ARC prepares for a safe and healthy return to campus

Following COVID-19 guidelines, the college is planning ahead for face-to-face instruction with all precautions necessary

ARC+plans+to+keep+sanitation+protocols+in+place+when+students+return+to+campus%2C+while+many+concerns+are+still+being+decided+upon.+%28Photo+Illustration+by+Julie+Blunt%29

ARC plans to keep sanitation protocols in place when students return to campus, while many concerns are still being decided upon. (Photo Illustration by Julie Blunt)

Julie Blunt, Staff Writer

After a year of anticipation with students and faculty waiting to return to campus, the American River College administration has prepared necessary precautions for returning to on-campus instruction this fall, according to ARC’s Communications and Public Relations Officer Scott Crow. 

Following COVID-19 guidelines, It is recommended that staff and employees should sanitize classrooms and facilities after use, which can be found on the Los Rios Community College District  framework for reopening, which prepares all LRCCD campuses with a safety preparation outline. 

According to a Sept. 30, 2020 press release issued by the California Department of Public Health, at the time of publication, face coverings are required when in any indoor public space, interacting with the public in-person, walking through common public areas, and in any enclosed room where other people are present.  

According to Crow, the college will closely monitor public health guidelines when regarding classrooms, restrooms, food services, water foundations and other community facilities. However, many decisions about which food services will remain open have not been made yet. 

“It’s important to emphasize that for the college the health and safety of our students and employees is our top priority,” Crow said. “We are still working through operational areas, recognizing there are many unknowns about what public health conditions will look like in the fall.” 

Crow added, the community lawns and outdoor areas will be closely monitored to follow social distance guidelines and the college will respond accordingly, which may affect those who wish to protest on campus. 

Before the pandemic, community lawns were open to the public for those who wish to promote public expression. Under the Los Rios CCD Board Policy 1413; Use of Outdoor Areas, the college permits public expression on campus under the Free Speech clauses of the United States and California constitutions. According to Crow, due to the current state of the pandemic, public health guidelines will be strongly enforced when visitors are on campus. 

“College support staff will work closely with the Los Rios Police Department and other partners as needed to help ensure the safety of our campus community,” Crow said referring to crowd sizes of protesting and activist groups. 

According to the LRCCD reopening webpage, the district’s Allied Health programs and what the district defines as “imposible-to-convert” programs will be allowed to return to campus for the fall 2021 semester. However, if certain public health guidelines are still required before the fall semester, many classes will be reverted to on-line courses once again. 

More information about the reopening of ARC can be found on the ARC reopening webpage.