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Campus Health Update - Nov. 2013

Nov. 8, 2013 // 6 pm

A Call For Continued Vigilance Against the Spread of Norovirus

Now that the CalArts community has enjoyed its first few days back on campus after the outbreak of norovirus, it's important to remember that we must do everything we can to protect against and prevent recurrence of the virus.

Public Health Update

The norovirus is highly contagious and mutable—it can adapt and change, causing subsequent rounds of illness.

While the spread of the virus has subsided in the past few days, of the two potential cases we learned of yesterday, it now appears that at least one was not norovirus. However, the virus remains highly contagious at least three days after symptoms dissipate. So please avoid direct human contact for at least 72 hours after feeling better. Please take the appropriate amount of time for recovery before returning to campus for rehearsals, classes or work.

We need everyone’s help in protecting the community against this virus. Please remember that proper hand washing is the first line of defense against norovirus. See additional cleaning tips from the Cleveland Clinic.

The Public Health Department has also recommended that CalArts keep up the additional sanitization effort for a period of time after reopening to help ensure that the spread of the norovirus has been curtailed. The Institute has implemented extra sanitization procedures of our academic buildings, residence halls and food service areas during the next two weeks.

While CalArts has re-opened for classes, rehearsals and other business, the CalArts community is advised against organizing large gatherings (such as parties, receptions) at which the active virus could spread. The larger the number of people together in a single location, the greater the opportunity for contact with and transference of norovirus.

Halloween Party Refunds

CalArts Administration would again like to thank the Student Council and the 2013 Halloween Party production team for their hard work in what had promised to be an outstanding “Electro-circus.” The decision to cancel the Halloween party was made in conjunction and consultation with the Student Council, and we’re thankful that the entire student community was aligned with the difficult decision to cancel. The health and safety of the whole community was and continues to be our foremost priority.

Students who bought tickets to the Halloween party may bring them, along with their student IDs, to the cashier’s window in the Accounting Office for a full refund.

Academic Update

The Provost’s 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 (krusso@calarts.edu) or Bree Howard (bhoward@calarts.edu) in the Provost’s Office.

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.

Take Survey

Norovirus Links

A printed version of key facts about the norovirus will be made available around campus and in student, faculty and staff mailboxes. You can also download it by going to http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/downloads/keyfacts.pdf

Nov. 7, 2013 // 3:15 pm

A Call for Prevention
and Precaution

The CalArts community enjoyed its first day back on campus yesterday after an unprecedented cancellation of classes, events and business due to a norovirus outbreak. While we are quickly regaining a sense of normalcy on campus, the Institute’s administration would like to remind students, faculty and staff that CalArts isn’t quite out of the woods yet—the need to be vigilant remains and everyone should take preventative measures to help ensure another outbreak does not occur.

Public Health Update

The norovirus is highly contagious and mutable, meaning that it can adapt and change, causing subsequent rounds of illness.

In recent days, it seems that the spread of the virus had subsided; however, we learned this morning of two additional potential norovirus cases. The virus remains highly contagious at least three days after symptoms dissipate. So 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. 

We need everyone’s help in protecting the community against this virus. As a friendly reminder, just remember that proper hand washing is the first line of defense against norovirus. See additional cleaning tips from the Cleveland Clinic.

The Public Health Department has also recommended that CalArts keep up the additional sanitization effort for a period of time after reopening to help ensure that the spread of the norovirus has been curtailed. The Institute has implemented extra sanitization procedures of our academic buildings, residence halls and food service areas during the next two weeks.

While CalArts opened for classes, rehearsals and business on Wednesday, the CalArts community is advised against organizing large gatherings (such as parties, receptions) just yet. The larger the number of people together in a single location greatly increases chances for contact and transference of norovirus.

Halloween Party Refunds

CalArts Administration would like to thank the Student Council and the 2013 Halloween Party production team for their hard work in what had promised to be an outstanding “Electro-circus.” The decision to cancel the Halloween party was made in conjunction and consultation with the Student Council, and we’re thankful that the entire student community was understanding of the decision—which was not an easy one to make. But under the circumstances, the health and safety of the whole community was the first consideration. 

For those students who bought tickets to the Halloween party, please bring the ticket and your student ID to the cashier’s window in the Accounting Office for a full refund.

Academic Update

The Provost’s 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 (krusso@calarts.edu) or Bree Howard (bhoward@calarts.edu) in the Provost’s Office.

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.

Take Survey

Norovirus Links

A printed version of key facts about the norovirus have been made available around campus and in student, faculty and staff mailboxes. You can also download it by going to http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/downloads/keyfacts.pdf

Nov. 6, 2013 // 3 pm

Campus Update: Welcome Back!

Welcome back, everyone! After an unprecedented closure, we hope that a sense of normalcy returns quickly for students, faculty and staff so we can all get back to the tasks at hand: teaching, learning and creating art.

While usually CalArts is all about collaborating and sharing, this is certainly not the case with the norovirus. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health would like to remind the CalArts community to remain vigilant against the highly contagious virus. It’s mutable, which means it can change and then recur, so prevention—especially through hand washing—is key. (Several additional hand sanitizer stations have been added around campus as well.)

