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COVID-19

Novel coronavirus

Current status – After operating largely remotely since March 17, 2020, Foothill and De Anza colleges are currently offering a combination of online, in-person and hybrid classes and student services for fall 2021. The majority of classes continue to be offered online. Some outdoor recreation facilities are reopening. Many district employees continue to work from home. 

Vaccination and mask requirements Beginning in fall 2021, COVID-19 vaccinations are required for students, employees and others who come in-person to campus or other district facilities. Medical and religious exemption information for employees is available through the Office of Human Resources and for students, through the colleges.  Employee proof of vaccination for in-person participation can be uploaded using the PyraMED system following directions on the Office of Human Resources COVID-19 webpage

The district is following Santa Clara County Public Health Department masking guidelines. Indoor masking is required for all, regardless of vaccination status. Outdoor masking is recommended for large gatherings. Mask requirements apply to vendors, visitors, volunteers, and members of the public as well as to students and employees.

The resources below provide additional information. 

VACCINATION POLICY

On Aug. 2, 2021, the Board of Trustees adopted Interim Board Policy 3705 requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for those who access on-site campus or district programs or facilities starting either (1) the first day of the fall quarter 2021 (Sept. 15, 2021, for employees and Sept. 20, 2021, for students) or (2) when a COVID-19 vaccine receives full U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and is readily available, whichever event comes later. 

REOPENING GUIDANCE

*UPDATED* Foothill-De Anza COVID-19 Prevention Plan (August 2021)
State Chancellor Eloy's Oakley reopening memo (June 11, 2021)
Mandated COVID-19 vaccinations in California community colleges (May 7, 2021)

RESOURCES

The following resources provide information about returning to campus and will help you stay informed about new developments as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

COVID-19 Vaccine Education Series

College updates and resources

Foothill College (students – Fall 2021)
De Anza College (students – Fall 2021)
Foothill College (faculty and staff – Fall 2021)

Return to campus planning
Foothill College
De Anza College

District Resources

Human Resources - COVID-19 guidance for employees
Educational Technology Services
Optimum HQ user guides (for contact tracing)

CCC system updates and guidance 

California Community Colleges

Teaching & learning resources 
CVC-Online Education Initiative

Public health updates

California COVID-19 overview
California Department of Public Health

Santa Clara County Public Health
San Mateo County Health
Santa Cruz County Health Services 
San Francisco Public Health
San Benito County Health and Human Services 
Alameda County Public Health
Contra Costa County Public Health
Marin County Health and Human Services

DISTRICT UPDATES

Sept. 14, 2021
Message to all employees from district Interim Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Equal Opportunity Myisha Washington 

Dear Colleagues,     

Per Chancellor Miner's August 27 email, the PyraMed platform is now active for employees to upload verification of Covid-19 vaccination and/or medical exemption requests. PLEASE NOTE: Religious exemption requests should be sent directly to washingtonmyisha@fhda.edu.   

Instructions for uploading your information are attached. As a reminder, all Foothill-De Anza employees working or coming to campus must be vaccinated by September 15. 

For the safety of all employees and to assist in contract tracing should an employee potentially be exposed, we are asking for all employees to complete a two-step check in process.  This two-step process should be completed every day you plan to come to campus.   

  • Prior to your arrival on campus, please log into the OptimumHQ Health Alert application (https://athome.optimumhq.com/login.jsp) and complete the three question health survey prior to your arrival on campus. Upon submission, you will immediately receive a badge clearance, via your cell phone.   
  • This green badge clearance will be used to access the QR codes at various locations and building entrances throughout the district during your time on campus.  This second check-in process will assist the district with contact-tracing should there be a COVID-19 workplace exposure.   
  • If you receive a red badge – do not come to campus. The OptimumHQ system will notify your supervisor that you do not have clearance to come to campus. 

We appreciate and thank you for your continued commitment and patience as we continue to navigate these uncharted territories.  

For additional information and resources on the OptimumHQ application, please visit the ETS website at: https://ets.fhda.edu/getting-help/staff/_documents/optimumhq/optimumhq.html   For additional information relating to COVID-19 COVID-19 Employee Information and Resources, please go to: https://hr.fhda.edu/_covid-19/index.html  

Sincerely, 
Myisha Washington 
Interim Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Equal Opportunity 

Aug. 27, 2021
Message from district Chancellor Judy Miner to all employees

Dear Colleagues, 

I’d like to provide an update on a number of logistical issues that we have addressed to implement Board Policy 3507 on mandated vaccinations for students and employees.  As a reminder, all Foothill-De Anza employees working on campus, must be vaccinated by September 15.  Students will be notified of their deadlines by the colleges. 

