COVID-19 concerns extend Alamo Colleges’ spring break until March 23

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The district will notify students, faculty on potentially finishing semester online.

By Sergio Medina

smedina104@student.alamo.edu

The Alamo Colleges notified employees and students March 11 spring break has been extended through March 22 as a preemptive measure against COVID-19.

Classes will resume remotely March 23.

“Students should not to return to campuses for classes and will be instructed on how to continue classes and receive support remotely,” the statement reads.

Kristi Wyatt, associate vice chancellor for communication and engagement, said in a phone interview March 11 that the district chose a minimum of two weeks for students to be off campus starting March 16, and depending on the situation, the district will decide if it’s necessary to extend time off-campus.

She said this measure is only a precaution.

This district’s statement can be found here.

“The Alamo Colleges District leadership has been following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and San Antonio Metro Health to ensure we are minimizing the risk of exposure on our campuses,” the statement read.

An email on the extension was sent to all students.

Text messages also were sent to students March 11 notifying them of the extension. This emergency system will continue to be used to notify students of any changes, the statement read.

College libraries and computer labs across the district will remain open March 16-20.

Wyatt said staff will be back to assist students in libraries and computer labs.

Work-study students will receive informational emails on their schedules, but for more information they should contact their supervisors, Wyatt said.

District employees will be notified about modified work schedules for the week of March 16-20.

Laura Mayes, assistant director of government and public affairs at City of San Antonio, said in a phone interview March 11 the decision to close academic institutions or any private institution lies with their leadership and was not ordered by the city.

She also said no community cases in Bexar County as of March 11 have been reported.

The extended spring break will function so employees can organize remote classes students can continue at home.

In a March 10 statement, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health System recommended “social distancing,” keeping a six-foot distance from others to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

That includes avoiding contact with sick people and surfaces that come in high contact with the public such as handrails, door handles, elevator buttons and touch screens.

“Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick,” the notice reads.

In addition to the spring break extension, the district is cancelling all study-abroad programs for the summer.

Administrators advise anyone who becomes sick with COVID-19 to report it to the nonemergency line for district police at 210-485-0099.

The Metro Health District advises people to call their primary care physicians before going into a clinic or hospital.

For more information on prevention, testing and updates, call the Metro Health hotline at 210-207-5779.

For more information on Alamo Colleges’ updates, email coronavirus@alamo.edu.

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