Facilities Update

Even before the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed last week’s outbreak was norovirus, CalArts was advised 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 sanitation and cleaning of all CalArts’ buildings is now complete. Custodial crews cleaned every office, classroom, studio spaces, rehearsal spaces and other common areas thoroughly. All hard surfaces were cleaned and sanitized in each individual office, including desktops, shelving, tables, keyboards, computer mice and phones.

The teams did not clean personal items and belongings, so we’re asking all staff, faculty and students to sanitize their belongings, from musical instruments to art tools.

On-campus residents are asked to do a rigorous cleaning of their rooms, clothing and bedding as a preventative measure. The Housing Office has gloves and masks available for dormitory residents.

Public Health Update

The total number of suspected norovirus cases reported to Calarts 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.

Cleaning Tips

Noroviruses are as easy to spread and hard to kill as they are unpleasant to experience. How can you avoid going through it again? Start with these tips from the Cleveland Clinic to clean up after a bout of norovirus.

  1. Use bleach and water
    You can catch norovirus from contaminated surfaces, and many disinfectants won’t kill it. Use bleach water. The CDC recommends a solution that contains anywhere from 5 to 25 tablespoons of household bleach per gallon of water. Stainless steel and similar surfaces need less, while more porous surfaces need more. If you don’t want to mix your own, shop for bleach-based cleaners.
  2. Clean safely
    Use rubber gloves or disposable latex or vinyl gloves. This will help protect you not only from the bleach but also from the norovirus itself, which can hang around on surfaces for several days. Wear a protective mask for safety — and be sure to air out the room when you finish cleaning.
  3. Clean everything you touch
    That includes the toilet, the floor, all counters, doorknobs, light switches, telephones, remote controls — you name it. For the best results, let the bleach water or cleaner sit on the surface for about 10 minutes before wiping it clean with paper towels or other disposable products. In addition, you may want to steam clean upholstered furniture.
  4. Separate your laundry
    Use gloves to handle soiled sheets, towels and clothes, and keep them separate from other laundry if possible. Wash everything in very hot water. For whites or light clothing you aren’t concerned about lightening, add a little bleach. Wash the items with detergent at the maximum available cycle length, then machine dry them.
  5. Wash your hands — then wash them again
    Washing your hands is a good practice both during and after any illness, particularly a hearty one like norovirus. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly after cleaning, too, so all your hard work doesn’t go to waste.

Dining Update

The CalArts Café and Tatum Lounge have resumed regular business hours.

What follows is a letter from CalArts’ foodservice provider Bon Appétit to students, faculty, staff and visitors.

______________________________

Dear CalArts community:

We care deeply about your well-being and have been extremely worried about the dozens of members of the CalArts community who’ve been sick. The entire Bon Appétit staff has missed coming to work, missed the interaction with the students and everyone else. It has been difficult for so many of us who care about your health and happiness.

It’s been a tough week. From the start, we have worked closely with CalArts and the LA County Department of Health staff to investigate the origin of this illness. The health department has issued a statement that it believes the culprit to be norovirus, aka severe stomach flu, which is viral in origin, not bacterial (as are salmonella and E. coli). The health department found no cause for concern with our operations. Any information to the contrary you may have seen on social media is false.

The health department’s medical analysis is complete and they have confirmed that the source of the illness was in fact norovirus. The health department reported that we may never learn the source of the norovirus on the CalArts campus.

The health of the CalArts community is absolutely our top priority. We have worked closely with the health department to sterilize all kitchen and café equipment and surfaces just as representatives from CalArts are sterilizing all facilities on campus that could be harboring the virus. All food products have been inspected and all that was previously prepared or open has been disposed of. We've held our staff to very stringent health policies to ensure that no symptomatic employees come to work.

This has been a tremendously difficult time for all students and staff. We will work as hard as we possibly can to get things back to normal. We are really looking forward to cooking you some nourishing, restorative food and hearing how you’ve all been!

Lani Bidwell, General Manager
lalania.bidwell@cafebonappetit.com

Academic Update

The Provost’s 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 (krusso@calarts.edu) or Bree Howard (bhoward@calarts.edu) in the Provost’s Office.

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.

Take Survey

About Norovirus

The norovirus is a group of highly contagious viruses that affect the stomach and intestines and can lead to gastroenteritis. It can be passed by coming in contact with an infected person, touching contaminated surfaces or consuming contaminated food or drink. Symptoms include stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea and generally last 1–3 days. The virus has been prevalent in California with an outbreak recently reported at Stanford University. For more information about the norovirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, go to http://www.cdc.gov/features/norovirus/.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or not feeling well for any reason, we urge you to seek out medical attention from your healthcare professional. For those on campus, we have added 24-hour Health Services staff who can be reached in-person or at 661-253-7830. In order to control the spread of this illness, we also ask that you stay in bed and limit your contact with others for three days after you recover.

