Coronavirus ECC FAQ & Resources
Elgin Community College continues to monitor the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Cabinet and emergency management personnel meet regularly to assess the potential impact to the College and determine the best course of action. Updates will be provided periodically through email, the employee newsletter (Spartan Review), and on the Emergency Management page.
Spring 2020 Semester
Student Success Fund
Considering the difficult circumstances students are experiencing as a result of the ongoing pandemic and economic crises, the ECC Foundation has created the Student Success Fund to provide resources to students in need.
The fund will allocate financial resources to students who lack access to the internet for online learning, students with food, housing, or transportation insecurity, and other urgent needs in order to keep students on track to educational success. Support the Student Success Fund
Elgin Community College frequently asked questions.
- Arts Center
- Cafeteria & Food Service
- Campus Closures
- Campus Health & Safety
- Employee Work Policy
- Prevention & Campus Cleaning
The Arts Center Box Office remains closed; however, the staff is working remotely. The best way to contact the Box Office is by emailing email@example.com. This email address is being monitored regularly.
The Arts Center is offering Remote Box Office Service to ticket buyers of events that have been canceled or rescheduled. To control call volume and ensure that all patrons are communicated effectively, Arts Center staff are contacting ticket buyers by phone in phases. The current list of canceled/rescheduled performances and the call schedule can be found at elgin.edu/arts.
Please ensure that you check your voicemail messages as the Box Office will call from ECC-issued cell phones rather than its typical Box Office phone number.
Through our Remote Box Office Service, our staff will be offering ticket buyers the options of transferring their tickets to the new date (where applicable), refunding their ticket purchase, or donating their ticket purchase back to the impacted organization.
The cafeteria will be open for fall with limited hours and serving only prepared sandwiches, salads, and a few grill items made to order. The gates will open to both the coffee shop and cafeteria. Cash register areas will have six feet markers used to encourage social distancing. O&M installed one Plexiglas shield for the coffee shop cashier. One additional Plexiglas shield will be needed for the cafeteria cashier.
- Guidelines recommended by Serve Safe and CDC will be followed regarding safe food handling. Employees will work in zones to maintain social distancing following ECC guidelines for PPE.
- The cashiers versus self-service will distribute disposable cutlery, napkins, and condiments.
- The self-service fountain beverages are permissible with the following precautions:
- Reused cups or refillable beverage cups from home aren't allowed. New disposable cups must be used. Cups and lids must be purchased from the cashier and then filled.
- Customers must not touch the fountain spigot and should minimize contact with dispensing surfaces.
- Fountain surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized every hour.
- Credit and debit purchases will be encouraged to limit cash handling.
We have a rough estimate of 180-200 employees. We have counted 161 Non-faculty, but we don't have an accurate faculty count (8/10/2020).
To adhere to social distancing and to protect the health and safety of our students and their families, group campus tours have been canceled, but individual tours are being considered for prospective students by appointment only. Sign up now for a Virtual Admissions Presentation.
We are taking every precaution necessary to keep students and staff safe on campus. In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case on campus, we will review all pertinent information to decide if closing the campus is the best course of action and additional health and safety measures.
Students can contact the Office of the Assistant Vice-President of Student Services and Development / Dean of Students at firstname.lastname@example.org for information regarding classes and absences. Students can also refer to the College's Campus Central web page for updates from the College on our current status and links to information about COVID-19.
To limit exposure of COVID-19 through social distancing, ECC is limiting Large gatherings, with more than 50 people, during the fall semester
ECC utilizes an Infectious and Communicable Disease Administrative Procedure and the Emergency Operations Plan to address any communicable disease outbreak or another emergency. We work in conjunction with the various county health departments and the Illinois Department of Public Health when determining what steps are necessary to protect our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
Starting August 10, 2020, ECC transitioned to the next phase of its reopening plan, referred to as “SemiNormal.” It is required that all employees complete the Return to Work/Illness Reporting form before their first day on campus. See your email for a link to the form. Inside, you'll find instructions on what to do if you feel ill and what safety measures are expected when you return to work.
