After an unexpected pause in classes and on-campus business, CalArts Administration is pleased to announce that the Institute reopens tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 6) at 6 a.m. with classes, rehearsals and extra-curricular activities resuming their normal schedules.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has now confirmed that last week’s gastroenteritis outbreak was caused by the norovirus. At the onset of reported cases, the Health Department advised CalArts to treat the situation as a possible norovirus outbreak; and under the guidelines and consultation provided by Department of Public Health, the Facilities/Operations staff and CalArts’ foodservice purveyor Bon Appetit have taken numerous steps to minimize the chances for a recurrence:
* The Custodial staff and Facilities team have been extremely thorough with their cleaning efforts in the Main Building and outlying buildings and areas. The disinfecting process will be completed today.
* The IT staff is currently onsite to sanitizing all computers in our labs and ensuring that all lab managers have sanitizing wipes and gloves to keep the equipment clean.
In the Dormitories and Recreational Areas
* All the communal areas within Chouinard Hall have been sanitized on an ongoing basis since the beginning of the closure. The Housing Department will continue to provide 24-hour custodial services in Chouinard for the next two weeks.
* In addition, all resident restrooms within Chouinard the Ahmanson halls as well as the CalArts Woodglen units have been cleaned and sanitized.
* In Ahmanson Hall and in the Woodglen units, all hard surface areas within the kitchen/living room areas have been cleaned and sanitized.
* The sauna and weight room in Chouinard Hall have been cleaned/sanitized and will remain closed for at least another week.
* The swimming pool has been continuously cleaned/sanitized and will reopen tomorrow.
* Mom’s Cafe has been cleaned/sanitized and will reopen for student use tomorrow.
On-Campus Food Service
* The Cafe and Tatum have been sanitized from top to bottom, with the Health Department re-issuing an “A” rating after their inspection.
Public Health Update
According to the latest Department of Public Health records, the total number of reported cases of illness is 68, which escalated quickly from the first initial reports of 17 cases on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The last reported case was on Nov. 1, so it seems that the spread of the virus has subsided.
The Public Health Department recommended that CalArts keep up the additional sanitization effort for a period of time after reopening to ensure the spread of the norovirus has been curtailed. To that end, the Institute will implement additional sanitization procedures of our academic buildings, residence halls, and food service areas during the next two weeks.
Since the Department of Public health has confirmed the norovirus outbreak, it is imperative to remind all members of the community about the contagious nature of the virus: It is still highly contagious at least three days after symptoms dissipate. If you have been ill, please avoid direct human contact for at least 72 hours after feeling better. Please give yourself the allotted time for recovery before coming back to campus for rehearsals, classes or work.
Upon returning to campus, students, staff and faculty are asked to disinfect their personal items, lockers and workspaces as a precautionary measure.
The Provost Office has been in contact with Deans and faculty to work on addressing absences and other missed rehearsal, performance, studio and other work time while the campus has been closed. Students are encouraged to talk to their mentors and faculty members first to sort out any artistic or academic issues regarding absences related to the campus closure. If there are remaining academic issues, please contact your respective school’s Dean or Kim Russo (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Bree Howard (email@example.com) in the Provost’s Office.
The CalArts Café and Tatum Lounge will be open tomorrow and resume regular business hours.
Public Health Survey
The Los Angeles County Public Health Department is asking all faculty, staff and students to fill out a survey about on-campus illnesses, whether you have experienced symptoms or not. The information you provide will help them determine the cause of this norovirus outbreak.