We are providing the following resources from the Centers for Disease Control on the symptoms, transmission, prevention and treatment of the norovirus:

A printed version of key facts about the norovirus will be made available around campus and in student, faculty and staff mailboxes. You can also download it by going to http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/downloads/keyfacts.pdf

Nov. 5, 2013 // 4:45 pm

Campus Update: CalArts to Reopen Tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 6)

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. 

Let the art-making begin (again)!

Facilities Update

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

The total number of suspected norovirus cases reported to Calarts 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. 

Academic Update

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 (krusso@calarts.edu) or Bree Howard (bhoward@calarts.edu) in the Provost’s Office.

Dining Update

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.

Take Survey

About Norovirus

The norovirus is a group of highly contagious viruses that affect the stomach and intestines and can lead to gastroenteritis. It can be passed by coming in contact with an infected person, touching contaminated surfaces or consuming contaminated food or drink. Symptoms include stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea and generally last 1–3 days. The virus has been prevalent in California with an outbreak recently reported at Stanford University. For more information about the norovirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, go to http://www.cdc.gov/features/norovirus/.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or not feeling well for any reason, we urge you to seek out medical attention from your healthcare professional. For those on campus, we have added 24-hour Health Services staff who can be reached in-person or at 661-253-7830. In order to control the spread of this illness, we also ask that you stay in bed and limit your contact with others for three days after you recover. 

Since we are treating this as a potential norovirus outbreak, we are providing the following resources from the Centers for Disease Control on the symptoms, transmission, prevention and treatment of this stomach virus: 

A printed version of key facts about the norovirus will be made available around campus and in student, faculty and staff mailboxes. You can also download it by going to http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/downloads/keyfacts.pdf

Upon returning to campus, students, staff and faculty are asked to disinfect their personal items, lockers and workspaces as a precautionary measure. On-campus residents are asked to do a rigorous cleaning of their dormitories, clothing and bedding as a preventative measure.

Nov. 4, 2013 // 3:30 pm

Facilities Update: Campus Closed on Tuesday, Nov. 5

The CalArts Facilities staff is working in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Health Department’s (LADPH) recommendations to disinfect / clean the Institute's offices, classrooms, rehearsal spaces, common areas and outbuildings in order to curtail the spread of last week’s rash of stomach illnesses that the LADPH has said appears consistent with a virus like the norovirus.

The CalArts Administration has decided to keep the campus closed at least through the end-of-day Tuesday, Nov. 5, so that the crews are given ample time to finish their processes thoroughly. While the Administration is optimistic that the gastrointestinal illness is on the wane, the decision has been made in the abundance of caution.

All non-resident students, faculty and non-essential staff are being asked to stay off campus on Tuesday. Only staff needed for continuing operations will be required to work Tuesday, and they will be notified directly by their supervisors if they are needed.

We will keep the CalArts community apprised of the situation, so please check your email and the CalArts website (www.calarts.edu/health-advisory) for future updates.

A 72-Hour Contagious Period

Since the Public Health Department has advised CalArts to treat this situation as a possible norovirus outbreak, we would like to remind all members of the CalArts community affected by the virus that 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. When the campus does re-open, please give yourself the allotted time for recovery before coming back to campus for rehearsals, classes or work.

Academic Update

For students, we know this temporary closure of the Institute has impacted a number of classes, rehearsals, projects and performances, so the Provost's Office is working with each of the school's deans to formulate plans going forward to reschedule canceled events, allow more time for curriculum-related projects and excuse legitimate absences. Check your email for forthcoming information.

Dining Update

As CalArts and its cafes work to resume operations as soon as possible, Bon Appetit will set up meals on Tuesday (11/5) on Clarks Field for on-campus residents.

  • A continental breakfast will be available from 9-11 am. 
  • A food truck will be available beginning at 12:45 pm and Bon Appetit will also cater side salads, packaged snacks and beverages from 12:45-2 pm at Clarks Field. 
  • A catered dinner will be served from 5-7 pm. 
  • Boxed meals with soup and other provisions will be available all day. 

On-campus resident meal plan participants can show ID and receive a ticket for lunch and dinner. For nonresident students who rely solely on the meal plan, the process will remain the same as today’s pick-up system: To minimize wait times and inconvenience for students, meals should be ordered in advance by calling Lani Bidwell at 661-236-8473. She will provide the meal options and selections over the phone. Once ordered, students will be given a time to pick up their meal from a Bon Appetit employee who will meet them just beyond the front gate on McBean Parkway. [Students should inform the Campus Safety Officer at the gate that they are on campus to pick up a meal.] Once the meal has been picked up, students will be able to turn around and exit at the front gate. CalArts and its Bon Appetit foodservice partner thank everyone for their patience and flexibility with meal operations during the past week. We look forward to seeing everyone back on campus soon.

Health Department 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 potential norovirus outbreak.

