Gavilan College learned over the weekend that someone who had been working on campus tested positive for Covid-19, forcing the college to do a deep cleaning before it can reopen its doors.
College spokesperson Jan Bernstein-Chargin said they reported the most recent case to Santa Clara County, as required by the Department of Public Health and notified people who were potentially exposed.
“As per our protocol, we convened our Covid Response Team, a subgroup of the college Emergency Operations Committee,” Bernstein-Chargin wrote in an email. “At that meeting, we determined which facilities were involved, time since potential exposure and the list of individuals who might have been exposed.”
It’s the third Covid-19 incident that the college has experienced since the start of the pandemic, with no relationship among the three cases.
Bernstein-Chargin sent a message to students and staff on Aug. 29 saying that “Gavilan College has identified everyone who may have been in close contact with this individual or accessed the same building(s) as them, and is reaching out directly with instructions for testing and follow-up.”
The message mentioned that most of this semester’s classes and services are offered online but in-person classes will not resume until Sept. 8. The campus will receive a deep cleaning procedure that includes disinfection of shared surfaces such as desks, doorknobs, railings and phones, which are frequently touched.
“We know that this news may cause concerns and raise questions,” Bernstein-Chargin said. “Please know that we take our obligation to appropriately balance privacy and community safety interests very seriously, which is why we are only able to share limited information. We are following best practices to respond to the situation based on guidance from local health officials and other public health authorities.”
The college has provided guidance on testing, self-monitoring for symptoms and directions for self-quarantine as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Santa Clara County regulations.
Gavilan College also wants to remind people to maintain social distance at all times, practice thorough hygiene, monitor for symptoms, and if symptoms arise to seek medical advice.
The college now offers an OptumServe Covid-19 test center that replaces the one operating at Christopher High School. To make an appointment visit lhi.care/covidtesting or call 1-888-634-1123 to sign up. There is no drop-in testing available at this location.