Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates:
Coastline College, Golden West College, and Orange Coast College resumed online and remotely-taught classes on Monday, March 30—with counseling and advising provided by phone, email, and online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. In general, student support, academic support, and administrative services are being provided at a distance, except for limited functions that cannot be performed remotely. The colleges remain closed to the public, with only authorized individuals on site.
Video Message Text: Hello, I’m John Weispfenning, chancellor of the Coast Community College District. These past two months, we have seen unprecedented disruptions to our daily lives—including how we provide instruction and student services. I, like many of you, continue to hope that a semblance of normalcy will be possible—if not today, then sometime in the fall semester. As of now, restrictions remain in place limiting travel and gatherings. While we don’t know what the situation will be at the start of the fall semester, we do need to finalize our planning. No matter what restrictions may or may not be in place in August, we do know that we can hold the majority of our classes online. While, like you, we would prefer to welcome students back to our classrooms, we recognize that faculty need time to plan—students and the rest of us could use some predictability. For these reasons, Orange Coast College, Golden West College, and Coastline College will plan to conduct the fall semester online. In addition, student support services will be provided online. And while some essential workers are on-site, the District Office and the College campuses remain closed to the public. However, as public health guidance allows, some courses that cannot be taught online or remotely may be offered on campus and some offices may reopen—following social distancing and other safety and wellness protocols. This announcement undoubtedly brings up questions. This is the beginning of a series of conversations we will need to have to find the answers. The College Presidents will have more information on how each campus will participate in finding solutions. I fully recognize that having the fall semester primarily online continues the disruption for many. The decision was not made lightly, but came after consultation with leaders throughout the District, monitoring public health guidance, and discussions with other districts and colleges. Our path ahead is not easy, but we will meet the challenges to ensure the continuity of education for our students and fulfill our public mission. Be well.
To better ensure consistency across the Coast District, which serves cities with different expectations, the Board of Trustees has mandated that face coverings be used whenever a person is on site—including the College campuses and District Office. As with prior guidance, we are doing this out of an abundance of caution and to protect those whose jobs require that they be physically on site. Please also continue to exercise caution and follow health guidance, including face coverings, while out in public. This type of guidance is new to all of us, and I thank you for being so willing to take these steps to protect our students, faculty, staff, and loved ones. Be well.
Video Message Text: I am John Weispfenning, chancellor of the Coast Community College District. A week into the restart of Spring, we are all learning a great deal. While we may be at a distance, no one is alone in this journey. The dedicated and resilient faculty, staff, and management of Coast are fulfilling our academic and service mission together. We are taking on each new challenge on as it arises--with the most recent information and guidance available. This is being done in order to ensure the students of the Coast District are able to fulfill their educational goals on their timeline. To that end, the Coast Colleges--Coastline, Golden West, and Orange Coast--are planning to offer summer 2020 courses through online and remote-learning platforms. I ask that faculty continue to explore innovative approaches to provide education at a distance. Further, I ask that our curriculum experts work with their colleagues to enhance student engagement and learning across all our course offerings. Today, we are focused on this next step to serve our communities through the summer. Fall 2020 and beyond will require their own decisions based on external factors. None of us control the course of this COVID-19 outbreak, yet what we do control--and where we have excelled--is finding a way to be there for our students, so that their futures will be bright long after this crisis fades away. Thank you and be well.
