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COVID-19 Updates and Resources for SCI-Arc Community

Updated 05.08.20

Please stand with SCI-Arc as we help students with emergency needs stemming from the pandemic. The SCI-Arc Emergency Fund provides critical tuition aid, emergency technology support, and urgent mental health and wellness services for students. Please help SCI-Arc students today by making your gift here. Thank you for standing with SCI-Arc and our students!

Updated 05.08.20

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and Internal Revenue Service

(IRS) released information regarding the student grants portion of the CARES Act. Please take note of the following updates:

Student grants now non-taxable.

When the CARES Act was passed and signed into law, it was soon realized that—as written—the emergency grants to students for COVID-19-related expenses were unintentionally taxable. Today the IRS announced [1] that these grants to students are non-taxable, a positive outcome for students. This move also nullifies the need for institutions to provide tax documents to students who receive an emergency grant. Additionally, this administrative interpretation means that legislation won’t be needed in the next COVID-19 relief package to address the original intent.

Updated 04.30.20

Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced that all Los Angeles city residents are now eligible for free COVID-19 testing, regardless of symptoms. LA County residents can also be tested at sites run by the city of Los Angeles. Schedule a COVID-19 test here.

Updated 03.23.20

Dear SCI-Arc Community,

By now, you are likely aware that Los Angeles County and California public officials have declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. I wanted to reach out directly to assure you that we have been closely monitoring the global situation as it develops.

On March 19, Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles ordered all residents in Los Angeles and surrounding jurisdictions to stay home from March 19 through April 19, 2020, a measure intended to limit the spread of COVID-19. In response to this "Safer At Home" order, SCI-Arc has synchronized our actions in accordance with all directives from Los Angeles County and California public officials. To learn more about what this order entails you may visit the Los Angeles County website or the City of Los Angeles Coronavirus FAQ website for the most current information. Both sites can be read in your language of choice.

As educational institutions such as SCI-Arc are considered essential businesses, we will remain operational throughout the duration of the order. On March 13, we enacted a period of remote learning, during which all courses and studios will continue to be conducted online through April 24, or the end of the spring 2020 semester. Staff will continue to work remotely and can still be reached to answer student questions and concerns. The SCI-Arc building will remain closed to students and faculty and will only be accessible to staff with essential functions and approval to be onsite.

I understand that this situation is not ideal, but I want to convey how proud I am of how all the students, faculty, and staff are navigating this challenging and unexpected time. I am confident that if we work together through this process with creativity, compassion, optimism, and civic responsibility, this shall pass and we will emerge at the other end stronger than before.

Please continue to be good to yourselves and each other. We will get through this together.

Sincerely,

Hernán Díaz Alonso

Updated 03.16.20

While there are currently no known cases of COVID-19 among our students, faculty, or staff, SCI-Arc has made the decision to extend this period of remote learning through the end of the spring 2020 semester (April 24). Students, faculty, and staff will NOT return to campus on March 30 as previously communicated.

Classes and studios will continue to be taught remotely via ZOOM, or alternate methods as arranged by your faculty in order to complete your coursework through the end of the semester. Essential staff will continue to work remotely and can still be reached to answer your questions and concerns.

We’d like to remind everyone that although we are not physically in the building, we are all still working and maintaining business as usual as much as we possibly can.

We will be sending faculty and students detailed instructions on how to proceed with final reviews. UG Thesis students will submit digital projects by April 25; we will contact you with additional follow-up instructions.

The SCI-Arc building and resources will remain closed through the end of the spring semester (April 24). Access to the following resources will continue to be suspended during the building closure: fabrication lab, robot house, library, PC lab, SCI-Arc store/print center. We will extend the deadline for students and faculty to move out all computers, printers, toolboxes, and personal items to this Wednesday (March 18). Access to the building will be restricted after this deadline.

As an exception during this transitional period, the SCI-Arc parking lot will remain available for students who have purchased a parking permit through the spring 2020 semester, though access to the building will be denied.

TRAVEL CONSIDERATIONS

Please contact Lisa Russo at 213-356-5314 or lisarusso@sciarc.edu with your specific travel and visa related questions.

  • In general, there are no changes to F-1 travel rules.
  • Any international or domestic travel should be carefully considered, and after checking for any developments of travel restrictions for both the country/area being travelled to, and where you are travelling from.
  • Check for travel updates here:
  • Cautionary concerns to consider:
    • The area you are travelling to could experience an outbreak and implement a quarantine, and you may not be able to leave that area until the quarantine is lifted.
    • While you are travelling, there could be an outbreak in the Los Angeles area and travel restrictions could be imposed restricting or delaying your return to Los Angeles.
    • Consider health insurance coverage at your destination to ensure that you have insurance coverage in case you are sick.
    • Consider if there is flexibility in courses you may be enrolled in, or work assignments and deadlines, in the event your travel in either direction is delayed. –
    • Consider purchasing flights or other parts of travel, such as hotels, that have flexible cancellation.

