Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

Coronavirus Response

The University recognizes that the decision to limit campus visitation and move to an online learning model will create a hardship for some students, faculty and staff, and might challenge the quality of instruction in some classes. However, the decision is judged essential toward the promotion of public health and is in keeping with prevailing state and national trends.

To better prepare our WVU Parkersburg family for this time of change, we are providing you with all the resources you need to be successful in your educational and professional career. Whether you are a new or returning student, we will help you on your path to a great future.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Good afternoon,
Pursuant to an Executive Order signed by West Virginia’s Governor, Jim Justice, mandatory wearing of masks or face coverings related to COVID-19 has been terminated in the State of West Virginia, except where federal jurisdiction dictates otherwise and with some exceptions including private businesses.

Here is a link to the Governor’s Order:

https://governor.wv.gov/Documents/2021%20Executive%20Orders/EO-20-21-June-18-2021.pdf

While we will continue to do our very best at WVUP to promote the health and safety of those who learn and work here, I do not judge that I have the authority, legal or moral, to hold the community to a higher standard than that set forth by our Governor based on the expert public health counsel he receives on a regular basis.

As with all matters COVID-19 related, the Board of Governors and the administration of WVUP reserve the right to make whatever changes are deemed necessary in our protocols to the degree that our legal authority allows, but effectively immediately, and unless or until this guidance is updated, masks or other face coverings are no longer required of any person entering the facilities of WVUP.

Masks are still encouraged in public areas, especially for those who are unvaccinated, but encouraged does not mean required.

Signage will be changed promptly, but this guidance is effective immediately.

At present, we reserve the right to enforce social distancing as we deem necessary.

Best regards,

Chris

Good afternoon, Riverhawks,

I hope that you are having a wonderful summer. While still remaining cautious about COVID-19, West Virginia and the nation as a whole are beginning to reopen and move toward a new normal. West Virginia University at Parkersburg is also moving toward a new normal, and this email serves to modify our current COVID-19 protocols for utilization of campus facilities.

West Virginia’s Governor Jim Justice has announced June 20, 2021, as a target date for all mask requirements in West Virginia to be lifted. He has also issued an Executive Order for the statewide mandatory face covering policy to be lifted immediately for all fully-vaccinated persons. The Executive Order requires all persons who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing masks while in crowded indoor settings. Here is a link to the Executive Order: https://governor.wv.gov/Pages/Statewide-Indoor-Face-Covering-Requirement.aspx.

WVUP has done its best to follow all state and federal guidelines and public health recommendations while erring on the side of caution, and will continue to do so. Effective immediately, fully-vaccinated persons are encouraged to wear masks when in our facilities, but are not required to do so. Unvaccinated persons are still required to wear masks in public areas of our facilities in keeping with our most recently published COVID-19 protocols document. If Governor Justice follows through on the June 20 target date for eliminating mask requirements entirely, or does so at a later time, we will follow the instructions we are given from the state. The Governor’s current Executive Order gives institutions of higher learning the right to locally determine a standard for masks that is higher than the state standard. In consultation with the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors, the WVUP COVID-19 task force, and the college’s executive team, at this time we will not enforce a standard higher than outlined by the state.

In short:

  • • If you are fully vaccinated, you are encouraged to wear masks in public spaces on our campuses, but not required to do so.
  • • If you are not fully vaccinated, you are still required to wear masks in public spaces on our campuses until further notice.

At the present time, we will determine vaccination status based on the honor system of self-identification, and we expect everyone to consider the health and safety of the community as a whole.

I recognize that the campus community is eager to learn whether social distancing requirements will remain in place for the fall semester. Based on current CDC guidance, they will remain in place until further notice, but we are actively reviewing the possibility of eliminating or diminishing these requirements to allow for more normalcy at the start of or before the fall semester. We understand that the community needs time to plan and to transition, and we will provide as much advance notice as possible. We need to see how the COVID-19 trend lines progress for a while longer before making further decisions.

We intend to engage in face-to-face instruction for the fall semester, supported as needed by technology-based learning.

