WHEREAS, on March 4, 2020, the Governor of California proclaimed a State of Emergency,
due to the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, to make additional resources available,
formalize emergency actions already underway, and to help the state prepare for the
broader spread of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 19, 2020, the Governor of California issued Executive Order N-33-20, directing all Californians “to stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors,” and
WHEREAS, the continued operation of an education facility is determined to be a critical sector of federal infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, on March 17, 2020, the Governing Board of the West Hills Community College District adopted a Resolution regarding COVID-19 Emergency Plans, declaring an emergency and delegating authority to the Chancellor to take any and all actions necessary to help ensure the continuation of public education and the health and safety of students and employees; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative for the District to prepare for and implement formal measures to address the threat and potential spread of the virus during a limited offering of some essential laboratory course sections to meet and perform limited activities on campus; and
WHEREAS, the District’s Emergency Response Plan provides that the Chancellor or a College President may, under the declaration of a disaster, direct activation of the Emergency Response Plan; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Board Policy 5500, students shall not exhibit open contempt for any safety rules and regulations of the District, the parameters of which have shifted in light of the viral pandemic and which necessitate more specific regulations than are currently adopted by the Board of Trustees in order to safeguard the public health.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, STUART VAN HORN, CHANCELLOR, in accordance with the circumstances described herein and which constitute a declared local emergency, and in accordance with the authority vested in me as Chancellor by, but not limited to, the Education Code, Government Code, and those Board Policies (and related administrative procedures) adopted by the Governing Board of the West Hills Community College District, do hereby issue the following Order to become effective immediately:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1) As a condition of authorized presence on District property for participation in a limited offering of campus activities, including instructional lab activities, faculty, staff, students, and visitors must acknowledge the risks associated with participating in such activities and those inherent risks associated with public exposure as a result of the viral pandemic.
2) Social distancing requirements, including the maintenance of at least six (6) feet from other members of the campus community and frequent hand washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, will be required of all participants (including faculty, staff, students, and visitors) in activities on property controlled by the District.
3) All faculty, staff, students, and visitors participating in activities on property controlled by the District shall be required to wear a cloth face covering in accordance with state and federal recommendations while in contact with other members of the campus community, including inside District buildings and on the grounds of the Coalinga, Lemoore, and Firebaugh campuses.
4) All faculty, staff, students, and visitors participating in activities on property controlled by the District shall be subject to non-invasive medical screening, including the measurement of body temperature for the limited purpose of evaluating the risk that an individual’s presence poses to others in the department/building/classroom/ laboratory as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
5) Any faculty, staff, student, or visitor who refuses or fails to comply with the provisions of this Order and subsequently disrupts the activities of the District may be immediately excluded from the College or District property pursuant to District codes of conduct and including, but not limited to, California Penal Code Section 626.4; and shall be immediately disqualified from participation in campus activities, including instructional lab activities; shall be subject to disciplinary action; and shall be presumed to have engaged in the following misconduct for the purpose of any disciplinary action:
a. Open contempt for any safety rules and regulations of the District. (Board Policy 5500)
b. Disruption or obstruction of teaching
c. Violation of any health, safety, or related regulations, rules or ordinances on District property or at any District function
6) The authority to enforce the terms of this Order is hereby delegated to the Presidents of West Hills College Coalinga, West Hills College Lemoore, and their designees.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that as soon hereafter as possible, this Order be filed with the Board of Trustees, posted conspicuously on the District’s website, and provided electronically to all faculty, staff, and students participating in the limited offering of in-person laboratory activities described herein.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Order shall remain in effect until adopted, rescinded, or modified by the Chancellor.
August 13, 2020 at Fresno County, CA
Stuart Van Horn, Chancellor