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Path to Recovery Update 8/13/21

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August 13, 2021 - 04:01 PM

The Mt. SAC Path to Recovery update provides a summary of large scale efforts from the college to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, including its related economic impact.
Welcome to Fall

Mt. San Antonio College is welcoming many students back to campus this Fall, thanks to the hard work and dedication of its faculty, staff and students. Most Fall semester classes will be available in person. Online classes will also continue for those who prefer this convenient format, with details available at www.mtsac.edu/online.

The college strictly follows public health guidelines and has increased cleaning, maximized air filtration and circulation, and installed safety shields in preparation of the return to campus. Below is a summary of campus preparations before the beginning of classes this Fall.

Returning to In-Person Classes

Since the Summer 2020 term, a limited number of classes have been held on campus. Those classes first needed to meet the criteria of training for the state's 16 critical infrastructure areas, then they were prioritized by the Instruction Division, and approved by the President's Cabinet.

For the Fall 2021 semester, Mt. SAC has been planning for a broader return to in-person classes with a majority of classes held in person. This is made possible by the proliferation of vaccines as well as the state of California ending its COVID-19 tier system and reopening its economy on June 15, 2021.

Preparing the Campus

Mt. SAC is working under California Department of Public Health, Cal OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards and Los Angeles County Public Health Officer Orders for Fall 2021. The college is committed to strictly following these orders. Should the pandemic take a turn, the college will pivot and adjust to meet public health and workplace safety orders. Thanks to Mt. SAC team members, safety preparations of buildings, equipment and supplies have taken place, such as:

  • Increased outside air intake and filtration
  • Preparing computers and technology
  • Preparation of safety features for student and  customer service areas
  • Increased cleaning of buildings
  • Distribution of safety supplies and PPE for individual classrooms and Division Offices

INCREASED AIR CIRCULATION AND FILTERING

Employees do NOT need to open windows and doors to increase air circulation. Facilities Planning & Management team members have already adjusted building ventilation systems across campus before departments returned. They have ensured each HVAC unit has a filter that provides the maximum level of sanitary filtration the unit supports.  Additionally, in all occupied buildings, air flow is adjusted to maximize fresh outside air while still allowing the unit to perform its function.  As an added measure the college added supplemental purification units in buildings where they would provide a reasonable enhancement. 

PREPARING COMPUTERS AND TECHNOLOGY

The Information Technology team has already evaluated and updated computers across campus in preparation for a broad return to campus. With some computers sitting dormant for more than a year, the team swept through classrooms, labs and offices to ensure the computers are updated and ready to run. The team checked on nearly 7,000 computers before the campus reopened.  The Laptop and Mifi loaner distribution program will continue to be available to students.  Stay tuned for further announcements.  Next week, portable microphones (personal amplifiers) will be delivered to Division Offices, where they can be picked up.

PREPARING STUDENT AND CUSTOMER SERVICE AREAS

A subgroup of the Return to Campus Task Force gathered a list of campus programs, their projected return dates, and their need for plastic shield dividers at customer services areas. With this information, Facilities Planning & Management staff prepared plastic shield dividers for these areas before their occupancy. 

INCREASED CLEANING

Custodial staff have received special training on effective sanitary cleaning during the pandemic. The team has shifted to prioritize day time shifts, cleaning high use areas more frequently. Previously, only 3 custodial team members worked during the day shift. This has increased 5-fold to 15 daytime custodians. They have compiled lists of high traffic areas and are developing strategies to increase the cleaning of these areas, keeping in mind classroom schedules.  This includes added cleaning of these areas during the day.

The team has been tasked with increased cleaning on campus as well as deep cleaning buildings before they are occupied. The cleaning was prioritized by the Return to Campus Task Force, which worked with divisions across campus to compile lists of buildings and their occupation dates to prepare for the Fall. The deep cleanings are scheduled to be completed by August 20.

SAFETY SUPPLIES AND PPE

The college has gathered safety supplies, such as masks (including N95 upon request), gloves, sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer. The Office of Risk Management is distributing those supplies across campus. All Fall classrooms will be equipped with a minimum of 350 3-ply masks, 5 bottles of 16 oz. hand sanitizer, 5 face shields, 1 box of large gloves and 1 container of disinfectant wipes (400 count).  Employees who require additional supplies can reach out to their Division Offices.

