CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — NIACC transitioning to online classes, boys state basketball restrictions, NA3HL suspends play, NIACC women’s national tournament trip postponed
5:10 PM — Here’s our latest regarding announcements:
MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT SCHULZ TO THE NIACC COMMUNITY
Following the declaration by the World Health Organization that the coronavirus (COVID-19) has reached a global pandemic level, North Iowa Area Community College will be taking measured steps to help reduce the spread of the virus and limit exposure to the NIACC community.
March 16-20, following spring break, face-to-face classes on the NIACC Campus will not meet. Online courses will meet as planned. Beginning March 23, the majority of NIACC classes will transition online until further notice.
Lecture format classes will move online.
Select lab-based, hands-on classes will continue to meet in-person as scheduled.
Any exceptions will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Students in Continuing Education classes will be contacted by NIACC staff in the coming days.
Instructors will be reaching out to students by March 20 to clarify if a class is online or in person and explain expectations for students moving forward. Students can expect to hear from their instructor by March 20 at the latest.
The NIACC campus and all NIACC centers will remain open. In an effort to provide educational continuity, computer access will be available on campus in the Student Learning Center, the Media Center, and McAllister Hall rooms 105 and 110 for those students who do not have access to a computer or the Internet.
The Recreation Center on the main campus will be closed to all students, faculty, staff, and outside visitors until further notice. This measure will allow the college to significantly decrease the number of students and visitors on campus, and in doing so will reduce the risk of exposure to the NIACC community.
Note: All athletic practices and activities will be suspended until further notice as of Friday, March 13, 2020. Student-athletes can expect communication from their respective coaches in the near future.
Students traveling home for spring break are strongly encouraged to stay home, to avoid the risk of infection. NIACC’s residence halls will be open. Students who currently live on campus and wish to remain there must register with Student Services by filling out the Housing Exemption Form by noon on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Dining services will also be open, but may be provided on a limited basis. Additional housing information is forthcoming.
Administration will continue to monitor the outbreak with the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and local health officials. If the spread of the virus worsens, NIACC may implement additional safety measures as needed. Ongoing updates will be posted to this webpage (www.niacc.edu/coronavirus).
We want to emphasize there are no identified cases of COVID-19 at NIACC. These measures are being put into place to protect the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty.
Additional communication is forthcoming and I do appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented challenge. If you have any questions, please send them to [email protected]
Steve Schulz, President
North Iowa Area Community College
=== NJCAA Division II national basketball tournament
NJCAA Division II women’s tournament postponed
PORT HURON, Mich. – The NJCAA Division II national women’s basketball tournament has been postoned due to recent developments regarding COVID-19.
Originally scheduled to begin the week of March 16, the four upcoming national championship events – NJCAA DI men, DI women, DII men and DII women will aim for a tentative start date of Monday, April 20, according to a release Thursday afternoon from the NJCAA.
The NIACC women’s basketball team is the No. 1 seed for the NJCAA Division II tournament. The Lady Trojans were originally scheduled to play 16th seed United Tribes Technical College at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17.
“Due to the concerns surrounding the safety and security of our student-athletes and those involved with Division I and Division II NJCAA championships,” NJCAA President and CEO Dr. Christopher Parker said. “We are postponing the tournaments and maintaining a fluid mentality to see these tournaments take place with a tentative start date.
“We have two main objectives in this situation – first and foremost is to protect the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, college personnel, and fans. Second is to make sure our student-athletes receive the national championship experience that they have worked so hard for.”
Start dates for each of the respective tournaments are tentative. The NJCAA will continue to follow all state and local mandates, restrictions, and regulations as it impacts its member institutions and national championship events.
=== Boys State Basketball
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa High School Athletic Association’s 2020 State Basketball Tournament will play Friday’s games with spectator restrictions due to increasing concern of the spread and impact of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The consolations and finals set for Friday, March 13 at Wells Fargo Arena will be played as currently scheduled. The IHSAA will provide additional updates to this strategy should they be necessary. Thursday’s games will continue as scheduled and are currently without spectator restriction.
The IHSAA has coordinated with health officials, state and local government, and Iowa Events Center throughout this week’s event, with updated guidance requiring these measures.
Only team members, game officials, essential tournament workers, Iowa Events Center staff, limited credentialed media, and select school spectators (see below) will be allowed inside the facility. Those spectators will be asked to leave the facility once their game is complete.
Other spectators and previously scheduled award recipients and visitors will not be permitted.
The IHSAA acknowledges these updates are inconvenient and unprecedented. The understanding of member schools and communities is sincerely appreciated.
The remaining games will be available to view through the Iowa High School Sports Network’s coverage. The IHSSN has television coverage for semifinals and finals, free live streaming, and a free downloadable app to view the games. Visit ihssn.com/basketball or ihssn.com/live for viewing information.
The IHSAA staff will also provide frequent updates on the games through its website and social media platforms.
Spectators who purchased tickets in advance of Friday’s games at Wells Fargo Arena will be refunded at the point of purchase.
The IHSAA will continue working with health officials to determine adjustments or preventative measures for the upcoming spring sports seasons. Updates will be provided as they become available.
=== NA3HL — North Iowa Bulls
MASON CITY, Iowa – The North American Tier 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced the suspension of all competition, including Fraser Cup playoff competition, until further notice due to concerns over COVID-19, or the “Coronavirus.”
“This is an unprecedented time and situation, so first and foremost we want to be sure we are doing what is best for our players, teams, fans, and officials,” said North American Hockey League commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “In the past 24 hours, it became clear that we needed to follow a path that was consistent with what has transpired in the hockey world, particularly with our partners at USA Hockey, the NCAA, the NHL, and USHL.”
“We will continue to monitor the situation daily with everyone involved and we understand that given the current landscape, things could change at any moment. Our number one goal is to resume play as soon as possible, but only when we feel it is safe for all of the parties involved. We are currently speaking with the NA3HL members and leadership to determine a further course of action.”
“While public safety remains at the forefront and takes precedent in this situation, we are also mindful of the opportunity that will hopefully be presented to all of our athletes during these important events in the near future.”
This means that North Iowa’s Fraser Cup playoff schedule is currently uncertain, including the West Division semifinal games against the Alexandria Blizzard that were scheduled for this weekend. The North Iowa Bulls are reviewing options for ticket exchanges or possible refunds after more information is made available on game postponements by league officials.
“The health and welfare of our team, staff and fans are very important to us,” said North Iowa Bulls director of business operations Kathee Corsello. ” We realize the temporary postponement of our play off schedule is hard on everyone, but the welfare of all must take priority.”