Take Survey

About Norovirus

The norovirus is a group of highly contagious viruses that affect the stomach and intestines and can lead to gastroenteritis. It can be passed by coming in contact with an infected person, touching contaminated surfaces or consuming contaminated food or drink. Symptoms include stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea and generally last 1–3 days. The virus has been prevalent in California with an outbreak recently reported at Stanford University. For more information about the norovirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, go to http://www.cdc.gov/features/norovirus/.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or not feeling well for any reason, we urge you to seek out medical attention from your healthcare professional. For those on campus, we have added 24-hour Health Services staff who can be reached in-person or at 661-253-7830. In order to control the spread of this illness, we also ask that you stay in bed and limit your contact with others for three days after you recover.

Since we are treating this as a potential norovirus outbreak, we are providing the following resources from the Centers for Disease Control on the symptoms, transmission, prevention and treatment of this stomach virus:

A printed version of key facts about the norovirus will be made available around campus and in student, faculty and staff mailboxes. You can also download it by clicking here

Nov. 3, 2013 // 6:30 pm

Facilities Update

While a number of CalArts students, faculty and staff continue their recovery from last week's fast-moving virus, the Institute's dedicated Facilities team has been working nearly nonstop to conduct an intensive cleaning of the Main Building during the CalArts shutdown. Cleaning crews have now sanitized the sub-level, first and second floors, including common areas, offices and classrooms.

In addition, all Butler and perimeter buildings' public areas and restrooms have been cleaned and sanitized, with the Irene trailer and Lodge trailers expected to be completed shortly.

This afternoon, Housing's custodial staff began the intensive sanitizing/cleaning process of the Ahmanson and Chouinard residence halls as well as the Woodglen Apartments. The crews are focusing on:

  • All communal areas and surfaces of Chouinard Hall.
  • All private and public restrooms in Chouinard, Ahmanson Hall and the units at Woodglen.
  • All kitchen/living room hard surface areas within Ahmanson Hall and in the CalArts units at Woodglen.

The process is expected to be completed by late Monday evening. It is CalArts' Administration's intention to reopen the Institute for business as soon as possible—so that the community can get back to teaching, learning and making great art once again after this unintended pause.

Dining Update

As CalArts and its cafes work to resume operations as soon as possible, Bon Appetit will set up meals on Monday on Clarks Field for on-campus residents.

  • A continental breakfast will be available from 8-10 am.
  • A food truck will be available beginning at 12:45 pm and Bon Appetit will also cater side salads, packaged snacks and beverages from 12:45-2:30 pm at Clarks Field.
  • A catered dinner will be served from 5-7 pm.
  • Boxed meals with soup and other provisions will be available all day.

For nonresident students who rely solely on the meal plan, the process will remain the same as today’s pick-up system: To minimize wait times and inconvenience for students, meals should be ordered in advance by calling Lani Bidwell at 661-236-8473. She will provide the meal options and selections over the phone. Once ordered, students will be given a time to pick up their meal from a Bon Appetit employee who will meet them just beyond the front gate on McBean Parkway. [Students should inform the Campus Safety Officer at the gate that they are on campus to pick up a meal.] Once the meal has been picked up, students will be able to turn around and exit at the front gate.

CalArts and its Bon Appetit foodservice partner thank everyone for their patience and flexibility with meal operations during the past week. We look forward to seeing everyone back on campus soon.

CalArts Preventative Measures

While we don’t yet have a definitive answer on what is causing these illnesses, given the symptoms reported and the pattern in which this illness has spread, the LA County Public Health Department has said that it appears consistent with a stomach virus like the norovirus. Due to the continued spread of illness throughout the CalArts community, Senior Administration officials made the decision to close down the CalArts campus effective Friday, Nov. 1 through the end-of-day on Monday, Nov. 4.

Health Department 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 potential norovirus outbreak.

Take Survey

About Norovirus

The norovirus is a group of highly contagious viruses that affect the stomach and intestines and can lead to gastroenteritis. It can be passed by coming in contact with an infected person, touching contaminated surfaces or consuming contaminated food or drink. Symptoms include stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea and generally last 1–3 days. The virus has been prevalent in California with an outbreak recently reported at Stanford University. For more information about the norovirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, go to http://www.cdc.gov/features/norovirus/.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or not feeling well for any reason, we urge you to seek out medical attention from your healthcare professional. For those on campus, we have added 24-hour Health Services staff who can be reached in-person or at 661-253-7830. In order to control the spread of this illness, we also ask that you stay in bed and limit your contact with others for three days after you recover.

Since we are treating this as a potential norovirus outbreak, we are providing the following resources from the Centers for Disease Control on the symptoms, transmission, prevention and treatment of this stomach virus:

A printed version of key facts about the norovirus will be made available around campus and in student, faculty and staff mailboxes. You can also download it by clicking here

Nov. 2, 2013 // 5 pm

As you all know, over the last several days many of our students, faculty and staff have experienced symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. While we don’t yet have a definitive answer on what is causing these illnesses, given the symptoms reported and the pattern in which this illness has spread, the LA County Public Health Department has said that it appears consistent with a stomach virus like the norovirus. Due to the continued spread of illness throughout the CalArts community, Senior Administration officials made the decision to close down the CalArts campus effective Friday, Nov. 1 through the end-of-day on Monday, Nov. 4.

