Mt. SAC Guidance on Coronavirus
March 09, 2020 - 08:52 AM
College Provides Guidance on
Sick Individuals, Large Events and More
Mt. San Antonio College has developed coronavirus response guidelines, following recommendations from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, California Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization. As the situation is evolving, the college will continue to develop guidelines and share them via Health Alerts, which are sent to your email, text messages, Twitter and Facebook. You can keep track of Mt. SAC’s advisories related to the coronavirus on our newly developed website at www.mtsac.edu/health.
It is important as we confront this challenge, that we do so with the best that Mt. SAC has to offer. That means we approach this with a collaborative spirit and keep our educational mission at the forefront. In some cities, fear and anxiety have given way to racism and stereotyping of certain races and cultures. We must remember that type of behavior is not reflective of the Mt. SAC Way. Coronavirus is not limited to certain ethnicities, and we cannot allow fear to cloud our judgment.
In Los Angeles County, risk from the coronavirus (COVID-19) is still considered low. In addition, the Department of Public Health has determined that there is no immediate threat to the general public, no special precautions are required, and people should not be excluded from activities based on their race, country of origin or recent travel if they do not have symptoms of respiratory illness.
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.
At this time, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is not recommending the suspension of any large, public events. The agency urges members of the public to follow these common sense steps at events to reduce the spread of all respiratory illnesses:
- If you are sick -- even with mild symptoms -- stay home.
- Whenever possible, minimize close contact and avoid shaking hands and high-fiving.
- Avoid sharing objects like cups, food and drink.
- Frequently wash your hands for with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. This is especially important before eating, after using the restroom or blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your face in case your hands are not clean.
Event organizers are urged to do the following:
- Think through whether their event needs to be modified, postponed or canceled if participants are traveling from communities that have coronavirus outbreaks.
- Promote everyday preventative health, such as washing hands.
- Provide public health supplies, like hand washing facilities and sanitizing stations, if they are available.
If there is any evidence that there is any community transmission of coronavirus in the surrounding areas, the college will revise these guidelines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released updated guidance on travel. Students and employees should carefully consider the following before traveling for Mt. SAC related business.
- Before traveling on behalf of Mt. SAC, check travel information from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest information on areas where coronavirus is spreading and assess the benefits/risks of travel plans with your supervisor or advisor.
- While traveling, follow healthy practices, like frequent hand washing. Ensure students and employees know what to do and who to contact if they feel ill while traveling. Comply with any local restrictions on travel, movement or large gatherings.
- After travel, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel information guidelines, which may include self-isolation after returning from high risk areas. Individuals should also call their healthcare provider or their local public health department for guidance if they feel ill.
Public health hygiene is the key to sickness prevention. Please continue to do the following:
- If you are sick, stay home. Anyone with even mild symptoms should stay home.
- 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.
- Avoid sharing objects like 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.
Mt. San Antonio College will continue to develop guidelines and share them via Health Alerts, which are sent to Mt. SAC emails, text messages, Twitter and Facebook. The college has developed a website to house coronavirus advisories and resources at www.mtsac.edu/health.