There are a handful of defining moments in our shared human journey that uproot current understanding and plant the seeds for what is to follow. The COVID-19 outbreak is one of those moments, affecting nearly every aspect of our lives and our social fabric. In the midst of great change, it is our nature to try and fill in the unknowns. At the Coast Community College District that might include asking “How will the campuses being closed affect my department?” and “If the campuses don’t reopen this semester, what will that do to enrollment?” While those questions are on our minds, this emergency requires a sharp focus on immediate issues of health, safety, and mission. That has meant making the difficult call to close the campuses, transitioning employees to remote work plans, moving face-to-face classes online, providing additional technology resources, and restarting spring semester. Next up is bringing spring semester to a successful close and addressing what the Colleges will be doing for the summer term to be followed by fall. Beyond that, many of our decisions about the future will depend on how our state and national leaders respond. At this point, what we know about the budget impact of COVID-19 is that there will be an impact. We have no information more specific than that. It’s just too early to provide realistic estimates. This is all taking place in context of the retirement incentive, hiring freeze, and other steps to ensure the financial health of Coast. While this combination intensifies the sense of uncertainty, I continue to believe that the right approach for our Colleges and District is to give those who can the opportunity to retire a bit earlier than planned, recognizing all that they have accomplished, while giving others who remain the opportunity to experience new roles. I appreciate the shared commitment and extraordinary effort it took to get back online this week. This has demonstrated that we are capable of managing great change. I put my trust in you—in your courage, in your talents, and in your shared dedication to our students. Be well.
Video Message Text: For the Coast Community College District, I’m Chancellor John Weispfenning. To respond to the threat of the Coronavirus, beginning March 16th, our three colleges—Orange Coast, Golden West, and Coastline—closed for one week to allow faculty to prepare to move as many classes as possible to an online or remote format. We were fortunate that our spring break was already scheduled for the week of March 23rd. Today, I want to address what will happen next—after spring break ends. All online classes will resume on March 30th, including those 8-week classes that need to complete their last week. Classes making the transition from face-to-face to online or an alternative format will also resume March 30th. There are a few classes that need some additional time for redesign. We anticipate those resuming in the next week or two. A small number of programs critical to the health, safety, and core infrastructure needs of our state and nation will meet in person, with appropriate enhanced social distancing and other safety measures. In all of this transition, there are some classes that could not go online this quickly, and do not fit into the allowable exceptions. Those will be canceled. The status of every class we teach is being posted on the website of the college offering the class. If the status of your class isn’t listed, please check back, as the information is being updated regularly. Student support services will be continuing through email, telephone, and online. Some staff will return to campus as needed for security, maintenance, or in support of online learning. Additional direction for staff members will be forthcoming—your work is appreciated and necessary to the success of our students. Students—please monitor your college email and class Canvas sites for additional updates and information. Your professors will contact you with specific information on your classes. Finally, I want to thank the faculty of the Coast District. Converting some 3,000 face-to-face classes into online, in just 2 weeks, is a tremendous amount of work. And it couldn’t have been done without your intelligent approach, hard work, and dedication to students. Be well.
Video Message Text: As COVID-19 continues to spread, and Orange County has instituted strong social isolation steps, the Coast Community College District—our managers, faculty, and classified staff—have remained engaged in monitoring, planning, and working to ensure the continuity of education that is our mission. As a sign of just how much and how fast things are developing, just two days ago, in the first of these videos, I said that we planned to resume classes on March 30th. A few hours after recording that message, Orange County Public Health officials announced a large effort to have individuals stay home as much as possible to minimize the spread of the virus. Those instructions were put in place until April first. As we now look at the remainder of the spring semester and at the upcoming summer session, I want to assure students that we are planning to resume and complete the spring semester for online classes, along with classes that have been shifted to online, and those classes that can and will be shifted online in the next few weeks. For those classes that require significantly more time to move to online instruction, we expect to make decisions in the coming days about how to proceed. At each turn, the virus has infected more, and public health experts tell us that won’t be changing in the near future. I recognize the heavy toll this is taking on the students, faculty, classified staff, and managers in the District, as well as of the families who are connected to this District. Practicing social distancing and isolation isn’t easy—it goes against our core instincts—but it can help to keep you and others safe. I want to thank those employees who are working onsite, coordinating planning and operations, and keeping our district and campus facilities maintained and secure. Your work is essential to the future of the district. I also want to thank those employees who are working from home and those who remain ready to assist when you are called upon. Your dedication and willingness to help—and your support for others—is important to all of us. Finally, I want to point out that our current planning relies on work done by our information technology professionals who have been developing the capacity for instructional and operational continuity in the case of a disaster or crisis. Shifting hundreds of people from our campuses and facilities to working from home in just a few days has presented its challenges, but without the hard work of those in the technology field—and our faculty and staff who have worked with them—this shift would be impossible. We all should join in thanking our IT professionals and technology innovators at the Colleges and District. I certainly offer my sincerest appreciation. Together, we can and will get through this time of challenge and change. Be well.
