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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Overview

For the spring 2022 semester, Los Rios Community College District requires evidence of full COVID-19 vaccination status for all students who access district and college facilities (including in-person classes or student support services) and all employees. See Board Resolution 2021-18: COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement.

Consistent with all applicable laws, Los Rios Community College District 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, faculty, and staff in any indoor space in Los Rios, regardless of vaccination status.

Students who choose not to be vaccinated may enroll in 100% online classes but may not come to campus for in-person classes and student support services.

How to Submit Vaccine Documentation

Students can submit their vaccination status in eServices. After you log in, click the COVID-19 Vaccination Status tile on the home page. You may have to scroll down to the bottom of the screen to see the tile.

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

Submit Vaccination Status in eServices

Need Help?

Email vaccine.verification@losrios.edu if you have questions about uploading your vaccination card or to check on the status of your submission. Keep in mind that files must be JPG, JPEG, PNG, or PDF, and cannot exceed 5MB in size.

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 must meet the vaccination requirement. Read the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Operational Protocol for clarity and details about the requirement and specific implications for students.

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.

Additional Vaccine Resources

Vaccine Education and Training

Do you want to become a positive force promoting vaccination in your community, but you're not sure how? Check out the following vaccine education and training videos:

Los Rios plans to host live vaccine influencer training for students in the near future – we will update this page when we have more information.

FAQ: Vaccine Requirements

Are students required to be vaccinated?

For the spring 2022 semester, students who take in-person classes or access on-campus services must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption on file.

Consistent with all applicable laws, Los Rios grants 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.

Los Rios continues to offer online classes for students who choose not to be vaccinated.

By what date do I need to be fully vaccinated?

To enroll in in-person classes for the spring 2022 semester, all students must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption on file. Students who are not vaccinated or do not have an approved exemption on file for the spring 2022 semester are not allowed to come to campus for in-person classes or student support services.

As of December 1, 2021, all Los Rios employees must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption on file.

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.

Do I have to get vaccinated if I am taking only online classes?

Any Los Rios student who expects to come on campus for any reason will need to be vaccinated or have an approved exemption on file. This includes all on-campus classes and on-campus services.

People who will never be on campus, including students who are only enrolled in online classes, are not currently subject to the requirement.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and we recommend everyone get vaccinated. Learn about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Can a student who has not met the vaccine requirement register for spring 2022 classes?

Students who have not met the vaccine requirement will be permitted to register for online classes only. A student's ability to enroll in in-person classes will be restored upon demonstrating the student has met the vaccination requirement.

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

Los Rios students who are not vaccinated or who do not have an approved exemption on file are not allowed to come to any district or college facility in person and are subject to discipline – up to and including possible suspension – if they come to a district or college facility.

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.

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.

In the next several weeks, we expect to announce a booster requirement for all eligible students and employees who are on campus as an extension of our existing vaccination requirement (eligibility is based on which COVID-19 vaccine you received and the date of your final dose – learn more at the CDC website).

Though we do not currently know when a booster requirement might go into effect, we encourage those who are eligible to get a booster shot immediately.

Existing approved medical and religious exemptions will apply to the updated vaccination requirement and do not need to be resubmitted.

Will there be an extension for students to get vaccinated?

No, there are no extensions to the vaccine requirement.

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, beginning in spring 2022, 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.

Are Advanced Education (high school) students subject to the vaccine requirement?

Yes, the vaccination requirement is the same for Advanced Education students and regularly admitted students. Advanced Education students enrolled in an in-person class must report vaccination status. Advanced Education students enrolled only in online classes are not required to report vaccination status.

If a vaccinated student becomes so ill due to COVID-19 that it impacts their ability to successfully complete their classes and they want to withdraw, what are the options? What does a student need to submit to Admissions & Records for medical leave?

Excused Withdrawal

Students may withdraw from a class up to the 'W' notation deadline advertised on the academic calendar page and receive a 'W' in the course. Students may petition for an Excused Withdrawal (EW) by submitting a Late Drop Petition Form through eServices along with verification of the illness. However, please note that an EW will not be given to a student who chose not to be vaccinated if that is the sole basis for requesting the EW.

How to access the Late Drop Petition Form:

  1. Log onto eServices
  2. Click on the Other Resources tile
  3. Click on eForms
  4. Select Late Drop Petition Form

Medical Leave

Students may petition for a 'Leave of Absence' for medical reasons. A 'Leave of Absence' is different from withdrawing from classes, but will preserve catalog rights for students who are expected to be unable to attend for a longer period than one semester. To request a 'Leave of Absence', students must file a Student Petition form at their college:

Verification of the illness or medical need must be submitted with the petition. Completed documents should be emailed to the college Admissions and Records office.

