College establishes new safety measures as students return to campus

A+pre-health+screening+check-in+site+is+established+outside+the+Cerritos+College+library+on+August+9%2C+2021.+They+ensure+that+students+have+no+symptoms+of+COVID-19+and+did+not+come+into+contact+with+people+who+have+the+virus.+

Vincent Medina

A pre-health screening check-in site is established outside the Cerritos College library on August 9, 2021. They ensure that students have no symptoms of COVID-19 and did not come into contact with people who have the virus.

Vincent Medina, Managing Editor

Cerritos College will reopen to 50% capacity and resume in-person learning on August 16. To ensure student and faculty safety, the board of trustees voted to pass a resolution for safety measures on campus. 

Since the end of July, at least 15 cases of COVID-19 were found among students and faculty on campus. 

“We have tested students weekly since March, with a very low positivity rate,” said Cerritos College President Jose Fierro. “We are still following safety protocols. Each room allows a six-foot distance from all students.”

The board of trustees passed a resolution on August 4, that mandates all students and faculty on campus to either show proof of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine or show a weekly negative COVID-19 test. 

Testing sites are available on campus at student services or at vaccination sites at the college. 

“We will require proof of vaccination on campus by requiring students to submit a picture of their vaccine card to our health services,” said Fierro. 

Students will be given instructions on how to upload proof of vaccination to the site Optimum HQ. 

Cerritos College campus remains empty a week before school starts on August 9, 2021. Students are reminded to wear a mask before entering each building and are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing.
(Vincent Medina)

When students arrive on campus they must check in at a health pre-screening kiosk to ensure they have no symptoms of COVID-19, or have come in contact with anyone who has the virus. There are currently five on campus, with more expected to arrive. 

Students will receive wristbands after their screening, confirming to faculty they are cleared to enter campus. The colors of the wrist band will change each day. 

Fierro recommends students arrive on campus 30 – 45 minutes early to check-in and to ensure they get to class on time. 

The school has also hired COVID-19 liaisons, who will walk the campus to ensure everyone is following guidelines and safety protocols. 

The president also stated that maintenance has purchased equipment to help sanitize each room. 

“They have a sprayer with an ionizer, then they will go through the room and the chemicals sanitize the room for 24 hours,” Fierro said. “It’s biodegradable and safe for people. It’s the latest technology for cleaning supplies and equipment.” 

Air conditioners were also modified to ensure better circulation in the classrooms. 

Signs are placed outside Cerritos College buildings and facilities on August 9, 2021. They remind students to wear a mask and follow health and safety guidelines.
(Vincent Medina)

Students are discouraged from loitering or engaging in group activities with friends on campus after completing their classes or using college facilities. 

“I understand you want to go to college and spend time with your friends that you haven’t seen in a while, but it’s important to take those precautions to stay safe,” said the college president. 

Fierro continues to encourage students and faculty to continue wearing a mask and to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they have not received the shot. 

The president stated the college will continue to follow state and health protocols as the semester begins.