West Hills COVID-19 FAQs for Students

With growing media reports and concerns regarding COVID-19 arising, West Hills Community College District felt it necessary to address our students and answer questions we have received regarding this issue.

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  • Here are resources for those who may be experiencing a mental health crisis or who need help coping with stress. The DSPS office at each campus can also assist you. 

    Crisis Contact Numbers

    • Crisis Text Line. Text “COURAGE” to 741741 for 24/7, confidential support from trained crisis counselors
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
      English 1-800-273-TALK (8255) TTY 1-800-799-4TTY (48889)
    • The Trevor Lifeline
      1-866-488-7386

     

    Kings County

    If you or someone you know is in crisis, Please contact the following numbers:

    • Kings Co. Crisis/ Suicide Prevention
      1-800-655-2553
    • Kings Co. Behavioral Health
      (559) 852-2376
    • Kingsview Counseling Services (Hanford)
      (559) 582-4481

     

    Fresno County

     
     

    Online Resources, Brochures, and Fact Sheets

    Online Support Group

    For a limited time, the DRAW Program will be offering FREE online support groups via video for all students, staff, faculty, and/or community members that may be struggling with mental wellness during COVID-19.  This support group will run every Thursday from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm until further notice.

    Please call/text/email the DRAW therapist, Seng Leang Tang at 559-380-6690 or sunshineleang@gmail.com for more information.

    Draw Warm Line

    For a limited time, the DRAW Program will be offering FREE non-crisis phone/text support to students, staff, faculty, and/or community members that may be struggling with mental wellness during COVID-19.  The DRAW Warm Line can be accessed by calling/texting (559) 697-3460.  The DRAW therapist, Seng Leang Tang will be available to provide phone/text support during the following days/times:

    ·        Mon 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

    ·        Tues 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

    ·        Wed 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

    ·        Thu 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

    You may also call/text anytime to leave a message and Seng Leang will return your call/text as soon as she is able.

     

    Web Links

    Alcohol and Substance Abuse

    Anxiety

    Bipolar Disorder

    Depression

    Grief/Loss

    Stress Management

    Suicide Prevention/Loss

    Trauma

  • West Hills Community College District is dedicated to the safety of our students, staff, faculty and community. Here is a timeline for how we are handling the response to COVID-19

    March 20, 2020 – May 22, 2020  (**Updated March 30, 2020**) 
    In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, West Hills Community College District has adopted a number of changes in order to ensure the safety of our students, staff, faculty and community. 
     
    Effective March 31, 2020, all campus and District Office buildings will be closed. Only essential, critical staff designated and directed by their respective College President or District Executive Administrator will be on campus or at the District Office during the period of remote operations to provide essential, critical sercices. 
     
    Updates regarding the district’s response can be found at https://westhillscollege.com/covid19/
     
    This timeline is applicable until further notice and is subject to change as the situation evolves.
     
    March 20
    • All classes will remain in session. Most have transitioned fully online. Students with classes or labs that are not possible via online instruction should contact their instructors for more information.
    • At 8:00 a.m., the district suspended campus and district operations and transitioned to remote operations in complicance of Governor Newsom's executive order. Altered instruction will continue until Friday, April 24, 2020.
    • Students can access financial aid advising, schedule and class planning services and talk to staff online via Zoom, via phone or in-person.
    • All events scheduled to be held at any West Hills site are canceled until further notice.
     
    March 23 to March 27
    • All classes are in session, with the majority offered fully online. Students with classes or labs not available online will attend in-person in limited numbers. Students should check with their instructor for additional information.
    • Essential, critical services staff on-site working staggered shifts at all sites.
    • Most face-to-face campus operations provided via remote operations.
    • Student resources including support programs, athletics, counseling, and financial aid advising will be available online via Zoom, in-person on campus or via phone.
    • All events scheduled to be held at any West Hills site are canceled until further notice.
     
    March 30, 2020 
    • April 1- Open Registration for Summer 2020, Winter 2020 and Spring 2021 Classes Begins
    • Classes will continue to be in session, with most held fully online. Students with classes not available online should check with their instructor for more information.
    • Essential, critical services staff on-site working staggered shifts at all sites.
    • Most face-to-face campus operations provided via remote operations.
    • Essential student resources will continue to be available in-person or online via Zoom or via phone.
    • No events will be held at any college sites.
     
