March 23, 2020

Two More Students, One Off-Campus, Test Positive for COVID-19

The following email was sent college-wide to Santa Monica College students & employees from SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery and Director of Health & Wellbeing Dr. Susan Fila

Dear SMC Colleagues & Students,

We have received confirmed medical reports today that two more Santa Monica College (SMC) students have tested positive for COVID-19, the 2019 novel coronavirus. One of the students is at East Los Angeles College (ELAC) as part of a two-year partnership program in which students finish the first year of coursework at SMC and then transition to East LA for the second year. This student has not been on any SMC campus since Spring 2019. (Read ELAC President Raul Rodriguez’s Message to the East LA College Community).

The other student who tested positive for COVID-19 was last at SMC on Wednesday, March 4. The college’s Student Health Services has been in constant contact with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Per Public Health—since the incubation period for the virus has passed (Fourteen days, which would have ended on March 18)—no special precautions are required at this time.

However, it is important that students and employees take all the precautions, and obey the “Safer at Home” order issued for Los Angeles until April 19 (LA residents are ordered to remain in their homes except for critical tasks such as securing food, caring for elder adults, family, and friends). Los Angeles’s Safer at Home order does not impact SMC’s ability to deliver instruction and support services remotely.

If you think you are sick, please stay home, because the coronavirus is highly contagious. If you do head out for essential tasks or get some outdoor exercise, please remember to keep six feet apart from other individuals and wash your hands. Following the “Safer at Home” order will help limit the spread of COVID-19 and to save the lives of those who are at greater risk due to age and/or underlying health concerns. Please do so. 

Here are links to vital information:

SMC has worked actively to ensure the safety and health of SMC employees and students during this worldwide health crisis, while transitioning to a remote environment in a way that would leave no student behind. All SMC classes and support services are now only accessible remotely until June 16, 2020. The college and all SMC facilities are closed to the general public.

If you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptomsfever, cough, and difficulty breathing/shortness of breath—please call your primary healthcare provider to be tested immediately. Students: if you do not have a primary care provider, call Student Health Services at 310-434-4262. Do not come in to Student Health as the office is only providing remote services via telephone and Zoom. International students can receive all medical referrals for primary and specialty care via telephone or zoom from SMC Student Health. 

You can also call the LA County Information Line at 2-1-1 after business hours. If you cannot directly dial 2-1-1 or are calling from outside Los Angeles County, call 800-339-6993.

For more information and resources, please go to the dedicated COVID-19 SMC webpage for more information and resources. Be sure to review the resources and monitor the FAQ pages for details on COVID-19’s impact. The best, most reliable source of information related to Los Angeles is the LA County Department of Public Health.

Please take care of yourselves, stay home—and stay healthy. We will keep you updated.

Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, SMC Superintendent/President & Susan Fila, SMC Director of Health and Wellbeing