Porterville College


Student Information


Precautions to take in Unhealthy Air Quality Conditions
Please take the following precautions:


People with heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teens – take any of these steps to reduce your exposure:

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
  • Keep outdoor activities short.
  • Consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them.

Everyone else – take any of these steps to reduce your exposure:

  • Choose less strenuous activities (like walking instead of running) so you don’t breathe as hard.
  • Shorten the amount of time you are active outdoors.
  • Be active outdoors when air quality is better.

Contact your supervisor if you have any questions and consider wearing a mask when outdoors. To monitor the air quality, go to: https://www.airnow.gov/?city=Porterville&state=CA&country=USA



NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 Crisis, we will NOT be ticketing cars in the campus parking lots during the Spring Semester. 

Alert to Students! Tuition Payments Can Only Be Made Online

As a result of the COVID-19 campus closure, Porterville College can only accept payments online. Please do not mail payments. You can make online payments through the InsidePC Portal.

Important Note: ALL CLASSES will be delivered ONLINE this Spring Semester.

Classes that are listed in the schedule as "Flexible" are still ONLINE classes. They simply do not have a single set meeting time (asynchronous). All "Flexible" classes have varying meeting times that will be specified by your instructor.

Classes listed as "Scheduled" are also ONLINE courses. These classes will have specific meeting times (i.e. Tuesdays at 4:00 pm).

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 Crisis, we will NOT be ticketing cars in the campus parking lots during the Spring Semester. 




Latest COVID-19 News Updates

Need Help With Food? Tulare County Has Released Their Food Distribution Calendar For September 2020

An Important Message From President Habib About the Fall 2020 Semester

The PC Update for July 2020 is Now Available

To view the PC Update, click on the following image:

PC Update July 2020

Want to Make Your First Year at PC a Success? Interdisciplinary Studies and Student Success Courses Now Being Offered!

Rent/Mortgage Assistance Programs Available to Help Qualified Students

CSET (Community Services Employment Training) has two rent/mortgage assistance programs that students may qualify for:

  1. The Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) emergency rental/mortgage assistance program will provide assistance to low- and moderate-income households that have had a reduction in income or became unemployed or have been affected in other ways due the COVID-19 pandemic. Persons applying must meet all applicable income and eligibility requirements. Only one (1) pre-application per household will be accepted.
  2. The Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP) is intended to help a family or individual with up to one-month's rent or mortgage. A verifiable hardship is required to receive assistance. Each household may receive this assistance only one time per funding period. Only one (1) pre-application per household will be accepted.

Apply here: https://www.cset.org/covid-19

Disability Resource Center Is Here to Help You

In light of the recent developments concerning COVID-19 and Porterville College's transition to remote instruction, we recognize that students may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. We understand that the transition to remote learning methods may present various levels of access barriers for students, and we want you to know that the Disability Resource Center (DRC) remains committed to supporting each of our students with your transition and success.

DRC is providing remote services such as:

  • Cranium Video Conference Appointments
  • Phone Appointments
  • Email Questions
  • Assistive Technology Support
  • Alternate Media
  • Study Strategies
  • Sign Language Interpreting and Real Time Captioning
  • General Questions and Support
  • And More

DRC phone and email systems have been updated and are now staffed and available during remote operations. Students can now also leave voicemail messages if calls are not answered. Due to limited staffing at this time, response times to email and voicemail may vary with consideration to normal business hours. We will do our best to return calls in a timely manner.

A Message from the Porterville College President Regarding the Fall Semester (6-15-20)

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

These past three months have been unlike anything anyone has ever experienced. Our traditional learning practices, campus activities and celebrations have been disrupted, and for many of us, the confusing uncertainty is making us feel that our lives are on hold.

It has been inspiring to watch everyone in our PC family come together to address the crisis caused by the pandemic with resiliency, and adapting to these unforeseen and unpredictable circumstances.

