COVID-19 virus

COVID-19 Updates

PCC COVID-19 testing protocols

Pueblo Community College will follow the COVID-19 testing protocols established by the Colorado Community College System, of which PCC is a member:

  • Employees and students who will be on campus will have the option to provide weekly COVID-19 test results or submit evidence that they are fully vaccinated.  
  • Individuals who provide PCC official documentation of their vaccination status are not required to undergo testing.
  • Employees need to provide proof of vaccination by Dec. 23, 2021, or begin participating in weekly testing on Jan. 3, 2022.
  • Students need to provide proof of vaccination by Jan. 14, 2022, or begin participating in weekly testing on Jan. 17, 2022.
  • PCC will continue to require masks indoors in gathering spaces such as classrooms, labs, libraries and study areas.

Testing FAQ

Testing Procedure

Does testing have a cost?

COVID-19 testing is available at no cost to anyone wishing to have a test. There is no need to provide insurance information, identification documents, or payment. You can find your nearest testing location on the state website. This site includes community sites and non-state-sponsored sites (federally funded sites like Walgreens). Additionally, the state is providing free home testing kits
Individuals may also choose to be tested at health care facilities or private providers for a fee. If an individual chooses to use one of these resources, they are responsible for the cost.

How is testing done? 

Testing involves collecting a sample using a nasal swab or a saliva (spit) test. The nasal swab in an AN swab, which is the interior of the nose, not a deep swab into the sinuses. A saliva test requires simply spitting into a tube. Public testing locations utilize each, depending on the provider. At-home tests use a self-administered nasal swab. 

How long does it take to get results?

Results from the testing sites take 24 to 48 hours to receive. A lab processes them and not all labs are in Colorado. The at-home tests provide results in 15 minutes. 

How will my results be received? 

Results are provided digitally via text or email. You may also get results by calling a number but will still have to provide results that can be uploaded electronically. 
At-home results appear on the testing card and individuals using this method must take a picture to upload and must verify that this is a legitimate and current test. Employees may be asked to write the date on the card or provide other forms of verification that it is a current test result. 

Do I need to register for the free testing at community sites?

Although registration is not required and you won’t be turned away, it is strongly recommended that you pre-register in order to minimize your wait time. There is not one comprehensive registration site; it is different with each provider. However, you can find those locations and open the registration on the state website.

Will I have to create an account to get my results? 

Yes. All sites will require that you create an account.

Will testing be available at PCC campuses or sites? 

PCC is working to secure testing services on site. Not all locations will have this capability and community sites or at-home testing will be the primary options. 

As a PCC employee, will I be given work time to get tested? 

Yes. Time may be granted during normal work hours in order to complete the testing. Generally, you have one hour and appointments are encouraged. If there is a backup at a testing site, employees must notify their supervisor and may be asked to have someone from the site verify the time the employee receives the test. 

Do I have to wait for my results before I can return to work/campus? 

No. You may return to work once you get tested. If the results are positive, you must immediately notify the college and quarantine. 

Once I have the results, what do I do with them?

Upload results in the Qualtrics reporting system once it is operational. More information will be available as the system launches in December. 

What if I have only received the first dose of a two-shot series?

Fully vaccinated is defined as having both shots and being at least two weeks past the date of the second shot. If you have received only one shot or it has been less than two weeks since your second, you will need to participate in testing until you meet the fully vaccinated criteria. 

Will I be required to provide documentation that I have received the booster? 

No. You will only be required to provide evidence that you are fully vaccinated or are submitting weekly tests.

Students

Why don’t vaccinated students need to undergo regular COVID-19 testing?

The Colorado Community College System continues to rely upon the guidance of federal, state and local public health agencies in determining COVID prevention strategies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People states, “fully vaccinated people can refrain from routine screening testing….” They do advise that people who are fully vaccinated should be tested 5-7 days after coming into close contact with someone with COVID-19, and if symptoms develop, they should isolate and get tested immediately.
In order to protect our employees and students and continue to provide face-to-face teaching safely, employees and students have the choice to provide results from regular COVID-19 testing or, alternatively, provide evidence that they are fully vaccinated. 

If I am a fully online student, or only attend remotely, am I required to test weekly? 

No. If you will not be participating in any in-person learning or activities, or receiving in-person services, you do not need to participate in weekly testing. However, if you do need to be on campus, you will need to complete a test and submit the results before coming to campus. 

Do non-credit students need to follow the same guidelines?

Yes. The testing protocol applies to all students. 

What will be the requirements for student field trips?

Field trips are included with all other in-person activities and services. Students participating in activities are subject to the weekly testing protocol if they are not fully vaccinated. 

If I am exposed to a positive case but test negative in my weekly testing, do I still have to quarantine because of the exposure?

Yes. The testing protocol does not change the guidance on quarantine for exposure. If a person is unvaccinated and exposed to a positive case, they are still subject to the 14-day quarantine period (24 days if unable to isolate from the person who is positive) to watch for symptoms. All of the guidelines for exposure, symptoms, and positive results are the same and the college will follow the Student Quick Action Table

What is the timeline for the implementation of Qualtrics for tracking data?

The implementation timeline is approximately 8 weeks. This would make the system live the week of Dec. 6, 2021. This will be operational before students return for the spring 2022 semester.

How do vaccinated students submit their vaccination record?

Student records are downloaded on a regular basis from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The records of students who have been vaccinated and are in the CDPHE database are loaded into the Banner system and students do not need to do anything else. New students who would not be part of a standard report for active students due to timing or other reasons may submit their records to the Office of the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@pueblocc.edu

Will my vaccination record be secure?

Yes. The vaccine records will be maintained confidentially with limited access on a need-to-know basis. Records are kept in a secure location with very limited access. Data is being loaded into Banner but, again, in a secure location with limited access. 
Testing information also will be maintained confidentially. When someone is not complying with the testing protocol, notice will be provided in accordance with the non-compliance guidelines. 

What is Qualtrics? Is it secure? Who will have access to my personal information?

Qualtrics is a company that provides a cloud-based subscription software platform to help organizations manage various needs. We currently use this system to do surveys and data collection and analysis. The addition of the testing/vaccine data collection is simply another service provided by a currently utilized vendor. The data is secure and access is limited to those responsible for managing the testing protocol. 

If I am a student who attends only in a high school and I do not come to any PCC campus or site, am I required to submit to testing if I am not vaccinated?

No. You will follow the policies and protocols of the school you attend. 

How long will this testing protocol be in effect?

This protocol will be in effect until the pandemic subsides and there is sustained decline is cases. Data is evaluated by the local, state, and federal health officials who are guiding our actions. At this time, there is no end date that can be identified. We will be working closely with the public health experts to continually evaluate our actions and plans.

Why doesn’t the college allow for exemptions based on religious or personal beliefs?

The testing protocol does consider these beliefs and is, in part, the reason that a vaccine mandate was not implemented. By allowing a testing option, the college recognizes that there are strong religious and personal beliefs against the vaccine, as well as medical reasons not to receive the vaccine. However, testing is a reasonable alternative to ensure the safety of the college. 

What if I have recently recovered from COVID and have been told that this can cause positive test results for up to three months?

The CDC does not recommend getting tested again in the three months after a positive viral test, as long as you do not have symptoms of COVID-19. If you had a positive viral test in the past 3 months and have met the criteria to end isolation, you may provide documentation of your positive viral test results that includes the date of the test and the date of the positive results. A letter from a health-care provider that verifies the positive result and includes the date may also be provided. This documentation will exempt you from testing for three months from the date of the positive test but does not exempt you from testing or quarantine if you have symptoms. 

Will my instructors know if I am vaccinated or not?

No. Vaccination and testing information will not be made public, other than aggregated data. 
Vaccine records will be maintained confidentially with limited access on a need-to-know basis within the Office of the Dean of Students. Vaccination information will be maintained just as all other medical information received by the college, in a secure location with very limited access. Data is being loaded into Banner but, again, in a secure location with limited access. 
Testing information also will be maintained confidentially. When someone is not complying with the testing protocol, the college will follow the non-compliance guidelines. 

If I am testing regularly and have submitted negative test results, can I stop wearing a mask? 

No. Regular testing does not affect the mask mandate. Unless the college lifts the mask mandate, all individuals are expected to follow the masking requirement.

What if I do not comply with the testing protocol?

You will be subject to the non-compliance guidelines for students found on the Student Portal, in D2L, and on a Navigate Resource page. 

When will we start communicating the plan for spring semester to students? 

Communications have already begun. The communication and marketing plan includes PCC’s testing protocol, multiple options for instruction to meet the students’ needs and appointment opportunities to speak with an advisor and/or success coach. 

Will President Erjavec communicate with students about this?

Yes. The president will be communicating with students in multiple formats to ensure they are fully informed and can ask questions.

If I am attending an event at the college, will I have to provide a negative test to enter or participate in the event?

If you are vaccinated, you will not be required to have a test to participate. If you are unvaccinated and have been submitting your weekly test results, no additional testing is required.
If you are a remote or online student who has not been participating in weekly testing, you will be required to take a COVID test and submit the results prior to visiting campus.
 

Employees

Why don’t vaccinated employees need to undergo regular testing?

The Colorado Community College System continues to rely upon the guidance of federal, state and local public health agencies in determining COVID prevention strategies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People states, “fully vaccinated people can refrain from routine screening testing….” They do advise that people who are fully vaccinated should be tested 5-7 days after coming into close contact with someone with COVID-19, and if symptoms develop, they should isolate and get tested immediately.
In order to protect our employees and students and continue to provide face-to-face teaching safely, employees and students have the choice to provide results from regular COVID-19 testing or, alternatively, provide evidence that they are fully vaccinated. 

Why is a fully remote work schedule not an option if I do not want to submit to regular testing?

You do not need to participate in regular testing if you are fully vaccinated. However, if you are not, then regular testing is required. There is no exemption or accommodation for testing given the number of options available to employees. This requirement does not change the job duties and performance expectations.
PCC offers a flexible work policy that includes up to 16 hours of remote work per week, as approved by your supervisor. This has not changed because of the testing protocol.
Participating in regular testing or receiving the vaccine provides employees options in order to complete the required duties and expectations of their positions, which include working in person at least 3 days per week. 

If I am exposed to a positive case but test negative in my weekly testing, do I still have to quarantine because of the exposure?

Yes. The testing protocol does not change the guidance on quarantine for exposure. If a person is unvaccinated and exposed to a positive case, they are still subject to the 14-day quarantine period (24 days if unable to isolate from the person who is positive) to watch for symptoms. All of the guidelines for exposure, symptoms, and positive results are the same and the college will follow the Employee Quick Action Table.

Is the testing protocol being added to job postings for PCC employment?

Yes. All job postings are being updated to include information about the testing protocol. Additionally, all applicants will be asked to acknowledge that they are aware of the testing protocol and agree to follow it. 

What is the timeline for the implementation of Qualtrics for tracking data? 

The implementation timeline is approximately 8 weeks. This would make the system live the week of Dec. 6, 2021. However, many factors will affect the implementation and could affect the start date. We will provide more information as we receive it.

How do vaccinated employees submit their vaccination record?

Human Resources will accept a scanned copy of the vaccination card via email at PCCHR@pueblocc.edu. The card must include the employee name, the type of vaccination received (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson), and the dates the shots were received. If the card is not legible, the employee may be asked to produce the original document for inspection in HR.
Employees may also bring their record to the Human Resources Office to have it scanned rather than emailing it.
Note: Employees submitting vaccination records via email are, by virtue of the submission, attesting to the fact that the record is their true and accurate record. 

Will my vaccination record be secure?

Yes. The vaccine records will be maintained confidentially with limited access on a need-to-know basis in Human Resources. Vaccination information will be maintained just as all other medical information received by Human Resources. It is kept in a secure location with very limited access. Data is being loaded into Banner but, again, in a secure location with limited access. 
Testing information also will be maintained confidentially. If an employee is not complying with the testing protocol, their supervisor will be made aware if the employee does not respond to the first notices of non-compliance from HR, per the non-compliance guidelines. 

What is Qualtrics? Is it secure? Who will have access to my personal information?

Qualtrics is a company that provides a cloud-based subscription software platform to help organizations manage various needs. We currently use this system to do surveys and data collection and analysis. The addition of the testing/vaccine data collection is simply another service provided by a currently utilized vendor. The data is secure and access is limited to those responsible for managing the testing protocol. 

Does collecting this data violate HIPPA?

No. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “If an employer asks an employee to provide proof that they have been vaccinated, that is not a HIPAA violation, and employees may decide whether to provide that information to their employer.”

If I am an instructor who teaches only in a high school and I do not come to any PCC campus or site, am I required to submit to testing if I am not vaccinated?

No. However, if you do have to come to the college or any of its campuses or sites for any reason, you will need to provide evidence of a negative test in the preceding 7 days. This can be done in the Qualtrics system (more information on the processes in Qualtrics will be forthcoming once the system is implemented.)
Note: You will be subject to the policies and procedures of your primary duty location. 

I am an instructor who works during the day and cannot get to a testing facility. Will the college provide on-site testing or other options?

The college is exploring all options to make testing as convenient as possible, including exploring on-site options and accepting home testing. Additionally, testing in the majority of community locations is available on weekends. Federally funded sites like Walgreens also provide free testing outside of normal business hours.

How long will this testing protocol be in effect?

This protocol will be in effect until the pandemic subsides and there is sustained decline is cases. Data is evaluated by the local, state, and federal health officials who are guiding our actions. At this time, there is no end date that can be identified. We will be working closely with the public health experts to continually evaluate our actions and plans. 

