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Community Health Announcements

April 13, 2021 at 2:25pm

ALERT: April 13th, 2021: Los Angeles County Pauses Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Following FDA and CDC Recommendation. Read the full statement here. We are following any further developments closely and will update the community as needed. 

Starting April 15th, all adults aged 16 years and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine in Los Angeles County. The COVID-19 vaccine is FREE for everyone once eligible. Vaccines can be scheduled at the following sites: L.A. County DPH COVID Vaccine and the state site MyTurn. 

The SHWC is working very closely with the LACDPH to secure an allotment of COVID-19 vaccines to distribute to our Otis College community. We will keep you all informed as to when the COVID-19 vaccine will be available on campus. 

Maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance, wearing face covering when in public and washing your hands frequently continue to be hallmark behaviors along with getting the vaccine to help control the spread of COVID-19. 

Otis College will continue to follow all direction and guidance from the California Governor’s office and the LA County Department of Public Health. 

Please be well and stay safe.

The SHWC Team 

April 6, 2021 at 2:55pm

NEW! ORANGE TIER STATUS: As of yesterday, Monday, April 5, Los Angeles County has been declared to be in the Orange Tier on the risk of community disease transmission for COVID-19, which is still considered “Moderate,” but is a move out of the Red, “Substantial” tier. This change means more occupancy and capacity for many business sectors including restaurants, stores, etc. More information about what the Orange Tier means and allows in Los Angeles County can be found here and here (enter Los Angeles in the County field). 

The easing of restrictions by the county has created the opportunity for us to provide expanded access to the campus for students and faculty in the final stretch of the semester. The available capacity of all studios, labs, shops, the Ben Maltz Workplace, the 5th floor of the parking garage, the North Building, 33 circular green spaces at the Commons and Bobrow Green, and the library has been increased by more than double the capacity we’ve been running all year. Safety protocols remain in place: masks at all times, 6-feet social distancing at all times, modifications to HVAC to meet the air quality needs, and sanitizing workspaces and equipment before and after use. More information about these new changes can be found in the Otis Community email that was sent last Thursday, March 18, 2021 or by visiting Otis Forward. 

VACCINES: COVID-19 vaccines continue to be offered to different eligible groups in phases based on Federal, State, and L.A. County Department of Public Health vaccine eligibility guidance and are FREE for everyone once eligible. On April 15, vaccine distribution will open up to all adults age 16 and older. Vaccines can be scheduled at the following sites: L.A. County DPH COVID Vaccine and the state site MyTurn. 

Otis College will continue to follow all direction and guidance from the California Governor’s office and the LA County Department of Public Health. 

Please be well and stay safe.

The SHWC Team 

March 16, 2021 at 2:04pm

Over the weekend, Los Angeles County had met the threshold to be moved down to a less restrictive tier. LA County is now concerned in the Red tier. Red tier is considered that there continues to be substantial spread of COVID but not widespread as was the case in the purple tier. Moving to this less restrictive tier, means that more businesses and areas can be open. For example, LA County is now open for indoor dining at 25% capacity; movie theaters and amusement parks will also be opened at a reduced capacity. This change is the first step for LA County moving back to a more “normal” state. This change in tiers for LA County does change the landscape for education at Otis College; please stay tuned for further messaging regarding this change.  More information about what the Red Tier means and allows in Los Angeles County can be found here and here

COVID-19 vaccines continue to be offered to different eligible groups in phases based on Federal, State, and L.A. County Department of Public Health vaccine eligibility guidance and are FREE for everyone once eligible. As of March 1st, those who work in the Education sectors are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.

This Friday, March 19th, LACDPH has reserved an allocation of COVID-19 vaccination doses for the education sector. The county-run Mega-PODS will have vaccine appointments for Institutes of Higher Education staff and faculty this Friday. Appointments will be released this morning, Monday, March 15. Vaccines can be scheduled at the following sites: L.A. County DPH COVID Vaccine and the state site MyTurn. Note, there is no access code needed to sign up for your appointment.

Also Beginning March 15th, vaccinations will be made available to people 16-64 years old who have certain health conditions and disabilities that put them at higher risk for serious COVID-19 illness, or who live and/or work in congregate living spaces. To see if you qualify, please visit this link.

Otis College will continue to follow all direction and guidance from the California Governor’s office and the LA County Department of Public Health.

Please be well and stay safe.