At Porterville College we strive to offer the best academic college experience, no matter the modality or location. With the Spring semester behind us, we now focus on the future, we assess the lessons learned and we study the best way to ensure academic continuity in the Fall semester. Many on campus have worked diligently to explore all available options and to monitor this evolving situation. A faculty and staff taskforce have spent a great deal of time studying the viability of returning to campus, and has outlined safety protocols needed to achieve this potential return.

This Fall Semester, we will be implementing a hybrid approach in which instruction and support services will be predominantly online, with a few exceptions. Our decision is based on our regional context as it relates to the pandemic, and respecting county, state and federal orders. Public officials’ updates of the evolving data surrounding the progression of COVID 19 suggests that we can expect further waves of the virus later this year.

The following three priorities were taken into consideration:

Health and Safety

Minimizing the risk of infection for our students, faculty and staff is paramount. The majority of classes will continue to be held online through the fall to reduce exposure, and to mitigate the spread of this disease.

Academic Continuity

Preserving educational opportunities and helping students advance towards their educational goals is our focus. These are the future professionals who will help us recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

Adaptability and Support

We will continue to be flexible and adaptable in response to the evolving situation while providing support through trainings, communication, access to technology and tools.

The following are some of the general guidelines that we have in place. Additional details will be provided by each department:

Student Services:

Student Support services will continue to operate virtually through the Summer and Fall. In general, students should check with the counseling and student support service offices using our website. We encourage students to take advantage of whatever options are offered during this difficult time. We remain committed to their mental health through our Counseling Center, and to address food insecurities through the Food Pantry. Students’ financial aid situations will vary. They should remain enrolled so they are eligible for financial aid. Access to financial aid assistance will be available online or by phone.

Both existing and new co-curricular events will be held online, including student clubs and ASPC meetings.


We will deliver a rigorous and innovative academic experience for all students regardless of the mode of delivery. Very few classes or labs will be taught in person on campus. This applies to those courses that are impossible to teach online in areas such as Allied Health, Industrial Maintenance, Fire Academy, EMT, to name a few. We will be converting those classes into a low-density model following strict safety and social distancing protocols that will be enforced to ensure your health and safety. Faculty will provide more information to their students.

Faculty Training:

Faculty will continue to teach their courses via Zoom, Canvas and other remote methods. Webinars, tools and digital resources and training sessions are available through the summer to support quality online instruction. Faculty are diligently creating high-impact learning experiences and they are now more prepared than during the original transition to online learning.


The conference will offer guidelines for competition as we transition from Stage 3 to Stage 4 according to evolving state and county health measures. While this guidance does not completely eliminate uncertainty, it should nonetheless provide opportunity for student-athletes to experience the many benefits of being part of intercollegiate athletics. We should continue to field teams for the Fall term regardless of our ability to ultimately compete.

Campus Operations:

Access to campus facilities will be restricted to limited hours and essential personnel. The bookstore will continue to meet the needs of students through our website. Access to the fitness center will be limited to student athletes and their coaches, but will be closed to the general student population and the public. There will be no food services or large events. We have doubled down on our cleaning and sanitation rotations for classrooms, public spaces and restrooms to ensure the cleanest possible environment.

In addition, we are extending WiFi access to the campus parking lots located by the Academic Center and technology tools such as laptops and MiFi hotspots will still be available through the library’s loaner program. We believe this plan is reasonable and is the best way to ensure the health and safety of our campus community while maintaining the high-quality education experience you have come to expect from PC. We are resilient, we have PC Spirit and together we will see this crisis through.

Dr. Claudia Habib

President, Porterville College

New Free Resources (Including Some Amazing Apps) Available for Students and Faculty

View this University Business resource page to access 120 free resources. While many of them are faculty-specific, there are some excellent apps for students as well that can help with everything from sleep problems and stress to academic tools.

Update to PC Food Pantry Drive Thru for Students

The event will remain every Thursday, although the time will be one hour earlier, from 10:00 – 11:00 to compensate for the heat that we will be experiencing over the summer months. Please share as we would like to make sure we communicate the change and eliminate any confusion. This message has been sent through Navigate to our students.

