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News Update

On August 3, 2021, the Los Rios Board of Trustees voted to implement a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all employees and all students who access district facilities.

Overview

Since March 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented and rapid transition of all classes and services to the online environment. Though there are still many questions about how long we will operate predominantly online, we must plan for our eventual return to campus now.

The fall 2021 semester has significantly more in-person offerings and many student support services will return (at least partially) to serving students in person. Expanded in-person service is predicated on continued positive trends in public health conditions and the reduction and elimination of state and local COVID-19 mitigation measures.

The Los Rios colleges are also planning for a full return to campuses for the spring 2022 semester, which begins in January, as public health conditions continue to improve.

Student Services Reopening Fall 2021

Some student services will be partially reopening on campus for fall 2021, which begins August 21, 2021. These services will:
  • Serve students by appointment only
  • Not accept walk-ins or drop-ins
  • Be open three days per week for in-person appointments
Student Service In-Person Hours
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Bookstore, Main Campus
Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Center for Excellence (categorical programs: EOPS/CARE/NextUp, CalWORKs, DSPS)
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm;
Wednesdays from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm
Mondays and Thursdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm;
Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Tuesdays from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm;
Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Library
Monday to Thursday
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
PEAC2E (Affinity Program)
Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Tuesdays from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Welcome and Student Success Center (computer lab; success coaches)
Mondays and Thursdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm;
Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm

FAQ: Classes and Schedule

Will the Los Rios colleges offer classes online or in-person in fall 2021?

The fall 2021 schedule will include a mixture of both online and in-person classes, with significantly more in-person classes than we offered in spring 2021. As social distancing and other public health safety requirements are eased, we will continue to bring more classes and services back in-person.

In-person offerings will include:

  • Allied Health Programs – Classes in Allied Health programs that were in-person in fall 2020/spring 2021 will again be scheduled to be in person.
  • "Impossible-to-Convert/Complete" Programs – A total of 27 programs that we have been entirely or mostly unable to offer at all in the past year. These programs will proceed in person regardless of the status of social distancing requirements, with significant safety planning to ensure that students, faculty, and staff are safe.
  • "Difficult-to-Convert" Programs/Courses – Classes in "Difficult-to-Convert" areas such as hard science labs, ESL, the arts, and affinity cohort programs like Umoja, Puente, and TRIO. If social distancing is required in the weeks leading up to the start of the fall term, then these courses will all be reverted to online classes.
  • Additional in-person Math and English Classes – A substantial number of new math/statistics/quantitative reasoning and English (ENGWR only) courses (these are additional classes above what is already planned for the schedule) in support of our districtwide focus on equity and completion. These classes will proceed in-person regardless of the status of social distancing requirements, again with significant safety planning.

If Los Rios can’t offer everything on campus in fall 2021, then how will it decide which classes or services to prioritize?

As we look at expanding in-person offerings, the first priority is to resume impossible to convert classes and programs (such as classes and programs that have been in complete hibernation since the move to remote operations) and students who may have been able to complete some classes, but have not been able to complete all the necessary coursework to make progress towards completing their program. Getting these students back engaged and moving towards their degree or certificate is the top priority.

The next priority is programs and classes that have been particularly difficult to convert to online, classes where critical aspects of the curriculum have had to be altered or skipped, and specific math and English classes critical to students' academic success.

FAQ: In-Person Services

Will student services be back on campus?

We expect to bring back at least a portion of most student services back on campus in fall 2021, should public health conditions allow. Implementation of these critical services for students will vary college-by-college based on student demand and unique staffing dynamics.

When will we be back to "normal?"

With so many questions still surrounding the fall 2021 semester, we understand the challenges in planning for the spring 2022 semester and beyond. That said, we also know that so many of our students are anxious and eager to return fully to campus in a safe and healthy way.