SUPPORT

We know these changes may cause some stress and uncertainty. Students are encouraged to contact Downtown Mind Wellness for support at 213-430-9080 or www.downtownmw.com. Remote counseling is still available for the students on Tuesdays & Fridays 12:00pm - 2:00pm throughout the rest of the spring semester. To schedule an appointment, they can contact Michelle directly at

310.270.5879 or michellefarivar@gmail.com.

Staff and faculty can utilize Employee Connect, our Employee Assistance Program that offers counseling sessions and have professionals you can speak to 24/7. You can reach them at 888-628-4824 or www.GuidanceResources.com.

The health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff at SCI-Arc continues to be our highest priority. We appreciate your patience and flexibility during this transition. We will continue to provide you with information and resources.

Please continue to check your SCI-Arc emails, and refer to sciarc.edu for the most up-to-date information.

Updated 03.14.20

Main Event 2020, previously scheduled for May 2, has been postponed until further notice.

Updated 03.13.20

The SCI-Arc building and resources will close starting Monday, March 16 - March 30 (or until further notice).

While there are currently no known cases of COVID-19 among our students, faculty, or staff, as a precautionary measure we have decided to close the SCI-Arc building as of Monday, March 16. This includes the following resources: fabrication lab, robot house, library, PC lab, SCI-Arc store/print center.

Students, faculty, and staff will have until 9:00am on Monday, March 16 to remove all personal items and supplies needed to work remotely before access to the building is restricted. This is a two week closure with expected return on March 30th or until further notice.

Classes and studios will continue to be taught remotely via ZOOM, or alternate methods as determined by your faculty.

Essential staff will work remotely, will continue to communicate via email and ZOOM, and can still be reached to answer your questions and concerns.

The health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff at SCI-Arc is always our highest priority. We appreciate your patience and flexibility during this transition. We will continue to provide you with information and resources.

We know these changes may cause some stress and uncertainty. Students can contact Downtown Mind Wellness for support at 213-430-9080 or www.downtownmw.com.

Staff and faculty can utilize Employee Connect, our Employee Assistance Program that offers counseling sessions and have professionals you can speak to 24/7. You can reach them at 888-628-4824 or www.GuidanceResources.com.

Please continue to check your SCI-Arc emails, and refer to sciarc.edu for the most up-to-date information.

Updated 03.12.20

Kappe Library Hours Reduced During Remote Learning Period (March 13-30)

Monday-Friday 10:00am-6:00pm

Saturday 12:00pm-6:00pm

Sunday 12:00pm-10:00pm

Access Kappe Library online resources: library.sciarc.edu

Be sure to activate EZProxy to access all proprietary databases

Updated 03.10.20

While there are currently no known cases of COVID-19 among our students, faculty, or staff, as a precautionary measure, beginning Friday, March 13 all SCI-Arc classes (studios and seminars) will be conducted remotely online. Studios and seminars will be held remotely during their regularly scheduled times.

We are anticipating this remote learning period to last approximately 2 weeks until Monday, March 30, or as determined by SCI-Arc administration. We will keep you updated as necessary. The SCI-Arc building and resources will remain open, and the administrative offices will continue to work their regular, on-campus schedules.

Remote learning will be done via the ZOOM digital conferencing platform. Faculty and students will have two days (Wednesday, March 11 + Thursday, March 12) to test the platform during regularly scheduled classes and studios.

We are encouraging all students and faculty to remove all computer equipment, printers, supplies, and/or personal belongings needed to work remotely.

We appreciate your understanding and patience during this time. Please continue to check your SCI-Arc emails, and refer to sciarc.edu for the most up-to-date information.

Updated 03.09.20

SCI-Arc is closely following information and recommendations both nationally and locally regarding the outbreak of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

As we continue to monitor the development of COVID-19, the health and safety of the entire SCI-Arc community is our highest priority. There are currently no known cases among our students, faculty, or staff, and the immediate health risk to members of the SCI-Arc community continues to be considered low.

SCI-Arc has worked to add proactive measures such as enhanced travel restrictions; cancellation and postponement of international and public programs; installation of additional hand sanitizing stations throughout the building; thorough cleaning of the building, bathrooms, and common surfaces by our cleaning crew as advised by state agencies; and informational resources and illness prevention posters placed around the building and in the “Campus Life” tab of my.sciarc.edu.