Dear Porterville College Student,

With schools and many businesses closed, many of you who have not needed the Pirate Pantry services will need assistance more than ever. Porterville College continues to work with Community Food Bank to create a network of support for our students in emergency. Porterville College will be providing no-contact, drive-thru Mobile Pirate Pantry for Porterville College Students. One bag of Groceries will be given to each student. Students must present a current Porterville College Student ID Card or canvas login showing courses with matching picture ID to receive a bag of groceries. Please have the verification items ready when you pull up to receive your bag of groceries. The Drive Thru will be available every Thursday at 10am to 11pm and will be first come first served, beginning April 2, 2020. The drive-thru will take place in the parking lot located in front of the AC building. There will be clear signage upon entry and we ask that all participants practice social distancing. There will be marked locations that you should adhere to, while you wait your turn. We are facing unknown and unpredictable needs in the coming months and your college is working to assist in meeting those needs.

ESL Express Enrollment Coming Soon - June 4th, 2020

2020-2021 Academic Calendar Now Available

Click to view the academic calendar for 2020-2021:

2020-2021 Academic Year Calendar

Congratulations to the 2020 Porterville College Medal of Distinction Recipients

Each department has created a special video message for their recipient. Click the videos below to view.

Ivan Villanueva: Medal Recipient in Teacher Education

Jacob Roper, Kayla Drake, and Mae Vercnocke: Medal Recipients in Natural Science

Aiden Willet: Medal Recipient in Fine Arts

Joshua Reagan: Medal Recipient in Mathematics

Heathy Ochoa: Medal Recipient in Communication Studies

Alan Mata: Medal Recipient in Engineering

Porterville College Virtual Art Exhibition 2020 Now Available to View

The Fine Arts Department has found a way to keep a long held PC tradition alive with the 2020 “Virtual” Student Exhibition. Click the video below to begin exploring the latest works of art created by Porterville College.

Attention Graduates: Want to Purchase a Cap and Gown as a Keepsake? Online Ordering is Now Available

Click the button below to visit the online store for Class of 2020 cap and gown keepsakes--available for the same price as you would pay if you were purchasing them in-person at the campus store:

Order Your Cap and Gown Keepsake

The April PC Update is live.  Click here to read.

Class Name Change (INST to STSS)

Interdisciplinary Studies (INST) has changed to Student Success (STSS). See the flyer for details on which classes this will affect.

A Message to the PC Community

Porterville College President, Dr. Claudia Habib, shares some important updates about COVID-19 (4/20/20). To select different sections of the video, click the topics below. Click the YouTube image to watch the full video:

Click the following video to watch the full-length update from Dr. Habib:

Update for students from Barnes & Noble College on the status of the PC bookstore in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:

On Tuesday, March 24th, Barnes & Noble closed all Barnes & Noble College campus stores to best protect the health and well-being of our employees, students, and campus communities. While they had originally planned to reopen stores on Monday, April 6th, continued developments in the spread of COVID-19 have led them to re-evaluate their plans.

The PC bookstore will remain temporarily closed to the public. Barnes & Noble College management will continue to follow federal, state and campus guidelines for an appropriate re-opening date for all stores.

The PC Bookstore will be ready to support online course material selection and delivery for Summer Session. There will be NO interruption in service for students this summer.

Barnes & Noble has also extended the grace period for rental returns through the first week of Fall classes. They will not be charging any students who were unable to return their books on time.

The PC Bookstore remains open for business online through the following e-commerce site and mobile app - with free shipping for all orders:

Shop Online at the PC Bookstore Here


Students Please Note:  All Summer 2020 classes will be held online, due to the current COVID 19 crisis. 


Not Sure How to Access the Learning Center's Resources Online?

Use the following guide to better understand the online process for accessing resources from the Learning Center:

Online Learning Center Step-by-Step Guide


New Training on Safety Topics Now Available

The Campus Safety and Security office will be offering weekly training and information on a variety of safety topics.
Click Here to view the current list of topics available.




Financial help is available to help you make it through the COVID-19 Challenges!


to the CA College Student Emergency Support Fund!

