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WSCC updates on the Coronavirus

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March 24, 2020:

Letter from President Ward: 

To read, click here.

March 23, 2020:

News Release: 

Contact:  Thomas A. Hawley, Executive Director of College Relations
Phone:  231/843-5803
Date:  March 23, 2020
Re: Full campus shut down due to executive order
 
SCOTTVILLE – Today (March 23), Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order for the State of Michigan and the college is beginning a full campus shut down as of 12:01 a.m., on March 24. In response to the order, all of the college’s buildings are closed to the public through April 13. The order prohibits in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life. College faculty and staff are working remotely and will respond to messaging as they are able.
 
Online academic instruction will continue until the end of the semester, May 1.
 
Registration for the summer and fall semesters has been postponed until further notice.
 
All college sponsored public events or community meetings, through April 30, have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.
 
Pending further actions by the governor’s office and Michigan Department of Health, after April 13, parts of the campus will be staffed in-person Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., through the end of the semester.
 
Following guidance from the CDC, as well as state and local public health authorities, a task force is meeting daily, via video conference, to focus on the college’s preparedness and response to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
For the latest information, follow the CDC link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
 

Coronavirus Response:   

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order for the State of Michigan and the college is beginning a full campus shut down as of 12:01 a.m. on March 24, 2020. In response to the order:

  • All of the college’s buildings are closed to the public through April 13. The order prohibits in-person work that is nt necessary to sustain or protect life. College faculty and staff are working remotely and will respond to messaging as they are able.
  • Online academic instruction will continue until the end of the semester, May 1.
  • A limited number of laptops are available, by loan for student use only, on a first-come first served basis. Call 231-843-5570, or email the help desk at helpdesk@westshore.edu, by 6 p.m., for more information. No requests will be accepted after today.
  • If you are (or you know) a student with any kind of personal or academic need arising from the Coronavirus outbreak, please request CARE
  • Team assistance by completing the Coronavirus CARE form.
  • Registration for the summer and fall semesters has been postponed until further notice.
  • All college sponsored public events or community meetings, through April 30, have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.
  • Pending further actions by the governor’s office and Michigan Department of Health, after April 13, parts of the campus will be staffed in-person Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., through the end of the semester.
  • Following guidance from the CDC, as well as state and local public health authorities, a task force is meeting daily, via video conference, to focus on the college’s preparedness and response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • For the latest information, follow the CDC link.
 
March 20, 2020:
 
Campus Update:
 
  • For the health and safety of West Shore Community College Community students and staff, effective Friday, March 20, any remaining face-to-face instruction has been suspended through April 5. Online academic instruction will continue until the end of the semester.
  • With an appointment, support services will continue to be offered to students on an emergency basis only. No family members will be admitted to the college’s buildings if an appointment is granted and appropriate measures will be enforced to protect the health of students and college employees.
  • Many of the college staff are working remotely and there are limited services in many of the college’s departments. Students should call ahead to determine if the services they need are available.
  • All of the college’s buildings are closed to the public through March 30.
  • All college sponsored public events or community meetings, through April 21, have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.
  • The college has installed free Wi-Fi access, for public use, in parking lots near the Tech Center, Arts and Sciences Center, and Recreation Center.
  • Online research resources can be accessed by viewing the library web site.
  • Pending further actions by the Michigan Department of Health, parts of the campus will be staffed in-person Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., through the end of the semester.
  • Following guidance from the CDC, as well as state and local public health authorities, a task force is meeting daily to focus on preparedness and response to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the web site daily for updates.
  • For the latest information, follow the CDC link.
 
March 19, 2020:
 
News Release:
 

Contact: Thomas A. Hawley, Executive Director of College Relations
Phone: 231/843-5803
E-mail: tahawley@westshore.edu
Web Site: www.westshore.edu

Date: March 19, 2020
Re: WSCC Goes Online – Buildings are Closed

SCOTTVILLE - President Scott Ward announced today, for the health and safety of West Shore Community College Community students and staff, effective Friday, March 20, any remaining face-to-face instruction has been suspended through April 5. Online academic instruction will continue until the end of the semester.

With an appointment, support services will continue to be offered to students on an emergency basis only. No family members will be admitted to the college’s buildings if an appointment is granted and appropriate measures will be enforced to protect the health of students and college employees.

Many of the college staff are working remotely and there are limited services in many of the college’s departments. Students should call ahead to determine if the services they need are available.

Currently, all of the college’s buildings are closed to the public through March 30. Online research resources can be accessed by viewing the library web site. The college has installed free Wi-Fi access, for public use, in parking lots near the Tech Center, Arts and Sciences Center, and Recreation Center.

