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Emergency Preparedness

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Otero Junior College has developed this page to provide OJC faculty, staff, students and families with information and resources about Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and actions taken by the College to prepare for potential impact. 

Our Current Status – June 14, 2021

COVID –19 Status in our Community

  • CDPHE currently has Otero County categorized as Blue Level (COVID-19 dial dashboard | Colorado COVID-19 Updates)
    • The pandemic is not yet over, so we still must maintain a vigilant and proactive stance by abiding by Blue Level Caution guidance.
  • OJC is not in an Outbreak Status with any athletic teams or other campus cohorts.
  • According to the Colorado Public Health & Environment Department, on June 14, 2021, Otero County had 2071 positive  cases of COVID-19 and which included 67 deaths; Crowley County had 2210 positive cases (97 in Crowley County Correctional Facility) and included 16 deaths. Total Crowley and Otero County COVID-19 cases: 4281
  • Increase of 1 positive cases from day before.
    (Cumulative summary of positive cases since March 2020)

The situation regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, and OJC will continue to provide updates as information is available.

Resources & Information


UPDATED: June 1, 2021

Fall 2021 Return to Campus FAQs


Complete 2021 Fall FAQs



UPDATED: June 8, 2021
  June 3, 10:31 a.m. - Otero/Crowley COVID-19 Weekly Update (pdf)  
  May 20, 11:54 a.m. - May Mask Mandate Fact Sheet (pdf)  
  May 20, 11:09 a.m. - Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Weekly Update (pdf)  
  April 29, 9:51 a.m. - Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Weekly Update (pdf)  
  April 22, 11:30 a.m. - Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Weekly Update (pdf)  
  April 19, 3:40 p.m. - Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Weekly Update (pdf)  
  April 12, 1:15 p.m. - Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Beginning of Week Update (pdf)  
  April 8, 2:58 p.m. - Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Weekly Update (pdf)  
  March 19, 11:48 a.m. - Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Update: Level Updates (pdf)  
  February 18, 7:44 p.m. - OJC Campus Covid Alert (pdf)  
  February 16, 12:02 p.m. - Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Update: Level Updates (pdf)  
  February 11, 1:40 p.m. - Otero Junior College Covid Alert (pdf)  
  February 5, 11:38 a.m. - Otero/Crowley Update: Crowley County Level Yellow (pdf)  
  January 25, 10:37 a.m. - Otero COVID Update: Otero County Level Orange (pdf)  
  January 1, 9:50 a.m. - Otero/Crowley County COVID Update (pdf)  
  December 15, 4:45 p.m. - Spring 2021 Return to Campus Plans (pdf)  
  November 19, 12:25 p.m. - Otero County Level Orange to Red (pdf)  
  November 13, 12:25 p.m. - Otero/Crowley County COVID Update- Weekly (pdf)  
  November 9, 11:22 a.m. - Otero/Crowley County COVID Update- Level Orange (pdf)  
  November 3, 12:01 p.m. - OJC to Complete Semester Remotely (pdf)  
  October 30, 7:20 a.m - Otero/Crowley County COVID Update #1 (pdf)  
  October 27, 3:05 p.m - AVRMC Updated Community Testing Schedule (pdf)  
  October 27, 11:50 a.m - Otero/Crowley County COVID Update: Movement to Level 2 (pdf)  
  October 23, 9:35 a.m - Otero/Crowley County COVID Update (pdf)  
  October 16, 8:52 a.m - Otero/Crowley County COVID Update (pdf)  
  October 9, 7:08 a.m - Otero/Crowley County COVID Update (pdf)  