Do your part to help your fellow Pirates in need. Visit the Porterville College Foundation COVID-19 Student Relief Page


Some Great News From Athletics: Click Here to Read the Latest Accomplishments of PC Pirates!





TIPS FOR TAKING ONLINE CLASSES (from Northeastern University)


Please note the following:

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, all of Porterville College's classes are being conducted online. Please contact your instructor for more information.

Call Us


The deadline to drop classes has been extended to April 9 to give you time to properly adjust to the virtual environment.

Please take the added time to discuss your options with an advisor before you decide to drop.


Beginning April 2, 2020:
PC Food Pantry will Offer Drive-Thru Service

Porterville College will be providing no-contact, drive-thru Mobile Pirate Pantry for Porterville College students. One bag of Groceries will be given to each student. Students must present a current Porterville College Student ID Card to receive a bag of groceries. Please have your ID card ready when you pull up to receive your bag of food. The Drive-Thru will be available every Thursday from 11 am to 12 pm and will be on a first-come-first-served basis, beginning April 2, 2020. The drive-thru will take place in the parking lot located in front of the AC building. There will be clear signage upon entry and we ask that all participants practice social distancing. There will be marked locations that you should adhere to, while you wait for your turn to receive food. We are facing unknown and unpredictable needs in the coming months and your college is working to assist in meeting those needs. Thank You!



March 17, 2020 - A Message From President Habib

Lee Este Mensaje en espanol

Dear Porterville College Students,

Porterville College is NOT implementing a campus closure.  We will be moving all face-to-face classes to online or other alternative format beginning Monday March 30. Spring break will be extended for one week and classes will resume on, March 30.

As of today, March 17, 2020, we have three confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Tulare County.

It remains important to note that the risk to students, faculty and staff continues to below, according to the Tulare County Department of Health and Human Services.

We hope you are enjoying a safe and restful Spring Break.  The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff continues to be our upmost priority.  Our mission is to support student success and we will do everything within our power to minimize the impact of this crisis on our students education.

Porterville College is taking appropriate measures and will continue to follow the expert guidance of the Tulare County Department of Health and Human Services and the Kern County Community College District. 

To this end, Porterville College, will be transitioning all face-to-face instruction to alternative methods for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester beginning Monday, March 30, 2020.  This transition will utilize several online and other alternative platforms.  Please check with your professors through Canvas and your campus email to see which methods will apply to you. 

The below timeline has been constructed to clearly communicate The Porterville College transition plan at this time.   

Important Dates

Wednesday, April 15: VIRTUAL Open Registration Begins for Summer/Fall 2020

Interested in Free EOPS Resources?

Read the EOPS flyer for details on how you may qualify:

Not Sure How to Access the Learning Center's Resources Online?

Use the following guide to better understand the online process for accessing resources from the Learning Center:

Online Learning Center Step-by-Step Guide


Student Resources Online

California Virtual Campus - Online Education Initiative Resources

PC Tutors Online

Math Mentors Online 

PASS Leader Online Study Sessions

Writing Mentor Online Services

Learning Center Faculty Assistance Online

Contact Admissions and Records Online

Contact an Online Counselor

Ask a Counselor a Question Help Form

General Student Questions and Comments Form


Virtual Student Support Services are available online via the contact methods listed below.


Student Support Services

March 30 – May 15

Academic Support (Tutoring) 559-791-2227

Admissions & Records

559-791-2220 or pcar@portervillecollege.edu


Remotely via Cranium Café or by phone.  Please call 559-791-2303 to schedule an appointment

Counseling (General)

Remotely via Cranium Café or by phone.  Please call 559-791-2329 to schedule an appointment


Remotely via Cranium Café or by phone.  Please call 559-791-2215 to schedule an appointment


Remotely via Cranium Café or by phone.  Please call 559-791-2224 to schedule an appointment

Financial Aid

559-791-2301 or pc_faid@portervillecollege.edu


Remotely via Cranium Café or by phone.  Please call 559-791-2224 to schedule an appointment

International Students



Remotely via Cranium Café or by phone.  Please call 559-791-2224 to schedule an appointment

