COVID-19 Update - March 16, 2020
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March 16, 2020

COVID-19 Task Force Update

Dear Colleagues: 

I want to thank each of you for your hard work and patience as we address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak. The concerns and ideas you’ve shared have been invaluable as we work to keep our campus community safe, and we’re grateful for the collaboration of our bargaining units and Academic Senate in this process as well. The update below provides important information regarding the plans ahead for all employee groups. Thank you for working together and watching out for each other during these challenging times.

Dena P. Maloney, Ed.D.
Superintendent/President
El Camino College

 

COVID-19 Update: March 16 

As you know, the COVID-19 outbreak is continuing to expand. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health currently reports 94 confirmed cases in the county, and the California Department of Public Health reports 335 confirmed cases statewide.

Guided by updated direction from these agencies, the Centers for Disease Control, and the State Chancellor regarding the elevated need for social distancing, the COVID-19 Task Force at El Camino College has accelerated the implementation of our institutional pandemic plan as follow in accordance with Level 3 of our Pandemic Plan.  

Online Instruction in Place through Spring Semester

The State Chancellor’s Office has asked that colleges expand their planning horizon and continue to move instruction to remote learning platforms through Spring Semester. Here is what that looks like at El Camino College over the next few days:

  • Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17: Face-to-face classes were canceled to allow instructors time to move these lecture courses online.
  • Wednesday, March 18: Courses that were already being delivered online will resume.
  • Wednesday, March 18: Face-to-face classes that have been converted to online or remote delivery will resume via online or remote delivery.
  • Wednesday, March 18 – Friday, March 20: Face-to-face classes that are not yet ready for online delivery will be canceled to allow instructors additional time to move these lecture courses online. Instructors will keep students updated on the status of these classes.
  • Friday, March 20: Deadline for conversion of all face-to-face classes to be offered online or via remote delivery.
  • Saturday, March 21: Labs and other activity classes that cannot be moved to online delivery will resume in person. Classes that have been newly converted to online or remote delivery will resume.

Because the transition to online course delivery is still underway for some classes, students should look for directions from their instructors on how to proceed over the next few days. Instructors will also be communicating plans for labs and other hands-on courses. If students have questions about the status of a class, they will contact their instructor. 

The State Chancellor’s Office has also asked that colleges consider moving all classes in its course schedule to Canvas for fall 2020, and we are reviewing that. In the meantime, El Camino College’s summer session classes must be offered online.

Currently, the Library plans to remains open to provide students with needed services including computer labs for those without access to a laptop or internet. The LLR staff has reconfigured the spaces to be used in order to support social distancing. A training video has been prepared to help students use the Canvas online course software.

Student Services will begin offering counseling and other services online on Wednesday, March 18.

Further information regarding Board of Trustees meetings, the 2020 Commencement, and other events will be forthcoming.   

Employee Telecommuting  

The State Chancellor’s Office has asked that colleges substantially limit in-person interaction on campuses through June. We are instituting remote working protocols for eligible employees, in consultation with our local bargaining units. At El Camino College: 

  • Vice presidents have identified essential positions that are needed for business continuity and which must be performed at the campus.
  • Vice presidents have also identified non-essential positions that can be performed by working remotely at home.
  • Vice presidents will begin conducting meetings with managers on Tuesday, March 17.
  • Managers and supervisors will meet with all employees in their area throughout the rest of the week to share the plan with employees and respond to questions.
  • There will be the opportunity to work with one’s manager on underlying health conditions and other factors that should be considered in requiring an employee in an essential position to report to work.
  • Telecommuting will commence no later than Monday, March 23. 

Ongoing Disinfection of Campus Facilities

For those who are currently working on campus, it’s important to know that cleaning and disinfection of restrooms and other areas is ongoing. The Facilities Department will divide the campus into quadrants to organize cleaning efforts, with particular emphasis on high-traffic areas. 

Custodial staff receive regular training on proper cleaning techniques but more training on cleaning methods, frequency, and recommended cleaning products has been requested as well.  We will follow up on this request. Facilities has also placed additional orders for paper goods, soap, hand sanitizer, goggles, wipes, spray sanitizers, and protective suits. These are scheduled for delivery on March 23.

Continued Emphasis on Individual Hygiene

Although we are implementing heightened measures regarding social distancing, the need for individual hygiene is more important than ever. Please continue to follow these guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:

  • Stay home when you are sick. Stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or symptoms of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue and clean your hands immediately. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Limit close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.