Message #4 from the Chancellor
I am writing to provide an update on COC’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and the precautions we are taking. In these times of uncertainty, your safety and well-being remain our highest priority.
Given the continued spread of coronavirus through community transmission, today’s announcement that Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital confirmed a local case, the college is taking the unprecedented step of suspending all in-person instruction effective Monday, March 16. Reducing the number of people on campus will help lower the risk of possible exposure and comply with public health recommendations during this challenging period.
This decision came at the recommendation of the college’s Coronavirus Task Force, an operations team involving faculty, staff, students and administrators. This team has been working in close consultation with numerous on- and off-campus groups to assess the risks and recommend actions. This task force will continue to meet and provide advice, counsel and public information throughout the duration of this situation.
Here is what we have planned:
- In-person instruction will be suspended, effective Monday, March 16. These classes will be transitioned to remote instructional delivery during the week of March 16, and will resume no later than Monday, March 23.
- Classes that were already online, or have moved to remote instructional delivery, will continue as planned.
- Hybrid classes will continue in an online-only format.
- All services provided by non-instructional faculty will be moved online beginning the week of March 16.
- While the vast majority of our classes will move to remote learning, programs such as Nursing, Medical Lab Technology, and Emergency Medical Technician require mandated hours of instruction for students to complete those programs. Such programs will continue to meet, with modifications made to ensure social distancing, so that students can complete their programs in compliance with external accreditation requirements.
- On-campus Student Services offices will be closed to students and the public on Monday and Tuesday (March 16 and March 17), but counselors and staff in these offices should still report to work.
- Classified staff and administrators should report to work, unless other work arrangements have been made in advance with their supervisor.
This plan will give employees the time needed to transition to a remote learning model, and ensure continued high-quality instruction throughout the semester. Departments are encouraged to meet virtually to discuss planning. Training will be available on campus (if desired) and online during the week of March 16. The training schedule will be available after 12 p.m. Saturday at the Online Education website.
Again, classified staff and administrators should report to work, unless other work arrangements have been made in advance with their supervisor. We recognize that many employees will need to care for children, given the local K-12 school closures. Administrators will assess what work can be completed from home, and assign laptops to employees who need them. Employees can begin working from home as soon as this determination is made. If it is determined that employees cannot work from home, they should use their personal leave time. Administrators are encouraged to approve employees’ use of Personal Necessity leave time to care for children at home or ill family members, in accordance with the contract.
We want you to know that we are monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely, keeping those who are affected in our hearts and thoughts and are listening carefully to the questions and concerns we receive. We will respond to changing circumstances based on the advice provided by government officials and public health professionals.
We will continue to provide communication, when appropriate. I encourage you to check our COVID-19 information website for news and updates. On the website, you can find up-to-date health information, along with additional information about social distancing, symptoms of the virus and instructions for reporting possible coronavirus exposure.
Thank you again for your continued flexibility and your unwavering commitment to serve our students and ensure they receive the best education possible.
Dr. Dianne Van Hook
Distributed March 13, 2020