A Message From the President - 7/2/2020
July 02, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Two more employees have tested positive for COVID-19
Update as LA County sees increase in confirmed cases and hospitalizations
As COVID-19 testing becomes more prevalent and businesses reopen, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the region and within our campus community is increasing.
Mt. SAC recently learned two more employees have tested positive for COVID-19. They are recuperating at home in self-isolation. Thankfully, the employees previously noted as having tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered or continue to recover safely at home.
With Los Angeles County Public Health sharing grim news about the increase in confirmed cases and hospitalizations, I am writing to highlight two key points: (1) the need for all of us to continue to be vigilant to stop the spread of the virus, and (2) share our approach to informing our community about future cases.
When it comes to mitigating the potential spread of the disease, Mt. SAC as an institution has taken a number of actions. We changed business practices to be online as much as possible with classes, meetings, and administrative processes reimagined. The College has limited those approved to be on campus, expanded cleaning and sanitization processes, required face coverings on campus, and developed physical distancing protocols. We have also begun work to prepare the campus for an eventual return, ordering hand sanitizing stations, creating class safety plans, and so much more.
While we see more businesses open, I want to remind our community that we are still in a pandemic. Please continue to limit your time on campus to fulfill only essential business. Your supervisors should approve campus visits, and public safety should be notified before your arrival. Remember, face coverings are required on campus in public areas and if you expect to be within 6 feet of others. Keep your hands clean, washing them often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. If you feel sick in any way, even with mild symptoms, please stay home. Mt. SAC is a large and strong community. We can manage a missed assignment. If anything, the coronavirus has taught us the critical importance of our health.
KEEPING OUR COMMUNITY INFORMED
If a Mt. SAC community member tests positive for COVID-19 or has been identified as a direct close contact in a non-college case, we ask that they contact Human Resources as soon as possible. We support Los Angeles County Public Health by compiling information for contact tracing and alerting direct close contacts to the possibility of transmission. Direct close contact to an infectious individual is defined by Los Angeles County Public Health as being within 6 feet of the individual for 15 minutes or longer OR to have direct contact with a patient’s bodily fluids, such as being sneezed on or sharing utensils. A person with confirmed or presumed COVID-19 is considered to be infectious from 48 hours before their symptoms started until their isolation period ends.
If Mt. SAC learns about an exposure on campus, we follow public health guidance and protocols to provide notifications to any affected groups. A broad campus message – such as a Health Alert – will be provided should there be risk to unidentified parties or there is potential impact to a general campus population. All COVID-19 decisions are made following the guidance of public health officials and our campus medical experts. In addition, Mt. SAC must follow federal and state confidentiality laws, which protects the privacy of our students and employees. Cabinet members and I will continue to provide weekly updates through the Path to Recovery email, which updates the campus on COVID-19 and its related economic impact.
In closing, I want to thank you all for your collective efforts these last three months. You’ve kept classes and the college running. You’ve faced untold challenges. And you’ve made sacrifices to continue our efforts going forward. This is a long road and more challenges are on the horizon. Whatever may come, I am confident our Mt. SAC community will find the strength to persevere together.
BillWilliam T. Scroggins, Ph.D President and CEO Mt. San Antonio College