COVID-19 has finally closed LPC’s campus and, by the sound of things, preparations are being made for it to stay closed a lot longer than the three weeks initially given.
An email Monday night from interim Chancellor Ron Gerhard, President of Chabot College Dr. Susan Sperling, and LPC President Dr. Dyrell Foster, the campus will close to all except “immediately essential functions” in efforts to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus. This announcement followed the shelter-in-place order of the Alameda County Health Officer, which takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 17. Six Bay Area counties in total have issued these orders, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. In total, the order applies to nearly seven million Bay Area residents, who are being asked to only leave their homes to buy supplies or seek medical care.
The email from the leaders of the District, however, did not stop there. According to the email, schools and their personnel should prepare for much, much longer disruptions than initially anticipated — including next semester and beyond.
“Last night we received communication from the State Chancellor’s office that the COVID-19 epidemic is expected to continue through the month of June and will then peak for a second time in August/September of this year,” the email read. “The impacts are likely to extend through Spring of 2021.”
That is three semesters of impact. What does that mean for Chabot and Las Positas? There is a chance all courses could continue to be online-only through the foreseeable future.
“My main takeaway from this communication,” the email read, ”is that we need to prepare to operate in this new modality for up to the next three semesters, with some changes, during this emergency response, likely to be permanent.”
For now, the functions of LPC’s campus likely to remain open are campus safety, district IT, LPC IT, grounds and maintenance, human resources, payroll, financial aid and admissions and records.
Some of these departments will also transition to remote delivery after a review. The message pledged that additional information would be provided this Friday, March 20.
“We are taking the time to be intentional,” per the email, “thoughtful and strategic in order to respond to our changing environment.”
Travis Danner is the arts and entertainment editor and social media mentor for The Express. Follow him @travydoesdallas.