Employees who are capable of performing their jobs remotely will be asked to continue to work remotely. Your immediate supervisor will determine your schedule during this period. Those employees who are asked to return to campus by their supervisors should do so according to the schedule given to them.
ECC is updating its Business and Academic Continuity Plan as it evolves and will speak to decisions to change the class schedule. We are committed to ensuring that all students can complete the semester and provide guidance on how any missed classes will be addressed.
The majority of ECC's classes will be delivered remotely this fall and would not be interrupted by a campus closure. However, hybrid classes that involve a face-to-face component have been scheduled to end the on-campus portion of classes no later than the Thanksgiving break. If ECC were to close for a few days before the break, face-to-face meeting days on-campus would be added following the Thanksgiving break to make up for lost instruction and would be completed by the end of the semester in December. If ECC were to close for a more extended period, we remain committed to helping every student complete their classes when it is safe to do so, as we did for classes that were interrupted during the spring 2020 semester, which were all safely completed on campus over the summer.
Preserving academic integrity is important. Therefore, courses moving to an alternative delivery format will no longer be held on campus when it reopens, unless otherwise instructed. We anticipate that the classes will continue to be held remotely through the end of the spring semester.
By moving the majority of our classes to an alternative delivery format, we will reduce the number of individuals meeting on campus while ensuring continuity of instruction. This timeframe may shift and be subject to change depending on the College and our students' circumstances and needs. We want to remind you that this is a fluid situation that continues to evolve each day.
We have installed Plexiglas barriers as one of many protective measures throughout campus. They have been placed in areas with higher traffic and interaction between individuals. We continue to consider all of our options as it relates to outfitting the campus with additional protective measures over the coming months while working to adhere to the State's reopening guidance and guidance from IDPH and the CDC.
We have identified the buildings that are scheduled to be utilized the most and will be communicating those entrances to everyone in the next several days. We are working closely with the Kane County Health Department to adhere to the process of decontaminating that is recommended in the event of a case on campus, which will include recommendations on campus closures.
Students, instructors, staff, and volunteers must wear masks at all times while on campus for the health and safety of all. We are pleased to offer anyone who comes onto campus a face mask.
We are considering all of the recommendations from both the CDC and the State of Illinois as it relates to ensuring the safety of employees, students, and visitors coming to campus, including temperature checks and wellness checks.
Class sizes for all in-person classes have been reduced to allow social distancing in accordance with all public health guidelines. Condensed schedules have been implemented that lower the number of in-person classroom sessions. One-way traffic patterns are being used whenever possible to minimize social interaction when students are entering and leaving classrooms.
Elgin Community College continues to accept applications from international students for Fall 2020. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, if you are unable to secure your F-1 visa or travel to the U.S. to begin your studies in Fall 2020, you still have options to pursue your education at ECC. You can elect to:
- Begin your studies remotely/online in Fall 2020 from your home country and then travel to the U.S. for Spring 2021 (January) semester; OR
- Defer your attendance to Spring 2021 when you can secure an F-1 visa and travel to the U.S.
We are here to assist you every step of the way and help you begin your studies at ECC as it relates to your unique situation. Please email email@example.com with any questions about international student admissions.
Students on a study abroad program in spring 2020 were able to return to the U.S. without incident and continue their studies remotely in the U.S. International students studying at ECC have been encouraged to remain in the U.S. during the summer semester. The majority of students have decided to stay in the U.S. during this time. Only a few students are elected to return home for the summer, and we will work with them to return to the U.S. to begin studies in fall 2020.
There were 182 classes from the spring that required some degree of instruction on campus, including many career technical education and health professions programs. All of these classes were completed over the summer on campus using social distancing and safety measures, such as reduced class sizes, required face masks, and enhanced cleaning. One thousand four hundred sixty students were able to complete their classes during this time.
ECC Arts Center Rehearsal Safety Protocol
Our objective is to maintain the highest standards of safety during the pandemic while providing the best possible ensemble experience for our students in performance ensembles. To do so, we will implement strict safety protocols for all students, instructors, volunteers, and staff during all classes.
