4Cs Proud of its Transition Online and Role as Vaccination Site

Patient being tested at the Cape Cod Healthcare drive-thru facility at Cape Cod Community College early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

WEST BARNSTABLE – About a year after the decision to cancel traditional classes at Cape Cod Community College and begin working towards a safer alternative, President John Cox said they have faced a number of challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But he says they have also been proud to serve as an important community resource.

Cox said that the initial decision was based on the best available data in the public health field, and that the transition to online operations was a major shift.

He said that the college was able to leverage existing familiarity among faculty to make the move a little easier, and that the students have been receptive of the change. 

“As we got going, and this ultimately looked like this was going to be a longer-term proposition, we began to elevate the internal training and refresh that we had, making other faculty and staff members more familiar with how to use the online technology,” said Cox. 

To help the transition online, Cox said that the college provided over 200 laptop computers for the students who needed them most through the college’s lending program. 

“We also expanded our Wi-Fi network on campus to hit some of the parking lots around the ring-road, so that students would have the ability, if necessary, to tie into a secure Wi-Fi connection. That would be more available in more of the off hours as well as when the college was traditionally operating,” said Cox. 

Day-to-day operations on the administrative side also saw some changes to facilitate social distancing, masks and more frequent professional cleaning. 

As restrictions were relaxed later in the summer of 2020, Cox said that the college was pleased to get students safely back into some classes that required more hands-on teaching, such as the aviation maintenance program and lab-based courses. 

He said that the college took all the necessary public safety protocols when classes were allowed to meet face-to-face including mitigating time spent together and altering schedules to minimize how many people were on campus at a time.

“Some of the facilities were closed, but we were able to ensure that people were employed, there were no lay-offs or furloughs at the College. We did well in managing through this moment in history,” said Cox.

The college has also served as the location for both a COVID-19 testing site early in the pandemic and most recently two vaccination sites.

Cox said that the sites were the result of a strong working relationship that the college has with Barnstable County, the Town of Barnstable and Cape Cod Healthcare. 

He said it was a natural choice for the sites, with the centralized location and the ring-road that provides easier access and better traffic flow.

“We’re making sure that the facilities and the access remain as easily accessible as possible. It’s all about recognizing that the college is an asset in the community, and this is one of those moments where we have stepped up in a way that we can to better provide for our community,” said Cox. 

To listen to the full Sunday Journal interview with President John Cox, click here.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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