Saddleback transfers to “online instruction” in wake of the soft closure announced after accelerating COVID-19 cases in Orange County

Center for Disease Control and Prevention/Courtesy

President Elliot Stern followed up the announcement that stated a soft closure for the campus on Mar. 23 until May 1 in a release on Mar. 18. In the announcement, Stern updated Saddleback’s populous with what the transition will entail and how classes will continue as the semester moves forward.

53 cases are reported as of Mar. 19 in Orange County with no deaths on record. 25 of these are related to travel spread, seven are from person to person, 19 are community acquired and 2 are under investigation still according to the OC Public Health Care agency’s website.

OC Health Care AGency/Courtesy

The transitional process is class dependent for moving towards an online learning system. Classes that could not be moved online, which comprise “less than 5% of all sections” according to the release, are suspended in the meantime.

Stern announced that only staff will be permitted on campus following this closure and, even then, that most staff will continue to work remotely. Support services are moving online as very few people will remain on campus, even employees must provide identification to return.

“The entrance to the campus has been blockaded and employees have to show ID to get in,” said Stern in his update.

Programs like the Adobe Creative Cloud are now being offered free for two months in the face of the virus to help students and allow those to work from home.

The virus outbreak becoming contained could extend beyond the spring semester and head into the summer. California Governor Gavin Newsom believes few schools, if any, will reopen anytime before or during summer break.

“I would plan and assume that it’s unlikely that many of these schools — few, if any — will open before the summer break,” said Newsom during his Tuesday live speech.

Plans will continue to keep Saddleback College quarantined through to the summer semester with over 2000 sections offered online starting the Monday coming back from spring break. Updates regarding Saddleback combatting the coronavirus’ spread can be found at .

“Welcome to Saddleback Online (for the time being),” said Stern. “I’m glad you’re here, wherever you are.”