At 7:54 a.m., Foothill-De Anza District faculty members were informed classes would be canceled today, Nov. 15, due to poor air quality in the San Francisco Bay Area related to the Camp Fire. Students were not notified until 8:02 a.m.
Wildfires expose residents to high levels of air pollutants linked to adverse health outcomes including particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and ozone, according to the California Department of Public Health. Redwood City, the closest city to Foothill College surveyed by AirNow, a service of the Environmental Protection Agency, had an air quality index score of 187 at 1 p.m. A score of 151-200 is deemed “unhealthy,” meaning “everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects.” A number above 200 is marked “very unhealthy,” with risks for serious health issues.
Foothill College extended the campus closure until Monday at 1:39 p.m., nearly 40 minutes after the same decision was made at De Anza College. Notice of the decision was distributed to students through district emergency notification services and social media.
Both the main and Sunnyvale Center campus will remain closed. Faculty, staff, and students were escorted off campus at 8:07 a.m. and are advised to stay home. The closure extends to online classes.
Campus activities, including club-organized events, guest speakers, and sporting games, have been postponed until further notice.
Residents are encouraged to wear N95 or P100 masks and stay indoors according to the California Public Health Department. Surgical masks do not adequately protect against particulate matter.
Check back for updates.