Advisory: Facts About Bats and Rabies
The Santa Clarita Valley is home to a variety of species of bats, as is Los Angeles County in general. Although most people never see bats – they generally sleep during the day and come out at night to feed on insects – there have been reports of bats interacting with people. Healthy bats avoid humans and other animals. On rare occasions, a healthy bat may wander into homes and buildings while following insects.
If a bat has rabies, it can spread it to people or pets through bites. Only about 1 percent of bats in nature have rabies. However, bats that fly during daylight or have encounters with people and pets are more likely to be rabid; about 10 to 15 percent of these bats test positive for rabies in Los Angeles County. Of the 34 rabid bats found in Los Angeles County in 2015, half of them were found in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Encountering a bat may be a startling experience and a potentially dangerous situation, but you can safely handle the situation by following a few simple steps.
If you encounter a bat:
- Stay calm. The bat’s intentions are not to harm you, but it will bite in self-defense.
- Isolate the bat. Make sure no pets or people are near the bat.
- Do not touch the bat (or any other wildlife) with your bare hands. Wear thick gloves when you approach the animal, since an infected bat can transmit rabies through biting.
- It is illegal to keep, injure or kill bats. Do not attempt to rehabilitate the bat on your own or harm any bats when trying to exclude them from your house. If you find a bat in your home or on the ground, you may contain it and call Animal Control.
If you are bitten by a bat:
- Bats that bite a person or pet should be tested for rabies.
- The bite mark from a bat can be very small and hard to see.
- Bats that are found indoors near a sleeping person, young child, adult who cannot speak, or pet should be tested for rabies. In these cases, try to gently trap the bat without touching it (such as covering it with a bucket).
- Call Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control at (661) 257-3191 or (562) 940-6898, or Los Angeles County Public Health at (213) 989-7060 during normal business hours or (213) 240-7941 after hours.
- You should also talk to your doctor and/or veterinarian.
Advisory: Facts About Vaccinations
Are vaccinations required for college students?
- U.S.-based students attending the college do not require a vaccination record, nor do we collect information from the application about vaccinations.
- Students working in Early Childhood Education (ECE) and nursing, as well as EMT students, must demonstrate they are free of tuberculosis (TB).
What about international students?
- Currently, international students must show proof of a negative TB test.
What laws govern vaccinations at the college?
- Education Code 76403 requires the college to establish procedures necessary to assure cooperation with local public health officials for the prevention and control of communicable diseases, and to be compliant with any immunization programs required by the California Department of Health Services.
- The policy and procedure related to vaccinations are currently in the early stage of being developed and approved by the Board of Trustees.
What about children attending the school on campus?
- Children in the ECE must have the same vaccination records as any public school. Until the summer of 2014, parents could exempt their children from vaccinations, and some actually did. Parents had to claim personal or religious reasons. It was then up to the ECE staff to provide them with information about vaccinations.
- The law changed in summer 2014. Parents can no longer exempt their children. They must now have a health care provider sign off on the exemption. Some of those exemptions have occurred. The ECE currently has children with both types of exemptions.
- Currently about 1 percent of the children at the ECE have such an exemption. Keep in mind that the ECE accepts infants and toddlers into the program; some of those children are not yet fully vaccinated purely as a function of their age and the age at which some vaccinations are administered.
Where can I get more information?
- The March 2015 newsletter from the Community College League of California Office of Government Relations provides some good background information about vaccination policies in the various public education systems in California.
Updated March 20, 2015
Advisory: Door-to-Door Solicitors Do Not Represent College
College of the Canyons has received reports about people posing as College of the Canyons students as they canvas local neighborhoods and solicit funds for a college newspaper. Variations of this practice occur regularly, with the perpetrators claiming to be students who are raising money for college projects or activities.
College of the Canyons does not endorse this activity, nor does it ask its students to go door-to-door to solicit monetary donations for any reason. If you encounter this activity, we encourage you to report it to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station at (661) 255-1121.