Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

March 12, 2020

Update: March 12, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Effective Friday, March 13, Los Rios is suspending all face-to-face classes and face-to-face student interactions. Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, all Los Rios facilities will be closed, and the district will begin 100% remote operations including moving all classes and student services online until further notice.

This means that starting on Wednesday, March 18 all campus facilities will be closed to all students, faculty, staff, and community members; however instructional, student services, and operational responsibilities will continue online or remotely.

For the days beginning Friday, March 13, and through Tuesday, March 17, faculty and staff may offer some online or remote instruction and services at the discretion of individual faculty and staff. Students should reach out to their professor(s) regarding the status of each specific class(es).

Until March 18, facilities will remain open to all faculty, staff, and employees to plan for this transition. There may be limited access to students for the explicit purpose of distributing any resources to support the transition to online or remote education. The specific availability and scheduled distribution of these resources will be communicated to students directly.

As of today, March 12, 2020, we continue to have zero confirmed cases of students or employees with the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Los Rios Community College District. However, the rapidly changing community dynamics, particularly over the past 24 hours, and the lack of adequate testing to verify our communities' health status, have made it clear that we must take proactive steps to ensure the health of students and employees.

This situation is rapidly evolving, so all students, faculty and staff should be prepared for additional critical updates and districtwide alerts. We will continue to provide regular updates, including updated frequently asked questions, on the district coronavirus information and frequently asked questions page.

Update: March 12, 2020 at 9:30 am

Based on Governor Newsom’s announcement on March 11 with guidance on small and large gatherings, effective immediately all events that are larger than 250 people or where social distancing of six feet per person is not possible are canceled until further notice. The guidance states that it "does not apply to activities such as attendance at regular school classes, work, or essential services." It does include all athletic events, Harris Center and other performing arts shows, celebratory events and any other non-essential gatherings meeting the above criteria.

As of today, March 12, 2020, we continue to have zero confirmed cases of students or employees with the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Los Rios Community College District.

The Los Rios Colleges are taking all appropriate measures and will continue to follow the expert guidance of the California Department of Public Health and county agencies. Your health and safety are our highest priorities. Sacramento County Public Health experts have directed all colleges, as well as K-12 schools, to proceed with regular class and work schedules at this time and the California Department of Public Health has provided clear guidance for when institutions should consider temporary closure.

This is a dynamic situation, so we are preparing for any change in direction from public health experts. We know that COVID-19 testing is increasing throughout our region, which could lead to rapid changes to our current status. Our primary goal is to keep our community safe while maintaining as much of our normal class instruction and college operations as possible.

We will continue to provide critical updates via districtwide alerts.

Update: March 10, 2020 at 5:00 pm

As of today, March 10, 2020, we continue to have zero confirmed cases of students or employees with the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Los Rios Community College District.

The Los Rios Colleges are taking all appropriate measures and will continue to follow the expert guidance of the California Department of Public Health and county agencies. Your health and safety are our highest priority. Sacramento County Public Health experts have directed all colleges as well as K-12 schools to proceed with regular class and work schedules at this time and the California Department of Public Health has provided clear guidance for when institutions should consider temporary closure.

Consistent with this guidance, we are still not canceling classes or suspending operations at this time. However, we are accelerating our efforts to be ready for 100% remote operations in the event that there are confirmed case(s) in our district and health experts recommend immediate action.

All Los Rios colleges are working on a plan for a transition to 100% remote operations. We expect to have a plan in place by March 17. This does not mean your classes will necessarily move to online on March 17. The specific decision to implement this plan would be activated by recommendations by public health experts, but we need to be ready. "100% Remote Operations" means that all campus facilities would be closed but instruction, student services, and college administrative services would continue online.

Some Classes and Services Moving Online Immediately

Effective immediately, faculty or staff will begin to transition some classes and direct services to students online. If you have questions about your class(es), you should connect with your professor(s) to get clarity regarding the specific approach for that class.