“Our status will be reevaluated prior to March 30, at which time a decision will be made to either resume some operations or extend our closure,” said Ward. “I recognize the disappointments and challenges with the decisions we are making and the great uncertainty for the weeks ahead. We are doing our best to make appropriate decisions based on quickly evolving information.”

Pending further actions by the Michigan Department of Health, parts of the campus will be staffed in-person Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., through the end of the semester.

All college sponsored public events or community meetings, through April 21, have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.
Following guidance from the CDC, as well as state and local public health authorities, a task force is meeting daily to focus on preparedness and response to the coronavirus pandemic.

For the latest information, follow the CDC link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html 

The college is providing updates on a WSCC website link –– www.westshore.edu/coronavirus that is updated as information becomes available.

 

March 17, 2020:
 
News Release: 

Contact: Thomas A. Hawley, Executive Director of College Relations
Phone: 231/843-5803
E-mail: tahawley@westshore.edu
Web Site: www.westshore.edu

Date: March 17, 2020
Re: WSCC Campus Closes to the Public

SCOTTVILLE - To curb the potential spread of the coronavirus, West Shore Community College officials have decided to close all of the buildings to the public, through March 30, with the exception of students who have an appointment or are completing an approved lab section.

WSCC is reopening the campus tomorrow to students, by appointment only, who need to access support services. Appropriate measures will be enforced to protect the health of students and college employees. There are limited services in many of the college’s departments and students are urged to call ahead to determine if the services they need are available.

Following recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and state public health officials, in-person labs will be limited to 10 or fewer students. Students should work directly with their instructor for further instructions on how their classes will be conducted.

The Learning and Testing Center and a computer lab will be open and students should email or call to make an appointment. The library has been closed and online resources can be accessed by viewing the library web site.

Pending further actions by the Michigan Department of Health, the campus will be staffed in-person Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., through the end of the semester, with many employees transitioning to working remotely.

All college sponsored public events or community meetings, through April 21, have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.

In support of the college’s decision to close buildings, the Michigan State University Extension office, located in the Recreation Center, is closed and extension staff will be working remotely and can be reached via email or phone.

The entire college campus was closed to the public, on Monday and Tuesday, to provide faculty and staff the time to move course content online. Classes already offered online will continue as planned.

“We are doing our best to maintain operations, however, staff have been instructed to work from home whenever possible. I want to thank our dedicated faculty and staff who are doing all they can to ensure students graduate on time and receive their degrees or certificates this spring,” said President Scott Ward.

Following guidance from the CDC, as well as state and local public health authorities, a task force is meeting daily to focus on preparedness and response to the coronavirus pandemic.

For the latest information, follow this CDC link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

The college is providing updates on a WSCC website link –– www.westshore.edu/coronavirus that is updated as information becomes available.

 
March 16, 2020:
 
News Release:
 
Contact:  Thomas A. Hawley, Executive Director of College Relations
Phone:  231/843-5803
E-mail: tahawley@westshore.edu 
Web Site: www.westshore.edu

Date:  March 16, 2020
Re: WSCC Rec Center and Ice Arena to remain closed
 
SCOTTVILLE - West Shore Community College officials have extended the closure of the Recreation Center and West Shore Community Ice Arena until March 30. The college’s bookstore and café are also closed.
 
Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-9, which was signed this morning, requires places of public accommodation to be closed including cafes, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, and exercise studios.
 
In addition, all college sponsored public events, through April 21, have been cancelled or postponed.
 
The entire college campus, including the Recreation Center and ice arena, are closed to the public today and Tuesday, March 17, to provide faculty and staff the opportunity to prepare for course content to be moved online. The Board of Trustees meeting, on Monday evening, will be held as scheduled and is open to the public.
 
Unless otherwise specified, after March 17, the campus will remain open for staff, and business operations will continue with appropriate measures in place to protect the health of college employees. There will be limited services in some of the college’s departments.
 
A leadership team is collaborating daily, focusing on preparedness and response, following guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local public health authorities. For the latest information, follow this CDC link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
 
The college will provide updates on a WSCC website link –– www.westshore.edu/coronavirus that is updated as information becomes available.

 

March 13, 2020 Update:

News Release:
 
Contact:  Thomas A. Hawley, Executive Director of College Relations
Phone:  231/843-5803
E-mail: tahawley@westshore.edu 
Web Site: www.westshore.edu
Date:  March 13, 2020
Re: WSCC moving to online classes

SCOTTVILLE –West Shore Community College is cancelling classes for Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, and then moving most face-to-face classes to an online format beginning Wednesday, March 18. This move is anticipated to last until the end of the winter semester, but is subject to change as the as the spread of the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, evolves.

