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COVID-19 Metrics

COVID-19 Metrics Used in Campus-Wide Analysis

Highland Community College recognizes our role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and began taking appropriate action in March 2020. To help ensure a safe and healthy learning and working environment, the College continues to review and update guidelines following updates from:

  • Illinois Governor’s Office Executive Orders,
  • CDC guidelines and recommendations,
  • Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines and recommendation, and
  • County health guidelines and recommendations.

All decisions about implementing strategies such as campus moving to remote learning and/or work, closing campus, and/or other health and safety measures are made by the College Emergency Operation Team’s (EOT’s) COVID-19 Task Force or Task Force designee in collaboration with the Stephenson County Health Department (SCHD) and State orders.

How Decisions Are Informed by Data

This document outlines data related to decisions about campus-wide operations, and is reviewed and modified as the pandemic continues to change throughout the district. Additional information is contained in the Campus Resources and COVID-19 Dashboard pages.

For decisions related to COVID-19 mitigations, the College, in conjunction with SCHD, monitors the following data to assess the conditions in our region, county, and at the College:

The following chart includes measurements, responses, and mitigations that may be taken. Please note, these are not listed in a particular order and are considered in conjunction with one another. The College will not take a more lenient stance than recommended by the SCHD, Governor’s Executive Order, and/or other relevant agencies. In the unusual situation when the SCHD cannot be reached immediately, the College will take preventative action until we can receive direction from the SCHD:

MEASURE:RESPONSE:MITIGATION (including but not limited to):
Governor’s Executive Order· Review orders.
· Update campus guidelines.
· Implement mitigations.
· Follow state guidelines.
CDC Community Level – High  · Review needed adjustments to operations.
· Update campus guidelines per CDC recommendations.
· Consult with SCHD.
· Require masks indoors.
· Reduce size of gatherings.
· Limit access to campus by outside groups.
· Limit travel.
· Transition to increased remote learning/work.
County positivity rate > 8%  · Review needed adjustments to operations with the SCHD.
· Update campus guidelines per any new state restrictions.
· Implement mitigations
· Consult with the SCHD about when to transition back to in-person learning/work.
· Reduce size of gatherings.
· Limit access to campus by outside groups.
· Limit travel.
· Transition to increased remote learning/work.
On HCC campus, campus-wide outbreak as determined by SCHD· Review needed adjustments to operations with the SCHD.
· Implement mitigations.
Communicate with those impacted as determined by the SCHD.
· Transition campus to remote learning/work.
· Pause work/learning temporarily.
· Quarantine as directed by SCHD.
· Temporarily close campus as directed by SCHD.
· Additional cleaning, if needed.

Communication on Guidance Changes

COVID-19 confirmed campus cases are displayed at the COVID-19 Dashboard. Students and employees are notified of official guidance and the above metrics by Highland email, student/staff web portal, text messaging, and/or Campus Connection bi-weekly Zoom meetings. In compliance with HIPAA and FERPA, private communication with departments and individuals directly impacted by a positive case is done on a case-by-case basis by Human Resources or the Vice President of Student Development and Support Services.