Chadron State College
Chadron State College

CSC Updates on 2019 Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19

Last Update: April 3, 2020

Chadron State College takes the health and safety of its campus community seriously. In response to the novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 infection, CSC is collaborating with local and regional health partners to address the spread of the contagious disease. CSC will continue to monitor the situation and updates will be posted on this site.


Campus Messages

News Releases

Update: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dear Students and Employees,

This letter is to inform you that effective Monday, March 23, 2020 all Chadron State College academic courses will be accessed only through remote delivery for the remainder of the spring semester. At this time, campus will remain open, but all courses will be delivered to students remotely.

Chadron State will follow Gov. Ricketts’ recommendation to not have more than 10 people gather in groups. Under this guidance, campus offices will remain open. You are able to work on-campus, however, if you need special accommodations due to issues with COVID-19, please email or call 308-432-6224.

Effective immediately, Chadron State College is canceling all scheduled events until Tuesday, April 14, 2020. This social distancing includes any events sponsored by CSC that are open to students, employees, and the general public that occur on or off campus. A determination about CSC events occurring after April 14 will be announced no later than April 1.

Campus will remain open to students and employees, but all campus buildings will be closed to the public. Students may access the residence halls, the cafeteria, the library, computer labs, and the complete range of student and academic support services.

I want to thank you all for being patient during this time of uncertainty. Everyone who works at Chadron State College is working diligently so students can accomplish their academic goals. Together we can continue to help students meet those goals, as well as make the health and safety of our campus community our top priority.

Thank you,
President Randy Rhine

Update: Friday, March 13, 2020

Statement from President Rhine

Dear Students and Employees,

With more cases of COVID-19 being confirmed in Nebraska and throughout our region, the Nebraska State College System and Chadron State College have decided to extend the Mid-Term Break for an additional week through Friday, March 20. No classes will meet on campus next week, but offices will remain open. Online classes that begin Monday, March 16 will still go on as scheduled. This extended break will allow the college time to adjust programs and coursework, adapt instructional methods, and prepare other responses, including our infectious disease plan, to address the spread of COVID-19.

The college will make another announcement early next week that will determine the course of action for on-campus events.

Students please know that if you are traveling back to campus and can’t change your plans, we will accommodate you. Essential services such as the cafeteria and residence halls will remain open.

At the time of this letter, no cases have been reported at Chadron State College or in Dawes County. College officials will continue to collaborate with the System Office, the Panhandle Public Health District (PPHD), and other health officials to monitor the spread of this contagious disease.

It is important to know what you can do to help maintain the health of Chadron State College and our community because it takes each person doing their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you are returning to campus from a community experiencing community transmission or known community spread, please call the PPHD at 308-262-5764 before returning to the Panhandle. You will need to self-quarantine and complete monitoring for 14 days. You will receive more guidance once you have made the call. Please also call Chadron State College’s Student Services at 308-432-6231 to alert them of your situation.

If you are not sure if the community you are returning from is experiencing community spread, please visit the following links:

  1. United States:, scroll down to the map of state reporting cases of COVID-19 to CDC, hover over the state you are returning from, if it says Community Transmission: Yes, self-report.
  2. Outside the US:, scroll down to the map that says Search COVID-19 risk assessment by country. If you are returning from a country with Widespread Sustained Spread: Yes, self-report.
  3. If you were at a state or country that is undetermined, but you know there is community spread in the city you were visiting: Yes, self-report.

Chadron State will continue to post updates on its web page Information will continue to be emailed and some announcements may arrive as text messages because this is a rapidly developing situation. If you need to sign up to receive campus alerts, visit

As Dr. Powell said in his email to campus yesterday, these are stressful times, but please do not let the stress define this situation. Stay calm and know that we are attempting to provide you with the best decisions and care we can provide at the time. I know the decision to extend the Mid-Term Break will likely cause additional burdens on both students and employees. Nevertheless, we are all in this together and I want to thank you all for being understanding. Together we can continue to make the health and safety of our campus community our top priority. I sincerely appreciate your thoughtful attention to these issues.

