Frequently Asked Questions
Vaccinations and Face Coverings
Q1. What is SMCCCD’s policy on vaccination requirements?
Board Policy 2.90 requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all full-time employees, part-time employees who access District sites/facilities and all students attending classes or accessing services or activities on-site. Limited exemptions may be granted due to a verified medical reason or due to a sincerely held religious belief. Those granted an exemption may be subject to other safety measures as prescribed by the District.
Q2. 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.
Q3. 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?
The public & visitors to campuses, the District office, or other District facilities are not subject to vaccination verification but must comply with safety guidelines and other policies in place by the District.
The Board of Trustees modified the District’s face masking requirement, utilizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID Community Level coding system. The updated masking requirements, as outlined here, are effective until further notice, and apply to all students, employees, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
Q4. 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.
Q5. What will happen if an employee does not get the vaccine?
Employees who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and who have not been granted an allowable exemption are subject to progressive discipline.
Health and Wellness
Q1. What are the rules about being sick and coming into work?
If an employee is sick, or exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19, they should stay home and report at the following URL: https://smccd.edu/return-to-campus/covid-positive-result.php
Q2. 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
Q1. Am I required to return to work in-person? If so, when?
All District employees, unless they have received an accommodation or have a completely on-line teaching assignment, are required to work on-site throughout the work week. The District is utilizing a pilot flexible work location program, allowing for employees to work remotely up to two-days per week (based on business need). With this flexibility, most employees may be able to take advantage of a 3-2 or 4-1 work site schedule, while being on-site at least three days per week. For more information, click here https://smccd.edu/humanresources/
Q2. 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
All employees, students and visitors entering any District facility are required to wear a face covering** in all indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status through Spring semester. Signage to this effect has been posted in all buildings throughout the District. Face coverings are not required only when actively eating or drinking in designated areas
Q.1 Will individuals be given N-95 respirators if requested?
N-95 and surgical masks are available at the entrances of every occupied building.
Q2. 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.
Q2. Will facial coverings, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes be readily available while on campus?
Facial coverings are located throughout occupied District buildings. Sanitizer materials are located throughout district facilities and can be quickly requested through facilities staff.
Building Safety and Sanitization
Q1. 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.
Q2. 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.
Q3. What type of cleaning protocols are in place?
The District’s facilities team clean and disinfect the following spaces/items at least once daily:
- High use community spaces: in-use classrooms, break rooms, work rooms, conference rooms, etc.
- High touch points: handrails, door handles, elevator buttons, etc.
Ongoing sanitization protocols are described in the District’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Recovery Plan, which can be accessed here .
Q4. 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 (COVID-19 Health and Safety Recovery plan . 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.
Q5. 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
Q1. Should COVID-19 exposures outside the workplace be reported; if so, to whom?
Exposures are no longer reported to the COVID-19 Health Officer. Please reference The Isolation / Exposure / Quarantine Decision Tree to self assess and identify appropriate directives.
If an individual has tested positive for COVID-19:
- Report at the following URL: https://smccd.edu/return-to-campus/covid-positive-result.php
If an individual is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms:
- Stay home and do not come to campus
- Follow the COVID-19 Symptomatic Guidance
Q2. What social distancing requirements are currently in place?
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.
Q3. 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.
Q4. How can individuals be expected to remain safe from COVID-19 on campuses?
Safety starts with you. Vaccination has been identified as priority strategy in mitigating COVID-19 and is required for employees and students. Additionally, for those individuals who want additional personal protection, the District will provide an N-95 respirator and/or a face shield for voluntary use. Sanitization supplies including hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are also available throughout all buildings.
The District has also assessed and maximized ventilation and filtration where possible in buildings.
Q5. 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
Q1. 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, managers will be working with employees to determine how remote 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.
Q2. How do I request a flexible work schedule?
Employees who are interested in hybrid work locations should complete the Hybrid Remote Work Location Request form via the District Human Resources website to begin the process.