We are currently planning for a full return to campuses in spring 2022, with the recognition that our "new normal" may look different than what we have all been used to. We will continue to use the most current national, regional, and local public guidance as well as feedback from Los Rios stakeholders to inform all decisions. Much will change between now and the time that decisions for spring 2022 will need to be finalized, and we will continue to work closely with our community on all of those discussions and keep everyone informed along the way.

If Los Rios can’t offer everything on campus in fall 2021, then how will it decide which classes or services to prioritize?

As we look at expanding in-person offerings, the first priority is to resume impossible to convert classes and programs (such as classes and programs that have been in complete hibernation since the move to remote operations) and students who may have been able to complete some classes, but have not been able to complete all the necessary coursework to make progress towards completing their program. Getting these students back engaged and moving towards their degree or certificate is the top priority.

The next priority is programs and classes that have been particularly difficult to convert to online, classes where critical aspects of the curriculum have had to be altered or skipped, and specific math and English classes critical to students' academic success.

Can students use a campus computer to apply for and enroll in classes?

Campus computer labs are not yet open for student use. Call (916) 286-3777 for application and enrollment help.

Are students required to come to campus to complete forms or processes when on-campus operations resume?

No, during the COVID closure, nearly all of our documents and processes were moved online. Following the COVID closure, we will maintain these services and processes online for your convenience.

Will there be in-person events and workshops?

The majority of events and workshops will continue to be offered virtually, but as health conditions ease we are slowly bringing some events and student opportunities back on campus. Check your college website and social media channels for the most up-to-date information.

Will students be able to print on campus?

Printing on campus is still very limited but we will expand printing opportunities as conditions improve.

Can students come to campus for tutoring?

Currently, most tutoring will continue to occur virtually. However, we will offer some in-person tutoring beginning in the fall semester. Check Folsom Lake College's tutoring website or contact the college tutoring office for hours and more information.

Is the library open for studying, to check out books, or to meet with a librarian?

Librarians are available for online appointments with students. Visit the library website to chat or make an appointment. Students can request books and pick them up via a safe and socially-distanced method.

The CRC, FLC, and SCC libraries will be open for limited in-person hours to provide access to computers, printing/copying, study space, and access to the physical collection.

The ARC library will have a service window open for picking up and dropping off materials. Computers, printers, and copiers may be accessed at the Learning Resource Center (LRC).

FAQ: Health and Safety

Are masks required on campus during fall 2021?

July 20, 2021 Update

Throughout the pandemic, we have consistently relied on recommendations from public health experts regarding the best approaches to keep our students, faculty, and staff healthy and safe. In mid-July, Sacramento County and Yolo County announced new "strong" recommendations that all residents, vaccinated and unvaccinated, again wear masks at all times indoors to combat the growing number of cases and hospitalizations due to the new, highly contagious Delta variant.

As such, and given the new guidance, effective immediately we are reinstating a mask requirement for all students, faculty, and staff in any indoor space in Los Rios regardless of vaccination status. Masks are not required for outdoor activities; however, masks are always permissible and anyone who feels safer or more comfortable wearing a face-covering outdoors is encouraged to do so.

The changing guidance on masks will have no impact on our plans to offer more in-person classes and services this fall, as there are still no indications that there will be any state or county social distancing requirements in place.

Are vaccinations required for students to return to campus in fall 2021?

COVID-19 vaccinations are required by October 1, 2021, for all students who access district and college facilities (including in-person classes, student support services, or any other indoor on-campus activity). This decision comes as we face rising case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths in our region and throughout the country.

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.

Los Rios will continue to offer online options for students who choose not to receive their first vaccine dose by the October 1, 2021 deadline.

Can students request an exemption from wearing a mask for medical reasons?

If you have a medical condition, mental health condition, communication disability, or other disability that precludes you from wearing a face mask and you seek an exemption from the Los Rios COVID-19 face mask requirements, then download the Student COVID-19 Face Mask Medical Exemption Request Form and consult with your physician, mental health counselor, therapist, or medical professional. You can print and fill out the form by hand, or fill it out digitally. Email signed and completed exemption requests to the appropriate college:

Questions can be sent to each college using these same email addresses.

