The spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, has forced a temporary shutdown of in-person classes in the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District.
An email was sent from Interim Chancellor Ronald Gerhard to the campus community on March 11, announcing that, in order to “pause, plan and train faculty, classified professionals and students in the event that we receive evidence of further escalation” that in-person classes would be cancelled between March 12 and March 14.
“After consultation with both Presidents, Dr. Dyrell Foster and Dr. Susan Sperling, and the district leadership team, we have determined that it is in the best interest of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District – our faculty, our classified professionals, our students, and our community – to temporarily suspend in-person classes,” the email said.
The email also added that, beginning March 16, classes would resume using “either online education or limited in-person participation classes.”
LPC’s campus itself will remain open during these days, and all services will still be available.
At this time, it is unknown to what extent in-person classes will be available beginning March 16, with Gerhard referring to the situation as “fluid” in his email.
Select LPC faculty and staff held an emergency meeting to form an emergency task force to organize the school’s response to the situation.
In the meantime, LPC has set up a website for alerts about the situation and to provide information on the district’s response.
On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, meaning it is an epidemic spread over multiple continents. The highly-contagious illness has spread quickly on a global scale.
According to NPR “eight countries — including the U.S. — are now each reporting more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus that has infected nearly 120,000 people worldwide.”
The spread of COVID-19 has already proven to be highly disruptive with several colleges already suspending in-person courses or moving courses entirely online, large music festivals being cancelled or postponed, professional sports leagues closing stadiums and arenas to fans, numerous cities banning all large gatherings and sinking the Dow Jones into “Bear Market” territory over the course of this week.
The Center for Disease Control suggests the following steps to protect against the transmission and spread of Coronavirus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Travis Danner is the arts and entertainment editor and social media mentor for The Express. Follow him @travydoesdallas.