March 8, 2020 – Sierra College has declared a “Campus State of Emergency.” We are taking this action so we can minimize the number of people on campus with the goal of continuing to provide instruction without having to close.
This action allows Sierra College to limit access to campus. Beginning Monday, March 9, 2020 only registered students, faculty, staff, and affiliates (e.g., persons required by employment) are authorized to be on campus. This declaration also allows us to take actions outlined by the California Department of Public Health and distributed by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to provide instruction remotely and support continuity of instruction.
As of today, there are no confirmed positive tests of members of the Sierra College community. This is a dynamic situation. We expect this status to change. We need to be prepared to continue instruction and student support services.
Following are updates on:
- Preparing to Offer Instruction Remotely via Canvas
- Preparing to Offer Student Services
- Community Education
Instructional Continuity – Preparing to Provide Instruction Remotely
Faculty who are prepared, may begin providing instruction remotely via Canvas on Wednesday, March 11. Students will be notified by their instructors via Canvas and District email of any changes to their courses.
All lectures, and as many labs and activities as possible, must transition to remote instruction via Canvas by Wednesday March 18. The District will determine which labs and activities will continue to be offered on-site.
By March 18, all full and part-time office hours will be held online.
DSPS students can contact their assigned DSPS counselor for questions regarding accommodations.
We will continually re-evaluate this transition.
Preparing to Offer Student Services Online
The Learning Resource Center (LRC), Student Services and Administrative Offices will remain open at this time, though the District is working to offer student support services online as possible.
Effective Wednesday, March 11, all non-essential travel scheduled for the purpose of instruction or business continuity (athletics excluded) will be canceled through the end of March to include:
- Instructional field trips/travel classes
- Professional development travel
We host dozens of events across our four primary locations. All on campus events for March are canceled.
Canceled events include but are not limited to the following:
- Community events held on District property
- Instruction-related events held on District property
- Student organized events including those organized by ASSC and student clubs
Athletic competitions will be held as scheduled with no spectators permitted to attend. Travel for athletic competitions will continue until further notice.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Sierra College is designed for learners 50 years or better, and as older adults are at a greater risk, Sierra College is canceling OLLI courses at all locations for the remainder of March.
Community Education Canceled
Community Education classes held at all campus locations are cancelled for the remainder of March.
We understand there are concerns and some may have questions or be experiencing feelings related to the potential impact of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). Following is information that is currently available and we will keep the community updated if the situation changes.
We have learned that two Sierra College employees may have been exposed. Both of those employees returned to work at Sierra for periods of time following the potential exposure. Upon notification of potential exposure, the employees are now at home. The employees work in administrative offices on the Rocklin campus, not classrooms, and those in their departments have been notified.
Classes and campus activities at Sierra College on all campuses are continuing as planned. Should there be any change, the community will be notified through direct email, as well as via social media and an alert on the Sierra College site.
For more information, please contact Student Health Services at (916) 660-7490.
Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and Sierra College
Why are you not canceling classes?
Sierra College serves nearly 20,000 students. Included in this are many students on specific courses of study that require following a curriculum in a set time including students attempting to transfer to a four-year university, as well as those preparing for careers as firefighters, EMTs, nurses, educators and public health professionals.
We are in regular communication with Placer and Nevada County Public Health, Placer County Office of Education, and the California Department of Public Health. We will follow their recommendations.
Everyone should make their own decision regarding what is best for them, and their personal health and safety.
Can we move classes online?
Sierra College is open and will continue to operate with classes in their scheduled modality (on ground/online/hybrid). We are evaluating which classes may continue to operate online should we need to close campuses.
Can I withdraw from courses and return later this semester?
Students can withdraw for the remainder of the semester.
What happens in classes where attendance is required as part of my grade?
Sierra College is working to ensure adequate accommodations are provided to students who may be affected by COVID-19.
Is a note from a doctor required to come back to class?
To protect time for medical staff, a note is not required to return to class.
I heard there are people at Sierra College who have tested positive?
On March 4, two employees were notified they may have been exposed to COVID-19. As soon as they received notification, they left work and the campus community was notified. Their workspaces and adjacent offices were deep cleaned immediately following. At this time, no one associated with Sierra College has tested positive for COVID-19.
I heard a student in one of my classes was tested?
Sierra College has received informal reports of students being tested but has not been notified of any positive results.
Are nursing and EMT students at risk?
Nursing, Allied Health, and Health Sciences departments are actively working to ensure the safety of their students.
Does Sierra College provide masks?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Therefore, Sierra College will not be providing masks. You should only wear a mask if you are sick or a healthcare professional recommends it.
I have a compromised immune symptom or am at increased risk, what should I do?
If you have concerns regarding your personal health, please follow the advice of your health care provider. Sierra College will continue to operate and hold classes based on guidance from Placer and Nevada County Public Health.
Are there any changes to scheduled arts, athletic or community events?
Sierra College will continue to operate based on guidance from Placer and Nevada County Public Health. No events are canceled as of this time.
Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19
The following information is provided by the California Department of Public Health.
What is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals and humans. In rare cases, animal coronaviruses can be transmitted from animals to humans. This novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is a newly discovered coronavirus that has not been previously detected in animals or humans. The source of this virus is not yet known.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including:
- Shortness of breath
In some cases, COVID-19 can cause more severe respiratory illness.
How is COVID-19 diagnosed?
Health care providers will assess patients, and if COVID-19 is a possible diagnosis, they will do further testing. At this time, the only laboratory testing for COVID-19 is being done at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s laboratory. If a patient is suspected to be infected with novel coronavirus, public health agencies will work with health care providers to ensure CDC testing can be completed.
What is the treatment for COVID-19?
Most people with illnesses due to common coronavirus infections recover on their own; there are no specific treatments for coronavirus infections. For patients who are more severely ill, hospitals can provide supportive care. We are continuing to learn more about this novel coronavirus and treatment may change over time.
What can the public do to limit the spread of COVID-19?
The California Department of Public Health recommends the following steps to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:
- Washing hands with soap and water.
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick are all ways to reduce the risk of infection with a number of different viruses.
- Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
What do I do if I experience the symptoms above?
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please contact your primary care physician or local provider.
Additional information is available from Placer County Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.