Message from the President
March 6, 2020
Dear Campus Community:
Chaffey College is actively monitoring the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which was first identified in China and is now being detected around the world, including in California.
As of today, there are no diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in San Bernardino County. Chaffey College is working closely with the Chancellor’s Office and local partnering agencies to ensure we kept up to date on updates regarding the spread of COVID-19 as well as best practices to keep our campus community safe.
Governor Gavin Newsom issued a state of emergency regarding COVID-19, allowing the state to request additional federal funding as well as permitting health care workers to come from out-of-state to assist at health care facilities, and provide other support as needed.
To ensure Chaffey College follows best practices for prevention and preparedness, we have established a Coronavirus Taskforce, composed of representatives of campus leaders and emergency operations staff. This group will work closely with local public health officials, following the direction from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It is important to emphasize that community preparation is key when you are on and off campuses. Currently Chaffey College has the following outreach efforts underway:
- The college has created a coronavirus website with information to resources. Visit this website for information: www.chaffey.edu/coronavirus.
- All study abroad programs for Chaffey College have been postponed. Chaffey is not permitting any travel to Washington State and is currently examining whether it will halt all domestic travel on behalf of the college.
- Weekly updates will continue to be emailed to campus employees regarding COVID-19.
- Emails will be sent from the college’s EmergencyOps email with updates on ways we are working to keep our campus healthy.
- Contingency planning is being developed in the event of mandatory exclusion of student/employees for an extended period of time.
- Regular communication with students will mirror what we send to faculty/staff.
- Posters are on campus informing every one of good hygiene habits, including 500 fliers that will be displayed in classrooms over the weekend.
Here are things you can do to keep you and your families healthy:
- Practice good hygiene.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Help young children do the same.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Use alternate greetings (rather than handshakes).
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
- Get a flu shot – it’s not too late to be protected against influenza.
The Chancellor’s Office has also created a web resources page for information on emergency planning, advice for those experiencing possible symptoms (stay at home and contact your health care provider or local public health agency), crisis communications strategies, and tips for containing the spread of the virus.
While any virus spread should be taken seriously, it is important to note that the CDC and the San Bernardino County Department of Public Healthy are reporting that while the immediate healthy risk from COVID-19 has increased, for the general public, it still remains low. We need to work together and act as a community, avoiding acts of discrimination and bias, and showing compassion for those who may be affected.
We will continue to provide updates from the EmergencyOps email. Thank you for your cooperation and support.
Henry Shannon, Ph.D.