Campus Updates

Campus CEO Updates

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Dear Gateway Community, 

Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the state, it is out of an abundance of caution that Gateway Community College will shift to remote operations for the remainder of the week. Beginning Wednesday, December 29 through Thursday, December 30, only essential (Level 1) employees as previously determined by their respective department leaders should report to campus. All other employees should continue to fulfill the requirements of their role remotely.  (NOTE: Friday December 31 is a holiday (New Years Day Observed) and the college is closed)

Employees who need to come to campus to retrieve items necessary to work remotely this week can do so tomorrow (Wednesday) between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Students with clinical rotations, internships or other in-person off-campus commitments are to follow the requirements of their program and host agency.  CNA and other on-ground certificate courses as well as scheduled placement testing should shift to a virtual format over the next few days if possible. 

With the continued spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, we will continue to provide any updates to protocol and safety requirements as needed. We ask that each of you take extra precaution to follow all current safety guidelines and encourage the continued use of face coverings, regardless of vaccination status.

Please note that if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or have symptoms, please fill out the COVID Self Report form. You will be contacted by the COVID-19 Coordinator. Any questions should be sent to gw-covid@gwcc.commnet.edu

Please be cautious and remain safe when gathering with people through this holiday season.  If you are not fully vaccinated, we can’t encourage you strongly enough to become so.  There is no better protection from infection, illness, hospitalization or even dying than a full course of vaccinations.

I wish you all a safe and Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you back on campus soon.

Terry

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Fellow Educators,

With the fall semester behind us, I wanted to share our progress as it pertains to COVID-19 and our campus safety record. During the past semester, 42 members of the college community reported testing positive, about 2 to 8 cases per week on average, including 36 students, and six faculty or staff members. As with prior semesters, the overwhelming majority of cases were associated with exposure in the larger community, and the college proved to be a safe place to learn and work.

At the beginning of the semester we were hopeful that restrictions would be loosened by now, but the rampant spread of the Omicron variant demands that we not only continue to follow current safety protocols, but that we take extra precaution to minimize risks at public or other gatherings, continue to cover our mouths and noses with masks and take every precaution to avoid exposure, whether or not we are vaccinated.

If your holiday plans include being out and about, please be sure to download the Covid Alert CT app, which notifies you if you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. There are multiple resources available at the https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus site as well.

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Monday, November 22, 2021

Fellow Educators,

Since our last Campus Safety Update, two members of the college community have reported testing positive for COVID19. This brings our total to 23 cases for the fall semester. On-site testing and vaccinations continue. Last week, President Cheng announced that, as of November 16, 83% of the community college students that are exclusively on-campus learners this fall are fully or partially vaccinated an increase from 80% one month ago. IDs will be deactivated, and these students will not be able to enter the buildings until such time as they have achieved compliance.
I want to thank everyone who has been diligent about filling following all of the required protocols, including out the Attestation form, getting vaccinated or being tested on a weekly basis. You are making a difference and you are keeping our campus safe.


A reminder that weekly testing takes place on campus on Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1: 30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in N101 and can be scheduled online.

We also continue to host Cornell Scott Hill Health Center Vaccination Clinics (COVID/Booster/Flu) on campus in N102. The remaining clinics for this month will take place 11/23 and 11/30 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

I strongly encourage everyone who is able to also get their flu shots this year. With a greater return to in-person and larger group celebrations, we must continue to take all possible precautions to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our friends as safe as possible. While flu rates plummeted over the past two years, we should remain as diligent in order to keep up that trend. The coronavirus is opportunistic, and we have seen increases in COVID cases over past holiday breaks when people are more likely to travel and gather. As we enter into the Thanksgiving Recess, I want to encourage everyone to remain vigilant to take all the appropriate steps to prevent and mitigate spread of COVID.
I wish everyone a safe and restful Thanksgiving recess.