Thank you,

President Randy Rhine

Statement from NSCS Chancellor Dr. Paul Turman

March 13, 2020

Dear Students,

In light of the information and guidelines that were discussed at today’s Governor’s press conference this morning, as well as changes in the recommendations from regional departments of health across the state, the Nebraska State Colleges have decided to extend our current Spring Break for one more week to provide time for our colleges to fully assess the range of alternative instruction options for our on-campus courses that may be necessary to successfully complete the semester. We anticipate classes will resume on Monday, March 23.

All fully online courses will continue as originally scheduled, including those beginning next Monday, March 16. Students enrolled in hybrid courses will be contacted by their instructors for any changes in scheduled on-campus meetings.

We heard from many of our students and parents and appreciate your input as we made some difficult decisions. Your input proved valuable for the Colleges. The past few weeks have been challenging for our students and their families, as the situation has continued to evolve. The Colleges are working diligently to balance the health and safety of the college community while continuing to provide the best opportunity for you to successfully complete your spring courses.

Over the next week, the State Colleges will continue to communicate with students regarding their plans as they consider how to best offer alternative instruction which may include remote delivery of some or all of your courses, a compressed academic year and/or alternative scheduling of on campus courses. Some courses may not be appropriate for remote delivery, based on the need for access to specific equipment and/or labs. The campus and residence halls will remain open for continued access to dining and other student support services.

We recognize that this is a change from yesterday’s email. However, the change in circumstance requires a change in our decision. We are extending spring break an additional week with classes resuming in some form on Monday, March 23.

The Nebraska State Colleges will continue to monitor and assess the Coronavirus situation, in order to make the best decisions for our students.


Dr. Paul Turman

Update: Thursday, March 12, 2020

Dear Chadron State College Students,

What is the status of academic courses at Chadron State College?
You have undoubtedly heard the news that many colleges and universities around us have either suspended classes or moved to online-only formats for their classes as more U.S. cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) are reported. We have evaluated the situation here in Western Nebraska and, as of now, Chadron State College plans to resume face-to-face classes Monday, March 16, to continue the semester as scheduled. In making the decision to resume campus activities, we stress that Chadron State College or Dawes County does not have a reported case of COVID-19 coronavirus. As a large portion of our campus community returns from Mid-Term Break, please be aware of the following information regarding the COVID-19 situation. Health officials are taking steps to prevent community spread of COVID-19 into U.S. communities. You have a vital role to play in this process as well, especially regarding self-care and basic steps designed to prevent the spread of the virus.

We freely acknowledge this is a stressful time for all of us. Uncertainty breeds apprehension. We also know that many of you, especially graduating seniors, are probably quite concerned about earning the credits and certifications you need to move forward with your lives. Rest assured, we have plans to accommodate you and ensure your future is not thrown off track by the current situation. However, if the situation requires us to limit campus operations and/or suspend face-to-face instruction, we have plans to activate alternative teaching and learning models to ensure you receive the instruction and services you require to successfully complete the semester. We have planned for a variety of contingencies, all of which have your safety, living and learning experiences, and future at the center of our decisions.

Most importantly, we ask you all to be kind and patient with one another. Together, by embracing self-care practices and consistent habits to prevent transmission of the virus, we can make it to the end of the semester.

What if I miss class because of illness or quarantine?
Given the challenging situation in front of us, for the immediate future, the campus-wide attendance policy should reflect an understanding of the virus and its effects on our population. In light of this, students who may become sick, or who are engaging in self-isolation at the direction of the Panhandle Public Health District (PPHD) or their personal health care professionals should not attend class, will not be required to provide formal documentation from a health care provider, and will not be penalized for absences.

Students should notify instructors in advance of the absence if possible, keep up with classwork if they are able to do so, submit assignments electronically as they are able, and work with their instructors to try to reschedule exams, labs, and other academic activities.

This temporary campus-wide attendance procedure requires that faculty trust their students when they say they are ill, and requires students truthfully report the reason for their absences. During this period, we ask all members of the campus community to be attentive to their health and safeguard others by following the Centers for Disease Control’s guideline to “stay home when you are sick.” You should stay home if you have symptoms (coughing, fever, shortness of breath). Students who have compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions that may be exacerbated by the virus are encouraged to use their best judgment regarding their situation. Please contact Student Services at 308-432-7034 during normal business hours to make necessary arrangements to complete your semester.

Who is monitoring COVID-19 situation?
Here at home, the PPHD has been actively monitoring the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) situation and staying in close contact with Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the CDC to prepare for and protect the people of Western Nebraska. Chadron State College officials are regularly meeting with officials from PPHD to receive updates on the virus.

