Find answers to commonly asked questions about COVID and its impact across the Los Rios campuses.
FAQ: Vaccine Information
No; there is currently no vaccine requirement. The previous vaccine requirement has been lifted for all Los Rios students and employees as of Monday, November 14.
Public health remains a top priority for Los Rios and our colleges. Consistent with guidance from local public health experts, we continue to strongly recommend wearing masks and appropriate face coverings when indoors. We also strongly recommend that everyone eligible continue to stay up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccine and booster regimens.
All Los Rios employees have been provided supplemental COVID-19 leave effective January 1 through December 31, 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:
- Notify your supervisor.
- Report your absence in Employee Self-Service using the Emergency Leave absence code.
- Complete and upload the Employee Certification of Need for Supplemental Paid Sick Leave in Employee Self-Service.
If Emergency Sick Leave is Exhausted
|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|
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.
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.
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.
FAQ: Masks and PPE
Masks are strongly recommended for all students, employees, and visitors in any indoor space at American River College, 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 pick up a free 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.
Masks and other PPE are available via the Operations Department. At American River College, contact Operations at (916) 484-8300 or visit Maintenance Connection.
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: Classes and Services
American River College is offering a variety of in-person classes and we look forward to adding more in-person classes as public health conditions continue to improve.
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, Safety, and Testing
Free antigen at-home tests are available to students and employees.
Locations and Hours
- American River College Health and Wellness Center, Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
- Cosumnes River College Health and Wellness Center, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
- Folsom Lake College:
- Students: Folsom Lake College Welcome and Student Success Center, Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
- Employees: Folsom Lake College Campus Operations, Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
- Sacramento City College Health and Wellness Center, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
At-home tests are also available through healthcare providers and local pharmacies. Most healthcare providers will reimburse patients for tests purchased at pharmacies.
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. 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.
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.
Employees can access a full array of informational resources on the COVID-19 reporting and forms page.
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.
Find procedures, forms, and training for each location:
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.
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.
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.
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: Facilities, Sanitation, and Campus Access
Yes, please read the Sanitizing and Disinfecting Schedule and Guidance During COVID-19.
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.
We use the CDC-recommended American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards. Read Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19 to learn more.
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.
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.
Resources and Related Links
- California Department of Industrial Relations: Cal/OSHA Emergency Regulations to Protect Workers from COVID-19
- California Department of Industrial Relations: COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards FAQ
- California Department of Public Health: Blueprint for a Safer Economy
- Governor Newsom Unveils California's Safe Schools for All Plan
- APLU Council on Research Webinar: Ramp-up and Recovery due to COVID-19
- California Department of Public Health: COVID-19 Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education
- CCCCO's Report of the Safe Campus Reopening Workgroup
- COVID-19 and the Racial Equity Implications of Reopening College and University Campuses by Shaun R. Harper
- Phillips Community College COVID-19 Reopening Plan