Summer term begins June 21; face mask policy remains in place
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Central Oregon Community College said Wednesday while it plans to fully reopen all campuses to students and the general public on Monday, August 23, only about half of fall classes will be in person, with the rest will continue to be held virtually.
Buildings and offices in Bend, Redmond, Madras and Prineville will be open and staffed to resume in-person services on August 23. On COCC's Bend campus, the college will also reopen its track, field and trails to the public. Wickiup Residence Hall will reopen to residents as planned in the fall term.
The college has been closed to the public since March 23, 2020, when COCC moved classes and services to remote delivery in response to an executive order from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In-person learning at COCC for summer term will remain as currently scheduled, the school said. In the fall term, COCC will offer approximately 50 percent in-person classes, with the remaining 50 percent offered virtually (as remote, online or hybrid courses).
"Students will be able to successfully pursue their degree or certificate at COCC using the delivery method that best suits their learning and schedule needs," the announcement said.
Over the summer, COCC will continue to offer tours to prospective students and their families (one household per tour, masks required). The college will also consider summer facility rental requests from community partners in accordance with all current health and safety protocols (two upcoming on-campus summer events include the Bend YP Summit and Balloons Over Bend).
COCC’s Redmond, Madras and Prineville campuses have remained open throughout the pandemic, as have the college’s drop-in computer labs. These facilities will continue to be available to students and the public throughout the summer term.
"During the last 15 months, our students and employees have weathered this pandemic with resilience, determination and empathy," said Dr. Laurie Chesley, president of COCC. "This August, we are excited to safely reopen our campuses to the public and welcome back our Central Oregon community."
All currently teleworking COCC employees will return to their on-campus workplace on Monday, Aug. 2 to enable Information Technology Services, Campus Services and other departments to prepare technologies, facilities, processes and more for reopening to the public on Aug. 23.
As COCC has done throughout the pandemic, the college will continue to follow all Oregon Health Authority, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines to promote a safe and healthy environment for all. COCC will closely follow the latest state and federal guidance to be prepared to adapt reopening plans as necessary.
The college's current face mask policy also remains in place: COCC campuses require face masks in all indoor spaces, as well as outdoor spaces where 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be easily maintained.
Summer term at COCC begins Monday, June 21, and fall term begins Monday, Sept. 20. The college will update its COVID-19 webpages to reflect the latest reopening details. Community members are also welcome to send reopening-related queries to email@example.com.