William 'Terry' Brown, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Fellow Educators,
Over the past two weeks, there have been seven members of the college community who have tested positive for COVID-19.
As of September 20, more than 87% of our students have attested to their vaccine status, with more than 70% reporting being fully or partially vaccinated, almost 17% attesting to a medical or non-medical exemption, and only 12% not attesting to their vaccine status. For employees, just over 65% of our employees attested to their vaccine status (61% reported being fully vaccinated).
College employees who have not filled out the mandatory Self-Attestation survey should have received an email communication from CSCU Chief Operating Officer, Josh Geballe, reminding them that they are required to submit their weekly testing results.
Weekly testing takes place on campus on Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1: 30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and can be scheduled online.
You may also be tested at any other campus or testing site.
As per the Governor's executive order, unvaccinated employees, including those with medical and religious exemptions, must continue to report weekly testing results until further notice. Further information on testing and vaccines can be found at ct.gov/coronavirus. Just type in your zip code in the appropriate box, and click “GO”. 
COO Geballe also warned that "Employees who do not complete the process will be subject to unpaid leave and possible separation from state service." However, at this time, all employees should report to work according to their normal schedule unless otherwise notified.
The State of Connecticut takes public safety very seriously, which is evidenced by our status as having the highest vaccination rate in the nation. As state employees, we owe it to our communities to take all possible measures to assure our own safety alongside the safety of those we serve - be it family, friends, or those with whom we work on a daily basis.
If you have not already done so, please complete the appropriate attestation form today. I understand that vaccination is not an option for some, however, non-compliance with testing, and the other safety requirements that we have in place, should not be an option for any of us.
For those who cannot be vaccinated, please remain diligent about being tested on a weekly basis until further notice. For those who are partially vaccinated, please continue weekly testing until you are fully vaccinated.
Please visit Vaccines.gov for the latest information on vaccine appointments and CDC recommendations.
We are also encouraging everyone to get this year’s flu shot as soon as possible. Many of the COVID mitigation measures appear to be effective for mitigating transmission of the flu. Flu vaccination rates were historically high while flu infection rates were historically low last year.
Please reach out to Associate Dean of Campus Operations and COVID Coordinator, Sharon Aceto at GW-COVID@gwcc.commnet.edu, if you have any questions. Updates to protocols, policies and procedures will continue to be posted on the COVID-19 information pages on the college website or the CSCU website.
Thank you,
William 'Terry' Brown, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Fellow Educators,
With the fall semester now well underway, I want to thank everyone who took the time to fill out the mandatory Self Attestation survey as requested by President Cheng, and also to remind those who have yet to fill out the form to do so as soon as possible.
I urge compliance for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that we all have a social responsibility to take all possible measures to keep ourselves, our colleagues, our students and our communities safe against a threat that has the potential for continued devastation unless we remain proactive in becoming vaccinated, or applying for exemption and submitting to testing.
Since my last Campus Safety Update, two members of the college community have tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus and I remain hopeful that incidents of infection will remain relatively low as more and more individuals get vaccinated and come into compliance with the new safety precautions that are currently in place.
In the next few weeks, those who have not completed the Self Attestation survey, and those who have been granted exemption from vaccination, will begin to receive a mandatory testing notification. Notices to faculty and staff will come from Human Resources. All records related to vaccination are secure and confidential. On-site testing will take place in N101 by appointment, and employees may be tested at any of the 12 community college campuses if necessary. Testing is by appointment and can be scheduled online.
I would like to thank Associate Dean of Campus Operations and COVID Coordinator, Sharon Aceto, for updating our fall 2021 Campus COVID Operations plan, which is now available on the college website. We are still in a very dynamic situation, and further updates to protocols, policies and procedures are updated on the COVID-19 information pages on the CSCU website. Any questions or concerns should be addressed to Sharon Aceto at GW-COVID@gwcc.commnet.edu.
Thank you for understanding the importance and urgency of your attention to these important safety measures and protocols, for wearing your masks while in the building, for honoring the social distancing regulations and for your continued dedication to the overall safety of our campus community.
William 'Terry' Brown, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Fellow Educators,
I hope that everyone has been having an enjoyable summer that included some measure of rest and relaxation. In just eight days, the 2021-2022 Academic Year will begin and our halls will once again be populated with faculty, staff and our students who are taking on-site classes.
I am incredibly pleased to share with the community that no members of the college community reported testing positive for COVID-19 coronavirus from April through July. This is fantastic news, given that an average of 250 people were on our campuses on a daily basis during that time.
As the pandemic evolved with the presentation of the Delta Variant and rising vaccination rates, we continue to monitor the situation and leadership at the System Office continues to adjust expectations. We are in the midst of an extremely dynamic and fluid situation, and we ask for everyone’s patience, cooperation, and coordination as we navigate all the administrative, health, public health, education, privacy, and legal concerns necessary to protect our college community.
In the past two weeks six members of the college community reported testing positive for COVID-19, and it is clear that we are not entirely out of the woods where this pandemic is concerned, We must remain diligent and mindful of the safety precautions necessary to keep our campus community safe.
Here are the most important strategies to keep in mind as we prepare for fully on-site operations.
  • Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. The safety and effectiveness of the vaccines currently available have been established by the FDA and supported by the CDC. The vaccines are especially effective for preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
  • The Board of Regents for Higher Education is requiring that all students who attend in-person classes or events on campus are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Students who are not vaccinated are invited to take online courses and attend college activities virtually.
  • While on campus, correct wearing of masks is mandatory. This applies to students, staff and faculty.
  • Social distancing guidelines continue with a 3' to 6' distance in classrooms and gathering spaces.
  • Anyone with symptoms associated with COVID must refrain from coming to campus. We ask and encourage anyone who suspects being exposed or tests positive for to the coronavirus) (or tests positive for If symptoms persist, testing is highly recommended.
All updates, communications and adjustments to policies and procedures related to the pandemic can be found on the college website or the CSCU websiteGuidelines for the Delta Variant are also available. The college site also publishes dates and times for our ongoing vaccine clinics. The next three dates are:
August 21 - 9am to 2pm
August 23 - 1pm to 3pm
August 30 - 1pm to 4pm
Strict adherence to the safety protocols is a matter of social responsibility as much as it is a matter of personal safety, and I thank you in advance for staying the course until the threat of infection is no longer prevalent.
I look forward to welcoming everyone on campus over the coming weeks.
Sincerely,
William 'Terry' Brown
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Monday, August 16, 2021

