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Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented transition of classes and services to the online environment. Because of improving public health conditions, we are adding more classes and services on campus.

Los Rios Community College District requires that employees are fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption. Additionally, all students who access district and college facilities must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption.

Masks are strongly recommended but not required in all district facilities, regardless of vaccination status. Los Rios strongly supports any student or employee's choice to continue wearing a mask if it makes them more comfortable.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Los Rios requires that all employees meet the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Vaccination Requirement

COVID-19 Testing

Learn about COVID-19 testing options for employees.

COVID-19 Testing

FAQ: Classes and Services

What classes are offered in person?

Los Rios Community College District is offering a variety of in-person classes and we look forward adding more in-person classes as public health conditions continue to improve.

What student services are offered in person?

We are offering many student services at least partially in-person. Implementation of these critical services for students will vary college-by-college based on student demand and unique staffing dynamics.

FAQ: Health and Safety

What should an employee do to protect class and campus safety if a student informs them they have tested positive for COVID?

Any student who reports having tested positive for COVID-19 should be asked to leave the class immediately if they have not passed the required quarantine period. Let the student know that they need to self-report their positive COVID test result in eServices, if they haven't already. Faculty or staff should contact their division dean or supervisor within 24 hours of being notified. The dean or supervisor will initiate the contact tracing protocols that we have in place.

What should an employee do to protect class and campus safety if a student informs them they have been exposed to COVID?

Any student who reports COVID-19 exposure should be directed to complete the COVID-19 Interactive Decision Chart and follow all directions provided. Based on the outcome and contact tracing protocols, all appropriate individuals will be notified and provided with next steps.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19 or am exposed to someone who has?

If you test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, then do not come to campus. Use our interactive decision chart to find out what next steps you should take.

Absence Reporting for Employees

Notify your manager/supervisor. If you are directed by your supervisor/manager to quarantine or isolate, then you will be provided notification and directions for absence reporting.

Please keep your manager/supervisor updated.

Reporting

Find procedures, forms, and training for each location:

How does an employee know when a student is allowed to return safely to class after testing positive for or being exposed to COVID?

The class roster is updated daily with a student’s cleared/not cleared status based on the contact tracing and quarantine protocols.

What should an employee do if a student comes to campus and is neither vaccinated nor exempted from the vaccination requirement?

All students need to have a cleared status to attend an in-person class or access any in-person services. If a student is cleared, then that means that they are in compliance with our vaccination requirement, either by having submitted proof of vaccination or by having an approved exemption (and associated accommodation) on record.

If a student who is not cleared attempts to come to an in-person class or access any in-person services, then faculty or staff should address the issue with the student by restating the policy as they would with any other classroom student conduct issue and ask the student to leave immediately. Once the student leaves, the faculty and staff should contact their college's student conduct officer to report the situation, so that appropriate disciplinary actions can be taken immediately.

If the student still refuses to comply, then faculty and staff can use the below phone numbers to contact a manager on duty to help address the situation.

How can faculty know which students in their in-person classes are in compliance with the vaccination requirement?

Each class roster will show which students are cleared. If a student's status does not show cleared on the roster, then that student is not cleared to attend in-person classes or access in-person services. Student services staff can also look up an individual student's status for in-person services.

All students need a cleared status to be in any on-ground class or access any in-person services. If a student is cleared, then they are in compliance with our vaccination requirement – either by having submitted proof of vaccination or by having an approved exemption (and associated accommodation) on record.

If a student who is not cleared attempts to come to an in-person class or access any in-person services, then faculty or staff should address the issue with the student by restating the policy as they would with any other classroom or campus student conduct issue and ask the student to leave immediately. After the student leaves, faculty and staff should contact their dean or supervisor to report the situation, so that appropriate disciplinary actions can be taken immediately.

If the student still refuses to comply, then faculty and staff can use the below phone numbers to contact a manager on duty to help address the situation.

What requirements exist to ensure students and employees are self-reporting positive COVID tests or exposures?

If an employee is aware of any instances in which a student or another employee has not followed Los Rios COVID-19 protocols, then please report it directly to your dean/supervisor immediately.

How often does faculty need to check the "cleared/uncleared" status of students on their class roster and what should they do about students who are “not cleared?”

