It appears our “new normals” continue to be redefined. As related to wildfires and air quality, it seems that we are dealing with those issues earlier and earlier every year. After last year’s wildfire season, I committed to adopting air quality guidelines that would provide for consistency in application as well as transparency and access to all members of our community.
The U.S. Air Quality Index (AQI) is divided into six categories, each corresponding to a different level of health concern. Each category also has a corresponding color to make it easy for people to determine the level of concern. College of Marin (COM) air quality guidelines provide recommended actions for different activities based on the AQI. The COM guidelines also include the guidance used by College officials in determining when to close campuses.
During the time classes are being delivered remotely, I wouldn’t anticipate many disruptions to operations due to air quality conditions. If you are an employee scheduled to physically report to campus, please watch for notifications from the College. If you are a student scheduled to attend an in-person or face-to-face portion of a course, you are also encouraged to watch for notifications from the College. Please keep in mind that air quality can vary from location to location throughout the Bay Area. As always, use your best judgment in these situations and work with your instructor or supervisor if you cannot make it to campus during times when the AQI is elevated.
The health and safety of our students and employees is always our top priority. We will do our absolute best to inform the College community when we are making decisions regarding air quality and its impact on College operations.
David Wain Coon, Ed.D.