Our world is ever-changing. The latest Information about COVID-19 and news from our federal, state and local governments is coming to us more quickly than we sometimes want to receive it. Like you, I am deeply saddened by the knowledge that the pandemic has sickened more than 1,034,884 people in the United States. However, I did take solace yesterday when I heard Governor Gavin Newsom say California’s pace of infections is gradually slowing and news from Orange County is also encouraging.
I cannot fully fathom or imagine how this disease has impacted you over the last six weeks or will forever change lives going forward. I am sure life for many of you, your families and loved ones has been terribly upended. I am so proud of how you have adjusted to online instruction and the challenges that come with it. I am also pleased that many of you have taken advantage of the many support services we have offered. I hope you will reach out to us if there are additional resources you need from us. We are here for you.
I know many of you are anxious to know what Fall 2020 classes and services will look like at Irvine Valley College (IVC). Please know change is never easy for any of us. But, continue to change, we must. What these changes will look like is still a design in progress.
In the weeks ahead, we all will be continuing to adapt and evolve. Right now, we are still at the forefront of that planning process. Yesterday, Gov. Newsom stated at his daily briefing, “We believe we are weeks, not months, away from making meaningful modifications” in current restrictions. This is promising news that we may be weeks not months away from a new normal. The governor has outlined a four-stage plan to reopen the state which included prioritizing expanded childcare options and allowing lower-risk workplaces to reopen, including retail stores.
IVC is actively monitoring these latest developments and working with our Saddleback colleagues, as well as state and local agencies, healthcare experts and counterparts from across the region to understand what all this will possibly mean going forward for students, faculty, and staff. We have a working group regularly meeting to understand how we study, interact and connect as a campus going forward knowing first and foremost that the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remains our number one priority now and going forward.
With nearly 30,000 tests administered, the OC Health Care Agency has documented as of today, 2,252 cases of COVID-19 in Orange County. To date, 175 patients currently hospitalized, including 70 who have been admitted to intensive care units. The county reports 44 local deaths attributed to the coronavirus.
This is still sobering information. It is critically important that we continue to follow social distancing and remember that the Governor’s Stay at Home order remains in place.
Please know that as soon as we know more, you will know more. I, along with your IVC leadership team, are committed to providing you with as much information as possible, as we continue to plan how courses and services will be delivered.
Be well and be safe!
Together, we are #IVCStrong.
Cindy Vyskocil, Ed.D.
Irvine Valley College