Faculty should check the status of students daily. If a student is in “not cleared” status, then faculty may ask the student to leave class. Report this student information to the dean within 24 hours, so the dean can initiate the student conduct process.

How should faculty handle student absences from in-person classes?

Faculty should follow existing absence/attendance policies outlined in syllabi for any student who does not come to class as a result of not being cleared for in-person classes or services. The absences are unexcused and should be treated as any other absence by faculty. Students should be dropped by faculty for non-attendance if they violate the attendance policy outlined in the class syllabus.

Will employees be notified if they have been exposed to COVID-19 by someone who self-reports a positive test or exposure directly through the districtwide reporting process?

Any student or employee who reports a COVID-19 exposure should be directed to complete the COVID-19 Interactive Decision Chart and follow all directions provided. Based on contact tracing protocols, all appropriate individuals will be notified and provided with next steps.

What is the process for determining if a class should be temporarily converted to online due to COVID exposure or positive case(s)?

Faculty with questions or concerns about a specific course should contact their dean, who will work with the college vice president of instruction on appropriate next steps based on current COVID protocols.

Does a faculty member have the authority to convert a class temporarily to online-synchronous due to their own COVID exposure or positive test?

No. Faculty with questions or concerns about a specific course should contact their dean, who will work with the college vice president of instruction on appropriate next steps based on current COVID protocols.

Must students be vaccinated or cleared via an exemption to attend fully online classes?

No, the vaccination requirement only applies to students coming to campus. Students enrolled in fully online classes do not need to be cleared and should not be dropped from fully online classes if they are not cleared.

Students who want to take in-person classes must provide evidence of full vaccination status. All students must be cleared to access in-person services, such as tutoring, computer labs, and so on.

What is the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Program?

Cal/OSHA regulations require that employers implement a site-specific, written COVID-19 prevention program to address COVID-19 health hazards, correct unsafe or unhealthy conditions, and provide face coverings. The program includes:

  • Identifying and evaluating employee exposures to COVID-19 health hazards
  • Implementing effective policies and procedures to correct unsafe and unhealthy conditions (such as safe physical distancing, modifying the workplace, and staggering work schedules)
  • Providing and ensuring workers wear face coverings to prevent exposure in the workplace
  • Provide effective training and instruction to employees on how COVID-19 is spread, infection prevention techniques, and information regarding COVID-19-related benefits that affected employees may be entitled to under applicable federal, state, or local laws
  • Read the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards – What Employers Need to Know

FAQ: Masks and PPE

Are masks required on Los Rios campuses?

Masks are strongly recommended for all students, employees, and visitors in any indoor space at Los Rios Community College District, regardless of vaccination status. For outdoor activities, masks are always permissible and anyone who feels safer or more comfortable wearing a face-covering outdoors is encouraged to do so.

We expect that employees and students will continue to wear masks in the following situations:

  • Individuals who are symptomatic and on campus to take a COVID test should continue to wear a mask.
  • Individuals who were recently exposed to a positive COVID case should continue to wear a mask for 10 days, even if they have been cleared to return early (prior to 10 days after exposure) based either on vaccine/booster status or by testing negative at day 5 or later.
  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID and who have returned early (prior to 10 days) based on receiving a negative COVID test on or after day 5 should continue to wear a mask through day 10.

How do employees request personal protective equipment (PPE)?

Masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) are available at each college via the Operations Department.

What type of mask should I wear?

If you choose to wear a mask, then we strongly recommend wearing surgical masks or higher-level respirator N95 or KN95 masks instead of cloth masks or other face-coverings that provide less protection. Read the California Department of Public Health's latest guidance on masks and face coverings.

Scarfs, ski masks, balaclavas, bandanas, turtlenecks, collars, or single layers of fabric are not acceptable face coverings, as they do not provide adequate protection from the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, face shields should not be used in lieu of masks.

FAQ: Vaccine Requirements

Are vaccinations required for faculty and staff?

All Los Rios employees must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption on file.

Consistent with all applicable laws, Los Rios will grant limited exemptions for eligible documented medical conditions as well as narrowly defined and sincerely held religious beliefs. Learn how to request a medical or religious vaccination requirement exemption.

Do temporary classified and student workers who work 100% online need to meet the vaccine requirement to stay employed?