The health and safety of the entire CalArts community is our top priority so while we don’t have conclusive proof at this point, we are taking preventative measures and providing general health recommendations to treat this illness potentially as the norovirus.

Please visit and bookmark www.calarts.edu/health-advisory as we will be updating the site throughout the weekend.

Dining Update

The CalArts Café and the Tatum Lounge will remain closed at least through the end-of-day on Monday, Nov. 4. We hope to have them reopen and fully operational as soon as possible. Here’s the current schedule of campus dining for both resident students as well as off-campus students who are on the meal plan.

CalArts has arranged for the Biola Soaring Eagle food truck to be on campus from 10 am-5 pm through the weekend to provide meals for students remaining on campus. All food will be prepared by the Biola Food truck staff.

Boxed meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are also available for our nonresident students who are on the CalArts meal plan. To minimize wait times and inconvenience for students, meals should be ordered in advance by calling Lani Bidwell at 661-236-8473. She will provide the meal options and selections over the phone. Once ordered, students will be given a time to pick up their meal from a Bon Appetit employee who will meet them just beyond the front gate on McBean Parkway. [Students should inform the Campus Safety Officer at the gate that they are on campus to pick up a meal.] Once the meal has been picked up, students will be able to turn around and exit at the front gate.

CalArts Preventative Measures

To prevent the illness from spreading further, CalArts has begun a rigorous campaign to disinfect and sterilize campus buildings and vehicles:

  • Intensive cleaning of the first floor of CalArts’ Main Building has been completed with custodial teams making their way through the rest of the Main Building.
  • The café’s serving areas and kitchen, Tatum lounge, dining hall, equipment and all cooking utensils have all been sanitized.
  • The Housing Office has engaged a 24-hour custodial service to address immediate cleaning needs.
  • All outdoor handrails, picnic tables and other hard surface areas are being sanitized.
  • All institute vans and common-use vehicles are being cleaned and sanitized.

Health Department 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 potential norovirus outbreak.

Take Survey

About Norovirus

The norovirus is a group of highly contagious viruses that affect the stomach and intestines and can lead to gastroenteritis. It can be passed by coming in contact with an infected person, touching contaminated surfaces or consuming contaminated food or drink. Symptoms include stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea and generally last 1–3 days. The virus has been prevalent in California with an outbreak recently reported at Stanford University. For more information about the norovirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, go to http://www.cdc.gov/features/norovirus/.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or not feeling well for any reason, we urge you to seek out medical attention from your healthcare professional. For those on campus, we have added 24-hour Health Services staff who can be reached in-person or at 661-253-7830. In order to control the spread of this illness, we also ask that you stay in bed and limit your contact with others for three days after you recover.

Since we are treating this as a potential norovirus outbreak, we are providing the following resources from the Centers for Disease Control on the symptoms, transmission, prevention and treatment of this stomach virus:

A printed version of key facts about the norovirus will be made available around campus and in student, faculty and staff mailboxes. You can also download it by clicking here

Nov. 1, 2013 // 5 pm

CalArts Campus Closure Effective Nov. 1

Due to the continued spread of illness through the CalArts community, the Institute Administration has made the decision to close down the CalArts campus effective immediately (Nov. 1) through the end-of-day on Monday, Nov. 4.

All non-residential buildings are now closed. This includes the entire Main Building, Butler buildings, studios, labs, rehearsal spaces.

Unfortunately, this also means that the annual Halloween party scheduled for tonight (Nov. 1) has been cancelled. This is not a decision the Administration and Student Council made lightly—but the health and safety of the entire CalArts community is our top priority. Refunds for the party will be issued next week.

All non-resident students, faculty and non-essential staff are being asked to stay off campus through Monday. Only staff needed for continuing operations will be required to work through Monday, and they will be notified directly by their supervisors if they are needed.

Please bookmark this page (www.calarts.edu/health-advisory) as we will be updating the site throughout the weekend.

CAMPUS HEALTH ALERT

As you all know, over the last three days many of our students, faculty and staff have experienced symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. While we don’t yet have a definitive answer on what is causing these illnesses, given the symptoms reported and the pattern in which this illness has spread, the LA County Public Health Department has said that it appears consistent with a stomach virus like the norovirus.

Your health and safety is our top priority so while we don’t have conclusive proof at this point, we are taking preventative measures and providing general health recommendations to treat this illness potentially as the norovirus.

The norovirus is a group of highly contagious viruses that affect the stomach and intestines and can lead to gastroenteritis. It can be passed by coming in contact with an infected person, touching contaminated surfaces or consuming contaminated food or drink. Symptoms include stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea and generally last 1–3 days. The virus has been prevalent in California with an outbreak recently reported at Stanford University. For more information about the norovirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, go to http://www.cdc.gov/features/norovirus/.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or not feeling well for any reason, we urge you to seek out medical attention from your healthcare professional. For those on campus, we have added 24-hour Health Services staff who can be reached in-person or at 661-253-7830. In order to control the spread of this illness, we also ask that you stay in bed and limit your contact with others for three days after you recover.