Transfer Center Services

Remotely via Cranium Café or by phone.  Please call 559-791-2329 to schedule an appointment

Student Health Services


Student Wellness Services

Remotely via Cranium Café or by phone.  Please call 559-791-2329 to schedule an appointment

Student Fees


Computer Commons


Veterans Resource Center

Remotely via Cranium Café or by phone.  Please call 559-791-2222 to schedule an appointment

Pirate Pantry




Learning Center


Unless otherwise noted, this plan will remain in effect through the end of the Spring 2020 semester.  Thank you for your continued cooperation and patience as we work through this unprecedented event.  If you have any further questions, you may call 559-791-2200.

What You Should Do Now

Now is the time to consider your own readiness for participating in online classes. Some factors to consider:

Canvas – Are you familiar with, or have you used, Canvas (Learning Management System)? If you have not, or if it has been a while, now is the time to get more familiar with this tool.   Canvas is where most online instruction will occur.  Access Canvas on a computer through InsidePC or download the Canvas app to your smartphone: 

Below are links to the Canvas Guide for students, the Canvas 101 course shell that houses support videos for students, and the YouTube Canvas tutorial channel for students:

  • Available technology – We recognize that not all students have ready access to the technology needed (including computers and high-speed internet access) to participate in online classes. We are asking faculty and staff to be as flexible as possible during these circumstances. Remember that, in most cases, you can access all the tools necessary to take online classes (including Canvas) on your smartphone or mobile device.  We are looking at the feasibility of providing limited access to the The LRC and Library according to guidelines provided by health officials. 
  • Tutorial services also will be available via Canvas and Zoom.   

To view information flyers about drive thru COVID testing locations, click on the following images:

Resource Directory

The following information provides a helpful list of resources and contact information for students during the COVID-19 crisis.

Crisis Intervention and Emergency Services

This table provides a list of emergency services and resources and their phone numbers. For users with smart phones, tap the number to begin a phone call or text message on your mobile device.
Services Phone
Emergency Ambulance/Police/Fire 911
Non-Emergency Porterville Police/Fire 559-782-7400
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Disaster Distress Hotline 1-800-985-5990
National Sexual Assault 1-800-656-4673
Central Valley Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-888-506-5991
TrevorLifeline- LGBTQ+ Youth Crisis Hotline 1-866-488-7386
Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-800-331-1585
Crisis Text Line 741741

Emergency Shelter

This table provides a list of emergency shelter resources with their phone numbers and websites.
Services Phone Website
Family Crisis Center – Women Shelter 559-784-0192 CC Family Crisis
Family Services of Tulare County 559-741-7310 FSTC
Open Gate Ministries (men or women w/children) 559-591-1241 Open Gate Ministries
Visalia Rescue Mission, Shelter of Hope: Women and Children 559-734-7921 VRM Hope for Women and Children
Visalia Rescue Mission Men’s Shelter 559-740-4178 VRM Hope for Men

Emergency Food

This table provides a list of emergency food resources with their phone numbers and websites.
Services Phone Website
Food Link Tulare County 559-651-3663 Food Link TC
PUSD Meals for Students 559-793-2400 School Nutrition and Fitness
CA Meals for Kids

Phone App

Information About the Phone App
Helping Hands 559-784-6235

No website available.

Porterville Coordinating Council (Love Inc.) 559-793-0213 Facebook Page
Porterville Rescue Mission 559-789-9588

No website available.