VERIFICATION OF VACCINATION 

Thanks to accelerated efforts by Educational Technology Services (ETS), the PyraMed platform for uploading verification of vaccination and exemptions will be available to all students and employees on or about September 3 and we will send instructions at that time.  De Anza students currently have access as that has been their medical records system for the past year. 

Additionally, ETS is developing a program to cross-check on-campus enrollments with vaccination status. This approach will allow us to identify students who are not in compliance with the mandate while also protecting their privacy.   

EXEMPTIONS 

Employees requesting exemptions for medical or religious reasons can find forms and instructions here:  

https://hr.fhda.edu/_covid-19/index.html

Medical exemption requests will be reviewed by our colleges’ health services professionals and accommodations will follow our established processes for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

Religious exemption requests will be reviewed by Chancellor’s Cabinet and supervising administrators will be consulted regarding possible workplace accommodations.    

Workload permitting, we aim to respond to requests within three business days of receiving forms that are complete. 

VENDORS, VISITORS, VOLUNTEERS, MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC 

Throughout the district, signs will be posted indicating that we require masks indoors regardless of vaccination status and recommend wearing masks at large outdoor gatherings.  Additional guidance will be forthcoming for individuals who perform work on district sites but are not employees of the District 

EVALUATION OF FALL 21 IMPLEMENTATION 

Knowing that we are venturing into new territory, Chancellor’s Advisory Council will assess the strengths and areas for improvement in our processes before the end of fall quarter, and our Board of Trustees will revisit BP 3507 at its meeting of January 10, 2022. 

Thank you for your patience and assistance as we attempt to address a wide range of needs and desires.  The stress level is high for everyone so I hope we can be kind and supportive of each other.  I’d love to hear from you about a moment you felt appreciated by one of our colleagues and if I might share that at my open office hour on September 8. 

Be well, 
Judy

Aug. 18, 2021
Message from district Chancellor Judy Miner to all employees

Dear Colleagues, 

I’m writing to report on recent developments related to mandatory vaccination and verification for students and employees.  

Let me begin by thanking the Consultation Task Force for its advice regarding implementation of the proposed interim mandatory vaccination policy. This requires all employees and students who come to campus to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 15 for employees and Sept. 20 for students, since we expect the Food and Drug Administration to fully approve a vaccine within the next few weeks.  Recent surges in the delta variant and the appearance of the lambda in California compel us to take as many measures as possible to mitigate health risks to our students and employees.  We will also provide you with information regarding surveillance testing as soon as we finalize the details. 

For the past year, De Anza Health Services has successfully used a secure online health portal, PyraMED Health Services, for students to request appointments, view clinic records and, for international students, to upload vaccination records, among other services. PyraMED provides health, counseling, wellness, and accommodation software to colleges and universities across the country.  De Anza reports that it is convenient to use, meets all medical privacy requirements, and integrates well with Banner. 

Rather than having ETS develop a system de novo, we now plan to expand De Anza’s PyraMED license and use this system for all employees and students throughout the district who come to campus.  Individuals will upload their proof of COVID-19 vaccination and PyraMED can interface with the California Immunization Registry (CAIR) for verification of vaccination records. We have high confidence in this system as it has already detected fraudulent vaccination records. We will update you about the process for using PyraMED as we work out the details.  

We also have decided that effective immediately, all of our student athletes will need to show proof of vaccination to practice for and compete in intercollegiate gamesWe are taking this step in good conscience and out of an abundance of caution to protect our students.  We are encouraging everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks outdoors when social distancing isn't possible, for the safety of themselves and others. But athletes cannot wear masks during practice and games, where they may be playing against others who are not vaccinated. 

Please join me in thanking De Anza President Lloyd Holmes and Rosafel Nogra, De Anza Health Services clinic director, for helping us find a good solution with PyraMED. For those still in need of a COVID-19 vaccination, De Anza is hosting a clinic on campus on Aug. 31 from noon to 7 p.m. Watch the college web site for details. Rosafel will attend my office hour on Sept. 8 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. to answer questions about PyraMED. 

