By Juan Calvillo
Campus employees across the Los Angeles Community College District will wear face coverings on district properties to adhere to city orders to protect against COVID-19.
The LACCD implemented a health advisory April 10 which went along with the Los Angeles City public order. The order is for non-essential workers to use face coverings while out.
William Boyer, director of communications and external relations, said that the district ordered 22,000 disposable face coverings for the district. He said that about 2,200 would be going to each college.
Myeshia Armstrong, Vice President Administrative Services, said that East Los Angeles College received 2,000 masks April 13. She said that these masks are not a long term solution and that the college has already ordered 250 washable masks.
“The (masks) have been distributed to the essential workers: plant facilities, sheriffs, mail room, receiving and other units that have rotating staff on campus,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong said that employees in the fiscal department and student services are also wearing masks when they come on campus. She said that those present are there to handle business affairs that need continuous operational attention. Armstrong said that most offices only have about two to four employees working and that social distancing was being observed.
“The only department that has full staff (essential) reporting daily is plant facilities and personnel/payroll. Measures have been taken to ensure the safety of those employees when reporting to work. It is ultimately a goal for the district to move all employees to working remotely,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong said that when employees are walking about campus they should be wearing their masks. Once inside offices employees may take masks off when it is safe. She said that there are some employees that use masks while doing their jobs.
“There are certain employees who are participating in activities such as cleaning that warrant a mask while performing such tasks. The supervisors over those employees continue to monitor protocols to ensure the safety of all employees,” Armstrong said.
The LACCD health advisory says that vendors that go on campus needed to comply with the new requirements and that colleges were to tell them about the changes.
Armstrong said that protocols have been established for vendors that come to ELAC. Vendors must check in with the sheriff’s station and that when work is to be done on campus, they must wear face coverings.
Armstrong said that on the Monterey Park campus there are vendors working alongside campus plant facilities employees. These projects include roofing on building C1, flooring on building E7 and exterior painting of building D5.
The bond program has projects at the South Gate Educational Center, the replacing of a retention tank and the removal of ceiling tiles in E9.
Boyer said that the disposable masks would be,“Distributed across all colleges and available at the Sheriff’s Department stations where everybody must check in and check out when entering any college.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has said using cloth face coverings that fit snugly against the face, with multiple layers, and that can be secured around the ears can help during the COVD-19 pandemic.
On the CDC website,“(The) CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.”
For more information on COVID-19 visit the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. And for more information on the Los Angeles mayoral response to COVID-19 visit https://www.lamayor.org/COVID19Orders.