The entire college campus, including the Recreation Center and Ice Arena, will be closed to the public on Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, to provide faculty and staff the opportunity to prepare for course content to be online. The Board of Trustees meeting, on Monday evening, will be held as scheduled and is open to the public.

“The health and safety of our campus community, along with our surrounding communities is our highest priority,” said WSCC President Scott Ward.

“There are many unknowns as this public health issue continues, and it has presented us with many challenges. We are doing all we can to continue offering our services and fulfill our primary mission of providing students the education they need.”

Ward said the College is taking these steps after speaking with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state authorities, who offered guidelines to higher education leaders following Tuesday’s declaration of a state of emergency.

Effective Monday, March 16, most WSCC sponsored and/or community events will be canceled or postponed.

Unless otherwise specified, after March 17, the campus will remain open for staff, and business operations will continue with appropriate measures in place to protect the health of college employees. There may be limited services in some of the college’s departments.

A leadership team is collaborating daily, focusing on preparedness and response, following guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local public health authorities. For the latest information, follow this CDC link:

The college will provide updates on a WSCC website link –– www.westshore.edu/coronavirus that is updated as information becomes available.
 
Letter to Students:
 
West Shore Community College Students:
 
The situation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to change rapidly. Last night, Governor Whitmer ordered all K-12 schools in Michigan to be closed beginning Monday, March 16, for a period of three weeks. Following the guidance of her office and of healthcare officials, we have decided to increase the precautions we are taking at West Shore Community College. In short, we have decided to move the vast majority of our remaining instruction online, which will begin after a brief delay while we migrate content. All classes will be cancelled on Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, to give us time to create and upload content to our online system. Most classes will then resume in an online format on Wednesday, March 18.
 
Faculty will be communicating with students regarding exceptions to this policy, as well as to provide further instructions about how classes will be conducted in the new online format. In certain exceptional cases, small or individual face-to-face instructional sessions may be permitted, such as with laboratory sections that require special equipment or have face-to-face requirements from regulatory agencies. These will be evaluated on a case-by-case and ongoing basis, however, and are subject to change as the situation develops. Again, students are urged to work directly with their instructors to understand the unique circumstances surrounding each of their classes.
 
The college campus will be closed to the public on Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, in order to provide faculty and staff with time to plan this migration. This closure includes the Ice Arena and Recreation Center. The Board of Trustees meeting at 4:00 on Monday is still open to public attendance. Further decisions regarding campus availability after these dates will be made and announced early next week. WSCC officials are working diligently to provide students with spaces to complete their online coursework on our campus, but final determinations about availability have not yet been made.
 
In order to assist students who are heavily impacted by this decision, the college has set up a new form that allows students to report extenuating personal or academic needs to college officials. Managed by the Campus Assessment, Response, and Evaluation (CARE) Team, this form is available here. Remember also that a webpage is available to provide students with additional information about the virus and WSCC’s response at www.westshore.edu/coronavirus.
 
Lastly, I urge all of you to take this outbreak seriously. Avoid public spaces, wash your hands, and stay isolated at home if you become sick. Remember that you can transmit this disease even if you have not begun exhibiting symptoms, so everyone should take extra precautions even if you are feeling fine. This is a serious illness that is having widespread ramifications across our nation. All indications, however, are that we are only at the very beginning of what we will collectively experience. Be smart.
 
Mark Kinney
Vice President of Academics and Student Services
West Shore Community College
 

March 12, 2020 Update:

List of Canceled Events:
 
To ensure the safety of students, employees and guests, and to comply with the recommendations set by the Michigan Department of Public Health, WSCC is canceling or postponing on-campus events that meet or approach the 100-person threshold for large gatherings:

March 2020

Cancelled – March 15 – High School Art Competition Reception, 2 p.m., Center Stage Theater
 
Cancelled - March 17 – Grad Fair, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Schoenherr Campus Center

April 2020

Cancelled  - April 7 – Employee Recognition, 7:30 a.m., North Lounge, Administrative & Conf Bldg

Postponed  - April 9 – WSCC Jazz Ensemble, 7:30 p.m., Center Stage Theater*

Postponed - April 13 – WSCC Wind Symphony & Percussion Ensemble, 7:30 p.m., Manistee High School Auditorium*

Cancelled - April 18 – Nursing Class 2020 Family Fun Walk/Run, WSCC Campus

Postponed - April 21 – Concert Choir, 2 p.m., Center Stage Theater*

*Rehearsal sessions for the Wind Symphony, Percussion Ensemble, Concert Choir, and Jazz Band have been suspended for the remainder of the semester. Their public concerts have been postponed and may be rescheduled at a later date.
 
