Local COVID surge puts COCC’s summer reopening plans on hold

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Central Oregon Community College announced Thursday it will postpone its planned summer reopening date.

Dr. Laurie Chesley, president of COCC, wrote in a communication to employees that given the current positive COVID-19 case rates and concerning hospitalization numbers in Central Oregon, the college will not reopen to students and the public on Monday, June 14 as planned.

COVID cases in Deschutes County have been climbing for six straight weeks.

Last week, the county reported 547 cases, the most in a single week since the pandemic began.

Student support services will remain available via phone and remote formats, and computer labs on all four COCC campuses will remain open to students. Employees who currently telework will continue to do so.

COCC’s Summer term begins Monday, June 21.

The delayed reopening to the public will not impact the limited in-person classes already scheduled for the upcoming term.

Since the Fall 2020 term, the college has safely offered approximately 20% of courses in-person, and will continue to do so in the Summer 2021 term as scheduled.

“It has been a sobering few weeks of COVID-19 news in Central Oregon,” said Dr. Chesley. “Throughout the pandemic, COCC has responded to ever-changing public health realities with a commitment to the safety of our students, staff and communities. Like so many Oregonians, we’ve had to be nimble and understand all decisions are subject to change — including our plans to reopen to students and the public in June.”

The college has not yet named a revised reopening date.

However, COCC’s leadership team identified late summer as a target goal, and the college will continue to update the community of its reopening plans.

Visit COCC’S COVID-19 Health and Safety Information webpage to learn more.

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