College Pandemic Operations - Status Update

Fellow Educators:

On Thursday, the CDC updated its guidelines essentially removing most restrictions for people who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. In addition, Governor Lamont announced that the State of Connecticut is ending all business restrictions effective May 19, 2021 and the full return of the state’s workforce by July 1, 2021. While there is still more to be learned about the vaccines—especially regarding their long-term effectiveness—we are heartened that their demonstrated safety and effectiveness, as well as the willingness of so many people to become vaccinated, have enabled us to get to a point where we can progress toward more “normal” operations.

We fully understand that many of you have questions about what the new guidelines and the Governor’s announcement means for Commencement, summer and fall courses, and the full range of college services and operations. I ask for your patience, as this is new news, and we will need some time to determine how best to adjust our activities without causing undue confusion and stress for the college community.

Throughout this pandemic experience, we have emphasized the importance of preparation and flexibility. While we have published comprehensive plans for operating during the pandemic, we have also noted on numerous occasions that the college would adhere to CDC and CT Department of Public Health guidelines and protocols, and would adjust and adapt as those guidelines changed.

Over the next several days, the members of the GCC Executive Leadership Team will be meeting with or otherwise in communication with CSCU, DPH, other colleges, and with each other. The health and safety of our college community will always be our first priority. We will be diligent about communicating with the college community, but please do not hesitate to reach out to your supervising dean, any member of the CEO’s cabinet, or our COVID Coordinator (Jill McDowell through June 30, Sharon Aceto beginning July 1) with any questions or concerns that you may have.