Since we are treating this as a potential norovirus outbreak, we are providing the following resources from the Centers for Disease Control on the symptoms, transmission, prevention and treatment of this stomach virus:

A printed version of key facts about the norovirus will be made available around campus and in student, faculty and staff mailboxes. You can also download it by clicking here

SURVEY FROM PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Here is a link to a survey that the Public Health Department is asking all faculty, staff and students to fill out and return, whether you have experienced symptoms or not. The information you provide will help them determine the cause of this potential norovirus outbreak.

DINING UPDATE

The CalArts Café and the Tatum Lounge will remain closed at least through the end-of-day on Monday, November 4. We hope to have them reopen and fully operational as soon as possible.

We have arranged for the Biola Soaring Eagle food truck to be on campus through the weekend to provide meals for the students remaining on campus. In addition to the food from the food truck, we will prepare boxed meals for students too ill to make it to the truck. These boxes will consist of the following:

  • Soup
  • Saltines
  • Jello cup
  • Clif bar
  • Water and Gatorade

We want to make this as simple as possible for the sick, so they can send a friend or the RA on duty out to the truck to get the box.

The same meal plan and flex options will apply throughout the weekend. The meal hours are as follows:

  • Continental breakfast Saturday and Sunday: 10 am-noon
  • Lunch: noon-2 pm
  • Dinner: 3-5 pm

Oct. 31, 2013 // 5 pm

As a follow up to this morning’s campus health advisory, we wanted to share the following updates with the CalArts Community:

REMINDER: IF YOU’RE NOT FEELING WELL…

If you are experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or aren’t feeling well for any reason, we urge you to stay home or in your room and contact your healthcare professional. If you are on campus, we have added 24-hour Health Services staff to assist you. Visit the Health Services office near Tatum Lounge or call 661-253-7830 and someone will help you.

INFORMATIONAL WEBSITE

If you want the latest information regarding this issue, please revisit this page (http://www.calarts.edu/health-advisory). We will continue to update this webpage daily with the most current communication materials.

DINING UPDATE

The CalArts Café and the Tatum Lounge will remain closed today and tomorrow (11/1) for final inspections; we hope to have them reopen and fully operational on Saturday morning, but will confirm that on Friday. Here’s the current schedule of alternate dining options:

THURSDAY, OCT. 31

Dinner
  • Dinner will be served tonight from 5–7 pm on Clark’s Field near the E Block bridge.
  • If you are on the CalArts meal plan, you will be given a ticket to obtain food; otherwise, you can use cash or Flex dollars to make purchases.
  • Quantities may be limited so if you are able to dine off-campus this evening, we encourage you do so.

FRIDAY, NOV. 1

Breakfast
  • Continental breakfast will be served on Clark’s Field near the E Block bridge from 8:00-10:00 AM.
Lunch
  • Starting at 12:45 pm, we will have a food truck available for lunch at Clark’s Field near the E Block bridge.
  • If you are on the CalArts meal plan you will be given a ticket to obtain food; anyone not on the meal plan can pay by cash.
  • Since supplies will be limited, if you aren’t on the meal plan we kindly ask that you enjoy lunch off campus so we can accommodate as many of our meal plan students as possible.
Dinner
  • Dinner will be served from 5:00-7:00 PM tomorrow night. More details will be provided tomorrow.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

Since we don’t yet know the exact cause of the symptoms reported across campus, we are following guidelines set by the LA County Public Health office to take preventative measures against foodborne illnesses and stomach viruses. External cleaning crews have been on campus for the last two days to thoroughly sanitize and disinfect bathrooms and public spaces. You will continue to see those crews working for the next week or so as we continue our efforts to prevent further illnesses.

PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDELINES

In case you missed them in the email from earlier today, below are some important health recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that pertain to stomach viruses and foodborne illnesses. These are general guidelines to keep in mind that will help protect you and your friends and family.

  • If you are sick, please stay home for at least 48 hours after the onset of symptoms.
  • Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing and discard immediately in the wastebasket.
  • Avoid direct contact with someone who is ill—including sharing foods or eating utensils.
  • Wash hands with soap and water, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which are located throughout the CalArts campus. [These alcohol-based products can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but they are not a substitute for washing with soap and water.]
  • Clean and disinfect (with a bleach-based solution) contaminated surfaces immediately after contact with vomit or diarrhea.
  • Also, if ill, please do not prepare food for others while symptoms are present and for three days after they recover from their illness.
  • Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated. The items should be washed with detergent at the maximum
    available cycle length and then machine dried.
  • Carefully wash fruits and vegetables.
  • Cook foods to proper temperatures.
  • Don't cross-contaminate one food with another; do not use cutting boards, dishes or utensils after they’ve come in contact with raw meat or poultry, especially.
  • Refrigerate foods promptly. Bacteria can grow quickly at room temperature, so refrigerate foods if they are not going to be eaten within two hours.

If you are experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or other symptoms, please see your health care professional or visit
our on-campus Health Services office. The can also be reached at 661-253-7830.

