By Norm Miller, LCNews
PINEVILLE, La. (LCNews) – Louisiana College administrators implemented proactive and reactive measures March 3 in anticipation of a possible outbreak of the Corona Virus on campus.
“The first consideration is to maintain the proper perspective with an understanding of the risks involved,” said President of Louisiana College Dr. Rick Brewer. “While we advise the maintenance of a calm approach, the measures we have implemented and are prepared to implement are based on information from the Center for Disease Control and the Louisiana Office of Public Health.”
Additional hand sanitizers will be installed in classrooms on Monday, March 16. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to always carry a bottle of hand sanitizer.
The President’s Leadership Team and Louisiana College’s Academic Council are monitoring the situation closely and are prepared to launch the College’s Continuity of Operations Plan that facilitates the bulk of academic work to be completed online should the need arise to discontinue face-to-face classroom instruction.
An email to the entire faculty, staff, and student body sent March 3 relayed public health information and details in this news release. Also, detailed informational flyers and/or posters regarding preventative and responsive measures have been distributed to every student’s room in residence halls and are displayed in classrooms. Professors will emphasize this information several times in class.
David Holcombe, MD, MSA, is the Regional Administrator and Medical Director for the Office of Public Health for our state. He will address the entire Louisiana College family on campus at his earliest convenience.
All campus residents have been advised to wash their hands often, and Louisiana College will soon have bottles of hand sanitizer in every classroom to augment the hand sanitizing stations strategically located on campus.
Louisiana College’s Health Center notes that only a few cases of the common cold have been reported, and persons with such symptoms are immediately advised to visit an urgent care clinic or their personal doctor.
In a statement released by Louisiana College’s food service vendor, Sodexo stated:
In light of the recent escalation in the Covid-19 situation in a number of countries, Sodexo is coordinating globally to manage its business continuity and pandemic plans to support and protect its employees and consumers across all of its geographies.
The health and safety of Sodexo employees and consumers is our utmost priority.
Sodexo reinforced our existing rules for food safety, personal hygiene and infection control which will minimize the risk of this, or any other virus, spreading. Sodexo is also restricting all non-essential international business travel until further notice. This action is being taken as a precaution.
Local teams have been proactively managing the response with our clients since the outbreak was first announced, ensuring business continuity and the safety of the teams and consumers in the various geographies where we operate.
As the situation is an evolving one, Sodexo teams are adhering to guidelines of health advisories and local authorities and will continue to closely monitor the situation.
Locally, Sodexo has assured Louisiana College administration that a two-week supply of food will be maintained in the unlikely event of a quarantine situation. Relative to this, Louisiana College has a Continuing Operations Plan that utilizes technology to continue all classes online if necessary.
Storer Services provides maintenance and janitorial services to Louisiana College. Storer has advised Louisiana College administration of the steps underway regarding COVID-19:
[Storer’s] multi-surface cleaning chemical and disinfectant is Virex by Diversey. It is the chemical of choice for all cleaning purposes, from schools to hospitals. The unique chemical design protects against a broad spectrum of germs, bacteria, and viruses. We disinfect all frequently touched surfaces daily, however with your request, we will pay particular attention to the following areas:
– Doors, door knobs, and handles
– Light switches
– All bathroom surfaces
– Desks and table surfaces
– Chair frames
– Counters and ledges
– Drinking fountains
Our staff has been trained on the proper usage and application of this product and will address these areas daily.
“We have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that our entire Louisiana College family has been advised and is prepared regarding COVID-19,” Brewer said. “We will maintain such vigilance until informed otherwise by the public health officials. And to help avoid the possible spread of germs, I have asked everyone on campus to greet each other with fist bumps only.”
While some media are over-emphasizing this illness, Brewer said, “If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, then Louisiana College will always err on the side of caution when the safety, health, and well-being of campus inhabitants are concerned.”
Please see www.lacollege.edu for pertinent updates.