The coronavirus will infect who it can when it can—the virus does not care about age, race, employment status, gender, position, title, political views or any of that. Fortunately, neither do the vaccines—they will protect who they can for as long as they can, and they have established themselves to be remarkably effective at protecting health and saving lives. For the sake of all of us, and especially for those among us who cannot be vaccinated because of age (i.e., young children) or due to health (e.g., immunocompromised) or other reasons, I am asking and encouraging everyone who is not yet vaccinated to become vaccinated and to get us ever closer to “Community Immunity.”

Sincerely,
Terry

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Monday, April 5, 2021

Dear Colleagues,
During the month of March, there were 11 members of the college community who tested positive for COVID-19. Everyone who was impacted by this development has been notified and I strongly encourage anyone with flu-like symptoms to get tested.
I also strongly encourage everyone who qualifies to schedule vaccine appointments. While they work in somewhat different ways, all three versions of the coronavirus have demonstrated effectiveness for mobilizing the body’s immune system, and there is general agreement that the best vaccine is the first one that is available to you. To check on your eligibility, and to schedule your vaccine please visit the Vaccine Scheduling Portal.
For those who are fully vaccinated, there are revised guidelines for socializing and other activities. As more people become vaccinated, restrictions across the state are starting to ease. Last week, Governor Lamont announced the easing of restrictions for businesses, social and recreational gatherings, sports, and outdoor events. However, he stressed the importance of required face coverings and masks in public.
The Governor’s Travel Advisory is now expired, but Connecticut residents and travelers to the state should continue to consult the Travel Advisory for Connecticut During the COVID-19 Pandemic website for updates.
The rate of vaccinations and easing of restrictions is great news for our Commencement, which will take place at the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport at 4:00 p.m. on May 27. The Graduation Committee will provide more details and information on safety protocols for this event in the next week or so.
I want to stress that while things are improving, the pandemic is not over and it is critical that we all continue to engage in the behaviors that have helped to protect the community from even worse illness. Don’t let up on wearing masks, engaging in appropriate social distancing, and washing your hands frequently. If you are suffering from any symptoms associated with COVID, stay home and seek the advice and/or attention of your medical professional.
As always, please direct your questions and concerns about COVID-19 related issues should be directed to Dean Jill McDowell (JMcDowell@GatewayCT.edu)
We remain hopeful that the gradual return to normal has begun. Please be mindful that the easing of restrictions brings with it an even greater need for personal responsibility in keeping our campus and our community safe.
Thank you and be well. 
William 'Terry' Brown
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Friday, February 26, 2021

Fellow Educators,
This week we had one report of a member of the college community testing positive for COVID-19. All notification protocols were followed, and we strongly encourage anyone who feels ill with any of the symptoms indicative of the coronavirus to please get tested
  • March 1, 2021: Expands to age group 55 to 64
     