The mask requirement is really the only significant update to our protocols at this time, and we will keep you posted as further updates become available. As always, we are trying to move the community as quickly and fully back to a sense of normalcy as we can accomplish without jeopardizing the health and safety of the community. Both the Board of Governors and the administration share a deep concern for your health and safety, are pleased that our strong protocols have primarily kept this community safe to date, and are committed to exercising the leadership necessary to prioritize health and safety, while recognizing and supporting our mutual desire with this community to come back together as fully, quickly, and normally as possible.

Please let me know if you have questions, suggestions, or concerns, and thank you for your support as we find our way through uncharted territory together.

 

Warm regards,

Chris

These updated protocols amend the protocols currently in place at WVUP which were approved by the Board of Governors fall 2020. WVUP’s President’s Executive Team and WVUP’s COVID-19 Task Force (inclusive of two members of WVUP’s Board of Governors, faculty, staff, and student representatives) had the opportunity to review and provide feedback to these amended protocols. These protocols will govern West Virginia University at Parkersburg until replaced by future guidance, repealed by the Board of Governors, or altered by the President of WVUP who is herein granted such authority by the Board. These protocols are subject to revision at any time by the President of WVUP with any material revisions discussed in advance with the Chair of the Board of Governors and with notice given to those affected. These protocols are designed to support most employees returning to campuses for face-to-face work assignments, more students beginning to return to campuses for face-to-face learning, and reopening to the general public for essential business functions. This increase in face-to-face learning, working, and public access will be incremental, closely monitored, and adjusted as needed based on the trajectory of the pandemic.

General Guidance: If you are ill and demonstrating any of the range of symptoms which might be caused by COVID-19, or might also be caused by some other illness, you should NOT enter any facilities of WVUP. If you know that you have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 through close contact with a known carrier, you should NOT enter any facilities of WVUP without first gaining approval from the Vice President of your area or the Chief of Staff to the President, Brady Whipkey (brady.whipkey@wvup.edu). The greatest tool we have to prevent a campus outbreak is to care enough about each other that each of us proactively and personally takes responsibility for those who learn and work here. Please err on the side of caution and consideration for others. As we begin to open our facilities to more face-to-face operations and more people begin to use those facilities, it is more important than ever to maintain our vigilance.

View WVU Parkersburg’s Spring 2021 COVID-19 Protocols.

These protocols have been developed by WVUP’s administration in consultation with the West Virginia Community and Technical College System leadership, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission leadership, and local health departments in both Wood and Jackson Counties. WVUP’s President’s Executive Team and WVUP’s COVID-19 Task Force (inclusive of two members of WVUP’s Board of Governors, faculty, staff, and student representatives) had the opportunity to review and provide feedback to drafts of these protocols under development. These protocols will govern West Virginia University at Parkersburg until replaced by future guidance, repealed by this Board, or altered by the President of the University who is herein granted such authority by the Board. These protocols are subject to revision at any time by the President of the University with any material revisions discussed in advance with the Chair of the Board of Governors and with notice given to those affected.

General Guidance: If you are ill and demonstrating any of the range of symptoms which might be caused by COVID-19, or might also be caused by some other illness, you should NOT enter any facilities of WVUP. If you know that you have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 through close contact with a known carrier, you should NOT enter any facilities of WVUP without first consulting the Vice President of your area or the Office of the President. The greatest tool we have to prevent a campus outbreak is to care enough about each other that each of us proactively and personally takes responsibility for those who learn and work here. Please err on the side of caution and consideration for others.

View WVU Parkersburg’s Fall 2020 COVID-19 Protocols.

Greetings, WVU Parkersburg Students!

I hope this note finds you well and that this summer you’ve been able to rest, relax, and get mentally prepared for the Fall semester.

I write today to share with you more details about how your courses will be delivered this Fall. For your health and safety, we have taken the precaution that nearly all of our Fall Semester classes will be remote. What this means is that of the 582 course sections on this Fall’s schedule, nearly 500 course sections will be entirely delivered through technology-enabled instruction. While the courses will be remote, many of them will still require set meeting times during the week using web conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, and other communications tools.