  September 25, 11:45 a.m. - Otero/Crowley County COVID Update (pdf)  
  September 18, 11:00 a.m. - Otero/Crowley County COVID Update (pdf)  
  August 26, 8:00 a.m. - Social Distancing Facial Covering Guidance (pdf)  
  August 25, 11:00 a.m. - Gov Polis Safer at Home Tenth Amended PHO (pdf)  
  July 31, 3:44 p.m. - Crowley-Otero Country COVID-19 Updates (pdf)  
  July 20, 4:27 p.m. - Newly Issued School Reopening Guidance (pdf)  
  July 16, 3:26 p.m. - Gov Polis Announces Statewide Mask Order (pdf)  
  July 15, 4:00 p.m. - Otero PositiveCases-Pioner Long Term Care Facility (pdf)  
  July 7, 3:10 p.m. - OJC FAQ’s for Students Concerning Fall Semester 2020  
  July 1, 8:00 a.m. - Gov Polis Safer-at-Home and Vast in the Great Outdoors Extension (pdf)  
  June 30, 3:44 p.m. - Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Update: Bent, Crowley, Otero (BCO) Variance Extension (pdf)  
  June 19, 3:44 p.m. - #2 COVID-19 Update: Risk and Benefit Information (pdf)  
  June 19, 2:52 p.m. - #1 COVID-19 Update: Safer At Home PHO 7th Amendment (pdf)  
  June 19, 1:14 p.m.  - NJCAA COVID-19 Update from Dr. Parker (pdf)  
  June 9, 12.46 p.m. - COVID-19 Update: New Positive Otero County Case (pdf)  
  June 8, 12:29 p.m. - COVID-19 Update: New Positive Crowley County Cases (pdf)  
  June 4, 3:25 p.m. - COVID Testing Locations (pdf)  
  June 4, 3:15 p.m. - Coronavirus Update: New Positive Otero County Cases (pdf)  
  June 4, 3:00 p.m. - Otero Health Dept. Safer at Home 5th Amended Statement (pdf)  
  June 1, 9:39 a.m. - Crowley/Otero Update: New COVID_19 Positive Cases (pdf)  
  May 31, 3:23 p.m. - Bent, Crowley, Otero Counties Alternate COVID-19 Suppression Plan (pdf)  
  May 28, 3:55 p.m. - Otero/Crowley Update: Three New COVID-19 Positives (pdf)  
  May 26, 4:37 p.m. - Governor Polis Safer at Home Policy Presentation (pdf)  
  May 26, 4:37 p.m. - Governor Polis Elective Surgery Extension (pdf)  
  May 25, 8:00 a.m. - Governor Polis Safer at Home Policy FAQ (pdf)  
  May 25, 7:46 a.m. - Governor Polis Extending Safer at Home Policy (pdf)  
  May 22, 12:30 p.m. - Otero/Crowley Update: New COVID-19 Positive Cases (pdf)  
  May 13, 9:54 a.m. - Otero/Crowley Update: New COVID-19 Positive Otero County (pdf)  
  May 8, 10:40 a.m. - Otero/Crowley Update: 35 New COVID-19 Positive Crowley County (pdf)  
  May 4, 2:45 p.m. - Otero/Crowley Update: Two New COVID-19 Positive Crowley County (pdf)  
  April 29, 5:33 p.m. - Otero/Crowley Update: Two New COVID-19 Positive Otero County (pdf)  
  April 27, 4:18 p.m. - Safer At Home Public Health Order (pdf)  
  April 27, 10:15 a.m. - Otero/Crowley Update: New Possible COVID-19 Positive (pdf)  
  April 27, 10:08 a.m. - Gov. Polis: Safer at Home (pdf)  
  April 27, 10:08 a.m. - Gov. Polis: Voluntary or Elective Surgeries & Procedures in Colorado (pdf)  
  April 27, 10:08 a.m. - Gov. Polis: Creating New Normal Advisory Board (pdf)  
  April 23, 2:27 p.m. - Crowley/Otero Safer At Home & Amended School Closure (pdf)  
  April 23, 2:27 p.m. - Doing My Part Colo: Safer At Home Fact Sheet (pdf)  
  April 23, 2:27 p.m. - Gov. Polis: Amended School Closure Order (pdf)  
  April 22, 10:41 a.m. - Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Update: Safer At Home Level (pdf)  
  April 22, 10:41 a.m. - Gov. Polis Doing My Part Colo Presentation (pdf)  
  April 22, 10:41 a.m. - Gov. Polis COVID Modeling Report (pdf)  
  April 21, 11:05 a.m. - Otero Update - New Positive Otero County (pdf)  
  April 17, 3:00 p.m. - Governor Polis: Mask Covering Executive Order (pdf)  
  April 17, 12:44 p.m. - Otero Update - New Positive Otero County (pdf)  
  April 17, 12:02 p.m. - OJC Offers Students Grade Options in the Wake of COVID-19  
  April 16, 1:46 p.m. - Campus Update: Remote Grading Information (pdf)  