Class schedules and course modalities
We have implemented virtual classrooms for almost all Arts Center classes. For laboratory-based classes that require in-person interaction, we have taken the following steps:
- Mask wearing is required at all times when indoors.
- Social distancing at six feet or more at all times.
- Frequent handwashing using readily available personal sanitization resources.
- Mandatory temperature checks and symptom reporting upon arrival for all staff and students.
- Abiding by specific traffic patterns to facilitate social distancing and avoid cross-flow.
- Reduced occupancy limits for all spaces to account for six-foot social distancing bubbles. Additional space for vocalists and musical instruments, as determined by instrument-specific guidelines.
- Amended schedules are limiting on-site time to a maximum of 50%, reducing the opportunity for contact, general facility use (bathrooms, etc.).
- Mandatory breaks after every 30 minutes to allow ventilation systems to exchange the air and reduce aerosol accumulation.
- Expanded use of large rehearsal spaces, particularly those with superior ventilation and high ceilings.
- Additional entry and egress points allow for one-way traffic patterns.
- Restricted access to students, staff, and volunteers only; parents and families of students will not enter ECC.
- Regular sanitization of facilities and equipment, including between each rehearsal and student use.
Maintaining a safe social distance in music and voice classes.
- We have restricted rehearsals to students, instructors, staff, and volunteers only. Parents and families of students will not enWeter ECC.
- To allow for additional social distancing when required, all spaces used for rehearsals have been marked with 6-foot distances and 10-foot distances to allow for additional social distancing when needed.
- To allow for building-wide ventilation, we have made the following air quality upgrades.
- All in-person sessions must take a break every 30 minutes to allow air HVAC Systems to bring fresh air into the room.
- An expanded social distance of 10 feet will be implemented for some instruments and vocalists as determined by the University Colorado at Boulder Performing Arts Aerosol study.
- Large rehearsal spaces, particularly those with superior ventilation and high ceilings and designs that exchange air for extremely large groups of people, are being used for most in-person performance ensemble rehearsals. These spaces include the Blizzard Theatre (capacity of 650), the SecondSpace Theatre (capacity of 200), and the Events Center Gym (capacity exceeding 1,000). Smaller sectional rehearsals will be held in large classrooms with reduced numbers to ensure social distancing is maintained.
Hand and equipment hygiene
- The college has provided hand sanitizing stations, gloves, and disinfecting materials for each classroom to promote handwashing and sanitization, following recommended public health guidelines.
- Regular sanitizing of facilities and equipment will take place throughout as well as in between rehearsals, including disinfecting between each rehearsal and student use.
- Sanitizing procedures will include all of the following measures:
- Students will sanitize equipment;
- Arts Center staff will sanitize equipment;
- College Operation and Maintenance staff will clean/sanitize all rehearsal classrooms.
Instrument Specific Guidelines
Best practices for each specific instrument and instrument family are based on aerosol studies by the Vienna Philharmonic and the University of Colorado, the following guidelines will be in place:
- Percussion players must adjust their habits. Rather than operating as a unit of percussionists who interchange instruments, players must occupy their specific range and set of instruments. Gloves should be worn when possible, and equipment must be sanitized between use.
- String players are not at increased risk. Playing a string instrument is considered safer than even having a mild-mannered conversation at six-feet, as it requires no increased respiration.
- Vocals if singers wear surgical style masks (other masks will be tested soon), aerosol emission is significantly reduced.
- Keyboard players must be sanitized between use. Gloves are not recommended.
Woodwind and Brass Specific Guidelines
- The guidelines from by the Vienna Philharmonic and the University of Colorado confirm that six feet of distancing are appropriate in almost all cases (exceptions notated).
