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SF City College: Defend Health & Safety of CCSF Students, Faculty & Staff HEAT Action

Monday, August 16, 2021
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Event Type:
Press Conference
Location Details:
In front of Conlan Hall, Ocean Campus CCSF

Defend The Health & Safety of CCSF Students, Faculty & Staff HEAT Action

SF City College Ocean Campus Press Conference
8/16/ 12:30 PM

Physical Distancing & Masks Required

HEAT Demands City College of SF Administration Adopt and Share COVID Safety Rules.

With increased concern over the highly infectious COVID delta variant and the August 2 re-imposition of mandatory COVID precautions, HEAT demands that the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) Administration adopt two COVID Safety Rules outlined in the attached .

HEAT, “Higher Education Action Team,” was formed two years ago to keep City College of San Francisco as a Community College and to expand educational opportunities especially for working-class and lower middle class communities and for those interested in life-long learning.

HEAT demands a vaccine mandate for CCSF, as 29 other Community Colleges have done, including Los Angeles and Sacramento. (See attached documentation at On June 15, and again on July 25, CCSF Administrators said they did not intend to impose a student or employee vaccination requirement. On July 27, CCSF’s Interim Chancellor Dianna Gonzales emailed the CCSF Trustees that they would receive an update “including the possibility of a vaccine mandate” on August 26. August 26 is two weeks after classes begin, and two months late for students who could have been fully protected before classes begin. Instead, Administrators have said students and employees will require facial coverings and social distancing. But as HEAT's Madeline Mueller wrote, "Yes, CCSF is implementing mask mandates, and with monitors at every building checking masks, as the Administration has proposed, could they also check vaccination status? A reasonable vaccination mandate should be do-able. There are three Walgreens within a mile of the CCSF main campus where students quickly could get free walk-in COVID vaccinations. Or perhaps the Mayor's newly-announced vaccination team could visit CCSF sites as classes begin?"

HEAT demands safe buildings for CCSF. Details on CCSF's compliance with CDC mandates have not been released to the faculty, students or staff, including ventilation and physical plant issues which have been problematic for years, like painted-shut windows and heavily-used rooms that are frequently too cold or too hot. Few have been able to enter buildings. This lack of transparency is of significant concern since school is starting on August 14th and there is a surge in COVID cases.

HEAT is concerned that the lack of adequate COVID safety rules and clear, open discussion of safety preparations will discourage some potential students from returning to in-person classes this Fall. As HEAT's Rick Baum asked CCSF Trustees, "Would you be comfortable going home to loved ones whose health and well-being might unnecessarily be put at risk because of a failure of CCSF Administration to institute reasonable policies that minimize threats to peoples' health?"

Money should not be an issue since the college received over $50 million in COVID relief funds and has access to $845 million in facilities bond funds.

CCSF has a mask requirement, but current expert opinion is that non-vented N95s are really necessary for safety from the Delta variant. CCSF's building monitors could provide them with COVID funds.

The COVID safety controversy occurs in the context of 10 years of attacks on City College budgets and operations by the State and CCSF’s Trustees and top administration. This year the proposed elimination of over 160 full-time faculty positions (on top of the hundreds of part-time positions already cut) and reductions in many programs were averted only by substantial cuts to faculty salaries and the scheduling of over 25% fewer classes than before the pandemic.

For further information:

Added to the calendar on Fri, Aug 13, 2021 9:52AM

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Documentation for these Recommendations

Recommendation 1 "All people on campus are required to be vaccinated with an exception for any person with a health issue and a doctor’s note advising against being vaccinated. That person will show proof of regular testing for Covid-19:"

Many colleges across the country have instituted a vaccine requirement for all people on campus.

56 California colleges and universities have instituted a vaccine requirement for all people on campus, including all UC campuses, all U.C. campuses, 18 California State University campuses, Stanford, and the San Diego Community College District, according to a nation-wide survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education. (6/28/2021)

The City of San Francisco is requiring all City employees to be COVID-vaccinated within 10 weeks of full FDA approval, which is expected in a few months. (Current FDA approval is on an emergency basis.) Employees must report their vaccination status by July 28. Medical exceptions will be allowed. (SF Chronicle, 6/23/2021)

Recommendations 2 and 3 "People are expected to wear a mask when on campus except when eating or engaged in activities such as sports when doing so is not feasible," and "People are required to wear a mask when they are inside any building. The only exception is when wearing a mask is not feasible. Example: a singing class. In such a situation, proper distancing will be required:"

