Polk State College exercises preparedness and continues to monitor coronavirus

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Polk State College is closely monitoring news and information regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), with College officials working closely with Polk County and the State of Florida and following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Thursday a fourth case of COVID-19 in Florida.

Polk State continues to stress 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Custodial staff members are cleaning and sanitizing with hospital- and high-grade disinfecting cleaners daily across the College’s six locations. High-touch areas including doorknobs, handrails, push bars, soap dispensers, toilet handles, water faucets, water fountains, and elevator buttons are being sanitized throughout the day and evening, and classroom desks, office desks, reference desks, counters, chair arms and backs, light switches, and telephones are being sanitized each evening to accommodate daily activity and occupancy.

Additionally, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is available in dispensers throughout all College sites. However, the College highly encourages individuals to also practice consistent handwashing, per flu season guidelines outlined by the CDC:

  • If you are sick, stay home. (Please inform your supervisor or instructor).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Carry and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Monitor your symptoms.

The Florida Department of Health also recommends receiving a flu vaccine and taking everyday preventative actions to help stop the spread of germs.

The coronavirus is spread mostly through contact from an infected individual and transmitted by coughing and sneezing. Common symptoms include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and lower and upper respiratory issues. It is more likely to occur in the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.  If there is an individual with a suspected case of the coronavirus:

  • Immediately contact your health care practitioner or local hospital. ANY local hospital is equipped to handle coronavirus.
  • You may be evaluated at any local hospital, and tests will be sent to the CDC for evaluation.
  • The goal is containment to stop any transmission.

Polk State has identified onsite classes and academic support services that could be operational fully or partly online in the event of closure due to the coronavirus.

A study abroad trip that was scheduled to Italy in March has been postponed. The College continues to take guidance from state and federal government agencies for trips planned for after July 2020.

Updates will be provided as necessary on polk.edu.

Students who have any questions or concerns, please contact the Dean of Student Services. The Winter Haven Campus Dean may be reached by phone at 863.292.3740 or lpakowski@polk.edu. The Lakeland Campus Dean may be reached at 863.669.2813 or slittle@polk.edu.

Employees who have any questions or concerns, please contact Human Resources by phone at 863.297.1070 or by email at HR@polk.edu.