    March 31, 2020 – May 22, 2020
    • All campus and district office buildings closed.
    • Classes will be in session (except during spring break week), with most held fully online. Students with classes not available online should check with their instructor for more information.
    • Only essential, critical staff designated and directed by their respective College President or District Executive Administrator will be on campus or at the District Office working staggered shifts during the period of remote operations to provide essential, critical services.
    • Student resources (see below) will be available online via Zoom or via phone or by appointment in special circumstances.
    • All events scheduled to be held at any West Hills site are cancelled until further notice.
    • All child development centers are closed until further notice.
     
    April 6 to April 10
    • All campuses and the District Office will be closed and classes will not be in session for Spring Break. 
     
    April 13 to May 21
    • All classes will resume. Classes will be in session, most fully online. Students who have labs or lectures not available online will attend in-person in limited numbers.
    • Most face-to-face campus operations provided via remote operations.
    • Students will be able to access resources remotely via Zoom, via the phone or in-person. Students should check with their instructor for additional information.
    • No events will be held at any college sites.
     
    May 21 and 22, 2020
    • Commencement ceremonies are subject to change, postponement, and/or cancellation.
    • Further information will be provided by mid-April.
     
    May 26 – July 31, 2020 (Summer Session)
    • Summer session begins May 26, 2020.
    • All classes to be delivered through virtual, online delivery modalities.
    • Student resources will be available online via Zoom or via phone or by appointment in special circumstances. Please note: Services for students, including in-person appointments, building access, and other services, may be available should public health conditions permit.
     
    Services Available Via Zoom
    West Hills College Lemoore
    https://www.westhillscollege.com/lemoore/resources/virtual-resources/
    • General Questions: Golden Eagle Support
    • Counseling and Advising Appointments
    • Athletics
    • CalWORKs, DSPS and EOPS/CARE
    • Military Services
    • Admissions and Records
    • Academic Support Services
    • Student engagement
    • WIN Center
     
    West Hills College Coalinga/North District Center Firebaugh
    https://www.westhillscollege.com/coalinga/resources/virtual-resources/
    • Admissions and Records (Petitions, Transcripts, Registration, Withdrawals)
    • Athletics
    • Counseling and Advising Appointments
    • DSPS
    • EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs
    • Financial Aid
    • Library/Learning Resources
    • MESA
    • HEP/CAMP
    • Residential Halls and Student Life
    • Dean and Vice President of Student Services
     
  • West Hills takes the health and well-being of our students, staff, faculty and community seriously. As such, all but essential in-person classes are being offered fully online until May 22 for the Spring semester. 

    For courses that may not easily convert to an online format, such as labs, activity classes, or clinical site courses, the colleges have worked with our faculty leadership to determine potential alternative options.

    Most staff and faculty are working remotely. You can view a timeline of our response and plans between now and May 22 here. 

    The shared goal for everyone at West Hills is to minimize the impact to our students, staff, and our community.

  • You can talk to counselor, get financial aid help and much more via our virtual student resources: 

    Coalinga./North District Center, Firebaugh

    Lemoore

    Services Available Via Zoom
    West Hills College Lemoore
    https://www.westhillscollege.com/lemoore/resources/virtual-resources/
    • General Questions: Golden Eagle Support
    • Counseling and Advising Appointments
    • Athletics
    • CalWORKs, DSPS and EOPS/CARE
    • Military Services
    • Admissions and Records
    • Academic Support Services
    • Student engagement
    • WIN Center
     
    West Hills College Coalinga/North District Center Firebaugh
    https://www.westhillscollege.com/coalinga/resources/virtual-resources/
    • Admissions and Records (Petitions, Transcripts, Registration, Withdrawals)
    • Athletics
    • Counseling and Advising Appointments
    • DSPS
    • EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs
    • Financial Aid
    • Library/Learning Resources
    • MESA
    • HEP/CAMP
    • Residential Halls and Student Life
    • Dean and Vice President of Student Services
     
     
  • At this time, our classes remain in session, mostly online. Students transitioned to online learning on March 18 and will continue through May 22. All campus and district offices are closed as of March 31. 

