Los Rios district confirms first exposures to the COVID-19 virus


Four LRCCD students were instructed to go on 14-day self quarantine after exposure to COVID-19. (Photo illustration by Emily Mello)

Ariel Caspar

On Thursday, American River College’s communications office reported to all Los Rios Community College District staff, faculty and student population through Rave Alerts sent via text and email, that two students, one from ARC and one from Cosumnes River College had both been exposed to an individual who had tested positive for COVID-19. COVID-19 or “Coronavirus,” is an animal-originated virus that broke out in Wuhan, China that is now spreading to other countries.

The two students are medical health professionals and were exposed to the virus while performing their medical duties, according to the ARC communications announcement. After the exposure, both of the students did return to both campuses. Shortly following this announcement, ARC communications reported that two more students from Sacramento City College were also exposed at a different hospital.

The original announcement said that since the exposures, the Sacramento County Department of Public Health has “indicated that there are no indications at this time that members of the campus communities are at risk of potential exposure to the virus.”

Scott Crow, ARC public information officer, told the Current that these students made contact with the infected individual before it was confirmed they tested positive for COVID-19, and that is the reason why they returned to the campuses.

According to Crow, they have both been instructed by county health experts to self-monitor symptoms and to self-quarantine for 14 days as a mandatory precaution.

“We would definitely recommend that those students do as instructed,” Crow said.

It was later reported in a separate announcement that same Thursday, that a third and fourth student, both from Sac City College, were also exposed to someone who may have contracted COVID-19 while performing their medical duties as health care professionals. One of these students did not return to campus, and one did.

With a total of four exposures, Sac County public health experts have directed all colleges to “take no immediate action and proceed with regular class and work schedules at this time,” according to the Rave Alert announcement.

Although there have been zero confirmed cases of the virus at any of the LRCCD campuses, out of an abundance of caution, all campuses have “implemented enhanced cleaning practices in high traffic areas” and have increased the frequency of cleaning surface areas throughout campuses, according to the announcement.

On Friday, ARC President Thomas Greene issued a message to the whole campus in regards to the recent announcements.

“I want to reassure you that your health and safety is paramount, and we are actively monitoring and responding to this situation as it evolves,” Greene wrote.

Greene said the ARC Health and Wellness Center staff is prepared to give guidance to individual employees and students regarding these concerning times. As the situation evolves, ARC communications will continue to monitor the situation, closely following the instruction of county health officials, keeping all Los Rios colleges as informed as possible.

For more information about COVID-19 facts and prevention visit the Los Rios FAQ website, or the CDC’s FAQ page.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.