Chancellor Judy C. Miner sent the following message via email to Foothill-De Anza district employees.
March 5, 2020
Please see the message below from Chancellor Eloy Oakley. While we await highly anticipated statewide guidance, I also wanted you to be aware of the important role that is being played by our colleagues in CVC-OEI.
We greatly appreciate the meetings that are taking place with leaders from our faculty, classified professional, student body, and administrative groups to develop the best possible action plans in an ever changing environment. Deepest thanks to all of you for your contributions to the continuity of our excellent programs and services and expect more updates as new information becomes available.
Late yesterday, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a state of emergency in California to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The emergency proclamation includes provisions that protect consumers against price gouging, allow for health care workers to come from out of state to assist at health care facilities and give health care facilities the flexibility to plan and adapt to accommodate incoming patients. It provides local public health agencies more flexibility in declaring and renewing health emergencies. The proclamation requires of the state Office of Emergency Services to release updated guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools no later than March 10. My office will provide you with the updates to the existing guidelines as soon as they are available. Please share this proclamation with your leadership team and legal counsel as you continue to refine response plans.
Earlier this week, state officials announced the release of more N95 masks to address shortages caused by COVID-19. In addition, the state this week secured expedited capacity to test for the virus from the CDC.
I want to stress that state public health officials still categorize the public threat of COVID-19 as low and do not recommend cancellation of public events. I have visited several colleges this week and continue to be impressed with the calm, thoughtful and highly professional response to this event. Your close coordination with county public health agencies is to be commended.
Please continue to check the Chancellor’s Office COVID-19 web resources page for information on emergency planning, advice for those experiencing possible symptoms (stay at home and contact your health care provider or local public health agency), crisis communications strategies, tips for containing the spread of the virus and travel recommendations for study abroad programs. My office is also working with the leadership of CVC-OEI to prepare guidance for colleges in the event that expanded online instruction is necessary to continue teaching and learning at our colleges if that is required.
At the federal level, Congress appears close to approving an $8.3 billion emergency funding package that would help development of new treatments, boost funding to purchase medical supplies and provide more than $400 million in grants to states and localities for preparedness within 30 days. This is in addition to the $20 million that Gov. Newsom has requested from the Legislature to respond to this crisis. The federal package includes about $3.1 billion to purchase medical supplies for state and local health departments to beef up the Strategic National Stockpile, the largest national repository of emergency treatments. It will also provide additional resources for states and assist federal efforts to develop vaccines and therapeutics, as well as hospital preparedness. Another $300 million would help the government buy vaccines and treatments once they are approved.
Thank you again for your leadership, and we will continue updates as needed.
Eloy Ortiz Oakley
Chancellor, California Community Colleges
Regent, University of California