Following a Hartnell College student’s report of becoming ill and being tested for the coronavirus, Monterey County health officials told the college late Monday they had received no positive tests and did not anticipate any at this time.

This means that not only are there no known cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 at Hartnell, there are none throughout Monterey County. The college continues regular operations, including holding classes as scheduled.

On Sunday morning, Hartnell sent an email to all students and employees to inform them that a student had reported being tested, as required under the federal Clery Act, and emphasizing the importance of individual health precautions.

When the college’s message prompted replies from the campus community, Hartnell sent a follow-up email to address those questions and comments. After receiving the latest word from the Monterey County Health Department, the college sent another email Monday night with the new information.

In light of the continuing public health threat from the coronavirus, that email from Daniel Scott, director of public safety and emergency management, underscored the importance of personal responsibility toward the welfare of others.

“Despite this encouraging news, all of us should continue to take every precaution to protect ourselves, our families and the entire Hartnell College Community from the spread of sickness, whether the cold, influenza (the flu) or other illnesses,” Scott wrote.

 “For the well-being of all, please do not come to campus if you are sick. The safety and health of Hartnell students and employees are always the top priority for our college.”

Hartnell Superintendent/President Dr. Patricia Hsieh, who directed the college’s response following the student report, said the health and safety of its students, employees and visitors remains Hartnell’s top priority. 

Notwithstanding the information from Monterey County health officials, which indicates there is no current case of student coronavirus infection at Hartnell, the college will continue to take every effort to ensure the well-being of its community, Dr. Hsieh said.

 “This process has reinforced the importance of emergency preparedness, including a health threat like COVID-19,” she said. “We greatly appreciate the attention and concern of our students, staff and faculty, and we are more prepared than ever to cope with circumstances that we are doing our best to avoid.”