Santa Barbara City College’s fall semester started Monday, August 23, and with Dr. Kindred Murillo in negotiations to become the new interim superintendent/president in September and a recently approved COVID-19 vaccination mandate, this year looks to be a different on-campus experience than those prior to the pandemic.
School spokesperson Victor Bryant released a ”coming to campus” guide, detailing the ins and outs of SBCC’s newest health and safety protocols and ensuring students know what to expect if they are planning on taking classes in person. The protocols were developed by the three-person team of COVID-response coordinators Michael Yee, Dana Billings, and Timothy Fouch.
Upon arriving to any of the college’s facilities, all employees and students will be required to check in at any one of a number of tables set up to verify their “green” status on Healthy Roster — an online application where people fill out a daily survey ensuring they have not experienced any symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19 — and distribute daily wristbands and surgical masks.
After October 1, in addition to a green check mark via the Healthy Roster app, all students and employees will also have to show either a school ID with a sticker verifying they have been vaccinated or a weekly negative COVID test, as required by the school’s recently adopted vaccination mandate. Unvaccinated individuals with exemptions will be provided with a “high-level” (N-95 or higher) mask every day.
Once students and employees are on campus, the guidelines require that SBCC-approved masks be worn “covering nose and mouth,” when inside facilities. People are encouraged to physically distance themselves as much as possible, and wear masks when unable to maintain physical distancing measures outdoors, Bryant said.
Some of the rules are not quite mandated but heavily encouraged.
“Eating in class is not advised and may increase classroom exposure risk,” Bryant said. “With instructor permission, students may drink beverages in class but they must replace their face covering immediately after putting their drink down.”
An “exposure management” prevention plan is included in these guidelines and states that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 “must self-isolate, especially from individuals in the same household.” Anybody living with somebody who tested positive should “wear a mask, quarantine, and not report to campus until allowed to do so by a COVID-19 Response Coordinator.”
SBCC is hosting vaccination clinics three times a week at its three campuses, and on-campus testing will be available for everyone, students and public included. More information can be found at sbcc.edu.