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COVID Vaccine Requirements

Overview

As of October 1, 2021, Cosumnes River College requires evidence of a first COVID-19 vaccine dose 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

As of October 1, 2021, 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?

As of October 1, 2021, COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all Los Rios employees. All Los Rios employees must be fully vaccinated by December 1, 2021, or have an approved exemption on file.

Consistent with all applicable law, limited exemptions will be granted 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. 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.

Beginning in spring 2022, all temporary classified and student employees – even those who work exclusively online – must meet the vaccine requirement to maintain their employment.

Do I need to use sick time or vacation time if I have a vaccination appointment scheduled during work hours?

All Los Rios employees are eligible for supplemental leave to get their COVID-19 vaccination without using regular sick leave or vacation time.

To take advantage of this statewide benefit (which is set to expire at the end of September):

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

If you have already taken sick leave in 2021 to get your vaccine and have not submitted your form for reimbursement, you may still do so.

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 exemption approved by October 1?

Employees who have not provided proof of their vaccination status and do not have an approved exemption will be subject to discipline after October 1, 2021, 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 that a vaccine requirement is the fastest and best way for us to help keep our community safe and end the pandemic. We will continue to offer online classes for students who can't or choose not to receive their first vaccine dose or 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?

Updated October 12, 2021

Los Rios employees who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. The CDC has approved boosters for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine recipients who are 65 years and older or who work in high-risk settings, including educational institutions.

Visit the CDC's booster shot webpage for more information and a full list of those who are eligible. To find available booster locations near you and make an appointment, visit the State of California’s MyTurn website.

Are booster shots required?

Updated October 12, 2021

Currently, booster shots are not required as part of the Los Rios vaccination requirement, but we will continue to follow all recommendations from local and national public health experts on this important topic. If at some point public health officials deem booster doses essential to keeping our communities safe, then we will adjust our vaccination requirements accordingly.

As of October 1, 2021, Los Rios requires that all Los Rios students who take in-person classes or access district/college facilities and all employees have received their first vaccine dose (or have an approved exemption on file).

All Los Rios employees must be fully vaccinated by December 1, 2021.

All students must be fully vaccinated (or have an approved exemption) in order to enroll in any in-person classes and/or access district and college facilities for the spring 2022 semester.

By what date do I need to be fully vaccinated?

As of October 1, 2021, all students who take in-person classes or access in-person services and all employees must have provided proof of their first vaccine dose.

All Los Rios employees must be fully vaccinated by December 1, 2021.

All students who take in-person classes and/or access district and college facilities need to be fully vaccinated to enroll for the spring 2022 semester.

Does the vaccination requirement apply to approved volunteers?

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

As is the case for students and employees, volunteers must have received at least one dose of any two-dose vaccine by October 1 in order to be on campus. Just like with students and employees, we are still finalizing policies and standards relating to allowable exemptions from the vaccination requirement, and we expect to have more details to share in the near future. Exemptions to the vaccination requirement will be very limited and only available for certain medical conditions and sincerely held religious beliefs. Once the exemption policy is finalized, we will share publicly the process for requesting an exemption.

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.

Are there leaves I can take to postpone the deadline to get the vaccine?

As communicated by Associate Vice Chancellor Chanelle Whittaker in her September 13, 2021 email titled "Communications Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement and Operational Protocols," an employee who is out of compliance with the requirements of the Operational Protocol may elect to take an unpaid leave of absence through December 16, 2021, in lieu of engaging in the discipline process. An employee must elect to take this unpaid leave of absence before a vaccine requirement discipline process begins. Once an employee's discipline process begins, this option is no longer available.

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: Testing for Employees with Approved Exemptions

The testing protocol is available only to those employees who have an approved medical or religious exemption and a documented accommodation that requires weekly testing.

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 can call 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.

Note: This testing protocol is available only to those employees who have an approved medical or religious exemption and a documented accommodation that requires weekly testing.

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.

Note: This testing protocol is available only to those employees who have an approved medical or religious exemption and a documented accommodation that requires weekly 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 able to come to any college or district facility.

Note: This testing protocol is available only to those students and employees who have an approved medical or religious exemption and a documented accommodation that requires weekly testing.

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

No, employees can get tested through our testing provider – StemExpress – any time Monday through Thursday of each week.

Though StemExpress is open on our campuses Monday through Friday, employees must get tested by the end of each Thursday to be in compliance for the following week. Employees cannot get tested on Friday and still be in compliance.

If you fail to get tested for an entire week, then you are immediately subject to progressive discipline.

Note: This testing protocol is available only to those employees who have an approved medical or religious exemption and a documented accommodation that requires weekly testing.

Do I have to pay to get tested?

No. Los Rios covers the cost of all testing for employees and students through StemExpress. Though the StemExpress website lists a cost for tests, those costs are being billed directly to Los Rios for our students and employees.

Note: This testing protocol is available only to those students and employees who have an approved medical or religious exemption and a documented accommodation that requires weekly testing.

Can I go to any StemExpress?

Yes – StemExpress will provide testing on each of our main campuses, but you do not have to get tested at the location where you primarily work or study. As long as you get tested at any StemExpress location, a record of your test will be provided to Los Rios each week. A full list of their locations can be found on the StemExpress website.

Note: This testing protocol is available only to those students and employees who have an approved medical or religious exemption and a documented accommodation that requires weekly testing.

Can I test at a location other than a StemExpress location?

No, we require that testing occur at a StemExpress location. This is so we can automatically receive the results.

A full list of locations can be found on the StemExpress website.

Note: This testing protocol is available only to those students and employees who have an approved medical or religious exemption and a documented accommodation that requires weekly testing.

Do I need to bring my student or employee ID to my testing appointment at StemExpress?

No. StemExpress has a list of all students and employees who have approved exemptions and can be tested as part of an approved accommodation. You will need to show a valid photo ID and provide your wID (for example, w0123456) at the time of your test.

Note: This testing protocol is available only to those students and employees who have an approved medical or religious exemption and a documented accommodation that requires weekly testing.