To be clear, we are not moving all classes and services online at this time. For now, we are planning for that future possibility with the understanding that any change to our status could come very quickly.

Campus Events and Athletics

We are not currently requiring the cancellation of on-campus events, but we do have an interest in minimizing unnecessary exposure to and between members of our community. Some events that can be reasonably moved to a later date may be rescheduled or possibly canceled, and we encourage you to contact the event organizer if there are questions about specific events.

Athletic events will continue as scheduled. Our college athletic departments have worked with their counterparts around the state on a plan for mitigation and modification if necessary.

What You Should Do Now

Now is the time to consider your own readiness for participating in online classes if we must make that transition. Some factors to consider:

  • Canvas – Are you familiar with, or have you used, Canvas (the district Learning Management System)? If you have not, or if it has been a while, then now is the time to get more familiar with this tool, as it is likely to be where most online instruction would take place. More information on getting started with Canvas.
  • Available technology – We recognize that not all students have ready access to the technology needed (including computers and high-speed internet access) to participate in online classes. We are asking faculty and staff to be as flexible as possible during these circumstances. Remember that, in most cases, you can access all the tools necessary to take online classes (including Canvas) on your smartphone or mobile device.

This is a dynamic situation, so we are preparing for any change in the direction from public health experts. We know that COVID-19 testing is increasing throughout our region, which could lead to rapid changes to our current status. Our primary goal is to keep our community safe while maintaining as much of our normal class instruction and college operations as possible.

We will continue to provide critical updates via districtwide alerts.

Update: March 9, 2020 at 4:00 pm

As of today, March 9, 2020, we continue to have zero confirmed cases of students or employees with the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Los Rios Community College District.

The Los Rios Colleges are taking all appropriate measures and will continue to follow the expert guidance of the California Department of Public Health and county agencies. Sacramento County Public Health experts have directed all colleges as well as K-12 schools to proceed with regular class and work schedules at this time and the California Department of Public Health has provided clear guidancefor when institutions should consider temporary closure. Consistent with this guidance, we are not canceling classes or suspending operations at this time.

This is a dynamic situation, so we are preparing for any change in the direction from public health experts. We know that COVID-19 testing is increasing throughout our region, which could lead to rapid changes to our current status. Our primary goal is to keep our community safe while maintaining as much of our normal class instruction and college operations as possible. We know in many cases our students are counting on the completion of their classes to stay on track towards their academic goals including graduation. We also know that students and members of our community are concerned about your well-being as well as that of your friends and family.

For these reasons, faculty and staff have been encouraged to begin planning to transition instruction and direct services for students to an online environment. We recognize that not all courses and services can be effectively delivered online, and students will need to connect with each of their professors to get clarity regarding the specific approach for that class.

We also recognize that not all students have access to the technology needed (including computers and high-speed internet access) to participate in online classes. All students may continue to utilize on-campus computer labs to complete their coursework. We also encourage you to research and seek out local community resources that might be available. We are asking faculty and staff to be as flexible as possible during these circumstances.

Please note that we are not moving classes online at this time. To be clear, all classes (including in-person classes) are continuing as normal for now. At this point, we are planning for that future possibility with the understanding that any change to our status could come very quickly. We will continue to provide critical updates via districtwide alerts.

Update: March 8, 2020 at 12:30 pm

The health and safety of Cosumnes River College's students, faculty, and staff is our top priority. As of today, March 8, 2020, we continue to have zero confirmed cases of students or employees with the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Los Rios Community College District.

The Los Rios Colleges are taking all appropriate measures and will continue to follow the expert guidance of the California Department of Public Health and county agencies. Sacramento County Public Health experts have directed all colleges as well as K-12 schools to proceed with regular class and work schedules at this time and the California Department of Public Health has provided clear guidance for when institutions should consider temporary closure. Consistent with this guidance,we are not canceling classes or suspending operations at this time.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to provide updates to our campus community via email when any new relevant information warrants a change in our response to this issue. Urgent information, should the situation worsen or if there is a known risk to the campus, will be provided through Los Rios Alert to quickly reach students, faculty and staff.

Difference Between Exposure and Infection

Please note the important distinction between exposure, where an individual may have been in direct contact with someone who is infected, and infection, where an individual has been confirmed by testing to have contracted the virus. At a time of heightened concern and anxiety, it is very important that we choose our words carefully.

Closures in Our Region

Some educational institutions and other organizations in our region have made the decision to close for a period of time and we understand that these closures may impact student, faculty or staff attendance.

Any students affected by regional closures should work with their professors on the appropriate course of action. We are asking that faculty and staff be as flexible as possible with students who may need to miss class as a result of the impacts of the closures in our region.

Employees should follow regular policies and procedures regarding employee leave and supervisors should also be as flexible as possible in making any reasonable accommodations.

Steps to Limit Exposure

Out of an abundance of caution, and consistent with best practices provided by public health experts, we are taking the following measures to help mitigate exposure to students, faculty, and staff:

  • All non-essential public events should be temporarily canceled. This does not include officially sanctioned athletic events at this time or any other event critical to the student experience, however, events that are purely celebratory in nature or that can easily be rescheduled for a later date should be temporarily canceled.
  • Effective immediately, we are limiting all out of state travel to avoid unnecessary risk.

Custodial Practices

All college custodial teams continue to follow best-practice guidelines and take extra steps to deep clean our campuses, particularly "high-touch" points such as doorknobs, railings, door handles, bathroom push doors, and light switches. Areas where known exposed students may have been have received additional cleaning as well. Custodial staff is also utilizing higher-strength disinfectant agents on hard surfaces and every other cleaning tool and technology at our disposal.

Our Values and Commitment to Inclusion

Please continue to pay special attention to any instances of stereotyping, harassment, and bullying directed at persons perceived to be of Chinese American or, more generally, Asian descent, including students. Ethnic harassment or bullying exacerbates hatred, harms students, and is never justified. We reaffirm our commitment that all students should be able to study and learn in an environment that is healthy, safe, and free from bias or discrimination.

Additional Resources

Los Rios continues to update our information and frequently asked questions (FAQ) page to address some of the public health, operational, and academic questions that have come forward. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Sacramento County Department of Health Services both have additional information about coronavirus that may be useful in learning about any risk to the health of our community. We remain in close contact with constituent leaders to ensure that there is a broad understanding of the complexities of this dynamic situation.

Students, faculty, or staff who have any questions about impacts to the colleges should contact their health center.

Update: March 5, 2020 at 9:30 am

The health and safety of Cosumnes River College's students, faculty, and staff continue to be our top priority. As an update to our last communication on Friday, February 28, we continue to have zero confirmed cases of students or employees with the coronavirus at Cosumnes River College and in the Los Rios Community College District.

Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency to help the state better prepare for and contain the spread of coronavirus by allowing the state to access emergency funding and lifting restrictions that could hinder health experts. The Los Rios colleges are taking all appropriate measures and will continue to follow the expert guidance of the California Department of Public Health and county agencies. Sacramento County Public Health experts have directed all colleges as well as K-12 schools to proceed with regular class and work schedules at this time. We currently do not plan to cancel classes or suspend operations.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to provide updates to our campus community via email when any new relevant information warrants a change in our response to this issue. Urgent information should the situation worsen or if there is a known risk to the campus, will be provided through Los Rios Alert to quickly reach students, faculty, and staff.

All college custodial teams are following best-practice guidelines and taking extra steps to deep clean our campuses, particularly "high-touch" points such as door knobs, railings, door handles, bathroom push doors, and light switches. Areas where known exposed students may have been have received additional cleaning as well. Custodial staff are also utilizing higher-strength disinfectant agents on hard surfaces and every other cleaning tool and technology at our disposal.