City of Porterville – Lunch Program 559-782-7536 City of Porterville Lunch Program

Medical Services

This table provides a list of medical services with their phone numbers and websites.
Services Phone Website
Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency 559-624-8000 TCHHSA Online
Family Health Care Network 559-781-7242 FHCN Online
Sierra View Medical Center 559-784-1110 Sierra View
Health and Human Services Agency 559-624-8000 CHHS Online
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1-800-232-4636 CDC Online

Counseling Services

This table provides a list of emergency shelter resources with their phone numbers and additional information about each resource.
Services Phone Additional Information
Porterville Adult Mental Health Clinic 559-788-1200 1055 W Henderson Avenue Porterville, California
Alternative Services 559-783-2402 Rehabilitation - Drug/Alcohol Counseling
Central California Family Crisis Center 559-784-0192 CC Family Crisis
Porterville Pregnancy Resource Center 559-782-1225 Porterville PRC Online
Kings View Tulare & Kings County 1-877-306-2413 Kings View
Family Health Care Network, Behavioral Health 559-781-7242 FHCN Services Online
Porterville Wellness Center Current Members, Phone Appointments 559-256-1183 Porterville Wellness Center is closed to the public, but they have wellness kits and informational pieces outside the building.

Family Care Services

This table provides a list of family care services and their phone numbers.
Services Phone
Parenting Network 559-793-2527
Porterville Pregnancy Resource Center 559-782-1225
Porterville Youth Services 559-788-1200
Turning Point (Youth Services) 559-783-6492
Victim/Witness Assistance 559-782-4835

Assistance Programs

This table provides a list of assistance programs with their phone numbers and websites.
Services Phone Website
CSET 559-732-4194 CSET
CSET: Energy Assistance 1-844-224-1316 CSET Energy Assistance
Free Tax Preparation (VITA) 559-741-4640 VITA Online

Legal Assistance

This table provides a list of legal assistance resources with their phone numbers and websites.
Services Phone Website
Central California Legal Services 1-800-350-3654 Central Cal Legal
Legal Aid of Tulare County 559-733-8770 Legal Aid of Tulare County Online
O.L.A. Raza 559-784-1121 O.L.A. Raza Online
Tulare County Family Court 559-733-6052 Tulare County Family Court
Tulare County Child Abduction Unit 559-733-6623 Tulare County Child Abduction Unit
CHIRLA (213)353-1333 CHIRLA Online

Additional Student Resources Online

This list provides additional websites that may be helpful.

California Community Colleges

County of Tulare

California Community Colleges - PISCES Free Online Tutoring Software

Khan Academy Online Learning

Online Health and Wellness Resources

The Social Care Network

Headspace (meditation, sleep, and movement exercise)

Unemployment Development Department

CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which has now been detected in 60 locations internationally, including the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.

The following video, made by a medical professional who works exclusively with COVID-19 patients at a premier hospital in New York City, provides a balanced explanation that answers the most common questions about the virus. Its informed insight (grounded in experience rather than speculation as often seen in the news media) will help dispel fears and myths about the COVID-19 crisis.

Source and spread of the virus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2).

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.  All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.

Early on, many of the patients at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Person-to-person spread was subsequently reported outside Hubei and in countries outside China, including in the United States. Some international destinations now have apparent community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19, meaning some people have been infected who are not sure how or where they became infected. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.

How COVID-19 spreads

Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. However, as noted by the doctor in the video above, it requires sustained contact for about 15 to 30 minutes in a closed space to get the virus through the air. The most common way of infection by far is when you touch your face after touching a surface with the virus.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily does the virus spread?

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained. The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The fact that this disease has caused illness, including illness resulting in death, and sustained person-to-person spread is concerning. These factors meet two of the criteria of a pandemic. As community spread is detected in more and more countries, the world moves closer toward meeting the third criteria, worldwide spread of the new virus.

Current risk assessment:

  • For the general American public, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered high enough to warrant social distancing practices and other strategies to help "flatten the curve" of the spread, which will avoid an overload of the healthcare system.
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 are also at an elevated risk of exposure, though people who wash their hands and avoid touching their face can avoid getting the virus even if they have a person in their household with the virus (as noted by the doctor in the information video under the Coronavirus).
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring are also at elevated risk of exposure.

CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people with potential exposures to COVID-19.


Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Call your healthcare professional if you have shortness of breath, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19


There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Handwashing can help prevent illness. It involves five simple and effective steps--Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry--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.


There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

For more in-depth information and to stay up-to-date with current conditions please visit the Kern County Public Health website at https://kernpublichealth.com/2019-novel-coronavirus/