The following message was sent today via email from President Myles Shelton to Galveston College students, faculty and staff:
As you are aware, in recent days there has been a high COVID-19 positivity rate and a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases reported in Galveston County, the City of Galveston, and on our campus. These changes in the pandemic have served as a trigger for us to re-evaluate and reassess our plans and operational protocols for the fall semester.
Temporary Changes to Instruction
As a result of the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in our area, it is necessary to scale back the number of students, classes, and employees on campus when the fall semester begins. This means that the majority of our on-campus classes will be moved online beginning with the first day of classes, August 30, and continuing through Friday, September 17. It remains our intention to return to on-campus classes as soon as possible. During the weeks ahead we will continue to monitor and assess operational plans and protocols for the fall semester.
For the first three weeks, all fall semester classes moving online shall be delivered online synchronously via Zoom (i.e., at the same time and on the same days as they are currently scheduled, only instead of students coming to campus, the classes will be available electronically via Zoom), except where certain technical courses or programs require hands-on instruction that cannot be delivered online, but can be delivered face to face in accordance with appropriate health and safety protocols. Galveston College programs where certain hands-on instruction cannot be delivered online may include:
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 meet as scheduled and will follow all health and safety protocols as established by each school district.
Facial Coverings / Face Masks
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 resume wearing facial coverings/face masks indoors in high-transmission areas. And all of Galveston 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.
As you are aware, following CDC recommendations, more specifically the wearing of masks, has become highly politicized. 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.
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. Vaccines are readily available from local healthcare providers and pharmacies. If you have questions about the vaccine, please consult with your physician or healthcare provider. In addition, the College will be hosting a vaccination clinic on campus on September 15. In the days ahead, we are also planning to announce an incentive program for faculty, staff, and students that will promote being vaccinated. Please look for more details on this matter in the days ahead.
Student Support Services
Registration for the fall semester will continue as scheduled. As classes move online for the first three weeks of the semester, student support and academic services will remain available in both virtual and in-person formats. In some departments and areas of the College, supervisors may limit the number of personnel in a given area. More information will be available on this matter to College personnel through their supervisors.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures
For anyone who is on campus, I want to assure you that our facilities staff’s cleaning and disinfecting procedures are ongoing. Our goal is to keep the College clean, open, and accessible to our community.
Student Housing and Food Service
GC Student Housing move-in day is Wednesday, August 25. All student housing will open as scheduled. We strongly encourage all students living on-campus to follow all health and safety protocols. Mr. C’s, our on-campus food service provider, is planning to follow all safety protocols appropriate to any restaurant in our area.
Practice and all intercollegiate competition will be conducted within the guidelines established by the NJCAA and Region XIV, as well as certain specific college guidelines and protocols. Student housing will be open and available to student-athletes for the fall semester.
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/.
As we work together to seek to slow the spread of COVID-19 within our campus community, we want you to know that our campus is open to our faculty and staff, our students, and to the public as we continue to seek to fulfill the mission and purposes of the College. And, as we move forward, I want to thank each one of you for your flexibility, patience, and respect for one another. This is a time for all of us to work together as each one of us has a role in protecting the health and safety of our college community.
W. Myles Shelton