2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
March 11, 2020
Last Updated: Mon., March 17, 2020; 1:17 P.M.
Spring break will be extended one week for students. All classes are cancelled March 16-20 as faculty and staff prepare to transition to working, teaching and learning remotely. The City of San Antonio first reported a travel-related case of coronavirus on March 13.
The health and wellness of students and staff of Alamo Colleges District is our highest priority. Out of an abundance of caution, the Alamo Colleges District has made some temporary changes to the way we provide instruction and operate in light of the growing concerns related to the coronavirus.
The Alamo Colleges District leadership has been following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and San Antonio Metro Health to ensure we are minimizing the risk of exposure on our campuses. However, as the situation with COVID-19 develops and more cases are identified across the country we have expanded our precautionary measures to the following social distancing measures:
- Spring break will be extended one week for students. All classes are cancelled March 16-20 as faculty and staff prepare to transition to working, teaching and learning remotely.
- Alamo Colleges District campuses and buildings are closed to students the week of March 16-20 with the exception of college libraries and computer labs.
- Classes will resume on March 23 through remote teaching and learning.
- Students should not to return to campuses for classes and will be instructed on how to continue classes and receive support remotely.
- Students with Work Study jobs should not report to work on Monday, March 16. This includes both on and off-campus work-study students. Expect to receive further information from your supervisor.
- Updates for both work study and financial aid students will be posted as they become available on the financial aid homepage: https://www.alamo.edu/admission--aid/paying-for-college/financial-aid/ (scroll down to the news section for the latest information)
- All study abroad programs for summer are cancelled. We will continue to evaluate future programs as the situation evolves.
- Update your AlamoAlert (RAVE) settings and & Contact Information. Instructions are located here.
- Each of our five colleges will have a designated area in their parking lots where free wi-fi will be provided for students. Directional signage will guide students to the locations.
ACD is partnering with the San Antonio Food Bank to provide support to our students during this period of distance learning.
Please contact the SAFB Helpline at 210-431-8326 or refer to the online form at https://safoodbank.org/help/
Visit https://www.alamo.edu/lowcostinternet to learn about programs for those in need access to internet during this time.
Alamo Colleges District employees will be working modified schedules the week of March 16-20. Employee specific information will be shared via email.
Remote Employee Toolkit - links, documents, and guides to help employees transition to working remotely
Employee Portal - Other accessible resources for employees
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then, cases have been identified in multiple other countries including the US.
COVID-19 causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of COVID-19 is considered low to the general American public.
There are many viruses in the coronavirus family that can cause illness in both humans and animals. Many are among people all of the time and cause mild to moderate illnesses, such as the common cold.
The CDC considers this new virus a public health concern based on current information. While the situation continues to evolve, the immediate health risk to the general US public is still considered low. The CDC is closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance.
What are the symptoms?
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe illness
Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it’s unclear exactly how it is transmitted and how easily the virus spreads between people.
What can I do?
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Stay home if you are caring for a family member with symptoms of flu or respiratory illness.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
What is the Alamo Colleges District doing about the 2019 novel coronavirus?
We are in regular communication with the city’s Metropolitan Health District who, in turn, receives regular updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any local response to COVID-19 will be coordinated through Metro Health, the public health authority designated for our community.
- Providing timely updates to campuses via email communication and the Alamo Colleges District website.
- Continuously monitoring and following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Metropolitan Health District and other official sources.
- Adapting emergency response plans in preparation.
- Forming a cross-district taskforce of health professionals, communicators and other key stakeholders who are in regular communication as the situation evolves.
- Moving meetings online, when possible.
- Suspending large event gatherings until further notice.
- Limiting business travel outside of San Antonio until further notice.
- Limiting out-of-area visitors until further notice.
If someone self-reports an exposure to COVID-19, please advise them to remain at their current location and contact the Alamo Colleges Police Department at 210-485-0099 (non-emergency).
For questions, please contact the Alamo Colleges via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to monitor this situation closely and report any updates to the ACD community.
Resources & Communication
Communication to Alamo Colleges Family
- March 11, 2020 Letter from Chairman Casillas and Dr. Flores to Students
- March 11, 2020 Letter to Employees (Workplace Update)
- March 11, 2020 Press Release
- March 17, 2020 Employee Update
- March 17, 2020 Student Update
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has opened a COVID-19 hotline for residents to ask questions about the virus. The hotline is available in English and Spanish.
- For COVID-19 questions call 210-207-5779
- The hotline is open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Information is also available in American Sign Language at this link: http://sat.ahasalerts.com/ActiveAlerts.aspx?id=1334
City of San Antonio COVID-19 Fact Sheet (English) (Spanish)
City of San Antonio Reduce Your Risk (English) (Spanish)
City of San Antonio COVID-19 Poster (English) (Spanish)
Texas Department of State Health Services information on COVID-19 (English) (Spanish)
CDC information on COVID-19 in the United States (English) (Spanish)
CDC information on COVID-19 in Children (English)