Saddleback College President announces a “soft close” for the campus until May 1, due to the Coronavirus

Covid-19 virus (Courtesy: US Department of State)

Saddleback College President Elliot Stern announced that the college will implement a “soft close” starting March 23 until May 1. It doesn’t affect regularly scheduled classes for March 12 or 13.

Lecture instruction, tutoring, counseling and student services will also be online starting March 23.

For lab and studio instruction will continue to be held in-person, for the Student Health and some classes LRC will resume March 23. But Stern is asking students to implement “every other” seating to increase social distancing.

Also for any student that doesn’t have computer access at home, Saddleback will provide info on how to check out a laptop or tablet at the college in the near future.

There are six cases of Covid-19 in Orange County. There was a scare that an University of California Irvine student might have obtained the virus, but what later confirmed that the person came back negative.

On March 11, the National Basketball Association announced that their 2019-2020 season will be postponed until further notice, after Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, had tested positive for the corona virus. The Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder are in quarantine for a few weeks, as of yesterday.

Just today, Disneyland parks in Anaheim announced that there will shut down operations “beginning from the morning of March 14 through the end of the month,” a spokesperson for Disneyland Resort said in a statement.

The Disneyland Resort has only closed twice, once after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Also Major League Baseball announced today that Spring Training is cancelled and the regular season will be postponed for two weeks, according to a news release from the MLB.

“Our risk level in Orange County and our campus remains low,” said Stern. “The purpose of our soft close is to limit the population on campus so that we can increase social distancing and limit person-to-person contact that raises the risk of transmission before we develop community-acquired cases in our region.”

The President ask for the faculty, staff and students to check their email regularly and visit for updates.

“I know that many of you are frightened. While we can’t control the Covid-19 pandemic globally, we can certainly reduce your risk and the risk level on campus by taking measured steps like these to lower risk while maintaining learning continuity,” said Stern. “We are better positioned than almost any college to move most of our instruction and student supports online.”