- Out of an abundance of caution, ECC will require 10 feet of distancing for all wind players. A comprehensive discussion of wind guidelines requires an understanding of how the instruments function. Except for the flute, all wind instruments function by focusing a tight and narrow stream of air directly into the instrument. This stream of air meets a resistor (the mouthpiece in case of brass instruments, and the reed in case of woodwinds excepting the flute), which causes the stream to be set in motion as a vibrating column of air that produces waves, rather than a steady stream. This distinction is critical, as it informs how the air moves and spreads. Air does not steadily stream out of the bell the way that it would when being blown through a straw; instead, the energy input by the player is converted into vibrations, which contains the air in a far more closed space than if the air were being actively blown through the instrument. This distinction makes wind playing less problematic in terms of a viral spread than it would initially seem.
Elgin Community College's standards and protocols are based on the most current scientific studies and guidelines from applicable agencies, including but not limited to:
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- Illinois State Board of Education
- Illinois Board of Higher Education
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- University of Colorado Performing Arts Aerosol Study
Employees will use sick leave or other leave time for pay continuation while off work during self-isolation.
During the state’s stay-at-home order, employees and students will not have access to campus, except for employees providing critical functions. Supervisors will notify these employees. Employees will, however, be permitted to work remotely during this time, as determined by their supervisors and based on the needs of the College.
Employees will be given a welcome back kit with a mask and instructions on how to use the mask. HR will provide, through SafeColleges, general information on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Additional communication will be disseminated as employees, staff, and students return to campus on the safe use and proper care of PPE.
Although ECC does not have a work from home policy, it has been the practice that work from home opportunities are department and job-specific. You should make that request through your manager, and your manager should notify HR of these work from home schedules. As a reminder, a work from home arrangement should be beneficial to ECC.
Employees should report this travel in accordance with Administrative Procedure 3.601.
The College has the ability to ask for a doctor's note prior to returning to work. If you are required to provide a doctor's note, this note should be given to the Benefits department in HR.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend practicing preventive measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
For more information on preventing the spread, see Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities.
Our custodial staff clean and sanitize the College on a regular and consistent schedule that meets the health department's standards and complies with state and county regulations.
- Sanitizing stations are situated strategically across campus. We provide hand sanitizing stations, gloves, and disinfecting materials for each classroom to promote handwashing and sanitization.
- The custodial team is performing a deep cleaning of the facilities regularly.
- The engineers routinely run the drinking fountains, faucets, and flush toilets to ensure a healthy water supply free from bacteria and disease.
- Routine air quality testing is occurring throughout campus.
- For classrooms and rehearsal spaces, we conduct regular sanitizing of facilities and equipment throughout the day as well as in between rehearsals, including disinfecting between each student's use.
Operations & Maintenance will be responsible for the cleaning of each lab classroom, including all Arts Center rehearsal classrooms. Disinfecting wipes will be distributed around campus for use, and all are encouraged to wipe down their space if needed. Faculty/Students may not directly see evidence of the daily disinfecting of the classroom, but they will see routine cleaning (e.g., wastebasket disposal and floor-sweeping) daily.
The campus will be cleaned more frequently throughout the day. In high-traffic areas, there will be a two-hour rotation of cleaning and disinfecting. The college has purchased new equipment and cleaning materials to disinfect the entire campus. Additionally, employees will be provided disinfecting wipes to use on surfaces while on campus.
In addition to an enhanced cleaning schedule, the College has made PPE available to individual departments who will hand out appropriate gloves, masks, face shields, personal hand sanitizer bottles, sanitizing wipes, and tissues in classrooms and throughout campus. Additional hand sanitizer stations are available around the College in high traffic areas, such as main entrances and corridors. Individual ECC departments can order PPE for use in their area using this online form (sign in required). Some of the physical changes on campus include:
- The removal or reduction of furniture in public spaces;
- Social distancing signage throughout campus;
- Study tables lining the hallways in Building B to provide individual study space for students in need of a quiet, safe place;
- Student service spaces are set up to receive students safely using signage and engineering controls, including plexiglass barriers.
Classrooms and labs will be cleaned and disinfected daily after sessions are held and not occupied until the next meeting. Departments do not need to notify Operations and Maintenance to clean a classroom occupied for the summer lab schedule. If there is a specific need or request for cleaning beyond routine, daily cleaning, and disinfecting, please submit an O&M work order (sign in required).