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Coronavirus Update March 4

Dr. Alvarez E-Mail to Campus

March 4, 2020 11:47 a.m. 

Dear Community of Learners,

I know that many of you have been following the news reports regarding the Coronavirus incidents in the US and around the world. I want to reassure you that the OJC leadership team has been monitoring the situation, as well, and have discussed this issue during cabinet this week. The safety committee is aware and will stay abreast of the situation. They will be reviewing our emergency plans for situations just like this. In addition, the CCCS office also is monitoring reports and activity and will keep in communication with the presidents and safety officers.

We will continue to keep you in the loop with our discussions, any needed plans, changes in operation and/or additional information regarding the virus as we move forward. In the meantime, please be mindful of the following recommendations from both the Center for Disease Control and The Otero County Health Department (see attached update). In fact, I appreciate the local health department’s stance: “Be Prepared, Not Scared”.

If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of either seasonal flu or Coronavirus, call your closest County Health agency for further recommendations and screening. Please stay home if you are exhibiting symptoms. Faculty, instructors and staff, please communicate with your chair or supervisor if you are ill and not going to be able to come to campus, as well as utilize your D2L capabilities to communicate with your students. Students should stay in communication with their faculty if they must miss class.

Visit the CDC website for up to date information on Coronavirus (019-nCoV) and seasonal flu (influenza). This site also includes helpful information you may print or share in a variety of languages.

From the CDC:
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to either virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes. (Source: Center for Disease Control)

We are a very student focused and friendly community, and continuous interaction is a part of who we are. Let’s look out for one another by regularly washing our hands and staying home when we are ill.

Best,
Tim

Timothy A. Alvarez, Ph.D.
President
OTERO JUNIOR COLLEGE

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