On December 13, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued an updated directive requiring the use of face coverings by all people, regardless of vaccination status and with limited exceptions, in all indoor public settings effective December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022. This directive applies to all of San Diego Community College District operations. This public health measure was implemented in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases statewide following the Thanksgiving holiday and as a precaution against the latest SARS-CoV-2 variant, known as the Omicron variant. While there is limited research and data on the Omicron variant at this time, initial studies suggest it is more transmissible than prior variants, including the Delta variant. Further, early data suggests current vaccines may have limited effectiveness at preventing transmission of the Omicron variant if an individual has not received a booster dose. The Centers for Disease Control continue to define “fully vaccinated” as the initial doses in a vaccine series, without boosters, and the District continues to use the same definition as the CDC.
The current health and safety protocols for the District require everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear acceptable face coverings while indoors in public spaces. There are very limited exceptions to the requirement, which include children younger than two years old, employees and students with approved medical exemptions from wearing a face covering, while providing services to individuals with hearing impairments which require the ability to see mouth movements for effective communication, and during activities where face coverings would create a health risk. Appropriate exemptions have been made in specific instructional and service programs within these parameters and may continue. In all other activities and services occurring in public indoor spaces must be conducted with face coverings being worn.
For more information on the District’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, acceptable face coverings, and related information, please see our COVID-19 employee resources webpage and the COVID-19 Prevention Plan.
Out of State and International Travel
The CDC has issued travel guidance for international and domestic travel. The CDPH has not implemented requirements related to travel the District must follow at this time. Accordingly, the District is not imposing testing or quarantine requirements following travel outside of the state or country beyond the current federal and state requirements. Employees who travel during the holidays are strongly encouraged to get a COVID-19 test following their travel and prior to returning to work at a District facility. Employees who are not vaccinated are not required to be tested during weeks they are not working, but are required to be tested prior to returning to work. Employees who are fully vaccinated are encouraged to get tested, but are not required to be tested.
As cases increase throughout the state and our county, it’s important to remember the most effective prevention against COVID-19 is our individual choices. Consistent use of face coverings, maintaining physical distancing, avoiding unnecessary public gatherings, getting vaccinated and booster doses when possible, getting tested if you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19, and maintaining healthy hygiene are important measures we can take to stop the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your continued efforts to keep our communities safe and healthy.