Video Message Text: Hello. I am John Weispfenning, Chancellor of the Coast Community College District. In order to protect the health and safety of our students and employees, the District and its facilities are closed including Orange Coast College, Golden West College, and Coastline College. We have suspended classes for the week of March 16th through the 20th. And March 23rd through the 27th will be Spring Break, as previously scheduled. Our intention at this time is to resume instruction on March 30th. However, if that should need to change due to the quickly evolving situation surrounding COVID-19 updates will be emailed and communicated to employees and students. To employees of the Coast District and its colleges, thank you. I appreciate your good work, flexibility, and kindness over these past few weeks. I am asking you to work from home or stay home and await instructions from your supervisor. Except for a few of you who are needed to keep our facilities maintained and secure, all classified staff, faculty, and managers should follow the guidance of public health officials and minimize your trips away from home. At this time, no employee will be charged for leave related to COVID-19, as long as the employee is in work-from-home status or waiting for instructions. The Coast Community College District has a legacy that stretches back 73 years. Our three colleges, Orange Coast College, Golden West College and Coastline College have served the communities of our district by preparing students for productive and fulfilling lives. We are internationally-known as colleges that produce high-achieving alumni and create opportunities to improve our county and beyond. I know you join with me and our trustees in a shared commitment to maintaining our important role for our communities and our students. Thank you.
All Coast District
campuses and facilities (CC, OCC, GWC, and District Office) are closed immediately
through March 30. Faculty, management, and staff are to stay home. Faculty may
continue work to prepare courses for alternative formats. Management should
work from home to the extent possible. Classified and confidential staff are to
await work instructions. This is out of an abundance of caution resulting from
a suspected (unconfirmed) case of COVID-19 at OCC. Those potentially exposed
have been contacted. Please communicate any questions or concerns by email to
your immediate supervisor or dean. Additional communication will follow
Dear Coast Faculty,
With a growing level of concern due to COVID-19, all onsite and online classes will be suspended beginning March 16 through March 20 out of an abundance of caution, followed by Spring Break the week after as planned. This will allow faculty to get the training and preparation they need to transition to online instruction for students. The sole exception to the suspension is Coastline College’s eight-week online military contract education program, which will conclude as scheduled.
While there have not been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Coast Community College District, all campuses and facilities are closed to students and the general public. These steps are being taken to protect the health and welfare of our students, employees, and the community out of an abundance of caution.
Classified staff and management are asked to report to work to finalize continuity plans and support faculty efforts to move classes online following Spring Break. Removing students and the public will dramatically reduce the number of people at our Colleges, allowing for increased social distancing for remaining faculty and staff.
These steps should give us additional flexibility with how we handle this quickly evolving public health emergency, and we should be in a better position to accommodate the needs of students and employees who have children or are at high risk (or have family members at high risk).
If you need to take leave for any COVID-19 related reason, please take care of these needs and communicate to your dean that this is due to the outbreak. For now, we must operate under existing policies and processes—including family and emergency leave. State and federal relief, currently being considered, may provide additional leave options in the very near future.
Your efforts are essential to educating students should the emergency continue. We look to your creativity and expertise in crafting ways to sustain our educational mission should the emergency extend past Spring Break. Please check your email for further information or go to cccd.edu/virus for updates.
John Weispfenning, Ph.D.Chancellor
March 15, 2020
Dear Coast Staff and Management,
While there have not been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Coast Community College District, all campuses and facilities are closed to students and the general public effective immediately. All classes, including online, are suspended beginning March 16 through March 20 out of an abundance of caution, followed by Spring Break the week after as planned. The sole exception to the suspension is Coastline’s eight-week online military contract education program, which will conclude as scheduled. These steps are being taken to protect the health and welfare of our students, employees, and the community out of an abundance of caution.