  April 10, 6:29 p.m. - Crowley/Otero Update: New Positive Crowley County Case (pdf)  
  April 9, 2:29 p.m. - Otero Junior College to Serve as Alternate Care Facility  
  April 9, 8:06 a.m. - Crowley/Otero Update: New Positive Otero County Case (pdf)  
  April 8, 12:39 p.m. - Bent/Crowley/Otero Update: Call For Volunteers, Second Call (pdf)  
  April 7, 9:55 a.m. - OJC’s Summer Semester moves to Remote Access Learning   
  April 7, 9:03 a.m. - President Alvarez Campus Update (pdf)  
  April 5, 12:08 p.m. - Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Update #1 (pdf)  
  April 4, 9:31 a.m. - GovPolis-Doing My Part Mask Presentation (pdf)  
  April 4, 9:00 a.m. - Gov Polis-FAQ Colorado Mask Campaign (pdf)  
  April 2, 3:32 p.m. - Crowley/Otero Coronavirus Update #2 Call For Volunteers (pdf)  
  April 2, 12:51 p.m. - Crowley/Otero Coronavirus Update #1 (pdf)  
  April 3, 3:00 p.m. - Governor Polis: Mask Covering Executive Order (pdf)  
  March 30, 12:58 p.m. - Crowley/Otero Update: Your Game Plan (pdf)  
  March 30, 11:41 a.m. - Crowley/Otero Update: 3RD Positive Otero County Case (pdf)  
  March 27, 7:31 a.m. - Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education (pdf)  
  March 26, 10:42 a.m. - Otero Update: 2nd POSITIVE COVID-19 Case In Otero County (pdf)  
  March 25, 6:50 p.m. - Gov. Polis Stay-At-Home Order FAQ (pdf)  
  March 25, 6:50 p.m. - Gov. Polis Announces Statewide Stay-At-Home Order (pdf)  
  March 24, 6:02 p.m. - Otero Update #2: POSITIVE COVID-19 Case In Otero County (pdf)  
  March 24, 5:43 p.m. - OJC Press Release: Coronavirus Update (pdf)  
  March 24, 9:50 a.m. - Otero Update: POSITIVE COVID-19 Case In Otero County (pdf)  
  March 23, 1:09 p.m. - COVID-19 Impact on Veterans: GI Bill of Rights (pdf)  
  March 20, 11:30 a.m. - National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Coronavirus Update (pdf)  
  March 19, 6:40 p.m. - SBDC Coronavirus Update (pdf)  
  March 19, 2:06 p.m. - Crowley/Otero County COVID-19 Update (pdf)  
  March 19, 11:45 a.m. - Instructions for Students Needing to Pay Their Bill Online (pdf)  
  March 19, 8:10 a.m. - Work Study Employment Information (pdf)  
  March 19, 7:53 a.m. - Colo: Public Health Orders Through 3/18/2020  
  March 18, 7:10 p.m. - Governor Polis: Colorado Takes Further Action (pdf)  
  March 18, 2:23 p.m. - Press Release: OJC Spring Semester Status  
  March 18, 12:49 p.m. - OJC Residence Hall Closing Letter & Instructions (pdf)  
  March 18, 12:13 p.m. - Update From Public Health Director: Local Covid-19 (pdf)  
  March 18, 10:37 a.m. - Dr. Alvarez Update: OJC Spring Semester Status  
  March 17, 5:58 p.m. - SBDC COVID-19 Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Guide  
  March 16, 6:44 p.m. - Governor Polis Update on State’s Response to COVID-19 (pdf)  
  March 16, 11:59 a.m. - NJCAA National Office Communication About Spring Athletics (pdf)  
  March 15, 11:18 a.m. - Public Health Director Crowley and Otero Counties - What's the Plan (pdf)  
  March 13, 3:21 p.m. - Governor Polis Update on Coronavirus (pdf)  
  March 13, 3:03 p.m. - Colo SBDC Coronavirus Update (pdf)  
  March 13, 2:10 p.m. - NJCAA National Office Communication About Coronavirus (pdf)  
  March 13, 10:15 a.m. - Update from Public Health Director Crowley and Otero Counties (pdf)  
  March 13, 9:47 a.m. - Important Learning Commons Updates for Student Success  
  March 12, 10:31 a.m. - OJC Extending Spring Break  
  March 12, 9:30 a.m. - CCCS Prepares Transition to Remote Instruction  
  March 11, 9:20 p.m. - Dr. Alvarez OJC COVID-19 Update  
  March 11, 7:43 p.m. - Governor Polis Update on Coronavirus  
  March 11, 5:00 p.m. - Otero County Health Department Update (pdf)  
  March 11, 4:35 p.m. - Health Emergency Guidelines  
  March 04, 11:47 a.m. - Dr. Alvarez E-Mail to Campus  

