Christopher Ruiz / Courier Illustration depicting a series of images that reveal a shortage of supplies in various stores stemming from the Covid19 virus strain and the mass buying/panicking it has caused across the United States and elsewhere on Sunday, March 8, 2020.
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While Pasadena does not yet have reported cases of the novel coronavirus, the city’s public health officer declared a state of emergency as a precautionary measure to aid response efforts in the event of a COVID-19 case, according to a press release on Wednesday.

Pasadena City College has sent regular updates on the disease to faculty and students, including emails detailing personal care instructions, the reasoning for the city’s declaration and direction to loosen attendance and classwork requirements.

“As a precautionary measure, both the county and the city of Pasadena declared a public health emergency in their jurisdictions,” said Alex Boekelheide, assistant to the superintendent/president in an email. “It is important to note that there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus transmission in Pasadena at this time, and PCC is open for normal operations.”

Recommendations on what individuals can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses were also made.

Caitlin Hernandez/Courier An image with PCC’s directions to keep the campus safe from the novel coronavirus.

“PCC staff are in regular contact with local law enforcement and public health officials, and we are constantly evaluating our operations to see if any changes are necessary,” said Boekelheide. “Custodial staff are installing and updating handwashing, sanitization, and cleansing wipe stations around our campuses.”

If a student has health concerns related to the disease, they should visit Student Health Services in D-105 for assistance, according to Boehelheide. If a student is on campus when symptoms start, they should call ahead before visiting. 

PCC is working with local public health authorities and the medical community to respond appropriately to potential cases, including thorough testing.

Due to the contagious nature of COVID-19, the college’s educational staff has been instructed to temporarily ease their attendance policies and allow for missed work to be completed through other means so sick students can remain home, according to Assistant Superintendent-Vice President of Instruction Terry Giugni in an email to staff.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that individuals take preventative action, but to keep in mind that communities without widespread infection of the disease are at relatively low risk of exposure.

For more information on preparing for COVID-19, see here.

Caitlin Hernandez

Caitlin Hernandez is the managing editor for the Courier, a student-run publication out of Pasadena City College. Currently, her focus is on increasing student engagement and multimedia implementation for the publication while preparing to transfer in the fall. Independently, she is an ardent protest documenter who frequently attends local rallies and official campaign stops to get "the shot." When Caitlin isn't reading the news, she can be found listening to a crime podcast with her child- who is definitely a dog- Leslie.

On the socials with @caitlinherdez.

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