Public Service Announcement:
 
Contact:  Thomas A. Hawley, Executive Director of College Relations
Phone:  231/843-5803
E-mail: tahawley@westshore.edu 
Web Site: www.westshore.edu
Date: March 12, 2020
Re: COVID-19 virtual screenings offered by Spectrum Health – Ludington Hospital
 
LUDINGTON - Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital is taking several precautionary steps to keep the community safe and prepared. As a service to the community, the hospital is offering free COVID-19 virtual screenings 24/7 to people in the state of Michigan who are experiencing symptoms at 616.391.2380. If you have severe or life-threatening symptoms, please call 911.
 
The hospital has compiled several resources to help you stay informed and prepared. To view this information and access resources, please visit the following link:  https://www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19
 
The hospital has updated the family and visitor policy. Spectrum Health will be enforcing the following family and visitor restrictions at all of its hospitals:
 
  • No children under the age of 12 will be allowed to visit Spectrum Health hospitals during this time for their safety.
  • Visitors, including family members, will be limited to one person per patient. Two visitors will be allowed for pediatric (children under the age of 18) and maternity patients.
  • Visitors and family members must be healthy and without symptoms of illness.
  • Visitors and family members who have recently traveled internationally to countries that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include in their COVID-19 travel warnings will not be permitted to visit.

Manistee - Due to the Corona Virus (COVID-19), Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital  has implemented a change in their Visitor Policy effective immediately for student who are utilizing the education center for classes.

For student safety as well as the safety of our staff and patients, students will be restricted to just the education center until further notice. This means students should enter/exit the building using the doors of the education center only and should NOT enter the hospital portion of the building unless they are seeking care for themselves. This restriction also means students should refrain from coming into the cafeteria area before/during/after their classes.
 
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or Julie Mueller in our Marketing/Communications department. We appreciate your understanding of this change in policy and we will inform you when any changes to this new policy are made.
 
Karen Miller
Executive Secretary & Medical Staff Coordinator
Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital
 
WSCC News Release:

Contact:  Thomas A. Hawley, Executive Director of College Relations
Phone:  231/843-5803
E-mail: tahawley@westshore.edu 
Web Site: www.westshore.edu
Date:  March 12, 2020
Re: WSCC Responding to Coronavirus Situation
 
SCOTTVILLE - West Shore Community College officials are taking steps to move many of its classes online for the remainder of the semester and is postponing or canceling some events scheduled in the next several weeks due to the developing coronavirus situation.

Yesterday, President Scott Ward appointed a task force to meet on a daily basis to monitor the changing situation and provide recommendations to mitigate the impact on students, employees, and the public. The work is being coordinated with K-12 schools and community partners.

Based on recommendations from the Michigan Department of Public Health, the college task force is taking steps to cancel or postpone public events with over 100 people, including conferences and community events; reducing in-person gatherings and activities, especially for organizations with individuals at risk of severe illness; where feasible, offering tele-learning or tele-work opportunities; and limiting non-essential work travel.

Currently, the faculty are working to transition many classes to virtual online learning, when feasible, through the remainder of the semester.

“We are committed to successfully completing the semester, whether instruction is face-to-face or online, and to ensure our students’ progress towards a degree and graduation,” said Dr. Mark Kinney, Vice President of Academics and Student Services.

He added, “The College is supporting and encouraging any faculty member who elects to take their courses online at this time. As of this moment, we are not requiring all classes to go online, nor do we have immediate plans to close the campus.”

To mitigate the possibility of spreading the virus, the weekend reception for students who are participating in the High School Art Competition exhibit, scheduled for Sunday afternoon, March 15, has been cancelled, and a Graduate Fair to be held on March 17, in the Schoenherr Campus Center, has also been cancelled. In addition, the nursing class-sponsored family fun walk/run, scheduled for April 18, has also been cancelled.

Rehearsal sessions for the Wind Symphony, Percussion Ensemble, Concert Choir, and Jazz Band have been suspended for the remainder of the semester.
 
The following public concerts have been postponed and may be rescheduled at a later date:
  • April 9 - Jazz Band- Center Stage Theater
  • April 13 - Wind Symphony and Percussion Ensemble - Manistee High School
  • April 21 - Concert Choir - Center Stage Theater
“Public health authorities are trying to stop the virus from spreading further by restricting travel and, if necessary, introducing quarantines,” said WSCC President Scott Ward. “Their expertise will serve as the basis for continuous updates on how the college responds locally to the coronavirus situation.”

