Cerritos College reports 10 more COVID-19 cases in December

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Campus police congregate on the north side of campus by the liberal arts building on Dec. 5, 2020. The college reported ten cases in the month of December.

Daniel Suarez Jr.

As students complete their finals for the Fall 2020 semester, the college reports eight additional cases in one week, five of which were announced on the same day. The college posts every discovered case on Cerritos.edu under the COVID-19 updates page.

The new totals are now at eight employees, five students, four contractors and one child. These confirmations are in written statements by the vice president of business services, Felipe Lopez. The names are not disclosed for privacy reasons.

According to these confirmations, the two of the reported students were in the nursing program, one from the dental assisting program and one in the culinary arts program. The employee reported on Dec. 19 was within the health occupation division.

Two of the contractors were not specified in the announcement, but the other two were involved with the Performing Arts Center project. It is unclear if any contractors were employees of the construction company Tilden-Coil.

“Students, faculty, and staff presenting symptoms of COVID-19 must immediately home quarantine. Students who develop symptoms can call Student Health Services at (562) 860-2451, ext. 2321,” the written statements said.

Cerritos College officials have already decided to continue online and remote learning online for the Spring 2021 semester, but have not made any announcements regarding the discontinuing of in-person instruction as more cases arise.

Tilden Coil had no comment and Cerritos College could not be immediately reached for comment for this story.

ASCC president Valery Escobar said students should exercise caution this holiday season, “I personally think it is a scary time, but the cases are on the rise and the probability that we will get the virus is higher due to cases rising nationwide.”

“My advice to students who are traveling is to wash your hands, let people know when they don’t feel comfortable. If someone is wearing their mask wrong, remind them how to wear their mask properly,” she said.

Talon Marks reported on Dec. 2 that one of the positive cases was a child from the campus’ child development center adjacent to Lot 10. There have not been any further reported cases from there since then.

Cases are also increasing steadily and substantially in Los Angeles County, with more than 32,500 new cases, nearly 19,000 hospitalizations with 3,861 in ICUs. As of Dec. 23, the death toll sits at 9,016. 

A news release provided by LA Public Health warns that without a change in how we celebrate holidays, “Los Angeles County will experience a surge on top of a surge on top of a surge.”

“Hospitals are already over capacity and the high quality medical care we are accustomed to in LA County is beginning to be compromised as our frontline healthcare workers are beyond stretched to the limit.”

In Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s weekly COVID-19 announcements, he said that the county had purchased around 3,000 more body bags in preparation for the surge in hospitalizations.

This is a developing story.