Will the college provide masks to students?

A limited supply of masks will be provided in each classroom and at student support counters/locations for students who need masks.

Is there a specific mask I must wear? Do certain masks not qualify?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are many types of masks you can use to protect yourself and others from getting and spreading COVID-19, including cloth and disposable masks. Choose a mask that fits your face snugly.

For more information about selecting the right mask, the CDC has a number of great resources:

Scarfs, ski masks, balaclavas, bandanas, turtlenecks, collars, or single layers of fabric are not acceptable face coverings, as they do not provide adequate protection from the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, face shields cannot be used in lieu of masks unless a part of a specific accommodation for an approved mask exemption.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 or am exposed to someone who has? How long do I need to quarantine? Who will let me know when I can return to campus/class?

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. Email your supervisor or professor to let them know you have tested positive for COVID.

If you were exposed for more than fifteen minutes in a 24-hour period and within six feet of an infected person, do not come to campus. Email your supervisor or professor to let them know you were exposed to COVID.

After your email is received, a college representative will reach out to you to gather more information. The quarantine period is different depending on whether you are fully vaccinated, have symptoms, and/or have tested positive for COVID-19. Our COVID team will provide guidance once the situation is reviewed and evaluated. Guidance will include when you are allowed to return to campus/class.

Find procedures, forms, and training for each location:

FAQ: Facilities and Sanitation

What is the process to "ready" a building? What types of inspection, testing, and replacement of equipment will occur – daily, weekly, and monthly – before the start of fall 2021?

COVID mitigation measures to prepare our facilities primarily involve building ventilation and air filtration systems, but Facilities Management (FM) would also do a full HVAC system functions test and inspection for each building prior to occupancy (as outlined in Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19).

Before the pandemic, we already regularly performed these system checks throughout the year, typically coinciding with filter replacements (every four months). Now, we will perform additional checks before reopening facilities. These checks help ensure systems are performing the necessary CDC/ASHRAE recommended air exchanges and sufficient outside fresh air is being pulled into the buildings.

Before reopening a facility, we will also verify that we can remotely communicate with the building's HVAC controls through the District's Energy Management System (EMS). Read Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19 to learn more.

When will all buildings have air filtration equivalent to N95 masks?

All buildings that are currently occupied have MERV-13 filters, the industry standard for COVID-19 mitigation. MERV-13 filters are recommended because they can trap smaller particles, including viruses, and are equivalent to N95 masks with regards to protection and air quality.

In the event a building's HVAC system cannot accommodate the MERV-13 filters, we are performing additional building "flushing" two hours prior and two hours after occupancy as recommended by CDC/ASHRAE for these situations. As more buildings open to accommodate more people coming on to campus, we will perform HVAC system checks and filter changes prior to occupancy.

Buildings are being prioritized in the order they will be occupied with the goal of all buildings being ready (with system checks and filter replacements complete) no later than July 31, 2021, so we are prepared for whatever on-campus activities take place in the fall. Read Making Our Buildings Resilient During COVID-19 to learn more.

March 1 Reopening Planning Report

Based on engagement with key stakeholders – including the board of trustees and labor and senate partners as appropriate – the Los Rios Reopening Planning Team submitted a refined report titled, A Framework for Reopening In-Person Instruction, Student Services, and Administrative Services. The report outlines a detailed and specific framework and plan for reopening to the chancellor and college presidents.

The Los Rios Reopening Planning Team also released an initial Reopening Planning Report in January 2021 after gathering feedback at Flex Week Reopening Plan Listening Sessions, through this website, and in other campus- and district-wide discussions.

As public health information evolves and vaccination rates increase, our planning parameters can and will change.

Input and Feedback Form

Provide input and feedback on the reopening report or the reopening planning process in general. All submissions will be publicly visible.