As with all other employees, temporary classified and student employees who work exclusively online must meet the vaccine requirement (meaning they are either vaccinated or have an approved exemption on file) to be in compliance with the vaccine requirement and maintain their employment.

Disciplinary action against an employee who does not meet the vaccine requirement (in the case of temporary classified and student employees, disciplinary action means that employment is immediately terminated) only begins when that employee arrives on campus or at any district facility in person.

How do I fill out my absence report if I have a vaccination/booster appointment scheduled during work hours, if I have to miss work due to symptoms, or if I test positive for COVID (or a member of my family tests positive)?

All Los Rios employees have been provided supplemental COVID-19 leave effective January 1 through September 30, 2022. For eligible employees, up to 40 hours of COVID leave is available for absences related to getting a COVID-19 vaccination or booster shot, or missing work due to symptoms.

An additional 40 hours of COVID leave is available for employees who test positive for COVID and are unable to work, or for employees whose family members test positive for COVID (and this prevents the employee from working). Documentation may be required.

To take advantage of this Los Rios benefit:

  1. Notify your supervisor.
  2. Report your absence in Employee Self-Service as sick leave with the notation COVID in the comments.
  3. Fill out the COVID Emergency Leave Form and submit it to Employee Benefits at DO-Benefits@losrios.edu.

If Emergency Sick Leave is Exhausted

If you have exhausted Emergency Sick Leave, then use this table to determine what type of leave to use for your absence.
Reason for Leave Type of Leave to Use
Advised to quarantine by doctor/District: Asymptomatic Quarantine (documentation required)
Advised to quarantine by doctor/District: Symptomatic Illness
Vaccine/Booster Appointment (self) Illness
Symptoms or reaction to vaccine/booster (self) Illness
Caring for family member advised to quarantine Personal Necessity
Caring for family member with COVID symptoms Personal Necessity
Child's school or daycare closed due to COVID Personal Necessity
Caring for family member who had reaction to vaccine/booster Personal Necessity

How do I request a medical or religious exemption?

Exemptions to the vaccination requirement are limited and only available for certain medical conditions and sincerely held religious beliefs. Learn how to request a medical or religious vaccination requirement exemption.

What if I am not vaccinated or do not have an approved exemption on file?

Employees who have not provided proof of their vaccination status and do not have an approved exemption are subject to discipline, up to and including termination (consistent with the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Operational Protocol). We will follow all existing negotiated employee discipline policies and procedures fairly and swiftly.

Can I get tested instead of getting the vaccine?

No. The Los Rios colleges and our Board of Trustees believe vaccination is the fastest and best way to keep our community safe and end the pandemic. We will continue to offer online classes for students who can't or choose not to get vaccinated or receive an approved exemption.

How do I submit a vaccine requirement exemption request?

Exemptions to the vaccination requirement are limited and only available for certain medical conditions and sincerely held religious beliefs. Learn how to request a medical or religious vaccination requirement exemption.

If I have an approved exemption, does the requirement still impact me?

Yes, this requirement impacts everyone. Having an approved exemption on file does not mean you just continue with your job as if the requirement didn’t exist. For the small number of employees who have an approved exemption, we will work with you through the ADA process to determine if a reasonable accommodation is available.

Are Los Rios employees eligible for booster shots?

Booster shots are available for everyone 12 and older. Get a booster shot as soon as you're eligible:

  • If you got a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, then get a booster shot after five months.
  • If you got a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, then get a booster shot after two months.

Your booster shot can be a different vaccine brand than you got in your original series. A Pfizer or Moderna booster is strongly advised for those who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Those aged 12 to 17 can only get a Pfizer booster. To book your booster shot or find a walk-in clinic, visit the State of California’s MyTurn website.

Are booster shots required?

We strongly encourage all students and employees who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot immediately. Boosters are proven to dramatically reduce the chances of contracting the Omicron variant or becoming seriously ill if you do contract COVID-19. To book your booster shot or find a walk-in clinic, visit the State of California’s MyTurn website.

Does the vaccination requirement apply to on-campus volunteers?

Yes, the district's vaccination requirement applies to volunteers. Volunteers must provide proof of vaccination to the administrator responsible for the program or area and receive approval/clearance from Human Resources before engaging in any in-person volunteer activities at Los Rios campuses or facilities.

