BC hosts panel for growing concern of the Coronavirus

Adeli Arvizu, Reporter

Bakersfield College held a Coronavirus panel in the Levan Center on March 6, to discuss the precautions and preparation being taken on campus to combat the ascending Coronavirus.

Bakersfield College President Dr. Sonya Christian led off the discussion and introduced the panel.

“As educators we must be role models for students and our community,” Christian said,  as she went on to explain the importance of implementing the advice and health procedures they were going to discuss as well as measures already implemented around campus.

The discussion then directed its attention towards panel member and Acting health center director Cindy Collier. Collier addressed the exaggerated depiction of the virus and the scare that it has had on people “Stay Calm,” Collier said, she went on to ensure everyone that Kern County has absolutely no cases of the Coronavirus, simply testing only. She advised everyone who is sick or not feeling well to stay home.

Symptoms of the Coronavirus are different than the common flu, such symptoms of the Coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Collier explained that to help prevent the virus, the most efficient method is to simply wash your hands with soap and water. Face masks are not considered an effective fighting mechanism against the virus and only results in shortage of masks for those under health care who truly need them. She informed that all throughout the school there is hand sanitizer but when not available there is always disposable soap and water. Furthermore, wipe down any surfaces with a wet wipe to help prevent the spread.

“If you have some hand sanitizers at home carry them in a little container with you,” Nicky Damania Director of Student Life said.

“Have something with you at all times so you have something with you […] so you aren’t always relying on another entity to provide it for you.” Damania advises to always wash hands with soap and to minimize hand to face contact.

Currently BC is at level 1 in terms of the virus being a threat level. According to Collier there are three levels with the third level being school shut down.

The panel went on to address that the school will be fine if it fell into level 3. Canvas allows students and professors to communicate with each other out of school and fulfill the same criteria as if it were to be done in a classroom. BC is ready to transition classes onto online. However, the audience brought up questions concerning students who depend on school computers and resources to do class work. In which is still being worked on and solutions are still being looked into.

The panel discussion ended with the strong emphasis on reminding the audience to always wash their hands with soap and water, and to clean all surfaces.

Updates about the coronavirus and updates on what BC is doing about it is on the website.