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Posts Tagged public health

Coronavirus Update – March 6, 2020

6 March 2020

The health and safety of members of the Peralta community continues to be our top priority.  In response to emerging information regarding the transmission of COVID-19 in the State of California, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency. While there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alameda County, there are no confirmed cases in the Peralta Community College District (“Peralta CCD”).

On March 6, 2020, the Chancellor’s office was notified that a person employed at an off-campus facility where Peralta CCD has a clinical course came into contact with a healthcare worker that provided services to a patient that had a confirmed case of COVID-19. The healthcare worker’s exposure happened while performing professional medical duties. Per District protocol, Peralta CCD leadership convened its Emergency Operations Center (“EOC”). Subsequently, the EOC contacted the Alameda County Public Health Department to apprise them of this information and to seek guidance on best practices for its response.

The Alameda County Public Health Department advised the EOC of the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“CDC”) most recent guidance on COVID-19. The CDC risk level for the type of contact described above is “low risk” (for additional information on Risk Levels see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html).

We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to provide updates via the Peralta Health Services COVID-19 page. Additionally, the Department of General Services will distribute hand sanitizer in high use areas around the campuses, and instruct custodial teams on best practices for cleaning high touch areas (such as door handles and elevator buttons) on campuses.

Based on presently available information, Peralta CCD courses, operations, and activities will continue to occur as scheduled. That said, the District is also developing contingency plans in the event that we need to suspend operations or close the college campuses or district offices.

Students, faculty, or staff with questions about COVID-19 should contact Peralta Health Services or their local campus health and wellness center.

Berkeley City College Wellness Center

College of Alameda Health & Wellness Services

Laney College Wellness Center

Merritt College Health Services Center

Peralta serves a diverse community of learners and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming environment of belonging. Please treat each other with respect and kindness in these challenging times. You are all important members of our community.

Filed under: Announcements, Peralta News. Tagged: , ,

Coronavirus Update from Chancellor Stanback Stroud

4 March 2020

Dear Peralta Community,

 

Like you, we are concerned about the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 with confirmed cases now in Alameda County. We are monitoring the situation closely. The health and safety of everyone in our community is top priority at Peralta Community College District.  This update shares information about the steps the District is taking to help prevent the spread of this virus and prepare for the potential spread into Alameda County and our community.

 

In an effort to always have the latest information available for you, Peralta District Health Services have added information about coronavirus COVID-19 and will be providing frequent updates here: https://web.peralta.edu/health-services/coronavirus/. And we’ll continue to provide updates by email, Peralta Gems, and the Peralta Blog.

 

The hygiene safety recommendations I shared previously remain the best way we can prevent the spread of the virus. Now that we know the virus can be spread by community contact, I want to emphasize two of those recommendations:

  • Avoid shaking hands and touching your face with unwashed hands
  • If you are not feeling well (with symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing), contact your primary care provider and stay home from school or work.

 

Following these recommendations will help protect you and your loved ones and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and many other community-spread illnesses such as the flu.

 

If you need medical care, please contact your regular provider. If you are feeling acutely ill, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

 

Campus clinic contact information is below. Please keep in mind that the health and wellness centers on PCCD campuses are not equipped to diagnose or treat coronavirus. However, the staff in the Health Services clinics can make an initial assessment, offer medical advice, provide a referral, or advise you to contact your regular provider.  The Health Navigator is present at each college to provide insurance assistance.

 

Berkeley City College Wellness Center

https://www.berkeleycitycollege.edu/wp/wellness-center/

College Nurse: (510) 981-2996

 

College of Alameda Health & Wellness Services

https://alameda.peralta.edu/student-service/health-services/

Main contact number: (510) 748-2320

 

Laney College Wellness Center

https://laney.edu/health_center/

College Nurse: (510) 464-3516

 

Merritt College Health Services Center

https://www.merritt.edu/wp/health/

Main Contact Number: (510) 436-2533

 

Please visit https://web.peralta.edu/health-services/coronavirus/ to read recommendations from the Peralta Health Services team including Noha Aboelata, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Roots Clinic and Aisha Mays, MD, Peralta Physician for the Health Clinics, and Dr. Mia Kelly, Director of Health Services at PCCD. Their recommendations consolidate the latest information from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as Alameda County Department of Public Health.

 

Finally, I wanted to let you know that we are preparing should the situation continue to escalate. The District has been through this kind of situation in the past, as with the SARS outbreak. We also have recent experience with campus closures as with the PG&E shut downs in 2019. We are updating our emergency contingency plans in collaboration with the state chancellor’s office, California Department of Public Health and the Alameda County Public Health Department. We are exploring options for using Distance Education tools that the District has readily available, such as Canvas.

 

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available. In the meantime, remember that Peralta serves a diverse community of learners and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming environment of belonging. Please treat each other with respect and kindness in these challenging times. You are all important members of our community.

 

Take good care,

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud

Chancellor

Filed under: Announcements, Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, Merritt College, Peralta News. Tagged: , ,

COVID-19 Update

2 March 2020

As we know the situation with COVID-19 is rapidly evolving.  The Peralta leadership is committed to keeping you updated with the most current information and we will continue to send email, post in Peralta Gems, and update the Health Services website with the latest information.