A recent development that is of particular concern to Los Rios is the increasing number of news reports regarding stereotyping, harassment, and bullying directed at persons perceived to be of Chinese American or, more generally, Asian descent, including students. Ethnic harassment or bullying exacerbates hatred, harms students, and is never justified. We reaffirm our commitment that all students should be able to study and learn in an environment that is healthy, safe, and free from bias or discrimination.

Los Rios continues to update our information and frequently asked questions (FAQ) page to address some of the public health, operational, and academic questions that have come forward. The Sacramento County Department of Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both have additional information about coronavirus that may be useful in learning about any risk to the health of our community.

Students, faculty, or staff who have any questions about impacts to the colleges should contact their health center.

Update: February 28, 2020 at 2:30 pm

A second student from Sacramento City College (SCC) has now reported exposure to an individual who is confirmed to have contracted coronavirus (COVID-19). At this time, we continue to have zero confirmed cases of the virus in the Los Rios Community College District.

Like the other cases in our district, the SCC student's exposure happened while performing their professional medical duties. While this student did return to campus after the exposure, Sacramento County Public Health experts have directed our colleges to take no immediate action and proceed with regular class and work schedules at this time.

This student, as with the other three, has been instructed by county health officials to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days. The student will be self-monitoring and will notify the county if any symptoms arise.

Out of an abundance of caution, all campuses have implemented enhanced cleaning practices in high-traffic areas.

Los Rios continues to update our information and frequently asked questions (FAQ) page to address some of the public health, operational, and academic questions that have come forward.

The Sacramento County Department of Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both have additional information about coronavirus that may be useful in learning about any risk to the health of our community.

Students and employees who have any questions about impacts to the colleges should contact their campus Health Center.

Update: February 27, 2020 at 5:45 pm

A student from Sacramento City College (SCC) has reported exposure to an individual who is believed to have contracted coronavirus (COVID-19). County health experts have indicated that there are no indications at this time that members of the campus communities are at risk of potential exposure to the virus.

Like the other cases in our district, the SCC student's exposure happened while performing their professional medical duties. However, unlike the other cases in the district, this student did not return to campus after the exposure. Sacramento County Public Health experts have directed our colleges to take no immediate action and proceed with regular class and work schedules at this time.

Out of an abundance of caution, this student, as with the other two, has been instructed by county health officials to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days. The student will be self-monitoring and will notify the county if any symptoms arise.

Los Rios has created an information and frequently asked questions (FAQ) page to address some of the public health, operational, and academic questions that have come forward.

The Sacramento County Department of Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both have additional information about coronavirus that may be useful in learning about any risk to the health of our community.

Students and employees who have any questions about impacts to the colleges should contact their campus Health Center.

Update: February 27, 2020 at 11:30 am

Both American River College (ARC) and Cosumnes River College (CRC) have learned that one student from each college – both who work as medical professionals – were exposed off campus to an individual who has since tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and is being treated in Sacramento County. County health experts have indicated that there are no indications at this time that members of the campus communities are at risk of potential exposure to the virus.

The exposure to the two students happened last week while performing their professional duties. While both students did return to campus after the exposure, Sacramento County Public Health experts have directed both colleges to take no immediate action and proceed with regular class and work schedules at this time.

Out of an abundance of caution, these two students have been instructed by county health officials to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days. The students will be self-monitoring and will notify the county if any symptoms arise.

The colleges and district are in close contact with county health experts on this issue and are prepared to continue to follow their expert direction regarding appropriate next steps. More information will be forthcoming as this situation evolves.

If anyone has any questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19), then they should visit the Sacramento County Department of Health Services website for more information and effective preventive measures for the spread of respiratory viruses. Students, faculty, or staff who have any questions about impacts to the colleges should contact their campus Health Center.

Resources

Los Rios Coronavirus Information and FAQ

Online Services
Use our online resources during campus facility closure due to COVID-19.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019