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to all of you for being steadfast in service to our district amidst the torturous impact of the pandemic on our personal and professional lives.  Thank you for your individual efforts to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and the lives of those whose names you will never know.   

In gratitude for the privilege of working with you, 
Judy 

Aug. 8, 2021
Message from district Vice Chancellor Susan Cheu to all employees

Dear Colleagues, 

Chancellor Miner is taking a well-deserved vacation and requested that I follow up on some of the concerns that were brought up Tuesday at a meeting of the Consultation Task Force, which includes shared governance, union and senior administration leaders. We will provide more detailed information in future communications but wanted to address the following recommendations as soon as possible. 

Proof of vaccination 

Consultation Task Force members expressed interest in requiring proof of vaccination in addition to implementing a self-reporting process to minimize risk for employees and students. Vice Chancellor Joe Moreau is researching the possibility of adding a self-reporting mechanism in MyPortal that would also allow for the uploading of documentation. He is confident this process will work, but if not, other options will be investigated. 

For on-campus participation, implement vaccination mandate on Sept. 15 for employees and Sept. 20 for students regardless of FDA approval 

The University of California and California State University systems are both requiring vaccinations for fall regardless of Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval. In keeping with the participatory governance process, the Chancellor's Advisory Council (CAC) will be polled to determine if there is support for moving forward with a vaccination mandate in advance of FDA approval. If the CAC agrees and the Board of Trustees approves this change in our existing interim vaccination policy at the Sept. 13 board meeting, then employees and students would be expected to be vaccinated according to the proposed timeline, and consequences for not following the mandate would be enforced. 

It's important to note that the vaccination mandate would be applicable to employees and students who are physically coming on campus or other district-controlled facilities. Employees who have a health or religious reason can receive exemptions. Individuals with other significant reasons for not being vaccinated that do not fall into the health or religious exemptions would be handled on a case-by-case basis. 

Use of signage

It's important to ensure that our requirements and expectations regarding safety protocols are clearly and consistently communicated throughout the district. To that end, both campus marketing departments and the district are coordinating to develop signage for use in classrooms and offices across the district. 

Air quality standards 

On a slightly different health related note, weather forecasters are predicting that smoke from the devastating wildfires may be arriving in the Bay Area starting this weekend. Staff are currently working on an air quality plan, but in the interim I wanted to provide the following guidance that will be used if we start to experience air quality issues. Please note we will base our determination on the anticipated Air Quality Index (AQI) scale as posted on AirNow at http://www.airnow.gov. 

  • AQI of 101-150: Any employee groups that work outside, such as Grounds staff, will be moved to indoor work environments. 
  • AQI of 150-200: Mitigating measures will be enacted, such as requesting employees to work from home when possible and minimizing outdoor activities while on-site. 
  • AQI over 200: Campus will be closed except where there are mitigating factors.
    These are general guidelines at this point and will continue to be refined. However, they will be used if the air quality significantly declines over the next few weeks. Any questions about specific conditions should be addressed to your direct supervisor. 

As we all know, we are definitely living in unprecedented times, made even more complicated by the rapid rise in infection and hospitalization rates from the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant. The district is making every effort to ensure that we can bring our students, staff and faculty back on site while minimizing the risk in doing so. We appreciate the input from all our constituency groups and will continue to evaluate our procedures to ensure that we are answering your concerns and providing as risk-free an environment as possible. Thank you in advance for your patience as we work through this process. 

Regards,  
Susan

July 17, 2021
Message from district Chancellor Judy Miner to all employees

Dear Colleagues, 

The counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley recommend masking Indoors for everyone as a precaution against increased circulation of COVID-19.  The news release can be found here: 

https://covid19.sccgov.org/news-releases/pr-07-16-2021-bay-area-counties-recommend-masking-indoors-for-everyone 

Regardless of vaccination status, Foothill-De Anza employees, students, and visitors are expected to follow this recommendation when on campus as our part in mitigating the risk of transmission.  Specifically, masks should be worn indoors unless the individual is working alone.  When outdoors, masks should be worn in large groups or instances where social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained.

I want to thank all of you who are taking every precaution to protect yourselves and those around you.  We have never been more dependent on each other and I am confident that our collective efforts will serve us well. 