Update to the CalArts Community from Bon Appétit:

At Bon Appétit Management Company, we deeply value our position at California Institute of the Arts and in the lives of our guests. We treasure the trust given to us and are committed to meeting not only our own high standards but also your expectations.

Here is the sequence of events regarding the recent illnesses reported at CalArts. Starting Tuesday night, several members of the CalArts community became ill and went to the emergency room. To cover all bases, the Los Angeles Health Department was alerted and Bon Appétit called in Ecosure, an independent food-safety auditor, to come in to assess the situation. CalArts officials took the precautionary step of closing the café while we continue to follow standard emergency procedures.

On Wednesday, an inspector from the county’s Environmental Health Food and Milk Program visited the campus for several hours. Following her investigations, she met with both Bon Appétit and CalArts representatives. Echoing what hospital officials also said, she stated that the symptoms seen on campus are similar to those experienced with a stomach virus, which can be spread through a variety of means not limited to food service.

The inspector went over proper procedures for sanitization for all of campus. She did not ask Bon Appétit to change any standard operating procedures. It was not her recommendation that the café be closed.

During the closure, in order to continue feeding the CalArts community as safely as possible, Bon Appétit has:

  • Had food prepared and delivered by other Bon Appétit accounts in the region
  • Coordinated deliveries by local restaurants and food trucks

Previous food safety audits have been stellar:

  • On Aug. 1, 2013, we received a Green rating on the Food Safety Audit from Ecosure.
  • On Dec. 2, 2012, we were inspected by the LA County Food and Safety Department and received a rating of 97 and a grade of A, good through 2013.

We take food safety very seriously. As previously shared, we adhere to the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) approach of managing product risk and have our own comprehensive training program called F.A.C.T. (Food Assurance Certification Training) for every single staff member; this commitment is unparalleled in our industry.

In addition, our chefs and managers are ServSafe certified (a nationally recognized food safety certification program). We also have a safety committee that meets bi-weekly to discuss ways to further improve sanitation through education around frequent handwashing, sanitizing work stations, avoiding cross contamination, and insuring proper food temperatures. We also go over these in brief daily during our morning
staff meeting.

Everyone at Bon Appétit understands that safe food and a safe learning and working environment are top priorities. If you have questions or comments about the café, our staff or our food, please do not hesitate to contact me at 661-253-7855 or via email at lalania.bidwell@cafebonappetit.com.

Thank you again for allowing us to serve you.

Lani Bidwell
General Manager

Bon Appétit Management Company at CalArts

Oct. 31, 2013 // 10 am

As you all know, several of our students, faculty and staff have reported illnesses over the last 48 hours. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are our top priority, and we are working closely with public health officials as well as our food service provider, Bon Appetit, to determine the cause and prevent others from becoming ill.

Yesterday, teams from various public health agencies came to campus and completed an extensive series of tests, including medical examinations of some of those affected. We won’t have those tests results back for approximately four to five days so we don’t yet have a definitive answer as to what is causing these illnesses.

However, given the symptoms reported, the initial findings point to either a possible foodborne illness or a stomach virus. Again, we don’t have conclusive proof at this point, but in order to protect the safety and health of the CalArts community, we are taking preventative measures and providing general health recommendations for all to follow.

We will continue to update you throughout the day as more information becomes available. We know there is a lot of uncertainty throughout the CalArts community right now, but we want to reassure everyone that we are doing all we can to address this issue.

IF YOU ARE NOT FEELING WELL

If you are experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or aren’t feeling well for any reason, we urge you to stay home and contact your healthcare professional. If you are on-campus, we have added 24-hour Health Services staff to assist you.

Visit the Health Services office near Tatum Lounge or call 661-253-7830 and someone will help you.

PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDELINES

While we still are not sure of the exact cause of the illnesses reported on campus, below are some important health recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that pertain to stomach viruses and foodborne illnesses. These are general guidelines to keep in mind that will help protect you and your friends and family.

  • If you are sick, please stay home for at least 48 hours after the onset of symptoms.
  • Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing and discard immediately in the wastebasket.
  • Avoid direct contact with someone who is ill—including sharing foods or eating utensils.
  • Wash hands with soap and water, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers and before eating or preparing food.
    If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which are located throughout the CalArts campus. [These alcohol-based products can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but they are not a substitute for washing with soap and water.]
  • Clean and disinfect (with a bleach-based solution) contaminated surfaces immediately after contact with vomit or diarrhea.
  • Also, if ill, please do not prepare food for others while symptoms are present and for three days after they recover from their illness.
  • Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated. The items should be washed with detergent at the maximum available cycle length and then machine dried.
  • Carefully wash fruits and vegetables.
  • Cook foods to proper temperatures.
  • Don't cross-contaminate one food with another; do not use cutting boards, dishes or utensils after they’ve come in contact with raw meat or poultry, especially.
  • Refrigerate foods promptly. Bacteria can grow quickly at room temperature, so refrigerate foods if they are not going to be eaten within two hours.

If you are experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or other symptoms, please see your health care professional or visit
our on-campus Health Services office.

They can also be reached at 661-253-7830.