We will share additional information as it becomes available, and keep you informed should the current level of concern change.

If you would like to learn more about the virus or check for updates, it is recommended that you consult the following resources, which will have the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19:

UPDATED TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS:

SCI-Arc is prohibiting all school-related travel to regions for which the CDC has issued Level 2 or Level 3 travel warnings including mainland China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, and Japan. SCI-Arc also strongly discourages personal travel to jurisdictions with a Level 3 travel warning.

Persons arriving from these areas must self-isolate for 14 days from the time they leave the country before returning to SCI-Arc, in accordance with new guidance from the CDC.

SCI-Arc discourages all other nonessential international travel for now. If you decide to travel, be aware that other countries could change their travel restrictions without notice, flights may be cancelled, or new re-entry restrictions could be imposed before returning to the United States.

Future travel restrictions will continue to align with CDC travel guidelines.

For more questions or more information, please contact the International Advisor Lisa Russo at 213-356-5314 lisarusso@sciarc.edu.

More recommendations and resources can be found at:

If traveling abroad, consider downloading the International SOS Assistance App for up-to-date security analysis, medical information, and one-click dialing to the closest International SOS Assistance Center.

NEXT STEPS:
In the event that the spread COVID-19 becomes more severe, SCI-Arc may need to take the following additional measures to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff:

Allow students, faculty, and staff at higher risk for complications to stay home.

Higher-risk students, faculty, and staff should make this decision in consultation with their health care provider. Please inform SCI-Arc’s Directors' Office of your decision.

Find ways to increase social distances.

Increase space between people in classrooms: move desks further apart, leave empty seats between students, hold outdoor classes, and employ distance learning methods.

Postponement of school internal and public events.

Out of an abundance of caution, and to minimize travel disruptions of our guests, we have decided to postpone the below public program events. Please check sciarc.edu/events for the most up to date schedule.

Postponed Events:
March 11 Jenny Lin Lecture
March 13-16 After the Single-Family Home Charrette
March 18 Charles Davis Lecture
March 20 Post-Persona Exhibition
March 21 A Queer Query Symposium
March 23 Andrés Jaque Lecture
April 1 Lauren Halsey Lecture
April 7 New Bauhaus Cinema Series

Possible Remote Learning / SCI-Arc closure:
This decision will be made together with local and state health organizations. Notice for this will be sent via email and SCI-Arc’s all-school text alert system.

SCI-Arc will develop a plan for continuity of education and will communicate these alternative mechanisms to students, faculty, and staff.

We will be ready for as many scenarios that we can possibly foresee. We ask that you check your email daily for new updates.

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS & TREATMENT:
COVID-19 symptoms are similar to the flu (fever, cough, and shortness of breath). Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depending on the severity of the virus, a cough or sneeze could cause exposure. The virus can also be transmitted by a handshake or touching something an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Symptoms may appear in as few as two (2) days or as long as fourteen (14) days after exposure.

80% of cases are mild. Those highest at risk are the elderly and people with chronic underling health conditions.

If you develop symptoms consistent with the flu or are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19:

STAY HOME. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 should isolate themselves at home while undergoing medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride shares, or taxis. It is recommended that you stay home until 24 hours after a fever subsides to see if symptoms continue.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE FROM YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY. Call ahead to assist the facility in making plans to minimize potential spread of illness.

PREVENTION:
Wash your hands often with soap
and water for at least 20 seconds (especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty).

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfecting wipes.

Focus on self-care (Take vitamin C, eat healthy, exercise, and sleep).

Schedule a flu shot (influenza-like illnesses are still common at this time of year).

If you are sick—STAY HOME and see a doctor (Let your instructors/supervisor know and we will make every effort to communicate with you remotely).

Masks are unnecessary and in high demand. If you are not feeling sick, it has been requested that you save available masks for people who are ill as well as for medical personnel.

RESPECT OTHERS:
Please be compassionate towards your classmates and colleagues. There are those in our community are understandably worried about their friends and family, some are unable to travel home or return from abroad, and some may be facing discrimination or bias here at SCI-Arc. Please be respectful of each other.

We appreciate the help of every member of the SCI-Arc community, and we will continue to update you as this global situation moves forward. Please continue to check your email daily for further updates.

HEALTH INSURANCE RESOURCES:

Students: For more resources and information, students can contact Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), students can call a 24/7 nurse line: 1-800-224-0336 or 1-800-368-4424 (TTY line and available in multiple languages).

Faculty/Staff: For more resources and information, please contact your individual health care provider.