Frequently Asked Questions

Vaccinations and Face Coverings

What is SMCCCD’s policy on vaccination requirements?

Vaccines are required for all employees working on site, with the exception of those who seek and are granted one of the following exemptions currently permitted by federal or state guidelines: (1) medical issue or disability, (2) seriously-held religious belief, and/or (3) refusal based on emergency authorization of vaccine.  Upon official approval of one or more vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), exemption #3 will be removed. This same requirement is also mandated for students.

How will the District confirm that people have and have not been vaccinated? And how will that information be kept confidential?

Vaccination information is submitted into Banner. Information will be reviewed by the District COVID-19 Health Officer and applicable human resource personnel, as needed, and will be maintained confidentially following HIPPA guidelines.

What precautions are being taken with members of the public who are on campus but are not registered students with regards to vaccinations and facial covering requirements?

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, the District is conforming with CDC guidance regarding face coverings.  Effective July 29, 2021, all employees, students and visitors to any District facility are required to wear a face covering indoors in public areas, regardless of vaccination status.

Will the District provide vaccinations on campus?

The District has partnered with San Mateo County Health Department to provide COVID-19 vaccination clinics for employees, students, and community members.  A website has been developed (https://smccd.edu/return-to-campus/vaccine-info.php) to provide vaccination information, referrals for community appointments, and onsite vaccination clinics.

What will happen if an employee does not get the vaccine?

Employees and students who do not get the COVID-19 vaccine will be required to wear a face covering at all times indoors, even if county/state mask mandates are lifted.  Periodic COVID-19 testing may also be required.

Health and Wellness

What are the rules about being sick and coming into work?

Pandemic guidelines continue to require individuals to stay home if they experience symptoms related to COVID-19.

Are mental health services available for faculty, staff and students who are experiencing anxiety, fear or depression?

Yes.  Employee and students are encouraged to seek professional medical care if they are experiencing conditions that impact their mental health.  The District offers services through Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which can be accessed at https://www.claremonteap.com/covid-19-resource-center/.  Further, students and employees can also access Talk Now through Timely MD.

Returning to In-Person Work

Am I required to return to work in-person? If so, when?

Yes. The District is utilizing a phased approach in returning personnel to in-person work; this will allow for an orderly transition that does not overwhelm District facilities or ITS teams, and makes returning on-site services seamless for students who will be accessing campus offices.

Administrators, Managers and Supervisors

Beginning the week of August 2, 2021, administrators, directors, managers and supervisors will start to transition back to their on-site offices.  This first step will allow for the needed on-site planning for returning other staff in subsequent weeks.

Classified Personnel

Beginning the week of August 16, 2021, student and administrative services and classified personnel will start returning to in-person, on-site work. Managers will be working closely with their teams to identify which services and employees will return at specific times. Hybrid schedules will be implemented when possible.

Faculty

For fall semester, if scheduled to teach in person, faculty will teach on campus in accordance with their schedules. If scheduled to teach online, faculty may access campuses, at their discretion, but are not required to do so per the negotiated MOU with AFT. Counseling and library faculty will begin a phased return coinciding with the beginning of the fall 2021 semester. Full return of on-site instruction and student support services is expected by January 3, 2022.

What if I’m not able to return immediately because I am taking care of an ill family member or am having difficulty securing child care?

The District understands that returning to in-person work may present challenges for certain employees.  Managers will work with employees with extraordinary circumstances to evaluate alternatives that allow flexibility for employees while meeting District business needs.

For those employees who have a medical-related issue, they should contact the District Human Resources Office by completing a request form at https://smccd-czqfp.formstack.com/forms/request_accommodation to begin an interactive process.

For non-medical accommodation requests, employees should first speak with their supervisors to discuss their circumstances and requests.

Personal Protective Equipment

Will vaccinated individuals be given N-95 respirators if requested?

Vaccinated and unvaccinated employees will be provided an N-95 respirator upon request for voluntary use.  Employees may request an N-95 respirator through their campus public safety office.

How often will employees need to replace the facial coverings? N-95s?

N-95 respirators can be used repeatedly as long as an appropriate fit can be maintained.  They should be replaced if they get damaged, deformed, dirty, or are difficult to breathe through.  Fit, use, and storage training will be provided.

Will facial coverings, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes be readily available while on campus?

Facial coverings will be located throughout the District in various departments such as, Public Safety Offices, Health Centers, Bookstores, Division Offices, etc. N-95 respirators and face shields will be available upon request through campus Public Safety offices. Sanitizer materials will be located throughout district facilities and can be quickly requested through facilities staff.