The SHWC Team

March 8, 2021 at 11:58am

COVID-19 UPDATE ON VACCINATIONS: Starting March 1st, more vaccine eligibility sectors were opened in Los Angeles to anyone in Tier 1B, including those working in the Education and Childcare sectors. This includes all those staff and faculty who work at Otis College. Please review the Los Angeles County Vaccinations for Education & Childcare information guide regarding eligibility and required documentation for education sector employees. Vaccines can be scheduled at the following sites: L.A. County DPH COVID Vaccine and the state site MyTurn. Review and complete the requirements outlined via the registration portal. You may also be able to schedule an appointment through your healthcare provider.

There are now three COVID-19 vaccines available, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. For more specific information regarding the three vaccines, check out VaxFacts updates and the L.A. County Public Health Coronavirus FAQ-Vaccine guide. The CDC released guidance today, March 8th as more individuals are vaccinated on what precautions need to still occur to keep individuals and others safe. After one has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more about the vaccines and its efficacy.

LA County has done amazing regarding lowering the positive cases and hospitalization rate within the county. Our current 7-day testing positivity rate is 2.5% which is a drastic change from where we were in the middle of January. If LA county continues to improve our numbers, we could see the county going from the purple, most restrictive tier, to the red tier, which LA County has never been in.

Otis College will continue to follow all direction and guidance from the California Governor’s office and the LA County Department of Public Health.

Please be well and stay safe.

The SHWC Team

January 26, 2021 at 4:45pm

Per a released statement by the LA County Department of Public Health, “Yesterday, the Governor rescinded the State’s Regional Stay At Home Order.  As a result, the County of Los Angeles Health Officer reinstated the November 25, County Health Officer Order, which is now on Public Health’s website.  That County Order is effective now, and businesses that reopen must fully implement all applicable protocols and guidance. This Order is issued to account for the recent decline of COVID-29 cases, hospitalizations, and testing positive rates. 

Although some improvements have been seen, the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 remains high. The daily reports of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and premature deaths continue to be high and widespread across the County, and the County’s Health Officer is evaluating the current COVID-19 trends and hospital capacity issues.  The County’s Health Officer will issue a revised Health Officer Order and accompanying Public Health protocols on Friday, January 29, 2021.  This revised County Order will mainly align with the State’s sector requirements for counties within the Purple Tier, but the order will contain specific modifications that may be more restrictive.”

Institutions of higher education continue to not be able to resume all in-person academic instruction, at this time. 

This and other pertinent information can be found on the LA County Department of Public Health COVID-19 website.   

Otis College will continue to follow all direction and guidance from the California Governor’s office and the LA County Department of Public Health. 

Please be well and stay safe.

The SHWC Team 

January 12, 2020 at 3:32pm

Happy New Year and Welcome back!

We hope that everyone has been able to rest and recharge after a much needed winter break. We are all looking forward to the upcoming Spring Semester. 
COVID-19 is still a very serious global public health concern. A lot of the nation has seen a resurgence of cases and California has not been spared.  As of today, January 12, 2021, there have been over 2.7 million cases of COVID-19 in the state of California. Los Angeles County has seen approximately 34% of those cases, more than any other county in the state. Currently, there is a 20% test positivity rate in LA County for the last 7 days (http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/data/index.htm ). This means that for every 5 people who test, 1 of those 5 are positive. These are the highest rates we have seen in LA County since the start of the pandemic. Because of these staggering figures, the Governor of California has extended the Regional Stay at Home order for the Southern California region indefinitely.

However, it is not all bad news. Starting at the end of 2020, two COVID-19 vaccines have been FDA approved and widely distributed to healthcare workers throughout the US. “Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be safe and very effective in large studies that involved a diverse mix of people. These vaccines prevented 95% of cases of COVID-19 disease. While the vaccine stops people from getting sick, however, it is not yet clear if it stops them from spreading COVID-19 to other people. It is also not yet known how long they will be immune. So, everyone must still wear a face covering, physically distance, and not gather”, per the LACDPH page on COVID-19 vaccine safety. The COVID-19 vaccine will be available free for everyone and will be distributed to different groups in phases. It is likely to be available to the general public in Spring/Summer 2021. LA County is currently working through Phase 1A. Per the LACDPH site, it is estimated that vaccination will begin for those in Phase 1B in early February. For more information regarding COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the different phases in LA County, please visit this site. 
Otis College will continue to follow all direction and guidance from the California Governor’s office and the LA County Department of Public Health. 
Please be well and stay safe.

