Ask Joe
The CDC, WHO, and L.A. Department of Public Health are responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in 60 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

Campus Announcement to the Mt. SAC Community of Employees and Students
Mt. San Antonio College and Student Health Services continue to stay informed regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19, official name updated by World Health Organization, formerly 2019-nCoV.).  Student Health Services maintains and updates its plan to identify and evaluate an employee or student who presents with symptoms, adhering to the L.A. County Department of Public Health guidelines:

  • Care for patients in a safe, culturally sensitive environment
  • Minimize risk of healthcare worker exposure to COVID‐19
  • Cause as little disruption to normal functioning as possible

Public Health recommends that colleges and universities increase education on respiratory hygiene. As with other respiratory illnesses, there are steps that everyone can take daily to reduce the risk of getting sick or infecting others with circulating viruses.

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Help young children do the same.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Limit close contact, including kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Get a flu shot – it’s not too late to be protected against influenza.
  • Be aware that facemasks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and people who are ill.

Sick Individuals

In general, if you are sick, please stay home. Faculty and managers are urged to support students and employees who are ill and provide them flexibility to recuperate at home.  While this is not a current issue on our campus, if coronavirus spreads in the area and someone at the college is possibly sick with coronavirus or has been exposed to coronavirus, immediately contact Campus Police and Safety at (909) 274-4555 for assistance. The area manager is asked to do the following:

  • Mitigate exposure by isolating the sick person, such as having them sit outside in a comfortable area.
  • Have the public stay at least 6 feet away from the sick individual.
  • Follow general public health hygiene guidelines, avoid touching your face and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • Work with the Public Health Team to consider how the work or study area would be decontaminated.

 In addition, it is recommended that colleges and universities take these additional measures:

  • Remind faculty, staff, and students that when they are ill, they should remain home; persons who have been ill should be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication before returning to classes and work.
  • Faculty, staff, and students may call their private medical provider or Student Health Services for guidance.
  • Ensure that your leave policies are flexible and non‐punitive for both students and staff.
  • Adopt sick leave policies, including self-isolation for 14 days, which allow employees and students to stay home when ill. Develop other flexible leave policies that allow employees and students to stay home and work remotely when sick or caring for sick household members. Make sure that employees are aware of these policies.
  • Allow for work to be done by telephone, text, and online.
  • Continue to encourage welcoming environments for ALL members of our community.
  • Always check reliable sources for up-to-date, accurate information about novel coronavirus; local, federal, and global authorities are listed below.


Please note that the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes that it is critical to be vigilant with basic hygiene practices, including handwashing with soap and warm water, practicing sneeze/cough etiquette to prevent the spread of illness, and staying at home if you are sick.

WHO has posted a concise explanation of COVID-19 online, and we encourage everyone to view it:



Again, Mt. SAC is committed to staying up-to-date and sharing new information as it is released.


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