The following information aims to help you stay healthy in the event that you traveled or came into contact with travelers during the break. Given current infection rates, you should monitor your health and any transmission of the virus in areas in which you traveled during the break.

What can I do to help myself and others to stay healthy?
1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
3. Stay home and away from others when you are sick.
4. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

COVID-19 can be a serious illness. Please do not let a lack of health insurance or money keep you from getting necessary healthcare.

Always refer to CDC for the most up-to-date information:

Dr. Jim Powell
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Update: Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Chadron State College is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 virus situation.


Please report incidents of COVID-19 to the Panhandle Public Health District at its 24/7 telephone line at 308-262-5764.

Following Medical Directions

We also encourage employees to follow self-quarantine directions that you received from the public Health Department or your personal health care provider.


If you are sick or under self-quarantine under the direction of a public Health Department or your personal health care provider, please do not report for work. You will not be required to provide formal documentation to Human Resources for sick, vacation, or comp time leave requests. FMLA medical documentation requirements may be temporarily suspended. Please follow the normal procedures for reporting your absence to your immediate supervisor and submitting your leave via the Firefly/ESS system. Contact Human Resources or access Firefly/ESS for leave balance questions.

Essential Staff

The College campus will transition to online-only classes and close campus as a last resort. In the case of a closure, employees will be notified and essential staff will be informed about requirements for reporting to work through normal notification procedures.

We appreciate your thoughtful attention to these issues as we all work together.

Update: Tuesday, March 3, 2020

As you prepare for the Mid-Term Break beginning Monday, March 9, please be aware of the following information regarding the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the event you plan to travel or encounter other travelers. Given current infection rates, consider your travel destinations for spring break. According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), confirmed cases have been reported in several states, however, there have been no cases of COVID-19 identified in Nebraska residents as of Feb. 28, 2020. While CDC officials consider this a serious public health threat, the immediate health risk to the public is considered low at this time, according to the DHHS.

Campus officials are monitoring the situation and will provide future updates, if warranted. Some ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections such as the flu are:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Follow the same family plans and kits that people may use for flu season or severe weather season —

COVID-19 can be a serious illness. Please do not let a lack of health insurance or money keep you from getting necessary healthcare. For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to the virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.

Certain people will have an increased risk of infection, for example, travelers to countries with community spread of COVID-19, healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19, and other close contacts of persons with COVID-19.

Public health agencies are currently requesting help from the public to identify possible new cases of COVID-19. This guidance has been developed due to community spread in countries outside of China. Public health agencies are requesting:

  1. People with Symptoms: Anyone with known exposure to a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 or who have returned to Nebraska in the last 14 days from the following countries: mainland China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam (as of March 2, 2020) and who have fever of at least 100.4 degrees or respiratory symptoms (cough and/or shortness of breath) should stay home and away from others and call their doctor.
  2. Travelers without symptoms from mainland China are requested to self-report to the Nebraska public health on-line tracking system and to stay at home and away from others for 14 days. Reports can also be made via phone to Panhandle Public Health District at 308-262-5764.
  3. Travelers without symptoms from South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam are requested to self-report via the contact information listed in number 2 above.

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 information page or the CDC COVID-19 information page. Chadron State College’s Health Services Office is also a resource available for students. The Campus Nurse in Crites Hall, Room 338, is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon when classes are in session. For more information about CSC Health Services, call 308-432-6232.

Information about Coronavirus/COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

The 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information here.

COVID-19 Symptoms

According to the World Health Organization, common signs of COVID-19 infection are similar to the common cold. They can include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In rare severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. Symptoms can appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Staying Healthy

The CDC offers tips on preventing COVID-19 infection. Simple precautions are most effective:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you have symptoms of respiratory illness or are caring for someone who is sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wear a face mask if you are sick or have symptoms.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, especially in common areas of your home or work setting.
  • Although currently there is no vaccine for COVID-19, the CDC recommends that people age 6 months and older get a flu vaccination to stay healthy.

Staying Informed

Updates from CSC will be posted on the CSC Updates on Coronavirus page.

Information related to the virus is subject to change. We recommend staying connected to reliable sources about the coronavirus. The following websites have COVID-19 information: