Ask Joe
Mt. SAC Emergency Alert

Alert: Mt. SAC has Transitioned to Online Classes and Services (see www.mtsac.edu/online). Learn more about our COVID-19 response at www.mtsac.edu/health.

Mt. SAC Response Levels for Coronavirus

Health Alert

March 11, 2020 - 02:29 AM

In addition to its emergency operations plan, Mt. San Antonio College has developed a response plan based on what is currently known about coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Coronavirus blood test

 It is based on the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health, as well as other experts in public health: the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, therefore the response plan may be updated and adjusted as needed based on additional information. This Health Alert was developed to share with Mounties the campus’s levels of response to coronavirus. Employees are encouraged to talk through this plan with their managers and prepare their departments in case the levels of response are escalated.

Background

At the center of the college’s response plan for coronavirus is our educational mission, which requires a safe environment to learn. The campus community may notice that different colleges and universities have implemented varying responses to coronavirus. Why have some campuses closed and others have not? Why are some campuses canceling events while others have not? The ultimate reason is the unique threat level for each campus that has been assessed by local health agencies in conjunction with the campus. Many campuses that have closed or moved online have had a member of their community confirmed positive with COVID-19 or placed under quarantine for exposure. Below are the levels of response Mt. SAC is preparing for and our anticipated responses at each level.

LEVEL ONE: Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Mt. San Antonio College is currently joining groups across the country to prevent the spread of coronavirus and prepare for additional action. While there is no evidence of the coronavirus at or near our campus, the college is currently at Level One and has taken the following steps:

  • Reviewed its emergency operations plan and outlined a coronavirus response plan.
  • Reviewed sick leave policies are adequate and reviewed requirements to meet education code and accreditation.
  • Adopted a communication plan, including a website (mtsac.edu/health) and method for mass notification through email, text message, and social media.
  • Initiated contact with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for ongoing information sharing and coordination.
  • Provided guidelines on sick individuals, encouraging faculty and supervisors to provide the flexibility people need to stay home when they are sick and keep germs from spreading.
  • Prepared custodial team by bringing in additional staff for cleaning during the day, emphasizing focused cleaning in high touch areas each day, planning for the decontamination of areas as the need arises, and updating pathogen training for the custodial team.
  • Promoted every day preventative actions through public health hygiene (like hand washing), which continues to be the most important factor in keeping our community healthy.
  • Working to get increased supplies of items, such as hand sanitizing stations. Please note there is a nation-wide shortage of hand sanitizers, creating a delay in the acquisition of these items.
  • Working toward business continuity plans for teaching and learning in case of campus disruptions and closures.

LEVEL TWO: Measures to be taken if there are two or more community transmission cases of COVID-19, but no staff or students test positive.

If the local public health department has confirmed two or more community transmission cases in our area, but no individuals (students or employees) at campus have tested positive for COVID-19, in addition to the items outlined above, Mt. SAC anticipates the following actions.

  • Require that sick individuals stay home and away from campus, particularly if they have any sign of a fever or respiratory sickness, such as a cough.
  • Request that all Mounties self-screen for illness before coming to campus. This means they should check themselves for any sign of a fever, cough or respiratory sickness each morning before attempting to enter campus.
  • Limit visitors to the campus.
  • Consider alternatives to any large public events or communal activities.
  • Develop protocol to enable employee/supervisor communication in the event of a campus closure.

LEVEL THREE: Measures to be taken if one student, teacher or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and exposed others on campus.

If one student or employee tests positive for COVID-19, and exposed others on campus, Mt. SAC will follow the guidance of the California Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization. At this time, Mt. SAC anticipates the following actions.

  • Isolate the student, faculty or staff following the previously developed guidelines and protect their privacy.
  • Immediately contact our local public health agency and maintain regular communications.
  • Work with health agencies to determine the length of closure of the campus and additional steps for the campus to reopen.
  • Follow CDC guidelines on additional cleaning measures required.
  • Educate the campus on public hygiene and social distancing measures, including canceling activities, events, gatherings and sporting events.
  • Educate employees on sick leave and pay policies. Mt. SAC is currently working through procedures to ensure paid leave for Mounties who may be under quarantine or are affected by campus closures.
  • Educate students and faculty on the status of classes. At this time, Mt. SAC anticipates that distance learning and online classes may continue as planned in the event of a campus closure. Current plans do not require in-person classes to be moved online out of consideration for the college’s students, many of whom do not have computers and Internet access at home.
  • Communicate with and empower essential personnel who will continue critical operations during campus closure.

LEVEL FOUR: Measures to be taken if multiple students, teachers or staff members test positive for COVID-19 on a campus.

If more than five students, faculty, or staff on a campus test positive for COVID-19, the college will consult with local public health officials for guidance on the closure of campus and steps to take to safely reopen. Mt. SAC anticipates the following actions.

  • In close consultation with local public health officials, the college will determine the plan for campus closure based on the risk level within the specific community as determined by the local public health officer. The plan should include any additional steps needed for the campus to reopen, in consultation with the local public health department.
  • Ensure campus closure plans include outreach to students, employees and the community.
  • Develop plans for the completion of courses, such as extending the length of the term, and communicate those plans to the community.
  • Follow CDC guidelines on additional cleaning measures required.
  • Educate the campus on public hygiene and social distancing measures, including canceling activities, events, gatherings and sporting events.
  • Educate employees on sick leave and pay policies. Mt. SAC is currently working through procedures to ensure paid leave for Mounties who may be under quarantine or are affected campus closures.
  • Communicate with and empower essential personnel who will continue critical operations during campus closure.
  • Maintain regular communications with the local public health department.

Emergency Operations Center

Mt. San Antonio College has activated an Emergency Operations Center to coordinate response to COVID-19. This team includes all members of the Public Health Team that previously managed college response. The EOC makes recommendations to the President and his Cabinet for formal decision-making.

Current members of the Emergency Operations Center are:

  • EOC Director: Michael Williams, chief of police and campus safety
  • Ron Bean, director of academic technology
  • Brian Bishop, lead mechanic
  • Alexis Carter, director of HR operations
  • Jill Dolan, director of public affairs
  • Doug Jenson, associate vice president of fiscal services
  • Matt Judd, dean of the division of natural sciences
  • Duetta Langevin, director of risk management
  • Uyen Mai, director of marketing and communication
  • Ken McAlpin, manager of custodial services
  • Paul Miller, sergeant, police and campus safety
  • Kevin Owen, director of technical services
  • Teresa Patterson, director of procurement
  • Sarah Plesetz, associate dean of the division of technology and health
  • Chris Schroeder, director of infrastructure and data security
  • Rondell Schroeder, procurement specialist
  • Roger Sneed, manager of facilities
  • Andrea Solorzano, risk management specialist
  • Dale Vickers, chief technology officer
  • Marti Whitford, director of student health

Members of the EOC Policy Group are:

  • William T. Scroggins, president and CEO
  • Abe Ali, vice president of human resources
  • Richard Mahon, vice president of instruction
  • Morris Rodrigue, vice president of administrative services
  • Audrey Yamagata-Noji, vice president of student services

Staying Informed

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 COVID-19 advisories and resources at www.mtsac.edu/health.