PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Porterville College officials have announced that they’ll be extending online instruction until Feb. 14 as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

In a message to students, Porterville College President Dr. Caludia Habib says school officials have noted a significant increase in omicron cases in Tulare County since the winter term has begun.

“Since my last message [Jan. 11 ] the Positivity Rate has significantly increased from 20.3% to 32.6% as reported today,” said Habib. “In addition, the number of students and employees in quarantine has also increased significantly.”

Habib says due to the conditions of the ongoing pandemic, the length of online instruction will be extended for another two weeks. After these two weeks, Habib says school officials will then evaluate available data to, “make a determination for a future course.”

Officials say lab classes such as STEM courses, clinical rotations, athletics, performing arts, and other in-person courses may continue to take place on campus at the discretion of school faculty.

Habib says student support services will continue to be made available for students too. Some of these services include counseling, tutoring, financial aid, admissions and records, student mental health services, and more.

“I encourage everyone, once again, to consider minimizing your presence on campus as much as
possible,” said Habib. “Please continue to take all essential steps to keep yourself and your community safe. It is my sincere hope that we don’t have to extend the online/remote status again.”