  • Yes. The majority of our classes, barring those that don't lend themselves to online instruction (hands-on labs, technical classes) went online only as of March 18. Classes will remain in an online format until April 24. This situation is subject o change. Students will be updated before April 24. 

  • Students are encouraged to use virtual resources as all college and district offices closed as of March 31

    Services Available Via Zoom
    West Hills College Lemoore
    https://www.westhillscollege.com/lemoore/resources/virtual-resources/
    • General Questions: Golden Eagle Support
    • Counseling and Advising Appointments
    • Athletics
    • CalWORKs, DSPS and EOPS/CARE
    • Military Services
    • Admissions and Records
    • Academic Support Services
    • Student engagement
    • WIN Center
     
    West Hills College Coalinga/North District Center Firebaugh
    https://www.westhillscollege.com/coalinga/resources/virtual-resources/
    • Admissions and Records (Petitions, Transcripts, Registration, Withdrawals)
    • Athletics
    • Counseling and Advising Appointments
    • DSPS
    • EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs
    • Financial Aid
    • Library/Learning Resources
    • MESA
    • HEP/CAMP
    • Residential Halls and Student Life
    • Dean and Vice President of Student Services
     
     
  • All of our child development centers are closed until further notice as of March 31

  • Great question!  We know that the COVID-19 is gaining a lot of attention on social media and the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.  It is important that you do stay informed. We encourage you to update your emergency contact information in our system and provide your cell phone number.  This will ensure you receive emergency notifications via text message. For more information on how to update your emergency contact information click here.

    Below are a few reliable sites for you to stay informed, Remember, knowledge is power!

    West Hills Community College Distirct COVID-19 site: https://westhillscollege.com/covid19/

    World Health Organization https://www.who.int/

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/

    California Department of Public Health   https://www.cdph.ca.gov/

  • There is no plan to cancel or postpone graduation ceremonies at this time. Each event will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis based on directives received by the state or surrounding counties.

  • There is no heightened risk for pregnant people at this time. As per the CDC, “pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes which might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. Pregnant women also might be at risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality compared to the general population as observed in cases of other related coronavirus infections [including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)] and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, during pregnancy.”

    People who are pregnant should take usual preventative measure like washing hands and avoiding those who are ill.  They should consult with their health care professionals as to what is the best course of action for their particular situation. 

  • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

  • If you are showing symptoms do not come to campus.  The CDC strongly recommends, “calling your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

  • We understand that this may be a scary time for some of our students and staff.

    The Center for Diseases and county health officials are continuously assessing the situation and routinely providing updates and the college is also monitoring student and staff absenteeism. 

    The CDC recommends staying home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Therefore, we strongly suggest that you stay home if you are not feeling well.  Older adults and people with underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk and may have compromised immune systems. If you are worried about COVID-19, you should begin rigorously washing your hands and using hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your face, try to clean and disinfect common areas, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoid close contact with others.

  • Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

     

    Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

  • It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months.  At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer.  There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

     

    Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

  • Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

    It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.

    Learn what is known about the spread of COVID-19.

     

    Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

  • Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.

     

    Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

  • The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

    How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

    Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:

    • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
    • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
    • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

    Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.

     

    Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

  • This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

    The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

    Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.

     

    Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.

     

    Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

  • On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

    There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practicefor naming of new human infectious diseases.

     

    Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

  • A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

    A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

     

    Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

  • General On Campus WiFi - To learn how to access WiFi on campus visit the Access Guide   

    • Campus Parking Lots – 
      whcl-campusdirectory.pngOff-Campus Access to Wi-Fi
  • Low-Cost and Free Internet Access

    Several companies throughout California are offering free or low-cost internet access to students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    AT&T AT&T is providing free access to its WiFi hotspots across the country.
    California Connects California Community Colleges students are eligible for this eligible for this mobile hotspot servicepowered by Sprint, which offers nationwide 4G LTE connectivity and allows users to connect up to 10 WiFi enabled devices for up to 10 hours on a single charge for only $19.99 a month.
    Charter Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi accessfor 60 days to households college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Additionally, all WiFi hotspots are now free of charge.
    Comcast Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, Comcast is offering two months of free to Internet service through the Internet Essentials program. This offer is available to new and existing customers. Additionally, Xfinity WiFi hotspots are now available free of charge to the public.
    T-Mobile T-Mobile is providing unlimited data to all current customers who have plans with data for the next 60 days. It will also provide additional data to mobile hotspot users.
    Sprint Sprint is providing unlimited data for 60 days to customers with metered data plans and giving 20 GB of free mobile hotspot to customers with hotspot-capable devices.
    Verizon Verizon is waiving late fees and suspending service termination for customers negatively impacted by the global crisis.

