PCC Announcement Regarding COVID-19 (03/31/2019)

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

PCC administrators issued the following message during the Pitt County coronavirus press conference held March 31, 2020:

On Monday, Pitt Community College administrators learned that a PCC employee tested positive for COVID-19. In response, we conducted a thorough review of campus security footage to determine who could be considered “high risk” for exposure to the virus as a result of close contact (within six feet) with this employee for a prolonged period of time (10 minutes or longer). Per CDC guidelines, we have made direct contact with every “high risk” employee and asked those individuals to adhere to isolation protocols.

We’re thankful that several precautionary measures the college took to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 kept the number of potential exposures to a minimum. Many employees were working remotely, campus access had been restricted, and facilities services personnel were practicing increased sanitization processes, which included cleaning touch surfaces multiple times each day in buildings still occupied by employees.

PCC is one of North Carolina’s largest community colleges, but we are a tight-knit campus and this hits very close to home for many of us. The employee who tested positive for coronavirus followed guidelines for reducing exposure to the virus, yet still contracted COVID-19. My understanding is the employee is doing well, and we are extremely grateful for that. We’re praying for a speedy recovery and sending positive thoughts to our fellow Bulldog and the individual’s family members. Due to privacy laws, we cannot disclose any further information about this employee.

We all have a long road ahead of us, and it is paramount that we remain diligent in keeping the safety of ourselves, our loved ones, and our community at the forefront of our actions. PCC is still encouraging its employees to practice social distancing and increased hygiene practices.

In closing, I’d like to emphasize that no students were exposed to the coronavirus and very few employees were deemed to have been at “high risk” for exposure as a result of close contact for an extended period of time with the employee who tested positive for COVID-19.

Finally, I would like to ensure all of our students that Pitt Community College is dedicated to helping them continue progressing toward completion of their coursework in a safe manner for everyone involved.

03/31/2020