  • March 22, 2021: Expands to age group 45 to 54
     
  • April 12, 2021: Expands to age group 35 to 44
     
  • May 3, 2021: Expands to age group 16 to 34
The only exception is PreK -12 employees and CSCU and other higher education employees working in campus-based childcare centers and student teachers. For more information on CT's vaccine stages and rollout plan, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine in Connecticut: Main Portal.
Information on vaccine scheduling can be found at https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccination-Scheduling-Options, and there is detailed information about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available on the CDC website.
I strongly encourage everyone to schedule their vaccine appointments as soon as they are eligible. If we are going to reach herd immunity and get back to robust on-site operations, it will be critical that as many of us as possible are protected against COVID-19 and its variants. 
Please direct all questions or concerns about COVID-19 related issues to Dean, Jill McDowell (JMcDowell@GatewayCT.edu)
Thank you, everyone, for taking this matter seriously and for doing all that you can to keep our college community safe. 
Be well, 
Terry
William T. Brown, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Fellow Educators, 
This past week four members of the college community tested positive for COVID-19. Those who may have been exposed have been notified to follow quarantine protocols. 
Although there are no updates to the Phase 1b of vaccine distribution information, we continue to wait for further guidance from the Department of Public Health and the CSCU System Office. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to review the information on the Vaccine Website, which includes information on the rollout plan and stages of vaccine distribution. All employees 75 years or older are encouraged to sign up now, and those 65 and older will be prioritized next. 
Incidents of Covid-19 infection and hospitalization are still increasing, and I caution everyone to remain diligent in following all safety precautions, and to make use of the COVID Alert CT app for identifying the possible risk of exposure. With new strains beginning to appear in neighboring states, we must continue to wear masks, frequently wash hands, and always practice social distancing. All CSCU employees and students are also encouraged to take advantage of the state's no-cost COVID-19 testing. Find a test site near you. 
If you haven't already, I encourage everyone to become familiar with the following vaccine information resources: 
Thank you for your continued diligence in following safety protocols. 
Terry
William T. Brown, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Friday, November 20, 2020

Fellow Educators,
There were six confirmed reports of college community members testing positive for COVID-19 since my last communication to the college community. We continue to work with the New Haven Health Department and other local health departments to notify anyone who may have been exposed and to inform them that they need to quarantine for the required 14 days.
As the incidence and positivity rate in Connecticut and around the country continue to climb, it is up to all of us to help mitigate the spread of the virus. With Thanksgiving less a week away, I am sharing the following guidance from the Department of Public Health specifically for college students.
  • Travel is discouraged and it is strongly recommended that we find creative ways to share the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and loved ones, including virtual dinners and small outdoor gatherings.
  • It is important that members of the college community not attend large social gatherings or reunions, which will pose a high risk for spreading COVID-19.
  • If you do travel, check travel restrictions for your destination before you go.
  • Get your flu shot before you travel and monitor your health for any COVID-related symptoms.
  • Students who have family members at high risk of complications from COVID-19 infection (over age 60 or with chronic medical conditions) should consider completing a quarantine somewhere other than with those high-risk family members.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not a member of your household (this includes family members who do not live with you and who you may be visiting).
  • Always wear a mask in public settings and on public transportation. If you are infected with COVID-19, have symptoms, or are within a mandatory quarantine period due to close contact with a known case, you should avoid public transportation.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
As a point of information, the state's Data Tracker site offers updated information on the average daily rate of COVID-19 cases among persons living in community settings per 100,000 population by town. This week the CDC also updated the effectiveness of mask-wearing as a preventative measure as long as it covers both the nose and the mouth.
The state is also recommending that all students get tested. Testing locations can be located on the state's website at https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Priority-Population. This site also offers information on cost-free testing by town.
The COVID Alert CT app is now active. I encourage all members of the college community to make use of this helpful tool, which will alert you if you are at risk of exposure to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
If the current state of affairs is causing some anxiety, please know that there are support resources available through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides free, short-term, and confidential counseling for employees and their families. Call 800-526-3485 for more information.
I would like to remind everyone to visit the GCC COVID-19 page for CDC and CSCU guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions. Please address any questions or concerns to the HCC COVID Coordinator, Dean Jill McDowell at JMcDowell@GatewayCT.edu .
Thank you for your continued diligence in following safety protocols. Taking these steps will not only help keep you safe but can help avoid spreading the virus to your loved ones. There will be no campus safety update scheduled for next week, but we will continue these communications after the Thanksgiving recess.
Be well.
William 'Terry' Brown, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Fellow Educators,

Since my last notification to the college community on 10/2, two members of the college community have tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and one individual has been identified by the health department as a “Close Contact” of someone who has tested positive for the virus. In all three cases, the local health departments involved quickly determined there was no need for any college related contact tracing and we determined that it is safe to continue our courses and services.