BUILDING SIGNAGE

The Office of Risk Management and Marketing & Communication are partnering to develop new COVID-19 signage that clings to door entrances and can be posted inside entrances. These will be distributed across campus as soon as they are available. Digital versions of the signs will also be available for download beginning August 18 via the Marketing website at www.mtsac.edu/marketing.

Face Coverings Requirement

The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health issued a new Health Officer Order with an effective date of July 17, 2021. Following this health order, Mt. SAC will again require masks for anyone indoors, regardless of vaccination status. This includes any classes, labs, and meetings held inside. It’s also important that masks are worn properly.

There are few exceptions to the face covering requirement, such as a situation where a mask can impede workplace safety or as a result of a medical condition. Students who do not follow instructions to wear face coverings indoors are subject to student disciplinary action, per AP 5520 – Student Discipline Procedures. It’s also important to wear masks properly.

  • EMPLOYEE accommodations can be made through Human Resources at hraccommodations@mtsac.edu.
  • STUDENT accommodations can be made through the ACCESS Office, which provides accessibility resources for students, at access@mtsac.edu or (909) 274-4290.

Face coverings are available on campus.

  • EMPLOYEES can pick up a single face covering from Police & Campus Safety or their Division Office. They can also request additional supplies for in-person classes through the Office of Risk Management's Online PPE Request Form at www.mtsac.edu/health/employee-resources.html.
  • STUDENTS can pick up a face covering from their professors, who have classroom safety kits in each classroom. There will also be mask dispensers in various locations across campus.

Health Check and Reporting Symptoms

Before coming to campus, students and employees should review if they are feeling any COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, new loss of taste/smell, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, sneezing, nausea, diarrhea, and so on.

Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, should Stay Home and fill out a Health Check Form on the COVID-19 Health website at www.mtsac.edu/covid19.

  • STUDENTS REPORT TO STUDENT HEALTH CENTER - Students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, are asked to fill out the form above or contact the Student Health Center at (909) 274-4400 as soon as possible.
  • EMPLOYEES REPORT TO HUMAN RESOURCES - Employees who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, are asked to fill out the form above or contact Human Resources by emailing hraccommodations@mtsac.edu or calling (909) 274-4414 immediately.   

Contact tracing and follow-up by other campus departments (such as Custodial Services, Public Safety and Student Health) is triggered through the Forms noted above.  These forms are critical to trigger a campus response.

Employee Training Before Coming
to Campus

Employees working on campus should review the college’s Return to Work Guide before coming to campus. It is available on the COVID-19 Health site (www.mtsac.edu/covid19), under Employee Resources.

Due to the serious threats related to COVID-19, Mt. SAC is requiring all employees that work on campus to take training related to the coronavirus. This training has been mandated by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Managers have been asked to assign three training videos to all employees: (1) Coronavirus Awareness; (2) Coronavirus: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Workplace; and (3) Coronavirus: Reopening Your Organization. These training videos take about 30 minutes total to view. Employees can also find these training videos through POD Connect at www.mtsac.edu/pod.

Healthy Practices

Each individual should do what is best for them and their unique needs. High risk individuals (older adults and those with health conditions) require additional vigilance. Individuals should consult with their personal health care provider if they have any concerns about their personal condition. In general, public health agencies say that the best preventative measures are getting vaccinated, wearing masks, and simple good hygiene practices::

  • Public health officials recommend getting vaccinated. These vaccines are safe, effective and free.
  • Practice social distancing when you can.
  • Wear face coverings indoors and on public transportation.
  • If you are sick, stay home. Anyone with even mild symptoms should stay away from campus. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, new loss of taste/smell, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, nausea, diarrhea, and so on. Individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should fill out the Health Check Form noted above.
  • Wash your hands often, especially before you eat, after using the restroom or blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If you cannot wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth in case your hands are not clean.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use your sleeve if you don’t have a tissue handy and wash your hands. If you have these symptoms, stay away from campus.
  • Avoid sharing objects like tools, office equipment, cups, food and drinks.
  • Minimize contact, and avoid shaking hands and high-fiving.
  • Practice healthy habits. Get plenty of sleep, stay active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods. 

More Information

Details about Mt. SAC's coronavirus response is available on its COVID-19 Health website at www.mtsac.edu/covid19

The Mt. SAC Path to Recovery email provides employees a summary of large-scale efforts from the college to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, including its related economic impact. For more information, visit the COVID-19 Public Health website at www.mtsac.edu/covid19.