     

    Additional Details

    AT&T 

    For the next 60 days, AT&T will not terminate service for any wireless, home phone, or broadband residential or small business customer due to inability to pay. 

    They will also do the following: 

    • Waive late payment fees. 
    • Keep their public Wi-Fi hotspots open for anyone who needs them. 
    • The service will also be offering unlimited internet data and offer internet access for limited income households at $10 a month through the Access from AT&T program. 

    Read More

     

    Comcast Xfinity 

    • The company is opening their Xfinity WiFi network for free along with providing unlimited data. To help people stay connected with school and work, Comcast is opening up their Xfinity WiFi network for everyone, as well as: Hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free, including non-subscribers. You can find a map of hot spots view hotspot map. Just use “xfinitywifi” network name and launch a browser. 
    • Data plans will be paused for 60 days, which will give all customers unlimited data for no additional charge. 
    • No late disconnects or late fees for those who contact the company about not being able to pay their bill. 
    • Internet Essentials, their broadband adoption program, is free to new customers 

    Read More

     

    Verizon Free WiFi 

    Verizon also took the pledge and is offering similar services: 

    • The company will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus. 
    • Waiving late fees for those impacted by COVID-19 
    • Tripling data allowance for Verizon Innovative Learning schools 

    Read More

     

    Charter Spectrum Free WiFi 

    Charter is offering similar services during the coronavirus pandemic. As of March 16, the company will offer: 

    • Free spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who don't have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. 
    • Open Wi-Fi hotspots 

    Read More

     

    Sprint 

    Sprint has joined the Keep Americans Connected Pledge and is opening up their network to their customers and: 

    • Won’t terminate service if customers are unable to pay due to coronavirus issues 
    • Waive late fees caused by economic disturbances related to the coronavirus pandemic 
    • By 3/17: Customers with international long-distance plans will get complimentary international calling rates from the U.S. to countries defined by the CDC as Level 3. 
    • By 3/19: Customers with metered data plans will have unlimited data per month for 60 days at no extra cost 
    • Customers will get an extra 20GB of mobile hotspot data per month for 60 days. 
    • Coming soon: Customers with mobile hotspot-capable handsets without a hotspot will get 20GB per month for 60 days at no extra cost. 

    Read More

     

    T-Mobile 

    The wireless provider already has a majority of customers with unlimited talk, text, and data, but they’re doubling down on their effort to keep their customers connected. 

    • All current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have data plans will have unlimited smartphone data, excluding roaming. 
    • T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers will get an additional 20GB of mobile hotspots/tethering service for the next 60 days. The company says this feature will be coming soon. 
    • Work with Lifeline partners to get customers extra free data up to 5GB per month over the next two months 
    • Increase data allowance for free to schools and students for the next 60 days, which means at least 20GB of data per month for each participant 

    Read More 

     

    California Connects Mobile Internet 

    Inspired by the original digital literacy program, California Connects Mobile Internet aims to close the broadband gap in California and nationwide. California Connects includes a mobile hotspot that lets you stay connected to the internet in school, at home, and on the go. The new mobile hotspot service, powered by Sprint, offers nationwide 4G LTE connectivity and allows users to connect up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices for up to 10 hours on a single charge, no contract required. 

    Users pay $19.99 for every month thereafter with no throttling, suspension, or overage charges.* 

    https://foundationccc.org/What-We-Do/Student-Success/California-Connects 

    • Student Device Guide 
    • Affordable Devices through College Buys - powered by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, offers discounts of up to 85 percent on a wide range of educational products—from industry-leading software and technology to high quality office and classroom furniture.