In a very limited way, portions of some courses may have on-campus, in-person instructional time. How this will be done was planned on a case-by-case basis, so you will need to check your WVUP.edu email regularly to learn more as your instructors will be sending you details of their Fall course plans over the next week or so. To give you an idea of what to expect, here are some of the programs and types of courses that might have limited on-campus components including, but not limited to: Advanced Manufacturing, Chemical and Polymer Operator Technology, Drafting, Electrical Reliability and Maintenance, Electricity and Instrumentation, Industrial Maintenance, Multi-Craft Technician, Reliability and Maintenance Technology, Residential and Commercial Electricity, Welding, and science labs, among a few other courses in programs requiring on-campus specialized technology and equipment. Also, programs in the health sciences and education that require field experiences will follow the lead of the host sites to determine how those field experiences will be conducted.

To learn more specifics about your classes, please regularly check the Fall Schedule at http://schedules.wvup.edu/fall_202101.htm and hover over the on each course for more details. The information within the on the schedule will be continuously updated as faculty finalize their Fall course plans. Also, check your WVUP.edu email regularly for communications and specifics directly from your instructors for individual course information.

In just a few weeks, we begin our Fall semester. Know that we are here for you to help you succeed as we go together into this new “normal.”

All the best,
Chad Crumbaker

Welcome and thank you for choosing WVUP and the Bookstore.

WVUP Bookstore will open on Monday, August 3, 2020. Hours: Mon – Thru 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Due to social distancing and with the size of the bookstore, there can be 4 students in the bookstore. There may be times when these limitations will cause a significant wait time.

Students must wear a mask while in the bookstore and stay at the designated markings to maintain social distancing. The textbook section will be closed, and a Bookstore employee will assist you in getting your books. Students must have a printed copy of their class schedule with them when purchasing or renting textbooks. The bookstore staff will not be able to use your mobile phone to look at your schedule.

If you chose to rent textbooks, you must have a major credit card on file. You can use financial aid to pay for the rental price. If you do not return the rental by December 11, 2020, the credit card on file will be charged to replace the textbook. The textbook must be in a resalable condition, no torn or missing pages and no water damage. You can highlight and make notations in the textbook.

For your own protection and safety and to avoid potential long lines, we strongly encourage you to place web orders and choose the shipping option. If you choose store pick-up, you will be able to pick up your books at Door # 1118A. You must have a photo ID when picking up your books.

We will do our best to process your order within 48 hours, provided all the textbooks are in stock. If the textbook is not in stock, you will be notified.

To place a web order, go to wvup.bncollege.com, click on Textbooks, Find Textbooks, choose F20 term, select Department, Course, and Section (CRN #). Do this for all your classes and click on Find Materials. To choose Financial Aid as a form of payment, enter you Student ID number and email address.

To use financial aid to help pay for textbooks and required school supplies, you must have a negative balance in your OLSIS account. To check on you balance, log into OLSIS, select Student Records, select Student Accounts, Account Detail for the term, select Term and click submit.

We also accept all major credit cards/debit cards.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us or call 304-424-8240.

Thank you,
Sarah, Maria, Nealy and Your WVUP Bookstore Staff

WVU Parkersburg will operate in Fall 2020 with technology-enabled instruction, President Chris Gilmer announced on Friday, July 17.

“The bottom line is this: I must live with my own conscience, and ultimately we can have no greater concern than the preservation of even a single human life,” Gilmer explained as he noted the decision could impact enrollment and have a short-term financial loss for the institution.

Meetings with stakeholder groups on how to best implement technology-enabled instruction begins on Monday, July 20. “We will follow the leadership of faculty and students about the best ways to implement instruction,” Gilmer assured.

WVU Parkersburg will follow the leadership of staff and students about the best ways to serve the front-line needs of our students while keeping everyone safe.

WVU Parkersburg will make some exceptions for our technical programs such as welding, and for some of our science, healthcare, and education programs which have lab and field experiences.

WVU Parkersburg will reopen our computer labs on a limited basis because we recognize that access to Internet in rural areas is one of the primary challenges of virtual instruction.

WVU Parkersburg will continue our phased reopening of our facilities to register, advise, teach, and serve students, but in a slow and safe way emphasizing the mandatory wearing of face masks and social distancing.

To students, the college president offered assurance. “We will be here to ensure the best possible learning experience for you.”

To staff, the college president offered safety. “We will design out work spaces to provide you with the most safety possible.”

