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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Overview

As of December 1, 2021, Cosumnes River College requires evidence of full COVID-19 vaccination status for all employees. See Board Resolution 2021-18: COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement.

Consistent with all applicable laws, Cosumnes River College 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. Masks are required for all students and employees in any indoor space in Los Rios, regardless of vaccination status.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Operational Protocol

For the spring 2022 semester, all Los Rios students who attend in-person classes or access in-person services and all employees must meet our vaccination requirement. To provide clarity and details about the requirement and specific implications for students and employees, read the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Operational Protocol. Los Rios has negotiated the impacts of the requirement and protocol with all of our labor partners.

How to Submit Vaccine Documentation

Our system for employees to submit their vaccination status is now live in Employee Self-Service! To access it, log in to Employee Self-Service and click the COVID-19 Vaccination Status tile on the home page.

The system will ask whether you are partially or fully vaccinated, which vaccine you received, and the date(s) of your shot(s). The system will also ask you to provide verification of your vaccination status in one of the following ways:

Submit Vaccination Status

Need Help?

Contact the Help Desk at help@losrios.edu for help uploading your vaccination card. Keep in mind that files must be JPG, JPEG, PNG, or PDF, and cannot exceed 5MB in size.

How to Get Vaccinated

Local Vaccination Sites

Visit the Sacramento County vaccine website to learn about local vaccine availability. This site is updated frequently with information about eligibility and vaccine sites in your area, including how to access vaccines via healthcare providers. You can also visit the State of California's MyTurn website if you do not live in Sacramento County or you want more information about eligibility.

Allowable Exemptions

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.

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

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. Refer to the following guidelines:

  1. Stay home and isolate for at least five days (see the California Department of Public Health's Stay Home Guidance) and adhere to the following recommendations:
    • Stay home except to get medical care.
    • Do not have any visitors.
    • Wear a face-covering around others.
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or if you can't wash your hands, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Disinfect any surfaces you touch frequently.
    • Use a separate bathroom or disinfect a shared bathroom after each use.
    • Stay at least six feet away from other people, especially those in high-risk groups more likely to get sick (such as people who are over age 65 or severely overweight, or have a weak immune system or a chronic disease like cancer, diabetes, or heart/lung disease).
    • If you must be in a shared space, open windows when possible.
  2. Isolation can end after day 5 and you can return to campus on day 6 if both of the following are true:
    • Symptoms are not present or are resolving
    • A PCR test* collected on day 5 or later is negative
  3. Wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of ten days. At Los Rios, we strongly recommend that everyone wear a mask indoors.

* Testing can be done on campus through Biocept. If a PCR test is completed outside of Biocept, then provide a copy of the results. Rapid tests and home tests are not acceptable. Employees with a vaccination requirement exemption must test with Biocept.

If you have a fever, then continue to isolate until the fever resolves. If you have symptoms other than fever that are not resolving, then continue to isolate until symptoms are resolving or until after day 10. You may then return to campus on day 11.

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:

What do I do if my COVID-19 test results are inconclusive?

If your COVID-19 test results are inconclusive, then you need to schedule another test through Biocept as soon as possible. Contact your supervisor and let them know that you received inconclusive test results and must re-test, which may impact your ability to come to campus.

Remember that you must receive confirmation of a negative test result to be "cleared" and eligible to come to campus, and it can take 48 to 72 hours to receive results after you are tested.

If I am working 100% remotely and I have an approved exemption, then do I need to test every week?

Yes, to remain in compliance with the vaccine mandate, you are required to test each week in accordance with your agreed-upon accommodation. Because your supervisor or manager could ask you to come to a campus or district facility at any time, it is highly recommended that you remain in compliance. Each week that you do not test, you will receive an email indicating you are out of compliance with your testing requirement.

Though Los Rios Community College District is temporarily moving most in-person classes and services online from the start of the semester until Monday, January 31, employees who have an approved exemption must still get tested each week during the first two weeks of classes.

Are rapid tests available?

No – unfortunately, we only offer PCR testing at this time. If you need rapid testing, then we encourage you to find free county testing resources or secure an at-home testing kit.

Though the State of California has provided hundreds of thousands of rapid at-home testing kits to K-12 school districts, it has yet to make similar resources available to community colleges and other higher educational institutions. Though we have resources available to buy rapid tests, the issue is that access to those tests is currently very limited.

We are exploring options to make rapid testing available to Los Rios employees and students as soon as those tests become readily available.

Can friends and family of Los Rios students and employees get tested for COVID-19 at the Los Rios Biocept locations?

No – the Biocept testing locations at our colleges are only available for current Los Rios students and employees. Family and friends of students or employees should visit their county website for information about free testing resources in their area.

What happens if I miss my testing appointment?

If you miss your testing appointment and come to any college or district facility while out of compliance, then you are immediately subject to progressive discipline. After you have resumed your testing protocol, progressive discipline proceedings will stop but will resume from the same point in the process if there is a subsequent occurrence of missing a week of testing.

How often must I get tested for COVID?

Every student and employee who has an approved exemption needs to be tested weekly to be considered "cleared" and eligible to come to any college or district facility.

You must receive confirmation of your negative test result before coming to campus to be "cleared" and eligible for in-person activities. This means you need to get tested at least 48 to 72 hours before you come to campus to ensure time for your test to be processed.

Do I have to get tested on the same day and time each week?

Employees can get tested through our testing provider – Biocept – any time Monday through Thursday of each week. However, you must receive confirmation of your negative test results before coming to a college or district facility to be "cleared." This means you will need to get tested at least 48 to 72 hours before you expect to come to a college or district facility to ensure time for your test to be processed.

Biocept testing hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm; additionally, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Biocept is open for testing from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

What if I don't have insurance?

Let the Biocept staff know if you don't have insurance when you arrive at your appointment. You can still be tested at no cost to you.

Can I go to any testing provider?

No, students and employees with an approved exemption need to get tested through the Los Rios approved provider, Biocept.

Biocept offers testing on the main campuses for American River College, Cosumnes River College, Folsom Lake College, and Sacramento City College. Testing hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm; additionally, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Biocept is open for testing from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.