Will students who do not meet the vaccine requirement by the deadline have the option to receive an incomplete ('I') in their in-person classes?

No, students who do not meet the vaccine requirement by the deadline will be referred to a disciplinary process. They will not receive an incomplete ('I') grade in the in-person classes.

Will students who do not meet the vaccine requirement by the deadline have the option to switch to online sections of their classes?

No, students who do not meet the vaccine requirement by the deadline will be referred to a disciplinary process. They will not be automatically transferred to an online offering of the course(s). However, students may enroll in online courses that are still open for enrollment.

What is the financial aid impact on students who choose not to get vaccinated and are withdrawn from their classes?

Students' eligibility for financial aid is dependent on the number of course-applicable units they are enrolled in. Students who withdraw from a course or are withdrawn from the course may receive less financial aid or be required to repay some or all of the aid they already received.

Additionally, students must meet future eligibility requirements to continue to receive financial aid. Withdrawing from courses may impact a student's ability to receive financial aid based on Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Students should consult with their campus' financial aid office to discuss withdrawal from courses and the impact on financial aid eligibility.

How have students been informed of the consequences of choosing not to be vaccinated?

We have sent regular weekly communication to all students since the COVID-19 mandate was implemented, along with phone calls and text messages to students enrolled in in-person classes.

How will a student be impacted by an administrative drop resulting from disciplinary action due to not complying with the vaccine requirement?

Students will be dropped effective the date of the disciplinary determination and will receive the same notation ('W' or 'F') as if the student had initiated the drop on that date.

Administrative drops are considered attempts for repeat purposes; students administratively dropped from a course they are attempting for the third time may be unable to attempt the course again.

Students receiving a 'W' should be aware that this may impact their financial aid and may be required to repay some of their financial aid depending on the date they are dropped from their in-person class.

Students who receive financial aid and/or are part of special programs/cohorts – such as but not limited to veterans, athletes, and international students – are responsible for inquiring with the specific programs the consequences of being dropped from classes.

What is the course repeat policy and how does it apply to the courses dropped due to being unvaccinated?

Students may not repeat a course beyond three times.

Notation received as a result of an administrative drop via the discipline process will count as an attempt for repeatability purposes and will negatively impact a student's academic progress. An Excused Withdrawal 'EW' obtained through the petition process will not count as an attempt for repeatability purposes.

Administrative drops are considered attempts for repeat purposes; students administratively dropped from a course they are attempting for the third time may be unable to attempt the course again.

Are vaccinations required for international F-1 students?

Continuing international students who were enrolled in a course of study in the US at the college on or before March 9, 2020, and who left the US and are currently attending online classes to maintain their F-1 status from abroad will not be required to provide proof of vaccination to continue attending online classes.

International students attending in-person classes will need to provide proof of vaccination the same as any other student to remain compliant with our Code of Conduct. USCIS requires international students who entered the US on an initial I-20 to the college after March 9, 2020 to maintain at least one in-person class each semester to maintain the F-1 visa status.

All new initial or transfer students who wish to enroll in the spring 2022 term or after will be required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a vaccine that is on the World Health Organization's approved list. All non-English documents must be translated into English when submitted to the International Student Office or uploaded to the student's eServices account as vaccine verification.

Translators with knowledge of educational records and terminology should be used. Resources include the American Translators Association, the Northern California Translators Association, and the Southern California Area Translators and Interpreters Association.

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, masks are required to be worn 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. Students with a vaccination requirement exemption and all student-athletes 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.

Please keep your professors/coaches updated.

If I am taking classes fully online and I have an approved exemption, then do I need to test every week?

Any unvaccinated student who comes to campus for any reason needs to have both of the following:

  • An approved vaccine requirement exemption
  • A negative COVID test result (taken 48 to 72 hours before coming to campus)

For each week that you do not test, you will receive an email indicating you are out of compliance with your testing requirement.

Students who will never be on campus – including students who are only enrolled in online classes – are not currently subject to the testing requirement.

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 if I miss my testing appointment or do not get tested during the week?

If you miss your testing appointment or do not get tested during the week, then you will be prohibited from coming to campus for any classes and/or services. After you have resumed your testing protocol, you will again be eligible to return to campus.

If you miss any classes due to failure to comply with testing requirements, then those absences will be unexcused and may lead to negative consequences in that class. Refer to your class syllabus for the class attendance policy.

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?

You can get tested on campus Monday through Thursday of each week. You do not have to get tested on the same day and time each week.

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

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.