The SHWC Team 

December 8, 2020 at 4:41pm

With the Thanksgiving holiday now past and the winteb break fast approaching,  we wanted to notify our entire Otis College community of important information to keep you safe and healthy and updated on the stats of COVID-19 in our area. 
As of 12/6/2020, the Governor of California imposed a Regional Stay at Home order for the Southern California region. The Southern California region includes Los Angeles County, Orange County and other counties in the area. The reason for the Regional Stay at Home Order was because of the increased amount of COVID-19 cases in our region and the strain that it is taking on our healthcare system especially the number of available ICU beds.

The new Regional Stay at Home Order states that the following business sectors must close for operation: 

Indoor and Outdoor Playgrounds
Indoor Recreational Facilities
Hair Salons and Barbershops
Personal Care Services
Museums, Zoos, and Aquariums
Movie Theaters
Wineries
Bars, Breweries and Distilleries
Family Entertainment Centers
Cardrooms and Satellite Wagering
Live Audience Sports
Amusement Parks

The following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100 percent masking and physical distancing:

Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20 percent capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. 
Shopping Centers: Allow indoor operation at 20 percent capacity with entrance metering. 
Restaurants: Allow only for take-out or pick-up.
Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
Places of Worship: Allow outdoor services only.

The Stay at Home Order will be in effect for the next 21 days (until December 27, 2020). After which time, the situation will be reassessed. 
Otis College will continue to follow all direction and guidance from the California Governor’s office and the LA County Department of Public Health. 
Let us continue to take measures to keep ourselves and those around us safe and let’s get those numbers down! 

Please be well and stay safe.

The SHWC Team 

November 24, 2020 at 9:48am

Traveler Form
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Los Angeles is requiring all travelers entering the city from another state or country to fill out this online form, acknowledging that they have read and understood California’s travel advisory. Travelers over the age of 16 must submit this form online prior to or upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport, Van Nuys Airport, or Union Station. Failure to submit the form is punishable by a fine of up to $500. For more information and to fill out the form please visit, https://travel.lacity.org/ 

October 26, 2020 at 10:52am

As of October 23, 2020, Los Angeles County remains in the “purple” Tier 1 category. The “purple” Tier 1 category means that there is widespread risk of contracting COVID-19 within the community. With Los Angeles County in the Tier 1 or “purple” category, this means that at this time institutions of higher education, like Otis College, are “closed for indoor lectures and student gatherings. Some courses conducted in certain indoor settings, like labs and studio arts, may be open.” https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/ 

As Halloween approaches, LA County has issued the following guidelines. Currently, LA County is not permitting any Halloween themed carnivals, festivals, haunted houses or live entertainment. Trick or treating is also not recommended; however, not all Halloween fun is cancelled, though. You can still carve pumpkins, have an online costume contest, see a halloween movie at a drive in or hold an outdoor Halloween treat hunt with your roommates. Luckily, the Otis College Campus Activities Board has scheduled a whole week of fun for all our students. 

Remember that with any Halloween activity you do, please remember to always wear your mask (a costume mask does not count as a substitute for a cloth mask), maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, avoid large crowds and wash your hands frequently. Also, if you feel sick, do not plan on being around others and please call the SHWC immediately. 
 
Please be well, stay safe, and enjoy your Halloween!

The SHWC Team 

September 8, 2020 at 4:27pm

Los Angeles County has seen a steady decline in cases over the last few weeks. Our current test positivity rate is 4.4%, which, in previous weeks, was much higher. The State of California has also seen a decline in cases and test positivity rate. Both of these facts show great progress in helping to control the spread of the COVID-19 disease. The State of California has released a new system of re-opening the state based on the risk of spread within the specific county. Currently, Los Angeles County is listed in the “purple” Tier 1 category. The “purple” Tier 1 category means that there is widespread risk of contractign COVID-19 within the community. With Los Angeles County in the Tier 1 or “purple” category, this means that at this time institutions of higher education, like Otis College, are “closed for indoor lectures and student gatherings. Some courses conducted in certain indoor settings, like labs and studio arts, may be open.” https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/ 

When Los Angeles County’s tier status changes and new guidelines regarding institutions of higher education are released, we will update the Otis College community. 

As a reminder, the Student Health and Wellness Center remains available to students for both medical and mental health support.
Call us at 310-846-5738 to connect with our mental health and medical providers.

For more information regarding COVID-19, you can utilize the following sources: 
• World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
• Los Angeles County Health Department: http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/  

Please be well! 

The SHWC Team