Return Information for Students

Things to Know for Return to Campus

COVID-19 Vaccines are Required

Fully vaccinated people are well-protected from serious illness due to known COVID-19 variants including Delta variants, and vaccinating as many people as possible, as soon as possible, continues to be our best defense against severe COVID-19 infection, and the harm it can do to our region. Vaccines are safe, effective, free, and widely available to everyone 12 and older.

The Board of Trustees has adopted a policy (BP 2.90)   that requires COVID-19 vaccines for all students attending classes, programs, utilizing services or participating in any activity on any campus. Exceptions may be granted for those areas currently permitted by federal or state guidelines:

  • medical issue or disability, or
  • sincerely-held religious belief. Those who qualify as exempt are subject to other safety measures in accordance with Cal/OSHA regulations and public health safety measures

If you have not yet been vaccinated, and can medically do so, visit to schedule an appointment.  Additional information on vaccines can be accessed here.

When to Verify Your Vaccination Status

In preparation for the Spring 2022 semester, Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College are requiring all students to be vaccinated in order to take in-person courses and receive in-person services (Admissions and Records, Counseling, Library, Tutoring, etc.).

  • To take in-person classes and receive in-person services, you must provide proof of vaccination or qualify for a medical or sincerely-held religious exemption
  • If you do not provide proof of vaccination or if you are not approved for an exemption, you may only take online courses and receive virtual and remote support services

Starting in November, you will be asked to upload your COVID-19 Vaccination information or request a medical or sincerely-held religious belief exemption in WebSMART. This is in preparation for the Spring 2022 term and will not impact current classes and services this Fall 2021. You will receive instructions as we get closer to Spring 2022 registration.

Face Coverings are Required

San Mateo County Health Orders   require wearing a well-fitting mask indoors in public settings. Indoor settings, whether public or private, are higher risk for COVID-19 transmission, especially when individuals are with others they do not live with.

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 Fall 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.)

**Face covering means a surgical mask, a medical procedure mask, a respirator worn voluntarily, or a tightly woven fabric or non-woven material of at least two layers. A face covering has no visible holes or openings and must cover the nose and mouth. A face covering does not include a scarf, ski mask, balaclava, bandana, turtleneck, collar, or single layer of fabric.

You may request a face covering through key offices around campus if you misplaced yours

Investigating, Responding, Reporting, and Record Keeping COVID-19 Cases

SMCCCD, through the COVID-19 Health Officer, will conduct tracing procedures for seeking information regarding COVID-19 cases and close contacts, COVID-19 test results, onset of COVID-19 symptoms, and identifying and recording COVID-19 cases. Personal identifying information of COVID-19 cases or persons with COVID-19 symptoms, and any medical records required by this section, shall be kept confidential unless disclosure is required or permitted by law.

If you have tested positive or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Stay home and do not come to campus
  • Report to instructor or appropriate college staff

If you think you may have been exposed to someone who tested positive:

  • Report to your instructor or appropriate college staff


The COVID-19 Health Officer (CHO) will perform a preliminary investigation to assess conditions of the potential exposure and the Isolation / Exposure / Quarantine Decision Tree   will be used to determine appropriate directives.

The following will apply based on the variables of the suspected campus exposure:

  • Perform contact tracing following Center for Disease Control (CDC) and San Mateo County Public Health (SMCPH) guidelines, and HIPPA regulations for maintaining confidentiality during process
  • Contact San Mateo County Public Health to report any COVID-19 cases and obtain consultation as appropriate as required by law and regulation
  • Notify COVID-19 positive individuals with SMCPH directives for isolation
  • Notify individuals who have been determined to have close contact risk exposure** with SMCPH directives for quarantine or symptom monitoring

**Close contact risk exposure: means being within six feet of a COVID-19 case for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or greater in any 24-hour period within or overlapping with the “high-risk exposure period” regardless of the use of face coverings.

  • Isolation and quarantine directed individuals will be required to provide self-attestation to COVID-19 Health Officer (CHO) prior to official clearance and return to campus grounds. The following must be assessed:
    • Acknowledgement of directive for isolation (COVID+ test) or quarantine (symptomatic or confirmed exposure)
    • Completion of isolation or quarantine (beginning and ending date) consistent with CDC recommendations
    • Confirmation of no symptoms; or improved symptoms, and no fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication

A follow up negative COVID test is NOT required for release.

  • The CHO shall notify appropriate instructor, college staff, and division dean when the student is cleared to return to campus grounds

A reminder to help keep our college community healthy and safe:

  • Monitor daily for signs of illness.  Stay home if sick and report to appropriate instructor or college staff
  • Report any household or community COVID-19 positive exposures
  • Wear a required face covering at all times while indoors. The face covering should have at least 2 layers, completely cover your nose and mouth, and fit snugly against the sides of your face
  • Sanitize hands and works spaces frequently to reduce the spread of germs

Indoor Building Safety

All San Mateo County Community College District buildings are Cal/OSHA compliant and clean. The District Facilities Team continues to assess and address any safety issues (indoors and outdoors) on campuses and the District office. The District facilities are clean and meet Cal/OSHA requirements. Appropriate ventilation/filtration and sanitation protocols are in place (or alternatives have been identified) for buildings to ensure compliant operating conditions. Click here to view a briefing on the buildings’ air handling systems.

Sanitization and Hygiene

The following Sanitization and Hygiene strategies are identified to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The CDC has determined that COVID-19 is predominantly transmitted via aerosolized droplets from person to person. However, effective cleaning and disinfecting may contribute to the slowing of COVID-19 virus transmission.

Facilities Custodians clean and disinfect 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.
  • restrooms

All campus community members are expected to participate in:

  • effective hand hygiene by washing and sanitizing hands frequently
  • sanitizing the furniture, fixtures, and equipment they touch and use