Classified staff and management are asked to report to work this week as we finalize continuity plans and prepare classes to move online following Spring Break. Removing students and the public will dramatically reduce the number of people at our Colleges, allowing for increased social distancing for remaining faculty and staff.
I know that many of us will have children home from school or other family members needing care. While you are asked to be at work, this is an emergency situation. Do what you must for the wellbeing of yourselves and your families. Then do all that you can for students and colleagues.
If you need to take leave for any COVID-19 related reason, please take care of these needs and communicate to your manager that this is due to the outbreak. For now, we must operate under existing policies and processes—including family and emergency leave. State and federal relief, currently being considered, may provide additional leave options in the very near future.
When filling out absence sheets, please note any leave due to COVID-19. Documentation will help us ensure that our staff benefit from changes as federal, state, and local rules catch up to this emergency.
Please know your work is essential—and we want your input in how we prepare for the challenges to follow. Continue to check your email for further information or go to cccd.edu/virus for updates.
Dear Coast Colleagues,
It is natural to feel uneasy about Coronavirus (COVID-19) as the guidance from national, state, and local health agencies evolves from day to day and even hour to hour. I appreciate both your patience as we navigate a districtwide response to these changes, and your support for colleagues who may be directly or indirectly affected.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and OC Health Care Agency released new guidance on travel. Individuals who are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 should avoid crowds and non-essential air travel. These are older adults (ages 60 and higher) as well as people who have serious, chronic medical conditions (like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease).
If you are over 60 or have a serious, chronic medical condition, you are encouraged to follow this guidance. That may mean cancelling travel for work, research, or professional development. Managers received an email earlier today describing what needs to be done in case of a cancellation. If you are cancelling travel due to medical guidance, please:
These steps also apply in the case of a conference or scheduled meeting being cancelled by the organizer due to health concerns.
The California Department of Public Health also advises that students, faculty, or staff who have a travel history over the course of the last 14 days to an area identified by the CDC as having a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea as of March 10) should avoid coming to campus and stay home until the 14-day period concludes.
Please work with your manager should you need to be excused and notify your Office of Instruction should a student report possible exposure or other concerns.
As you may be aware, the County of Orange declared a local emergency and local health emergency on February 26, 2020, to prepare for COVID-19, commonly referred to as novel coronavirus. The declaration assists the County in accessing resources to prepare for a possible outbreak in Orange County if one were to occur.
Currently, there has only been one confirmed case in Orange County and that individual has recovered. Additionally, there is no evidence that person-to-person transmission has occurred in Orange County, and the risk of infection to the public is believed to be low.
To minimize potential infections, the Centers for Disease Control recommends everyday preventive actions (no elevated procedures/recommendations): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
To help further prevent the spread of respiratory illness, such as the common cold and flu, the District Office is carrying out the following:
Posting flyers on good hygiene posted in common areas (restrooms, break rooms)
Making stationary hand sanitizers available in each wing
Enhancing the cleaning/disinfecting of commonly touched surfaces
Planning for potential impacts to districtwide operations
Sending ongoing notifications
The Coast Community College District is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace and learning environment. We will continue to implement guidelines and inform staff of updates as directed by local, state, and federal agencies.
If you seek further resources, the following links provide accurate information on COVID-19.
There are a limited number of cases in the United States, with one reported in Orange County. While individual guidance to use common preventative measures remains the same, the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) has issued guidance specific to schools, colleges, and universities.
Certain U.S. airports are quarantining travelers returning from China. While John Wayne Airport, Orange County is not on that list, the HCA does advise voluntary self-quarantine for 14 days. A student or employee who traveled to the affected regions, especially if ill or exposed, should immediately call their healthcare provider.
If advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine, please notify your employer and/or instructors by email.
It is important to note that while new viruses often generate headlines, any form of the common cold or flu can be detrimental to health or fatal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a high level of flu activity in the U.S. for the next several weeks.
The CDC provides a list of steps to take to avoid the flu, beginning with vaccination. While no vaccine currently exists for the coronavirus, common preventative steps used to limit flu outbreaks may reduce risk of exposure and spread: