Dear RCCD Personnel,
At the special board meeting held on Thursday, 9/8, at 5:00 PM, the RCCD trustees discussed the current masking mandate and approved an addendum to rescind the masking mandate and instead strongly encourage students, employees, and visitors to use masks when indoors at District facilities. The decision reached by the board is to be implemented with immediate effect.
Even though the masking mandate has been lifted, the District is expected to align its policies with federal and state laws and with recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal OSHA), and the Riverside County Department of Public Health (RCDPH). In alignment with the policies and recommendations of the organizations listed, the District will continue tracking and reporting any COVID-19 infections, and will continue notifying people who have been in close contact with students, employees and campus visitors who have been infected. Rest assured, that the infection rate at RCCD campuses will continue to be carefully monitored. If rates of infection significantly change or the situation appears to merit further action, the board of trustees will be alerted, and they are prepared to make any necessary adjustments to the resolution. The overarching goal is to maintain a safe learning and working environment at the colleges and other District facilities.
Wearing Masks is Strongly Encouraged
An atmosphere of cooperation and respect should be maintained in all interactions between students, employees, and visitors. While federal, state, and local health authorities, and the leadership of this District, collectively advocate and strongly encourage people to wear masks, this should be done with kindness and sensitivity to the unique needs of all members of this collegiate community. There are many concerns and strongly held beliefs that have been expressed on both sides of the masking debate. I urge you to act with abundant caution, wear masks when possible, and treat each other with the utmost respect. Our collective mental and physical health is worth our best efforts.
Reporting COVID-19 Infections is Required
Students who test positive for COVID-19, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea), or have been identified as a close contact of an infected person, are required to report this information using the student reporting form for their respective colleges through the links provided here:
RCCD Employees who test positive, experience symptoms, or have been in close contact with someone who is infected are required to report this information using the employee reporting form.
Please note: The directions issued by the Colleges’ Student Health Centers, and RCCD's Risk Management Office regarding quarantines, isolation recommendations and masking will still apply when a student, employee, or visitor tests positive, experiences symptoms, or has been in close contact with someone who is infected. We will also continue to send out email notifications about COVID-19 outbreaks and changes to tracking and reporting recommendations in alignment with CDC, Cal OSHA and RCDPH.
As the pandemic wanes and the endemic continues, I am grateful for the work being done to keep our colleges safe, and our students, employees, and visitors healthy. This is a coordinated effort, and your adherence to our safety standards and policies is greatly appreciated.
Wolde-Ab Isaac, Ph.D.