Polk State College COVID-19 update: travel, events, and more

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Polk State College continues to work diligently to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. With guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the Florida Department of Health, and the Florida Department of Education, the College is closely monitoring and proactively responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) while ensuring minimal disruption to instruction.

The State University System’s directive to universities to transition classes online does not include state colleges, and Polk State remains open at this time. The Florida Department of Education has assured that the COVID-19 risk remains low at Florida’s 28 state colleges and K-12 schools, and upon the recommendation of the Florida Commissioner of Education, colleges and schools remain open.

The College is working actively to ensure courses can transition online if needed. Also, in an abundance of caution, the College is monitoring all events and adjusting schedules as needed. Cancellations so far include:

  • All Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO) events that were scheduled through the spring semester.
  • All Athletics games and events through March 28, per the recommendation of the Florida College System Activities Association.
  • The Lakeland Campus Health Fair that was scheduled for March 13.
  • Professional Development Day that was scheduled for April 10.
  • The College’s open house events that were scheduled for April 23 on the Winter Haven Campus and April 30 on the Lakeland Campus.

Polk State’s two commencement ceremonies are still scheduled to take place on May 7.

The College continues to stress the CDC’s travel advisories, including the recommendation to avoid all nonessential travel to Level 3 and Level 2 countries. The College has suspended:

  • Study abroad trips that were scheduled through July 2020. Participants are asked to communicate with their program coordinators.
  • All airplane travel, per the recommendation of the Florida Department of Education, related to student field trips and employee work-related travel through June 2020.
  • All travel outside of the state related to student field trips and employee work-related travel through June 2020.

Polk State emphasizes the importance of preparedness and encourages students, faculty, staff, and community members to access up-to-date information and resources through the Florida Department of Health and CDC.

A COVID-19 webpage has been created to house all related information, necessary updates, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

Students, faculty, and staff are asked to closely monitor their Polk State emails and College accounts, www.polk.edu, and the College’s social media for updates.

Employees with questions or concerns may contact Human Resources at 863.297.1070 or HR@polk.edu.

Students with questions or concerns may contact the Deans of Student Services. The Winter Haven Campus Dean may be reached at 863.292.3740 or lpakowski@polk.edu. The Lakeland Campus Dean may be reached at 863.669.2813 or slittle@polk.edu.

The wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff is of utmost importance to Polk State and the College thanks everyone for their continued cooperation during this public health emergency.