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Communication methods are updated first in the event of emergency closings. The college has complete control over these communication methods, so messages are guaranteed to be accurate and up-to-date. This same guarantee cannot be applied to messages heard on local radio and television stations.
Emergency Closing Alerts
When the college issues a delayed opening or day class cancelation announcement, please check the website and official social media accounts before leaving home and before you are scheduled to arrive on campus. This may prevent a wasted trip to campus in the event that the college’s closing status changes on the same day.
Please make sure you refresh the website upon each visit to ensure that the most up-to-date information is being viewed.
Please note the steps in the emergency closing and delayed opening communication process:
- The designated administrator makes the closing decision and initiates steps to communicate the announcement.
- A message is distributed through the alert system regarding the closing announcement.
- The college website and official social media accounts are updated to reflect the closing announcement.
- The emergency closing announcement telephone lines are updated to reflect the closing announcement.
- Media in the area are contacted and asked to announce the closing status of the college. Please note that the college cannot control if and when the announcements are made.
In the event that a delayed opening changes to a closing announcement on the same day, this change will be communicated at least 1.5 hours before the delayed opening time. The process above will once again be followed. (For example, if a decision is made that the college will open at noon instead of 8 a.m. and then a later decision is made to close the college the entire day, the change will be communicated by 10:30 a.m.)
As previously stated, in the case of inclement weather — regardless of the emergency closing announcement — all students and employees should use good judgment as to whether or not it is safe to travel.
The philosophy is to try to keep the college open and on a regular schedule. Unless classes are officially canceled, faculty members are expected to keep their scheduled classes. However, emergency situations and inclement weather can mandate the need for changes. Decisions regarding closings or delays will be made for each location based upon the respective situation. In the case of inclement weather, regardless of the decision, all students and employees should use good judgment as to whether or not it is safe to travel.
In communicating cancelation information to the news media, distinctions will be made between day and evening classes. Day classes run between 7 a.m. and 3:50 p.m. Evening classes run between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. Should conditions warrant a delay in opening, classes that were not affected by the delay will be held at their normally scheduled times once the college opens. For those classes that did not meet due to the delay in opening, faculty will follow the college procedures for make-up of classes as directed by the deans of learning and/or vice president of learning.
Unless it is specifically communicated otherwise, if the college is closed, then all three locations – the Fauquier and Middletown campuses and the Luray-Page County Center – are closed. If only one or two of the three locations is closed, the message will communicate this. (For example, Laurel Ridge day classes on the Fauquier Campus are canceled.) If a location closes, then compressed video classes for all locations will be canceled. Please note that in the event that one of Laurel Ridge’s off-site class locations closes (for example, Warren County High School), then the classes that are held there are also canceled.
The college is committed to the health and safety of its students and employees. In the event of a health emergency, we work closely with local and regional authorities to ensure the safety of our students and employees in order to support community needs.
If a health or other emergency were to affect college operations, we will communicate utilizing a variety of methods; the most critical of these is Laurel Ridge Alert. Please sign up today or update your profile with your latest contact information.
The college is closely monitoring the situation with the VCCS, the Virginia Department of Health and the CDC to ensure we are taking appropriate precautions.
There are several steps you can take to ensure you remain as healthy as possible:
Stay informed: US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Practice preventative care: Prevention (CDC)
Please be assured that the health and safety of our employees and students are paramount. Our Continuity of Operations Emergency Team is monitoring daily developments with COVID-19, and has taken the following proactive measures:
- Instituted increased cleaning measures for all high-touch and high-traffic areas of our campuses.
- Set up additional hand sanitizer stations in high-traffic areas.
- Established vendor contacts and procedures for enhanced cleaning as part of our contingency planning.