Please see below for recommendations from Peralta Medical Affiliate Partners:

  • Noha Aboelata, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Roots Clinic
  • Aisha Mays, MD, Peralta Physician for the Health Clinics

Resources:

Local Agency—Alameda County Public Health Department

http://www.acphd.org

CDC Guidelines:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html/

Guidance for all students and staff:

  1. Practice frequent hand washing (20 seconds with soap).
  2. Avoid touching your face, especially mouth, nose, and eyes.
  3. Sneeze and cough into your sleeved elbow or into a tissue that is discarded into a closed, hands-free trash receptacle (then wash hands again!)
  4. If you have symptoms of a cold, stay home to recuperate! Seek medical attention as needed for worsening or severe symptoms like difficulty breathing.
  5. Do not wear a mask if you’re not sick. And if you are sick, see #4 above and stay home! If you must go out (like to see your doctor), you can wear a mask to protect others. Otherwise there is no indication for wearing a mask at this time. The CDC does not recommend wearing masks at this time. 
  6. Do not hoard masks. Suppliers are struggling to keep up with the demand, raising the concern that healthcare workers, hospitals, etc. won’t be able to replenish their supply. This could lead to the danger of exposure and poor infection control where it’s needed most. Besides, you don’t need to wear a mask (see #5 above).
  7. Do not panic! Panic has negative consequences on your health and mental health and does no good in this situation. Self-care = self-preservation. Take care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually!

Symptoms of COVID-19 are: cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Unfortunately these are essentially the same symptoms of cold and flu, and we are still in cold and flu season.

Travel health notices are being updated as the situation evolves, but are currently in effect for China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. Patients with COVID-19 symptoms and a history of travel to these areas within the past 14 days or contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 are considered PUIs or Persons Under Investigation for Coronavirus

A helpful table with guidance on PUIs, as well as travel health notices are being updated on the CDC website here.

For Reporting or Consultation regarding COVID-19 in Alameda County please contact the Acute Communicable Disease Section: 

M-F 8:30-5: (510) 267-3250

After hours and weekends call (925) 422-7595 and ask for the Public Health Duty Officer on-call. 

A couple of other things to note: 

  1. The vast majority of people with cough and fever do not have COVID-19! The clinic providers will provide anyone who is coughing at our sites a face mask. This does not mean that they have Coronavirus, it just means that we don’t want them spreading a cough or cold to anyone else. 
  2. This is allergy season and people are sneezing. Sneezing is not a sign of Coronavirus! Everyone should sneeze into their elbow as described above, both to reduce the spread of germs and to reduce panic. 
  3. Please advise your patients, family and friends who have not already done so, to get the flu vaccine. This will not only avoid the flu, but also unnecessary testing of people for Coronavirus as we are already experiencing challenges in scaling up testing capacity nationwide. 

Our leadership and clinical teams will continue to monitor the situation closely and do our absolute best to ensure that we are as prepared as possible in the midst of this health crisis.

Filed under: Announcements, Peralta News. Tagged: , ,

Coronavirus Announcement from Chancellor Stanback Stroud

5 February 2020

(also available as a PDF HERE)

The health and safety of everyone is top priority at Peralta Community College District.   The District has been following the information about the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).  I would like to share this update, implications for safety, and guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Coronavirus causes a respiratory illness and “…can cause mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever.  It can be more severe for some persons and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties.  More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as, diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.”
As background, the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.  It has infected at least 17,205 people, with 169 (0.98%) of these being outside of China. In some cases, it has been fatal.
For the most recent, up to date information, you can read more at the CDC website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. According to the Alameda County Public Health Department, the immediate health risk from novel coronavirus to the general public in California and Alameda County is low. While the threat to the Peralta community is currently considered low, outbreaks of new viruses in humans are always a public health concern.
The Peralta District Department of Health Services and Alameda County Public Health Department are working with local, state and federal partners including the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect the health of our community.
The best preventative steps for any communicable disease include simple practices as part of your daily routine, and especially during flu season.  There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this 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. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • 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 immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you traveled to China and feel ill and experience symptoms of fever, lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing), please limit contact with others and visit the Health Centers on Campus where you will be evaluated and instructed on when/where to seek help from a primary care provider.
Anyone with symptoms of a cold who has not recently traveled to Wuhan or been in close contact with someone who has, should stay home and recuperate. Seek medical attention as needed for worsening or severe symptoms like difficulty breathing.
Reasons to stay encouraged:
  • This situation is being handled with the utmost urgency all over the world. The recent designations by the WHO and the United States government mean that worldwide and nationwide efforts are being put in place to understand the virus better and to limit its spread.
  • The risk in the US remains statistically zero unless you have been to Wuhan or are in close contact with someone who brought the virus back from Wuhan. All cases in the U.S. have been recent travelers there except for two who are close contacts (spouse and household member) of someone who did.
We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available. In the meantime, remember that Peralta serves a diverse community of learners and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming environment of belonging. Please treat each other with respect and kindness in these challenging times. You are all important members of our community.
Many students and employees are natives of China and/or have family and friends there and may be concerned for their well-being. Please know that the Peralta community supports and cares about you, and we send our best wishes for the health and wellbeing of your loved ones.
Take good care,
Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud
Chancellor

Filed under: Announcements. Tagged: ,

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