With the recent rise in cases statewide and the coming flu season, I want to remind everyone to take well-established precautions to reduce your risk of exposure to and infection from coronavirus:

  • Wear a mask (CSCU policy states that all individuals on campus must wear a mask that covers both your mouth and nose)
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others
  • Be aware of others with whom you come in contact, and limit in-person communications to less than 15 minutes.
  • Wash your hands frequently, and use hand sanitizer when you are not able to wash your hands.
  • Sanitize (wipe down) work stations and surfaces before and after use. The college has provided sanitizing wipes in areas with "high touch" surfaces and equipment.

As we have shared before, it is important for everyone to do all these things together—one does not substitute for the others—in order to mitigate the risk of exposure to the virus. With the advent of this year’s flu season upon us, these measures may also be helpful in reducing the risk of contracting the flu.

Please pay attention to your health on a daily basis. For the protection of the college community, you should stay home and seek medical attention if you experience any of the following COVID-related symptoms:

  • fevers
  • chills (with or without shaking)
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • loss of taste or smell

GCC continues to adhere to our protocols detailed in our Phase 3 reopening plan to mitigate the risk of exposure to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, including daily cleaning of the campus facilities. GCC is sharing COVID information and resources on our website at jmcdowell@gwcc.commnet.edu).

Be safe and stay well.

Terry

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Friday, October 2, 2020

Fellow Educators,

Gateway Community College follows CDC and the CT Department of Public Health guidelines to mitigate the risk of exposure to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. After consultation with the New Haven Health Department, we have determined it is safe to continue our courses and services at this time even while we inform you that an individual at the College has tested positive for the virus. We cannot share the individual’s name due to privacy requirements, but the case has been identified by the local health department and contact tracing is underway. Out of an abundance of caution, the campuses continue to be cleaned daily in accordance with our Phase 3 reopening plan.

If the New Haven Health Department Public determines that you personally have had an exposure risk, they will contact you directly in the coming week. Exposure is defined by the CDC and CT Department of Public Health as being within six feet of a COVID positive person for more than 15 minutes. Local public health officials will contact you only if you may have been exposed directly to the positive case.

We will continue to work diligently to safeguard the campus and to keep the college community informed. If you vigilantly and correctly wear your mask (covering both your mouth and nose) and keep a social distance of at least six feet, whether inside buildings or outdoors, in accordance with the CDC and CT Public Health guidelines, you will have significantly reduced your risk of exposure to COVID. If you experience COVID-related symptoms, stay home and seek medical attention.

GCC is sharing COVID information and resources on our website at https://www.gatewayct.edu/COVID19-info. Should you have any questions, please contact the COVID Coordinator on campus (Dean Jill McDowell, jmcdowell@gwcc.commnet.edu).

Be safe and stay well.

Terry

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Fellow Educators,

Gateway Community College follows CDC and the CT Department of Public Health guidelines to mitigate the risk of exposure to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.  After consultation with the New Haven Health Department, we have determined it is safe to continue our courses and services at this time even while we inform you that an individual at the College has tested positive for the virus. We cannot share the individual’s name due to privacy requirements, but the case has been identified by the local health department and contact tracing is underway.  Out of an abundance of caution, the campuses continue to be cleaned daily in accordance with our Phase 3 reopening plan.

If the New Haven Health Department Public determines that you personally have had an exposure risk, they will contact you directly in the coming week.  Exposure is defined by the CDC and CT Department of Public Health as being within six feet of a COVID positive person for more than 15 minutes.   Local public health officials will contact you only if you may have been exposed directly to the positive case.

We will continue to work diligently to safeguard the campus and to keep the college community informed.  If you vigilantly and correctly wear your mask (covering both your mouth and nose) and keep a social distance of at least six feet, whether inside buildings or outdoors, in accordance with the CDC and CT Public Health guidelines, you will have significantly reduced your risk of exposure to COVID.  If you experience COVID-related symptoms, stay home and seek medical attention.

GCC is sharing COVID information and resources on our website at https://www.gatewayct.edu/COVID19-info.   Should you have any questions, please contact the COVID Coordinator on campus (Dean Jill McDowell, jmcdowell@gwcc.commnet.edu).  

