Pierce College has closed its campus due to coronavirus fears, but the Student Health Center and the Farm remain operational.
From now until spring break, the Student Health Center will remain open for students who need health services.
Health Center Director Beth Benne said she felt it was a challenge to have the Health Center stay open this week because some faculty are in sub-quarantine for age and pre-existing health conditions.
“I believe what we have to offer is important but I have to take into consideration the health and safety of my staff,” Benne said.
Benne said she is not sure if the Health Center will reopen after spring break but said she feels it would be necessary if lab classes are still held on campus.
“I would argue that if I have staff willing to come in, we should be open here and operating with distance,” Benne said.
The staff at the Health Center took extra precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are signs on the walls and doors with advice about what to do during this pandemic and a screen in front of the door to protect patient health and privacy.
On the farm, the animals are living as they normally would. Student worker Julio Wong can be seen cutting the twine on top of a giant haystack and Steven Jara-Cooper was driving supplies to the farm in the cart.
Farm Manager Marcie Sakadjian and her student workers are still working despite the campus closure and tending to the animals on the farm as usual.
“We have animals that need to be fed and watered 365 days a year regardless of rain, fire, et cetera,” Sakadjian said.
Jara-Cooper said that he felt it was important to keep the farm open and risk coming to campus because the animals cannot take care of themselves.
Sakadjian said she felt that the precautions the LACCD is taking are necessary.
“We’re going to do our best to keep our animals taken care of and our students safe,” Sakadjian said. “Our top priority is the health and safety of our students.”