To faculty, the college president offered resources. “We will make our Zoom rooms and other tools you need to do your job available.”

And to parents, spouses, and families, the college president made a promise. “Send us your loved ones as students for the fall semester, and we will do all within our power to keep them safe while we provide a quality education.” President Gilmer further explained his decision for a semester of technology-enabled instruction, “I can’t promise that I will keep the virus from coming to our campuses. No one can. But I can promise you this—my most solemn responsibility is to do all that I can toward that end, and this decision is a reflection of that promise.

What does this mean for students? Some classes will still meet face-to-face, but most will use a virtual means to communicate. The methods will vary. Faculty will reach out to the students with more information. Students do not need to worry about changing their classes to online; all changes as a result of this announcement will be made for students. More information on a technology-enabled instruction for Fall 2020 will be posted on the college website as it becomes available. Students are encouraged to check their WVUP email accounts regularly and to find updates in the weekly B&G Post, a resource sent out by email.

CARES Emergency Grants
CARES Act Mandatory Reporting

On April 9, the Secretary of Education for the U.S. Department of Education notified us that as part of the CARES Act (due to the coronavirus pandemic) we would be receiving $876,544 to disburse directly to eligible students in the form of cash grants. We decided to disburse some of those funds to every eligible student, and then give students who expressed their needs by filling out an application some additional funds. Our CARES grant application was posted online on Friday, April 24 and was taken down on Friday, May 8.
On Friday, May 8, after the application closed at 4:00 p.m., eligibility for all students was verified and grants were processed for 1,048 eligible students totaling $876,544. Our total grant allocation has now been awarded to eligible students. The refunds are being processed now and will be sent out via the BankMobile refund method that you chose earlier in the semester (direct deposit, BankMobile VIBE deposit, or paper check in the mail). The individual grant award amounts were determined by the administration of West Virginia University at Parkersburg based on the belief that all students attending classes on our Parkersburg and Ripley campus were in some way financially impacted by the disruption of switching to 100% online courses and the closing of our facilities. All eligible students received a base amount of $650, and students who filled out the application and had additional expenses received additional funds above the $650 base amount.
We determined that you are eligible for $(amount) in CARES Emergency Grant funds. Your CARES funds will be released to you regardless of whether you owe any balance to WVUP for current or future classes. If you do not need your grant funds for other expenses, and want them applied to a balance, you will need to contact the Business Office after you receive your grant funds and make a payment arrangement. You are not required to use this grant to pay a balance at WVUP though – it is intended for other expenses that you have.
If you have questions about your CARES Emergency Grant, please contact the WVUP Financial Aid Office at finaid@wvup.edu.
If you want to check which refund method you chose with BankMobile, please reach out to BankMobile, or contact the WVUP Business Office at business.office@wvup.edu. If you received any funds from WVUP in the Spring 2020 semester, your CARES funds will come to you the same way. The refunds will take a short amount of time to process, but we anticipate all direct deposit students will receive their funds by Friday, May 15. Please do not check the status of your refund with the Business Office before Monday, May 18, 2020.

WVUP Financial Aid Office
Center for Student Services
finaid@wvup.edu
304-424-8310

The Riverhawk Food Pantry will be offering a limited supply of emergency supplemental food bags to students, staff and faculty on Monday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in room 0130 on the Parkersburg campus and at the Jackson County Center administration building. Food bags will be limited to one bag per person and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

View a list of other food pantries and community resources in the area.

For more information, contact Kurt Klettner at kurt.klettner@wvup.edu or 304-424-8388.

For those at home without internet access, WVUP has made Wifi available for students, faculty, and staff. Currently, on the main campus, Wifi is available in the WED parking lot and the parking spots in front of the main entrance near the President’s Office. If additional Wifi areas become available, WVUP IT will update the community.

Please remember to fully charge your devices before coming, as electric is not available on-site. Social distancing is still enforced, so please use the Wifi from the comfort of your vehicle.

Please direct any questions or issues to the WVUP IT Help Desk, by phone at 304-424-8215, by email at helpdesk@wvup.edu, or by creating a ticket at https://helpdesk.wvup.edu.