Be safe and stay well.

Terry

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Dear Colleagues and Partners:
I am writing to inform the Gateway college community that GCC's Phase 3 reopening plans (https://www.gatewayct.edu/SiteMedia/Gateway/GCC-Phase-3-Reopening-Plans.pdf) were approved and successfully filed with the Connecticut Department of Public Health. 
The Phase 3 reopening plan covers the fall semester and highlights the institutional plans and protocols to: 
  • Gradually repopulate the campus 
  • Monitor the health of students, faculty and staff
  • Plan for containing cases that may develop; and 
  • Shutdown the campus if it becomes necessary
Our Phase 3 plan allows both the New Haven and North Haven locations to remain open, with limited staffing, while following strict guidelines from the Department of Public Health, State of Connecticut, and other local health authorities. 
As a result, GCC can continue to offer limited on-site appointments for student services, courses with varying delivery methods, and thus allow a very limited number of credit and non-credit students to take classes on campus. We will work together to minimize the risk posed by COVID-19. 
  • The college will remain closed to the general public, and the total number of entrances and exits on campus are limited. 
  • All employees, students, and visitors must sign-in and sign out each time they come to campus.
     
  • Wearing face masks and social distancing is required of all employees and students while they are on campus. 
     
  • Classrooms have been reorganized and offices that serve students have been updated with Plexiglass barriers to support social distancing.
It is important to note that our reopening plan framework was developed and written in collaboration with public health experts, including the Department of Public Health, as part of the Governor's Reopening plans for the state of Connecticut. 
Additionally, state administrators, CSCU System Office, and the Department of Public Health continue to send regular communications, as needed, on the state's health conditions and provide updated guidance for reopening public higher education.
Please be aware that these plans may change as we have new guidance from the state. GCC will continue to work closely with local public health authorities to maintain a safe and healthy campus. 
I appreciate the questions and comments that were contributed last week when we shared the draft of the plan, and I encourage you to continue raising questions and concerns so that they can be addressed whenever possible.
I will continue to keep you informed. 
Sincerely,
William (Terry) Brown, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Monday, July 27, 2020

Fellow Educators,

The health and safety of Gateway Community College are two of our foundational priorities. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us in ways we have not confronted before, and I am incredibly impressed (and proud, quite frankly) of how the college has responded through transitioning and transforming our operations to more digital, distance and virtual delivery that continues to educate and serve our students.

Consistent with federal, state and system protocols and guidelines, the college has implemented a phased reopening of our campus facilities. The latest, Phase 2, is focused on how we would bring staff and others serving students directly back to campus in a safe and responsible manner.

The college has prepared a Phase 3 plan, which is focused on bringing students back to campus; it has been submitted to President Coley for preliminary review. At this point, we are also sharing it with the college to:

1) Provide everyone with more detailed communication about what you can expect at the beginning of the semester;

2) Share the numerous measures we have taken to prepare the campus; and

3) Provide guidance to the college community on how to respond if we are faced with a COVID-related incident.

We invite you to review this latest draft of our Phase 3 plan and to provide feedback. Please send your feedback to Jill McDowell, Interim Dean of Administration and Institutional Effectiveness, no later than noon on Wednesday, July 29.

Please accept my apologies for the short notice, but we submitted this draft to President Coley this past Friday, July 24, and there is a short turnaround time to submit this to CSCU for approval in time for the planned effective date of August 10.

I'd like to thank Interim Dean McDowell, her staff and the Gateway Community College Leadership Team for their thoughtful and very responsive work on this. I'd also like to thank Sheila Solernou (Allied Health) and Sarah Chambers (Early Learning Center) for their specific consultations and contributions to this plan, as well as all staff and faculty who have already contributed their thoughts and ideas. 
 