As is the case for students and employees, volunteers must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption on file to be on campus. Exemptions to the vaccination requirement are limited and only available for certain medical conditions and sincerely held religious beliefs.

Volunteers who wish to apply for a medical or religious exemption should provide a complete exemption request form to the program administrator. Visit the Exemption Request page to find medical and religious exemption forms.

Have Los Rios unions/collective bargaining units been involved in this discussion?

Yes, Los Rios has completed negotiations with all of our collective bargaining units on the impacts of the vaccination requirement on employee groups. We will continue to work closely with all of our labor partners throughout the implementation and follow our negotiated contracts.

Can I continue my health coverage through COBRA if I lose my job for not meeting the vaccine requirement?

If you resign or are terminated from your current position, then you will be offered COBRA – which allows you to continue your health coverage – and you will be responsible for the full cost of premiums and a small administrative fee.

Can I choose to retire rather than get the vaccine?

If you qualify to retire, then you may follow our normal retirement procedures.

Retirement is defined in the collective bargaining agreements. The process for retirement for Managers and Confidential employees is defined in Board Policy 9411: Resignation/Retirement.

What will happen to my CalPERS/CalSTRS pension if I quit in lieu of meeting the vaccine requirement?

If you delay taking out your pension, then you will no longer earn service credit and your salary will not increase – but your age factor will – increasing your pension amount.

If you get another job covered by CalPERS/CalSTRS, then you will continue to earn PERS/STRS service credit and enhance your retirement.

If I enter the discipline process because I will not satisfy the vaccine requirement, then can I choose to retire during any part of this process?

Instructional faculty retirement dates are held to the end of the semester, so as to not disrupt the class and students. This will continue to be our practice.

Classified professionals and non-instructional faculty may resign or retire during a disciplinary process, as our current discipline processes outlined in contracts/board policy will be followed.

FAQ: Facilities, Sanitation, and Campus Access

What is the process to "ready" a building? What types of inspection, testing, and replacement of equipment will occur?

COVID mitigation measures to prepare our facilities primarily involve building ventilation and air filtration systems, but Facilities Management (FM) would also do a full HVAC system functions test and inspection for each building prior to occupancy.

Before the pandemic, we already regularly performed these system checks throughout the year, typically coinciding with filter replacements (every four months). Now, we will perform additional checks before reopening facilities. These checks help ensure systems are performing the necessary CDC/ASHRAE recommended air exchanges and sufficient outside fresh air is being pulled into the buildings.

Before reopening a facility, we will also verify that we can remotely communicate with the building's HVAC controls through the District's Energy Management System (EMS).

Read Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19 to learn more.

Will all buildings have air filtration equivalent to N95 masks?

All buildings that are currently occupied have MERV-13 filters, the industry standard for COVID-19 mitigation. MERV-13 filters are recommended because they can trap smaller particles, including viruses, and are equivalent to N95 masks with regards to protection and air quality.

In the event a building's HVAC system cannot accommodate the MERV-13 filters, we are performing additional building "flushing" two hours prior and two hours after occupancy as recommended by CDC/ASHRAE for these situations. As more buildings open to accommodate more people coming to campus, we will perform HVAC system checks and filter changes prior to occupancy.

FAQ: Decision-Making

Is official college/district travel allowed?

Students and staff who are vaccinated or cleared through the exemption process are allowed to travel for official college/district business. Existing supervisory and budgetary approval protocols must still be followed.

Who is making decisions around reopening?

We are in an era of only complicated and hard decisions, often exasperated by the fact that we frequently have a little information to frame our decision-making. We are committed to working closely with all stakeholders and constituencies to solicit feedback on important decisions and communicate clearly about what is being decided and when.

To that end, we are leveraging the Chancellor's Cabinet – which is designed explicitly to include voices of all constituent leaders from across our four colleges and the district (see Regulation R-3411: Participatory Governance) – as a steering committee for this decision-making process. Importantly, our labor partners are at the table as well, and we will continue to work with them directly on any items that are negotiable.

Though many of the decisions regarding reopening specific parts of our instructional, student services, or administrative operations will ultimately be made by the chancellor under the direction of our elected Board of Trustees, we must and will make those decisions based on the counsel of public health experts and feedback from students, faculty, and staff.

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