At this time, WVU Parkersburg has suspended all campus events and visitations through May 4, 2020. All campus tours, visits from the public and events after this date may be unaffected, but the institution will provide updates as necessary. If you are an outside vendor renting a WVU Parkersburg campus space, you will be electronically notified of your event cancelation.

Canceled Events & Visitations

• Breakthrough Campus Ministries Bible Study Meetings
• Beginner American Sign Language – Jackson County Community Education Class
• Beginner Beekeeping Community Education Class
• Flash Photography Community Education Class
• Women Are People Readers Theater Auditions
• Spirit Team Meetings
• Rotaract Club Meeting
• DIY Day
• Home City Ice Hiring Table
• Family Drive-In Movie
• Poetry Readings | National Poetry Month
• Community Easter Egg Hunt
• Grad Fair
• Thirty-One Stuffed Bag Bingo
• Early College Recognition Ceremony

Postponed Events & Visitations

• Constellium Program Signing Ceremony
• The May 2020 Commencement Ceremony is rescheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2020.
• The HESI A2 Entrance Exam for Fall 2020 Admission into Nursing and Surgical Technology programs is rescheduled for April 25, 2020, from 12:30-4:30 p.m. The HESI A2 will be given and proctored through the Zoom app. Individuals taking the exam will need to download the Zoom app by visiting zoom.us. Please call the Business Office at 304.424.8223 to pay the $45 exam fee, then call the Nursing & Health Sciences office at 304.424.8300 to register for the exam. Individuals will need to provide their current phone number and email. The deadline to register is Thursday, April 23. Further instruction regarding the exam will follow registration.

Not Currently Affected

At WVU Parkersburg, we are proud of our Riverhawks and their accomplishments, and we don’t want to miss the opportunity to host events celebrating and honoring our students and graduates. At this time, the college is planning to hold the following events. However, as circumstances regarding public health evolve, there is the possibility that these events will be postponed. WVU Parkersburg will communicate such changes immediately. We advise parents and students to monitor college communications for updates.

• Kids’ College (June 8-12; 15-18 and 22-25)

Greetings, WVU Parkersburg Riverhawks!

While we’ve moved online, we are still HERE for YOU and will continue to provide opportunities for Student Engagement Activities. Every Monday, you will receive a list of daily challenges, activities, wellness tips and more to help keep you on track and active while we work through this difficult time. Also, be sure to post a pic of you completing these daily challenges and activities, tagging @WVUParkersburgStudentActivities (Facebook) and @riverhawks_sa (Instagram). If you have any questions, please reach out to sea@wvup.edu.

Access four weeks of daily engagement activities here.

Are you feeling stressed out and need someone outside of the family to talk with? Do you need to vent out loud to someone for a few minutes?

During this time of higher anxiety, resulting from circumstances related to the COVID-19 crisis (social distancing, isolation and sometimes general feelings of frustration and possibly fear), you may find some comfort in talking. If so, know that you can call Kurt Klettner, Student Support Services executive director, at any time, including evenings and weekends, until this crisis is behind us.

Please call Student Support Services at 304-424-8388, or dial Kurt’s campus cellphone directly at 304-588-0142.

We are in this together, and together we will get through this crisis.

Beginning Monday, March 23, the physical plant of the WVU Parkersburg library will be closed until further notice due to the medical emergency. Our electronic resources of periodicals, ebooks, music and other tools will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Library staff members are available to provide assistance via email at wvuplibrary@wvup.edu, the library’s Facebook page, and by telephone at 304-424-8260. We will also schedule times when a staff member will be at the library so patrons may sign out paper books.

Please contact Stephen Hupp, Library Director, at shupp@wvup.edu for additional information.

Staying true to our mission of supporting student success, the WVU Parkersburg Bookstore is excited to announce it has joined with VitalSource to provide free access to available digital textbooks through the remainder of the Spring 2020 term. VitalSource describes themself as “a program designed to support students and instructors who may have lost access to course materials due to a campus moving to distance learning to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This program is made possible by the leading publishers and resellers in the US Higher Education. The program offers free access to tens of thousands of eBooks through May 25, 2020 to students and instructors at impacted 2 and 4-year non-profit institutions in the US.”

To get started, students should visit bookshelf.vitalsource.com and create a Bookshelf account with their WVUP email address.

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