Sincerely,
William (Terry) Brown, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Monday, July 20, 2020

Fellow Educators:
We all look forward to welcoming all of our students back to our campuses-albeit in a COVID environment-and continuing to deliver on our mission of educating our students. As we return to our modified work schedules we want to provide staff and faculty with some reminders, guidance and expectations as we prepare for the fall semester.
As we stated when we shifted to tele-work (TW) this past spring semester: 
  • Employees must be available during their normal working hours as assigned by their supervisor or manager.
     
  • Employees must be responsive during their working day to inquiries from those for whom they provide support and services, as well as to their peers and managers as it relates to their role and job duties.
  • Employees must be fit for duty during their assigned working hours, in person or TW.
     
  • As most of the meetings will continue to be virtual, with video, employees are reminded to ensure they have proper attire, are focused on the meeting and manage any background interference properly so as not to disrupt meetings or their attention to the meeting.
     
  • As we return to the physical workplace on the limited basis that has been and/or soon will be communicated to you, we want to be clear on our expectations for on-campus assigned days for faculty and staff;
     
  • You may not substitute TW for any absence on your scheduled day. If you are unable to be present on campus for your assigned shift/lecture/lab/clinical or class instruction, normal reporting to your supervisor and/or manager is required and appropriate accrued time must be used as per policy.
For our faculty, office hours and counseling for students should, to the greatest extent possible, be conducted virtually since many faculty offices are too small to ensure proper social distancing (i.e., six feet). The expectation is that you will post office hours, be available virtually, and are responsive to your students during those times. Should you determine that there is a need to meet face-to-face with a student and do not have a space available to maintain social distancing, you may schedule a conference room or reach out to Facilities to locate an appropriate space.
I hope you find the above information helpful as we work through these challenging
times and to provide the best and safest possible educational experience for our students.
William (Terry) Brown, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

A message from CEO, William T. Brown, Ph.D. - Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Fellow Educators:

It is my honor and privilege to have been appointed by the Board of Regents as the Chief Executive Officer for Gateway Community College. I am appreciative to everyone who participated in the search process, and grateful for the opportunity to serve in my community's college. I can't express how excited was to get started yesterday.

My connections to GCC run deep. My entire time in Connecticut, I lived in New Haven or North Branford, and watched GCC expand and transform into the state-of-the-art comprehensive community college that it is today.

During my time serving at Norwalk, Naugatuck Valley and Housatonic, I had the opportunity to work with several of you, and I have always been impressed with the quality of GCC's teaching faculty, the commitment of the staff and administrators, and the dedication and support of the community.

I had the rare privilege of having both President Kendrick and President Broadie as mentors, and I can attest to their love for GCC and their appreciation for all the college is and means to our students.

My wife is a 2010 graduate of Gateway Community College, and so I come home to one of our success stories every evening.

Clearly, GCC's innovative academic and workforce programs, responsiveness to industry needs, and service to students are well regarded throughout the CSCU system and across the region. From donating personal protective equipment, to providing laptops to students needing technology, I have been impressed, but not surprised, with GCC's response to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. GCC has a long history of service and civic engagement, and our college can always be counted on to find ways to make a difference in our students' lives and our communities' wellbeing.

The coronavirus pandemic has certainly changed my vision of how I would start at GCC and altered the way we will get to know each other over the next several weeks and months. I hope to meet as many of you as I can in person, but I ask your indulgence if we need to leverage technology for initial meetings.

There can be no doubt that there are significant challenges ahead of us, and the stakes could not be higher. In the face of a pandemic and a national reawakening to the call for social justice, Connecticut is undertaking an ambitious, fundamental redesign of higher education, and we will be challenged individually and college-wide to chart our way through this changing landscape. The need for the high-level education and training that GCC provides has never been greater, and the hopes and dreams of our students and their families rest on our collective efforts.

While our system and college will evolve, our belief in the transformative power of higher education and our commitment to our students will never change.

What we do matters, and I cannot wait to start making an impact with all of you.

Sincerely,
William T. Brown, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer, Gateway Community College