New CDC guidelines (7/9/2021) continues to recommend that students be spaced at least three feet apart, but with a new caveat: If maintaining such spacing would prevent schools from fully reopening, they could rely on a combination of other strategies like indoor masking, testing and enhanced ventilation. (NY Times. 7/9/2021)

The July 12 California Department of Public Health COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2021-22 School Year requires masks indoors for all students and adults who are sharing spaces with students. (SF Chronicle, 7/13/2021)

The California Health and Human Services Agency will continue to require everyone to wear masks in school settings, regardless of student separation or vaccination status. (LA Times, 7/9/2021) (EdSource, 7/9/2021)

In response to the Delta variant, The Los Angeles County Public Health Department recommends all residents wear masks in indoor public places, regardless of whether they've been vaccinated for COVID-19. (LA Times, 7/9/2021) The Los Angeles County recommendation for universal making was partially motivated by a desire to prevent discrimination against young, Black, Latinx, and essential worker populations. (NY Times, 7/1/2020)

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends vaccinated people continue to wear masks, in light of the Delta variant. (NY Times, 6/29/2020)

Recommendation 4 Based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention standards, the administration must prove that all buildings or rooms being used have proper airflow, ventilation, and are continuously and properly cleaned."

CCSF's Human Resources Department 6/25/2021 letter to employees read, in part "While almost all restrictions are rescinded, for institutes of higher education, SFDPH [SF Department of Public Health] refers to state and federal guidelines regarding any restrictions to being on campus."

CDC's "Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs)" updated June 4, 2021, says even "for IHEs Where Everyone is Fully Vaccinated, IHEs should continue to follow cleaning, disinfecting, and ventilation recommendations, including routine cleaning of high touch surfaces and shared objects as well as maintaining improved ventilation.” The description of “Improved ventilation” includes: "Increase the introduction of outdoor air; Use fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows; Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and provide acceptable indoor air quality for the current occupancy level for each space; Rebalance or adjust HVAC systems to increase total airflow to occupied spaces; Improve central air filtration; Ensure restroom exhaust fans are functional; Generate clean-to-less-clean air movement; In non-residential settings, run the HVAC system at maximum outside airflow for 2 hours before and after the building is occupied."

California Public Health Department's COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Instruction Framework & Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year (6/4/2021) advises under "Ventilation" :

Contact a mechanical engineer, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) design professional, or mechanical contractor in order to evaluate your ventilation system in regard to the ASHRAE guidance.

If opening windows poses a safety or health risk (e.g., by allowing pollen in or exacerbating asthma symptoms) to persons in the facility, consider alternatives. For example, maximize central air filtration for HVAC systems by using filters with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of at least 13.

Consider installing portable high-efficiency air cleaners, upgrading the building's air filters to the highest efficiency possible, and making other modifications to increase the quantity of outside air and ventilation in classrooms, offices and other spaces.

If not able to properly ventilate indoor instructional spaces, outdoor instruction is preferred (use caution in poor air quality conditions).

New York policy From article

To help curb the spread of COVID, all 56,000 New York City public school classrooms will be equipped with two air purifiers by September, according to the education department.

Already, the department has distributed 100,000 air purifiers to schools, and they are working to ensure each classroom has two air purifiers by the time schools fully reopen this fall. The air purifiers have a similar technology to high-efficiency particulate air filters, or HEPA filters, according to education department officials, and the product website states that they capture smaller particles than HEPA filters.

Ventilation has emerged as one of the most critical COVID prevention strategies, and HEPA filters are among the most efficient at capturing human-generated viral particles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Any room that does not meet our stringent safety standards is not used for instructional purposes until it’s repaired,” an education department spokesperson said, adding that ventilation is one part of a comprehensive strategy to keep students, teachers, and staff safe.

In addition, custodians have been given CO2 monitors to measure carbon dioxide levels, an indicator of how much fresh air is circulating. The department has also invested in ventilation system repairs, HVAC upgrades, and the installation of 110,000 MERV-13 filters, but did not immediately disclose how much they spent on these fixes.

… Students are intermixing and moving in hallways,” said Dr. Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University, adding that lunch time as well as activities like sports and choir are of significant concern.

Hassig suggested that a team of three people — including an epidemiologist, an indoor air quality specialist and an education expert — visit each school to ensure the building is safe for occupancy.
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