SBCC President issues statement of caution regarding coronavirus


Nate Stephenson

File Photo of Superintendent-President Utpal Goswami from Jan. 31, 2020.

Jun Starkey, Editor-in-Chief

City College Superintendent-President Utpal Goswami has advised all faculty, staff and students with flu-like symptoms to stay home in response to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

“These precautions are not mandatory at this stage,” Goswami wrote in an email Monday. “That may change quickly if adverse new information emerges.”

Although no cases of the virus have been reported in Santa Barbara, the college is attempting to be proactive through these precautions, Goswami said. 

He advised all teachers to begin their classes by asking anyone with a fever or respiratory symptoms to go home voluntarily.

Early symptoms of the coronavirus are very similar to symptoms of the flu, such as coughing, a high fever and sore throat.

Though there have been a number of deaths linked to the virus, those most at risk are the elderly and people with compromised immunities according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Anyone worried about contracting the virus is advised to wash their hands regularly, and avoid touching their face.

Check back to The Channels for more coverage of this issue. 

Update at 3:30 p.m. on March 10, 2020

Carola Smith, dean of the Study Abroad program, has advised all international students to not travel outside of the country until further notice.

Several countries’ borders have been closed on short notice as the coronavirus continues to spread. 

For international students, being quarantined in another country could result in their student visa being revoked. 

“If quarantined, you may be at risk of significant additional financial burden as you may be required to pay for the associated costs,” Smith wrote in an email. “Additionally, being quarantined, voluntarily or involuntarily, may result in you not being able to complete your academic semester, which will jeopardize your international student status.”

Any student who is quarantined outside of the U.S. is advised to reach out to their counselor to review options for re-entry.