The health and safety of our students is the top priority of the College and our Board of Trustees. To date, there is no known risk on our campus or at our Education Centers. Despite this, we have activated our Emergency Operations Team and are working with all constituency groups on campus to determine our next steps as a College. By the end of day today, March 12, we will be issuing an update to all students, faculty and staff and the general public.
The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is the top priority of College administrators and the District Board of Trustees. Currently, there is one presumptive positive COVID-19 case in San Diego County. The test results are awaiting confirmation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are no identifiable risks on our campus at this time. Despite this, our Emergency Response Team is working on a College-wide plan to act quickly should the current status of the COVID-19 virus change in our region. The College will proactively alert all students, staff and faculty as necessary.
While the level of threat to our campus community remains extremely low, our health services team has established COVID-19 specific protocols. They are also monitoring the Patients Under Investigation (PUI) information as posted by San Diego County Health and Human Services Department. PUI information is available on the County’s website and is updated each day at 4:00 p.m.
The Importance of Personal Hygiene Has Never Been More Significant!
The spread of this virus, like many others, is best prevented by following good personal hygiene practices. These include:
- avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- avoiding the need to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth
- cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
- staying home when you are sick, except to get medical care
- washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (hint: it takes about 20 seconds to sing the “happy birthday” song)
To avoid spreading germs or coming into contact with others suffering from a contagious illness, consider calling student health services or your health provider to discuss their symptoms instead of coming to campus, a clinic or medical office.
If you are considering personal international travel, consult the Centers for Disease Control Traveler’s Health Site. It is important to understand if your desired destination is identified as: Watch Level 1, Alert Level 2, or Warning Level 3 for safety of travel. It is also important to note whether or not your travel itinerary takes you through airports in one of the countries listed, as you may be putting your health at risk. Other colleges are recommending to their students, staff and faculty, preparing to travel to any of the listed areas, to consider a 14-day self-quarantine away from campus upon their return. Taking this action provides certainty to the individual that they have had no exposure to the virus. Students should remain in close contact with their instructors should you choose to quarantine voluntarily.
The District has not issued an official travel warning. However, if you are considering personal international travel, consult the Centers for Disease Control Traveler’s Health Site.
We are aware that our international students may have some questions that are specific to their travel plans. Please advise students to review the Centers for Disease Control Traveler’s Health Site and to consult with our Coordinator of International Education, Yasue Oneill, at extension 7525.
The College will not cancel large gatherings or events unless it is evident that there is a specific health risk due to a change in the status of the virus in San Diego County.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I protect myself from getting sick (flu and/or coronavirus)?
If you are sick, please stay home from school or work. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, please follow these important tips as follows:
- Get a free flu shot at a County of San Diego Public Health Center Immunization Clinic.
- Wash your hands often 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 when you are sick and encourage others to do the same.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe, e.g., high fever or difficulty breathing.
What do I need to know about the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)?
An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified starting in Wuhan, China. Some patients have had a mild illness, while others have been more severe, and some have died. Although coronaviruses are a group of viruses that aren’t new, this is a new type of coronavirus and we are still learning about it. However, the health risk to the general public in California remains low.
Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including:
- Shortness of breath
In some cases, COVID-19 can cause more severe respiratory illness.