Is CSU-Pueblo doing the same thing?

No. CSU-Pueblo has a vaccine mandate with exemptions available. The Colorado Community College System and Pueblo Community College have opted for a testing protocol as opposed to a vaccine mandate. We respect the need to provide choice to our students and employees and are acting accordingly. 

If the college is holding a co-curricular event on campus or engaging a guest lecturer, must those participants have a negative test to come on a campus or can they show proof of vaccine?

Guests who are providing academic or co-curricular services to the college must provide the event organizer with proof of vaccine or a negative test result within the preceding 7 days. The event organizer does not need to maintain a copy, but they are accountable for ensuring the individual is meeting the criteria. 

Is the home testing option a valid option? How will the college ensure its integrity?

The college is committed to providing individuals with as many options as possible to meet the testing protocol, including home testing. This testing method has been used for a significant period and many faculty and staff have used it to determine if they were COVID positive.
However, individuals who choose to test at home will be required to provide the weekly results by uploading a picture of the test result, including a date taken. They are attesting to the fact that it is a legitimate and current test. The college believes that our employees will act with integrity and honesty. If that is not the case, we will address it as we would any other performance or behavioral concern. 
More information is available in the Testing section on this page.

Why doesn’t the college allow for exemptions based on religious or personal beliefs?

The testing protocol does consider these beliefs and is, in part, the reason that a vaccine mandate was not implemented. By allowing a testing option, the college recognizes that there are strong religious and personal beliefs against the vaccine, as well as medical reasons not to receive the vaccine. However, testing is a reasonable alternative to ensure the safety of the college. 

What if I have recently recovered from COVID and have been told that this can cause positive test results for up to three months?

The CDC does not recommend getting tested again in the three months after a positive viral test, as long as you do not have symptoms of COVID-19. If you had a positive viral test in the past 3 months and have met the criteria to end isolation, you may provide documentation of your positive viral test results that includes the date of the test and the date of the positive results. A letter from a health-care provider that verifies the positive result and includes the date may also be provided. This documentation will exempt you from testing for three months from the date of the positive test but does not exempt you from testing or quarantine if you have symptoms. 

Will we know who is vaccinated?

No. Vaccination and testing information will not be made public, other than aggregated data. 

What if I do not comply with the testing protocol?

The college will follow the guidelines for non-compliance that were previously published and are posted on the portal. 

If I am testing regularly and have submitted negative test results, can I stop wearing a mask?

No. Regular testing does not affect the mask mandate. Unless the college lifts the mask mandate, all individuals are expected to follow the masking requirement.

Am I required to test if I am on leave from the college?

No. You are not required to be tested or upload testing information while you are on leave from the college. However, upon return you must upload testing data. 

Mask Policy 

We are now dealing with the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. It is 2 to 3 times more contagious than the original virus.  As such, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends universal mask wearing regardless of vaccinated status in institutions that do not have universal vaccination.  Accordingly, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) strongly recommends we adopt this practice in an effort to protect the safety of our staff and students and to promote in-person learning.

Throughout this pandemic, we have taken the guidance from both the CDC and CDPHE very seriously and have used their expertise to guide our college protocols. Therefore, effective Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, all employees, students, and visitors at Pueblo Community College – all campuses and sites – will be required to wear a mask when indoors in gathering spaces such as classrooms, labs, libraries, study areas, theaters, etc.

Masks will not be required when walking outside or in a private office, unless the occupant of the office respectfully asks for such an accommodation.

In addition to required masking, please stay home if you are not feeling well.  We have the technology in place to support both PCC Flex for classroom instruction for our students and remote working from home for employees when need be.  Finally, while I know it is easier said than done, please remain mindful of maintaining adequate physical distancing when congregating in a group.

PCC Flex 

PCC will continue to offer PCC Flex scheduling. Attend class in person or live online – whatever works best for you! 

Remote Advising & Enrollment Support

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, PCC is limiting the number of people on campus by providing college services remotely so students and prospective students can receive assistance from home. Visit our Remote Student Services page for more information.

Need help? Schedule an advising appointment now by texting 719-549-3177.

 

Students, faculty and part-time instructors:

Please check D2L and your college email accounts regularly for updates.

 

Financial Disclaimer for the 2021-21 and 2021-22 School Year:

During the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic year, some or all of the instructional formats may change due to an emergency situation affecting college operations, public safety, or public health, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Tuition and fees are charged at the beginning of the semester and will remain in place regardless of any changes in instructional format. Tuition and fees will not be refunded in the event the curriculum delivery format changes for any part of the 2020-21 or 2021-22 academic year.

Events

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