How the College is Responding to COVID-19

The College is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation, and as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is taking action to address a potential future outbreak in the U.S. that could impact daily College operations, athletics, and other educational, personal, and business travel for students, faculty, and staff.

The College has convened its Emergency Management Operations Group and has put in motion the actions required for social distancing and shelter in place, as mandated by the State of Colorado. We are in communication with county and state health officials to monitor the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We are also working closely with the Colorado Community College System Emergency Management Office for guidance and updates.

Otero Junior College has been making numerous adjustments to our daily activities as we have responded to the mandates and recommendations associated with the Coronavirus.

The OJC administration continues to monitor how Otero Junior College will move forward in this on-going situation.  We are preparing ourselves to cope with additional challenges, should they become necessary.

OJC Recovery Operation Plans Abridged

OJC Social Distancing & Facial Covering Guidance

OJC FAQ’s for Students Concerning Fall Semester 2021

OJC as Alternate Care Facility

  • Otero Junior College has been designated as an Alternate Care Facility (ACF) by the Otero/Crowley Health Department during the current COVID-19 crisis.
    • According to Richard Ritter, executive director Otero County Health Department, OJC was designated as an ACF to support the Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center (AVRMC) if that facility were to become overwhelmed with patients as a result of increasing COVID-19 patients.
    • “Basically, the way our AFC at Otero Junior College would work is that AVRMC would transfer their non-critical patients to the AFC, where they would get appropriate medical care. This would enable AVRMC to focus on more severe, critically ill patients that need much more attention and care,” explained Ritter.
    • Ritter said the ACF will have a direct line of communication with AVRMC. Patients will not report directly to the ACF, they will report to AVRMC where they will receive an initial assessment before possible transfer to the ACF.
  • Ritter stressed in his comments that utilizing the ACF at Otero Junior College is not happening right now.
    • “This is being planned with an abundance of caution, so that IF the need arises, we are ready to assist our regional hospital to meet the need,” he said.
  • OJC is prepared to offer two on-campus locations:
    • (1) Life Sciences building (main hub for nursing)
    • (2) McDivitt Center Gymnasium, should the need arise for more space
  • According to Ritter, the OJC site has been prepared to accept patients at any time should the need arise.
    • “The Life Science site has been cleaned and readied; medical beds are in place, and we have access to many more beds if the need arises. Start-up supplies have been secured; linens and pillows have been donated; and food service and laundry service is being finalized,” said Ritter.


