces (i.e. door knobs, keyboards, bathrooms, light switches, and table tops). Please pay attention to and regularly use the disinfectant wipes, as well as the hand sanitizer available in the wall dispensers and tabletop containers in many locations on campus.

I’m going to end with some tips from the CDC that we ALL must keep in mind at this time:

  1. Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity.
  2. The risk of getting COVID-19 in the U.S. is currently low.
  3. Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.
  4. You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms: fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

We will continue to add information to the Campus Health page on the SWCC website as it becomes available.

Have a nice weekend and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Kim Bishop
Dean of Student Services

Southwestern Community College
1501 W. Townline St. | Creston, IA 50801 | 641.782.1413