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Novel Coronavirus COVID–19 (March 5, 2020)

The following message was sent to CCA students, faculty, and staff on 4 March 2020:

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As the COVID–19 outbreak continues to develop globally, I want to share some information with you about CCA’s actions to prepare for and respond to the evolving situation, as well as some resources you may find helpful. We have created a resource page on Portal, which we will continue to update as new information becomes available.

I also want to thank you for your help in ensuring that everyone in our community is supported and treated with compassion and respect as this uncertain situation unfolds. I recognize that the heightened concern associated with the novel coronavirus has caused anxiety for many and may be particularly difficult for students who are far from home and loved ones. If you or someone you know in our community is finding worries about this outbreak difficult to manage, please complete a CCA Care Form to be connected with helpful resources. 

It’s important to remember that viruses don’t discriminate, and COVID–19 is not associated with any nationality, culture, ethnicity, or racial group. In line with our values as a community, we must categorically reject any stigmatization or discrimination against groups or individuals due to such biases or misperceptions, and we will not tolerate it at our school. Here is some information you can use to help fight stigma associated with this outbreak. 

As you have likely heard, the scope of the outbreak is no longer confined to a few cities or countries. Health officials anticipate the number of confirmed cases to increase significantly as accurate testing becomes more widely available. While several cases have been reported in the Bay Area, there are no confirmed cases of the virus at CCA

We are in close contact with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and our peers at other colleges, both in the Bay Area and nationally, and are following guidelines for institutions of higher education provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We will continue to work closely with and follow recommendations from public health officials in all decisions we make and actions we take.

Planning and preparedness
I’ve convened a coronavirus preparedness and response team, which is meeting regularly to coordinate the college’s efforts and share information. This team is building our preparedness plan and anticipating responses to a wide variety of possible effects of this outbreak. Some of the areas we’re addressing include:

  • Plans for minimizing disruption to our students’ academic progress in the event we need to suspend classes, for either a short or longer period of time
  • Support for students who may experience delays with visas or other obstacles to continuing or starting classes
  • Various scenarios involving our residential student population, including action we will take if any students in our residence halls are exposed to or contract the virus, or if students unexpectedly need summer housing due to travel restrictions or other circumstances
  • Responding to students’ and parents’ questions and concerns, connecting them with resources, and providing ongoing communication as this situation unfolds
  • The well-being of our faculty and staff

Study abroad and international travel

As of now, we have not canceled Study Abroad trips planned for the coming summer, with the exception of a China trip that was canceled prior to registration. We are closely monitoring U.S. Department of State travel advisories and are prepared to cancel trips if necessary for the safety of our students and faculty. The Office of Special Programs is in close contact with all students registered for these trips and will communicate status updates as the situation evolves. In the event a trip is canceled, students will receive full refunds of program fees paid. Anyone planning international travel in the coming weeks and months should be attentive to travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State and CDC and regulations that may affect their plans. If you are planning any travel, please follow the above agencies’ recommendations and plan carefully, as the location and severity of outbreaks is unpredictable.

Resources and prevention
We’ve created a COVID–19 information page on Portal, where we’ve gathered a number of helpful resources. We’ll continue to post updates on this page whenever we have anything new to report, and I encourage you to share this resource widely. 

For now, the health risk for us here in the Bay Area remains very low. The most important things you can do to keep yourself and your community healthy are:

  • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze, and toss your tissues afterward.
  • Stay home if you’re sick! Talk with your instructor or supervisor if you’re concerned about missing class or work.
  • Get a flu shot. While it won’t protect against novel coronavirus, the flu is exponentially more common. Protect yourself!

Many of you have families and loved ones who may have questions. I encourage you to share this email with them. Finally, remember there are people here at CCA to support you. Please reach out to the contacts below if you have questions or concerns.

To be contacted by a member of the CCA Cares team, submit a CCA Care Form.
For assistance contacting your healthcare provider, email healthinsurance@cca.edu.
For additional information and resources, visit the COVID–19 Portal page.

Sincerely,
Stephen Beal, President