East Central College facilities will only be open to employees, and students for essential services and support to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Beginning immediately, the public will not be permitted in buildings on the campuses, including the library, learning center and computer labs, said ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer.
“We are taking these measures to ensure the safety and health of our college community,” he said. “This situation is unprecedented and the decision to close the campus to the public was made with the utmost concern of students and employees.”
Dr. Bauer explained that the steps taken at ECC are under the guidance and recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
“Every decision we have made in regards to COVID-19 follows recommendations by public health officials to impede the spread of the virus,” he added.
In addition to limiting access of ECC facilities to employees and essential student services and support, the college began spring break early, on Wednesday, March 18, and is moving instruction to online and remote formats until the end of the semester.
ECC also has canceled events with the intent of minimizing the risk of exposure to the public. Canceled events include the remainder of the ECC Patrons of the Arts Series of concerts, theatrical productions, film and lectures, and art exhibits.
The “Restaurants at Prairie Dell” offered by the Culinary Arts Department also will not be held.
Off-campus events also have been canceled, like the pops concert that had been scheduled May 8 in Washington.
Other major events that have been canceled include Phi Theta Kappa induction Friday, March 20; FalconFest, April 15; Earth Day, April 25; ECC Library game nights; and the Senior Health Expo scheduled for May 22.
Sports competition has been canceled by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), which includes softball at ECC.
The Learning Center services are by appointment only and students are encouraged to utilize the online services.
In addition, community education offerings are canceled through May 7. That includes classes that were scheduled to be held at Mercy Hospital Washington.
A decision to hold or cancel commencement will be made by April 1.
For more information and updates on ECC’s steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit www.eastcentral.edu/coronavirus/.