Enrollment for Fall Semester

  • Enrollment for Fall Semester is now open. All returning students and new students will be communicated with via email about the process of enrolling for a future semester via Navigate, an online platform that students can utilize remotely, thus allowing them to get enrolled without coming back to campus.

To view a full list of frequently asked questions about the semesters, go to this link:


How the Campus prepared in the Wake of COVID-19

Hours of work have gone into making the campus clean and safe for student and staff to return to this fall.

Physical Plant staff were considered essential staff, and continued to work throughout the Safer at Home order by cleaning and sanitizing our campus.

To ensure that the College is followed the protocols recommended by local, state and national healthcare agencies, OJC’s Pandemic Recovery Plan was submitted to the Otero County Health Department for approval.

All staff, other than Physical Plant staff, are working no more than 50 percent on campus. The rest of their work is being done from home utilizing the technology OJC had in place prior to the Safer at Home order.

Campus Cleaning

  • Extensive cleaning is being conducted on all public spaces, classrooms, computers and computer labs, restrooms and residence halls on a regular basis.
  • The OJC Maintenance crew has thoroughly cleaned the FCU’s (fan coil units) coils and changed filters in the dorms and class room units. Since viruses such as COVID-19 can be spread through airborne transmissions through HVAC systems, the droplets can enter into and be distributed by the building HVAC system. Much of the same stimulus that effects surface longevity of the virus is likely true for the HVAC system. This makes it most important during this time to make sure coils are clean and free of all forms of bacteria and filters are free from accumulated dust for proper filtration.

Personal Health

  • Should employees working remotely fall ill, the employee will submit a sick leave request as they normally do; make a note in the comment section of why they are leaving work. The HR office will be able to track our incidents of sick leave with the possibility that administrative leave could be granted for that time at a later date.


  • We made requests to a number of accreditation bodies and agencies for approval to offer remote course-work delivery and a truncated semester. This was crucial in order to maintain accreditation standards and to ensure the quality and rigor of our programs.

Our Guiding Principles

  • Ensure the health and safety of students and staff.
  • Minimizing risk – providing/practicing social distancing.
  • Maintaining rigor and quality educational programs.
  • Satisfying learning objectives and accreditation standards.
  • Ensure access and equity for all students, particularly those who might not be comfortable with remote learning.
  • Minimize disruption to the extent possible.


For questions concerning the residence halls or athletics, contact Dean of Students Gary Addington. 719-384-6859  |

For questions concerning financial aid or your bill, contact Financial Aid Director Amber Asbury. 719-384-6985  |

For questions about getting registered for next semester, contact Coordinator of Learning Commons Hailey Wold.  719-384-6946  |

For employment and work questions, contact your supervisor or Director of Human Resources  719-384-6824. 



CARES Act Required Reporting

The CARES Act is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for Higher Education. OJC was awarded funds that were required to be used only as direct grants to students to provide emergency relief aid for hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic as they look to continue their education.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)Section 18004 (E) of the CARES Act Reporting and Disclosure

(HEERF) Quarterly Reporting: FINAL 03.31.2021

(HEERF) Quarterly Reporting: 12.31.2020

(HEERF) Quarterly Reporting: 09.30.2020

(HEERF) Reporting and Disclosure: September 30

(HEERF) Reporting and Disclosure: August 18

(HEERF) Reporting and Disclosure: July 4

(HEERF) Reporting and Disclosure: May 15

(HEERF) Reporting September 30, 2020 – Quarterly Status

(HEERF) Reporting August 15, 2020 – 45 Day Status

(HEERF) Reporting July 1, 2020 – 45 Day Status