I wanted to update everyone that we remain in regular communication with the OC Health Care Agency (OCHCA). This afternoon, I, along with the IVC leadership team and appropriate staff members, participated in a conference call with OCHCA, led by the Medical Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Assessment, to receive the latest information and guidance on novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
OCHCA is working with federal, state, and local partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and health care providers to prepare and appropriately care for people who may be at risk for illness associated with COVID-19 or who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Today, we were told, there is no recommendation in Orange County to cancel school, business or community events. Should a decision, in the future, need to be made to close a college or university, this decision would come from the OC Health Care Agency. Our team, along with area colleges and universities will be participating in weekly conference calls to stay abreast of any new updates to share with you.
As you may have heard in news from this weekend, the federal government announced it was expanding travel restrictions beyond China to now include Iran, South Korea, and Italy. Warnings are also in place for older individuals and people with chronic medical conditions traveling to Japan. We are now reading of new cases in the United States. However, our health agency partners remind us that this is no time for panic.
Orange County still has only one confirmed case of novel coronavirus. That case has no evidence of person-to-person transmission and risk of infection to the public in Orange County is still considered to be low. Agency officials have confirmed that this initial individual case of novel coronavirus has fully recovered.
It is critically important that we all take care of our health. I encourage you to practice good health hygiene which includes washing your hands, staying home if you are sick, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve (not hands). Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.
Thank you for your cooperation and support. We will continue to share updates with you.
Cindy Vyskocil, Ed.D.
Irvine Valley College