Alameda County SBDCNewark, CA

Ohlone College Notification COVID-19 President Gari Browning's Update

To date there are no reported cases of COVID-19 affecting Ohlone College.

We realize that there are questions and concerns as to what the plans are for instruction and for on-campus activities moving forward.  The health of our students, staff, and faculty always guides our decision making.  The campus has created an Incident Command Team (ICT) that is meeting on a daily basis and is in communication 24/7 as we closely monitor guidance surrounding COVID-19 and the impact on our community.

In addition to suspending face-to-face classes on Thursday, March 19, and Friday, March 20, faculty may cancel classes on Wednesday, March 18, to attend training in preparation for moving to remote instruction.  Faculty who are ready to teach their classes remotely should notify their dean and proceed with teaching their classes remotely.  Other faculty should begin to teach their classes remotely as soon as they have completed the training.

Ohlone’s ICT is following the guidelines and scenarios set out by the California Department of Health’s Higher Education Guidance on Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 in planning our response.  These guidelines are supported through the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.  As of this writing, we have determined that the College is in Scenario II.  (Click the red link to read the guidelines and scenarios.)

Here are some helpful definitions that may help answer some of your questions in regards to these guidelines.

Community: For purposes of this document, Ohlone College is defining “community” as the greater San Francisco Bay area (San Francisco County, Santa Clara County, Alameda County, San Mateo County)

Community Transmission: Confirmed cases indicating infection circulating within a community, as opposed to infection resulting from exposure to outside geographic areas. Per the World Health Organization: “Community Transmission” is evidenced by the inability to relate confirmed cases through chains of transmission for a large number of cases, or by increasing positive tests through sentinel samples (routine systematic testing of respiratory samples from established laboratories).

Subjective Fever: Symptoms of a fever (feeling warm, or having chills) without confirmation of core body temperature by thermometer.

Community Social Distancing: The following is an explanation of the term “social distancing” from the San Francisco Department of Public Health:

  Vulnerable populations should limit outings.
  Vulnerable populations also should not attend large gatherings unless it is essential.
  If you can telecommute, you should.
  Avoid people who are sick.
  Non-essential large gatherings should be cancelled or postponed. Do not attend any   events or gatherings if you are sick.
  Everyone should avoid health care settings if possible – even if you are not ill

Vulnerable Population: The Department of Public Health Defines vulnerable individuals as:

People over 60 years of age. The risk increases significantly thereafter and escalates with age, with persons over age 80 in the highest risk category.
People, regardless of age, with underlying health conditions.  

Underlying health condition: Chronic conditions that put an individual at greater risk of COVID-19 include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or chronic lung diseases like COPD, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems.

The Ohlone College ICT thanks you for your support.  Please continue to check back as the situation is constantly changing. 

Gari Browning, Ph.D.
Ohlone Community College District

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