DINING OPTIONS

In an abundance of caution, both the CalArts Café and Tatum Lounge are closed today. Here at the alternate dining options available on campus.

LUNCH

  • Starting at 12:45 PM, we will have a food truck available for lunch at Clark’s Field near the E Block bridge.
  • If you are on the CalArts meal plan you will be given a ticket to obtain food; anyone not on the meal plan can pay by cash.
  • Since supplies will be limited, if you aren’t on the Meal Plan we kindly ask that you enjoy lunch off campus so we can accommodate as many of our meal plan students as possible.

DINNER

  • Dinner will be served tonight on Clark’s Field near the E Block bridge.
  • Exact details will be shared later today, but if you are able to eat dinner off campus, please do so.

HALLOWEEN PARTY

Tomorrow night is the CalArts Halloween Party hosted by the Student Council. We know that this an important annual tradition at the Institute but in conjunction with the Student Council, we’re asking that anyone who is ill or not feeling well to please avoid this year’s celebration. With so many CalArtians and friends from beyond our walls in the Main Gallery, we want to limit exposure to anyone who might be sick and prevent this illness from spreading.

Oct. 30, 2013

Over the course of the last 24 hours, CalArts has received reports that some members of our community may have become ill due to food consumed on campus. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are always our top priority, and we want you to know we are taking this matter very seriously.

We are working closely with our campus food service provider, Bon Appetit, as well as public health officials, but in an abundance of caution we have decided to close the CalArts Café and the Tatum Lounge for the day. While we know this is a considerable inconvenience for those on campus, this decision was made in the best interest of the entire CalArts community.

Our Facilities team is currently exploring alternate food options that we can bring to campus for the day to service the community, and we will let you know those details shortly. Again, your health and welfare are our greatest concerns so please know that we are doing all we can to examine and rectify this matter. We will share more information with you throughout the day as we have it.

Updates

Oct. 30 at 5:30 pm

Campus Dining Update

We are continuing to work with public health officials and our food services vendor, Bon Appetit, to determine what may have caused the illnesses reported this week. While we don’t have any new information to share at this time, please know we are doing everything we can to resolve this situation and will update you as soon as we know more.

In the interest of the health and safety of everyone at CalArts, we have decided to keep the CalArts Café and Tatum Lounge closed for the remainder of the day today as well as all day tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 31. More information will be coming shortly on the interim on-campus dining options, but a continental breakfast will available tomorrow morning from 7:30-9:30 am on Clark’s Field. Here are the details for tonight’s dinner:

Dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 30:

  • A selection of pizzas, salads and drinks will be available tonight from 5:30–7:00 PM on Clark’s Field near the E Block bridge.
  • If you are on the CalArts meal plan you will be given a ticket to obtain food; otherwise, individual slices will be available at cost.
  • Quantities may be limited so if you are able to dine off-campus this evening, we encourage you do so.

Oct. 30 at 12:35 pm

Food Truck on Campus Today

Due to today’s closure of our campus food facilities, we have arranged for a food truck to provide lunch service beginning at 12:45 p.m. near the E Block bridge. For students who are on the CalArts Meal Plan, a ticket equal to $12 will be issued at the truck; anyone not on the meal plan can pay by cash.

Since supplies will be limited, if you aren’t on the Meal Plan we kindly ask that you enjoy lunch off-campus so we can accommodate as many of our Meal Plan students as possible. We know this is a substantial inconvenience and thank you in advance for your cooperation.

An Open Letter to the CalArts Community from Bon Appétit

At Bon Appétit Management Company, we take great care to honor our position at California Institute for the Arts and in the lives of our guests. We value the trust given to us and are committed to meeting not only our own high standards but also your expectations.

We’ve been alerted that a few members of the CalArts student body have become ill. While it is not clear that the cause of the illness is foodborne, it has been reported to the Los Angeles Health Department. Bon Appétit has called on an independent food-safety auditor to come in to assess the situation.

At this time, no food safety violations or food-related illnesses have been confirmed, but we are continuing to investigate. In consultation with CalArts, we have taken the precautionary step of closing the café while we do so.

We take food safety very seriously. We adhere to the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) approach of managing product risk and have initiated our own comprehensive training program called F.A.C.T. (Food Assurance Certification Training) for every single staff member; this commitment is unparalleled in our industry. We passed our last health inspection with a very high score. In addition, our chefs and managers are ServSafe certified (a nationally recognized food safety certification program). We also have a safety committee that meets bi-weekly to discuss ways to further improve sanitation through education around frequent handwashing, sanitizing work stations, avoiding cross contamination, and insuring proper food temperatures. We also go over these in brief daily during our morning staff meeting.

Everyone at Bon Appétit understands that safe food and a safe work environment are top priorities. If you have questions or comments about the café, our staff or our food, please do not hesitate to contact me at 661-253-7855 or lalania.bidwell@cafebonappetit.com.

Thank you again for allowing us to serve you.

Lani Bidwell
General Manager
Bon Appétit Management Company at CalArts

Last edited by rsdavid on Nov 08, 2013
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