The following message was sent today via email from President Myles Shelton to Galveston College students, faculty and staff:
As you are aware, Galveston College announced a shift to remote instruction for the first three weeks of classes of the fall 2021 semester because of a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Galveston County, the City of Galveston, and on the Galveston College campus. Since that time, COVID-19 cases in the United States have climbed back to levels not seen since last winter. Here in Galveston County, more students and staff members in our local school districts have tested positive for COVID-19 so far this semester than did during the entire first semester of 2020.
Extension of Remote Learning for Three Weeks
While we had hoped to have better news to share and to return to in-person learning here at Galveston College on Monday, Sept. 20, the continued surge in COVID-19 cases, coupled with a strain on our local healthcare resources, necessitates that we continue to scale back the number of students, classes, and employees on campus. This means that the majority of our on-campus classes will continue to operate remotely for at least three more weeks through Friday, Oct. 8. During the weeks ahead, we will continue to monitor and assess our operational plans and protocols. It remains our intention to return to on-campus learning this semester.
As they did during the first three weeks of classes, students enrolled in technical and professional programs that require hands-on instruction will continue to come to campus for in-person laboratories and instruction. These programs include, but are not limited to, the following:
Associate Degree Nursing
Certified Nurse Assistant (Continuing Education)
Computer Network System Administration
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Electrical & Electronics Technology
Emergency Medical Services
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology
Law Enforcement Academy
LVN/EMT-P Transition to Associate Degree Nursing
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technology
Nuclear Medicine Technology
Patient Care Technology (CE)
Radiation Therapy Technology
Specific information regarding laboratories and/or clinicals for technical programs requiring face-to-face, hands-on training will be provided by the individual program directors and/or instructors.
Dual-credit classes will continue to meet as scheduled and will follow all health and safety protocols as established by each school district.
Vaccinations and Vaccination Opportunity and Incentive Program
With the full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by the FDA, we strongly encourage COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone in our campus community. The Galveston Community College District Board of Regents recently approved a vaccination opportunity and incentive program for current students, faculty, and staff at Galveston College. The program is being funded by the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Participating students will receive a $200 gift certificate to the Galveston College Bookstore. Current full- and part-time employees as of Aug. 30 will receive a one-time incentive of $300, which will be included on the November payroll. Information concerning the vaccination opportunity and incentive program is available at https://gc.edu/vaccination-opportunity-and-incentive-program/.
We know that vaccination is the best way each of us can protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community against the effects of COVID-19 and its Delta variant. We hope this incentive program will encourage students, faculty, and staff who haven’t been vaccinated to avail themselves of the opportunity.
Facial Coverings/Face Masks
For students, faculty, staff, and visitors coming to campus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance and safety protocols to help us protect each other from COVID-19. The latest information from the CDC essentially states that due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals alike should wear facial coverings/face masks indoors in high-transmission areas. And all of Galveston County has been determined to be a high-transmission area. These recommendations are in addition to the recommendations concerning social distancing, hand washing, and other healthy hygiene habits.
Based on the Governor of Texas’s most recent Executive Order concerning COVID-19, we cannot currently require the wearing of masks on campus; however, we strongly encourage all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to accept personal responsibility and commit to wearing a mask or facial covering while on campus. In doing so, you are protecting yourself and others.
As in previous months, students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID-19, who have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive, or who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are required to self-report. Additional information concerning COVID-19 and the form to self-report can be found at https://gc.edu/coronavirus-report/.
Thank you for your efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 within our campus community. The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community is paramount. We appreciate your patience, resilience, cooperation, and support, as we continue to respond to the pandemic and to fulfill the mission of Galveston College.
W. Myles Shelton