GREENSBORO — Thirty-one GTCC employees aren't on campus this week or next because they traveled last week to places hit hard by the new coronavirus.
Those 31 employees, most of them faculty members, can't return to campus until at least March 23, GTCC President Anthony Clarke said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
No cases of coronavirus have been reported among GTCC students or employees, Clarke said, including among the 31 employees who are at home.
"We're asking them to self-isolate for the safety of students and other staff," Clarke said. "We're doing this out of an abundance of caution."
The community college asked employees by email last week to notify the college's human resources office before returning to work Monday if they had traveled to countries or U.S. states with significant number of COVID-19 cases. The college's week-long spring break was last week.
All 31 employees not on campus this week told college officials that they had traveled to affected areas. Clarke said most had visited Florida or the West Coast, where authorities had declared states of emergency because of rises in coronavirus cases.
GTCC isn't canceling any classes because of absent faculty, Clarke said. Professors are covering some classes for their colleagues. Other classes are being conducted online until the regular instructors return.
GTCC continues to operate on a normal schedule. Like other colleges in the area, GTCC is reminding people to wash or sanitize their hands, cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, avoid touching their faces and stay home if they're sick. College custodians are spending more time cleaning door handles, railings, tables and desks in public areas.
"Employees are coming to work and doing the work they normally do," Clarke said. "We'll serve the public, including our students, until we're advised otherwise."
GTCC has about 720 full-time employees, Clarke said. The absent employees represent about 4% of the college's workforce.
Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.