- Lord Fairfax Health District: Middletown and Luray/Page
- Rappahannock/Rapidan Health District: Fauquier and Vint Hill
- Virginia Department of Health
- Virginia Department of Health (General information)
- Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 Updates (Daily Updates Being Made)
- Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 Testing Sites
- Virginia’s Governor (COVID-19 in Virginia)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (General Information)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Situation Summary)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Prevent Illness)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (What to do if You are Sick)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Schools, Workplaces & Community Locations)
- OSHA (Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19)
- OSHA (COVID-19 or Other Public Health Emergencies-Fair Labor Standards Act & FMLA)
- OSHA (Additional Resources)
- World Health Organization (Technical Guidance)
- White House (COVID-19 Guidelines)
- USA (Government Response to COVID-19)
- US Food & Drug Administration (COVID-19)
- ValleyHealth COVID-19 Respiratory Care Phone Line – English
- ValleyHealth COVID-19 Respiratory Care Phone Line – Spanish
Pandemic Flu (Avian and H1N1 Flu)
The difference between the seasonal flu and a pandemic flu is that a pandemic flu begins when a new flu strain spreads easily and quickly around the world.
To protect yourself from contracting the flu, please:
- plan ahead (brochure in English / brochure in Spanish).
- practice good hygiene
- stay informed of the latest national and state news and Laurel Ridge special event information
know what to do if you or someone you know becomes sick
Violence in schools may have parents, students and educational employees feeling uneasy about safety and security. Experts caution that two or three incidents, as horrific as they may be, do not constitute a trend that schools are becoming more dangerous. They point to research that indicates that violence in schools has been declining for more than 10 years and schools are still the safest place for a child to be.
Following are links to more information about coping with school violence:
Staph and MRSA Infections
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to simply as “staph,” are bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the noses of healthy people. Sometimes, staph can cause an infection. Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States.
“Some staph bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. MRSA is a type of staph that is resistant to antibiotics called beta-lactams. Almost all MRSA skin infections can be effectively treated. More serious infections, such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections or bone infections, are very rare in healthy people who get MRSA skin infections.”
For more information about staph and MRSA, please visit the following Web sites:
Archived Health Alerts
DATE: September 29, 2006
TO: Virginia Colleges and Universities
FROM: Robert B. Stroube, M.D., M.P.H.
State Health Commissioner
Virginia Department of Health
SUBJECT: Steps to Protect College and University Students from Mumps
As you may have heard, a cluster of suspected mumps cases has been reported at the University of Virginia. Isolated cases have also occurred throughout the commonwealth. In general, we are seeing a significant rise in mumps reporting in 2006 when compared to the last several years. This is likely due, in part, to increased awareness following the large, primarily college-based, mumps outbreak that occurred in the Midwest beginning in December 2005.
Colleges and universities can take several steps to decrease the risk of mumps among students and others in their communities. The most effective strategy is to ensure that all students have received two doses of Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine (MMR) or have other evidence of immunity. Acceptable evidence of immunity to mumps includes one of the following: documentation of adequate vaccination; laboratory evidence of immunity (positive mumps IgG); birth before 1957; or documentation of physician-diagnosed mumps.
A thorough review of immunization documentation is recommended to ensure that all students are protected from mumps. Students who are unable to document their immune status should be offered MMR vaccine as soon as possible, with a second dose, if necessary, administered at least 28 days later.
A college or university with a suspected case of mumps should immediately contact the appropriate local Virginia Department of Health district office. A listing of these facilities may be found at (). The health department will assist by providing guidance and recommendations on disease control measures, specimen collection and use of appropriate laboratory test, and will complete a thorough investigation to identify exposed contacts.
Implementation of these measures will help ensure that all students are protected and will help minimize the disruption and havoc caused by a mumps outbreak in a college setting. If you would like additional information about mumps disease or vaccine, please contact Laura Ann Nicolai, VDH Division of Immunization Epidemiologist, at (804) 864-8055.
Old Dominion University Alerts
Old Dominion University (ODU) cancelations are made independent of the college closings, and ODU classes may meet when college classes and events have been canceled. Information regarding ODU closings can be obtained by listening to WINC-FM, or calling ODU’s Middletown Campus location at 540-869-2948 or ODU’s Fauquier Campus location at 540-351-1572.