WSCC is maintaining a webpage to communicate future updates relating to the Coronavirus, which can be found at www.westshore.edu/coronavirus.
 

Letter to Students:

West Shore Community College Students:
 
As confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continue to spread across the country, I feel it is important for us all to take action to minimize the impact this global pandemic will have on our college, our community, and our collective health and well-being. The latest tallies by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) show 938 confirmed cases across 38 states and the District of Columbia, including 29 deaths (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html#reporting-cases). We know that this outbreak is going to get much worse before it gets better, however, and the number of cases continues to escalate today.
 
With that in mind, I am supporting and encouraging all faculty to voluntarily take their courses online for the remainder of the semester. Please note that WSCC has not decided to force all classes to go online, so many courses are currently planning to continue meeting in a face-to-face format. This is a rapidly changing situation, however, so please be on the lookout for communication from your instructors indicating if your courses will be meeting online before you travel to campus. Furthermore, I have asked all instructors to work with students who elect not to come to class either due to a concern for their safety or due to illness. If you are such an individual, please reach out to your instructor directly to proactively work with them on a plan.
 
If at all possible, WSCC plans to continue on-campus operations to provide student supports such as tutoring and computer lab access. We are implementing additional precautions to sanitize workstations before and after each user and to ensure sufficient spacing between users. Our hope is that, if you do not have access to a computer or the Internet at home, you will still have space on our campus where you can meet the requirements of your online classes. However, if the situation worsens and we are forced to move entirely online or close the campus, we will reassess the supports we are able to provide. In some cases, it may also become necessary to issue Incomplete grades or Withdrawals from classes. If you believe this is necessary in your case, please work directly with your instructor to make proactive arrangements.
 
Lastly, WSCC has elected to cancel numerous upcoming events and to suspend all employee travel outside of our immediate service district. The full list of canceled events will be made available on our Coronavirus webpage at www.westshore.edu/coronavirus. If you have an upcoming event, be sure you check this page before making arrangements to attend. At this time, no decision has been made as to whether Commencement or the Student Awards Ceremony will be held, so be on the lookout for additional communication in the coming days and weeks regarding the status of these events.
 
These are extremely difficult and challenging times for all of us, and I fear that the worst is still ahead for us as a nation. Please exercise an abundance of caution in every action you take. Be careful of public spaces like busy grocery stores. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and cover your cough and sneeze with your elbow. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. With your support and vigilance, and with the tireless work of WSCC faculty and staff, we will get through this and will do everything we can to help you reach your educational goals. I will send additional communications as more information becomes available and decisions are made.
 
Mark Kinney, Ed.D.
Vice President of Academics and Student Services
West Shore Community College
 
Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Update:

Following the announcement of the state’s first presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are providing recommendations designed to help prevent the spread of the virus. These recommendations apply at the individual, organizational, and community levels. They apply to businesses, workplaces, schools, community organizations, health care institutions, and individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and health profiles; everyone has an important role to play. Please take a moment to review the Interim Recommendations to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 (March 11, 2020). Information about this outbreak is changing rapidly. You can stay informed by regularly visiting Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

March 11, 2020:

Original Story:

West Shore Community College is closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COIVD-19) situation. This is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Tens of thousands of cases have been confirmed around the world. While we have not had any reported cases in our region we want you to know the college is monitoring the latest information. Authorities are trying to stop the virus from spreading further, including restriction of travel and introducing quarantines. The following tips will help to reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus and spreading this disease, as well as influenza.

Coronavirus Facts

Prevention

  • The following are CDC guidelines.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Please note, that WSCC has alcohol-based sanitizer dispensers located throughout our buildings.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you are sick, please stay home and avoid contact with others. If you need to stay home sick, please contact your professors and let them know if possible.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

The health and safety of our WSCC campus community, along with our surrounding communities is our highest priority. To help assist with this effort, the WSCC Student Senate will be purchasing and distributing additional hand sanitizers for placement around the campus. Dispensers are also located near restroom facilities. For those of you who may be traveling during the Spring Break, please use the same precautions as outlined in this memo.

It is difficult to predict how this particular virus will develop. More than anything else, this means uncertainty. Even though the symptoms are only mild in most cases, the number of severe infections cautions us to take the situation seriously. In the meantime, we have to do all we can to slow the further spread of the virus and to minimize its impact. WSCC will continue to monitor the situation and post updates as the situation continues to evolve.