Building Safety and Sanitization

What information is available about building ventilation and filtration?

The District Facility Planning, Maintenance and Operations (FPMO) Department has assessed the buildings of each campus, and the vintage, condition and other characteristics of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems have been categorized. A range of tools and quality assurance steps lends confidence to the overall findings of the FPMO team, which are: No deficiencies in HVAC system performance have been identified. All areas are open to working and learning.  A full report by the FMAO team, along with building-level details about ventilation and filtration systems is available at: https://smccd.edu/return-to-campus/facilities-safety.php.

Where is plexiglass being installed?

Plexiglass has been installed in high traffic, high volume student/public transactional counter spaces.  Examples include bookstores, Admissions & Records, Financial Aid, Libraries, etc.

What type of cleaning has continued in our campus buildings during the pandemic and what continued cleaning/disinfection protocols are still in place?

While the campus community was away, the Facilities Custodial team used that opportunity to deep clean the campuses. 

Ongoing sanitization protocols are described in the District’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Recovery Plan, which can be accessed at: LINK

What are the daily procedures for cleaning and disinfection for spaces and what are the schedules for buildings in SMCCCD?

Sanitization protocols are described in the District’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Recovery plan (LINK).  Everyone is expected to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  Sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer, supplied by Facilities, is made available for use and located in convenient areas. Occupied community spaces (restrooms, classrooms, conference rooms, lobbies, etc.) are cleaned and disinfected at the conclusion of every day. The District’s professional and credentialed Custodial team disinfect community spaces using electrostatic fogging sprayers and disinfectants approved by the EPA to kill COVID-19 virus. Throughout the day, faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to disinfect work surfaces and equipment they use. Offices are serviced daily. Custodians are respectful of people’s private work areas and will not touch computers, phones, or personal belongings. Work surfaces and office equipment need to be disinfected by office occupants as they deem appropriate.

Will all public countertop areas be wiped down and carpeted areas be vacuumed upon our return?

Yes.

To what extent will employees be able to provide feedback about their specific workplace assessment and preparation?

The District and colleges welcome employee feedback. Employees who have recommendations or concerns are encouraged to surface those with their supervisors and/or at campus health and safety committee meetings.

Safety Standards and COVID-19 Regulations

Should COVID-19 exposures outside the workplace be reported; if so, to whom?

COVID-19 exposures are to be reported to the SMCCCD COVID Health Officer.

Vaccinated individuals: Exempt from quarantine for COVID-19 exposures. Symptomatic or COVID-19 positive vaccinated individuals will be directed to isolation.

Unvaccinated individuals: Directed to quarantine for COVID-19 exposures. Symptomatic or COVID-19 positive unvaccinated individuals will be directed to isolation.

Are there going to be specific guidelines for disciplines in which distancing is very difficult to implement (for example, music, social dance, allied health)?

Social distancing requirements are no longer required per the CDC, CDPH, and Cal/OSHA. Individuals should follow any required facial covering and/or sanitization procedures.

Will employees be required to participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing?

CDC, CDPH, Cal OSHA do not require routine surveillance testing unless an outbreak has occurred.

How can individuals be expected to remain safe from COVID-19 as operations resume on campuses?

Vaccination has been identified as priority strategy in mitigating COVID-19 and is required for all employees and students. Ventilation has been maximized where possible in buildings.

Unvaccinated individuals will be required to wear facial coverings to protect themselves and others, even if the county-wide mask mandate is lifted.

For added protection and concern, the District will make available N-95 respirators and face shields upon request for voluntary use.

Who do I speak to if I do not feel safe working with public, students, or staff in face-to-face situations? 

You can speak with your immediate supervisor, union representative or Human Resource Representative if you have questions regarding health and safety in your workspace.

Flexibility and Work Schedules

Will flexible/hybrid work schedules be available to all district personnel?

All District employees will continue to work their required number of hours per week. However, manager will be working with employees to determine how flexible work locations can be incorporated into regular work schedules, such as being on campus 3-4 days per week and working remotely 1-2 days per week (depending on the office and service). Unfortunately, not all functions allow for remote work. In all cases, student and business needs will drive schedules and hours of operations.

How do I request a flexible work schedule?

Employees who are interested in hybrid work locations should speak with their supervisors.

Will the hours of operations for Student Services (Counseling Services, Admissions, Financial Aid, EOPS, etc.) will they revert back to pre-COVID time frames?

The colleges will be providing details about campus/office hours for services and programs. Information will be provided by the campuses.