Be safe, 
Judy 

June 28, 2021
Message from district Chancellor Judy Miner to all employees

Dear Colleagues, 

As we continue our planning and discussions regarding reopening our colleges, we have received a number of inquiries seeking clarification on our current and future expectations for remote work. As you may know, we are at the beginning stages of drafting a remote work policy and administrative procedures to be shared with constituency groups, but those consultations will take a number of months. Our current timeline anticipates having a procedure by December 2021. 

In the interim, our colleges are beginning to reopen with additional programs and services available in person this summer and even more by Fall quarter. This means there is likely an increased expectation for employees to return to campus as well. 

We appreciate that many of you may still be reluctant to return in person, either due to concerns about the virus for you or your family, childcare or eldercare needs, or for other personal reasons regarding commute times, flexibility in scheduling, etc. We encourage you to work with your manager to discuss your interests and determine if continuing a remote work schedule may be continued for the immediate future. Wherever possible, managers are encouraged to continue to provide remote work options for all employees with special circumstances or concerns, at least through Fall quarter.   

In the meantime, I appreciate your patience as we navigate the desires and needs of students and employees who are equally passionate about returning to campus or continuing online. I am also in awe of your dedication and grit that supported high quality teaching and learning during the toughest year on record.  Here’s wishing you a summer that includes quality time for you and yours! 

In gratitude,
Judy

June 15, 2021

Dear Colleagues, 

With the announcement by Governor Newsom regarding the “reopening” of California, I am sure we are all happy to see the lifting of so many restrictions. The Mercury News published an excellent Q&A article this morning about the reopening, and it is encouraging to see the current consistency of regulations throughout the Bay Area. For statewide guidance about reopening the California Community Colleges, please see the June 11, 2021, memo from Chancellor Eloy Oakley.  

So, what’s next for Foothill-De Anza? 

In many ways, not much will change for our operations.  Masks at work are currently required by Cal/OSHA, but we expect some revisions to be announced on June 17. 

The current plans for summer and fall course schedules will remain in place while Central Services and the colleges analyze the feedback from student and employee surveys that were recently completed, which you can view here: 

Employee Return to Campus Survey 

Foothill Student Planning Survey Fall 2021 

De Anza Student Survey for Fall 2021 

If you have questions about your individual work situation, please meet with your manager.   

On Monday night, our Board of Trustees passed a resolution directing the presentation of a mandatory vaccination policy for students and staff at the board meeting of July 12. Both the policy and administrative procedures will be discussed at the Chancellor’s Advisory Council meeting on June 18 from 9:00-10:30 a.m. Please contact your representative(s) on the Chancellor's Advisory Council with any feedback you have about the draft documents. 

Time permitting, we will also take questions at the Budget Town Hall on June 17, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. I encourage you to attend using the Zoom information on your district calendar to learn about some interesting budget developments. 

Thank you for your Herculean efforts over the past 15 months!  The student testimonials at this year’s graduation celebrations are evidence of your transformative impact in the midst of personal and professional challenges unlike any we have ever endured.  I wish you all a happy and safe re-entry into the new normal. 

Warmest regards, 
Judy 

May 24, 2021
Message from district Chancellor Judy Miner to all employees

Dear Colleagues, 

On May 18, Santa Clara County mandated that “all businesses and governmental entities determine the COVID-19 vaccination status of their employees, contractors, volunteers, and others who regularly work onsite.” 

To meet this requirement,  please complete the very brief survey linked below no later than 5:00 PM, Wednesday, May 26 

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=n7L3RQCxQUyAT7NBighZSqlnNZ3LNY9CklAlxmlQ2n9UNkwzMDhNUUxDODdVS0ZSTFBXQ1dUVzNSQS4u 

The system will automatically record your name and CWID.  People who indicate they are unvaccinated as defined by the County will receive this survey every 14 days to update their status accordingly. 

Although the district is not currently requiring employees to be vaccinated, you may request an exemption from vaccination as described below:

  1. Medical Exemption: due to a medical (including mental health) condition for which an Approved Vaccine presents a significant risk of a serious adverse reaction. The District may ask that a medical Exemption be verified by a certified or licensed healthcare professional.

  2. Religious Exemption: due to either (i) a person's sincerely held religious belief, observance, or practice, which includes any traditionally recognized religion, or (ii) beliefs, observances, or practices which an individual sincerely holds and that occupy a place of importance in that individual's life, comparable to that of traditionally recognized religions.  
Please contact Myisha Washington in Human Resources to request an accommodation if either of the exemptions listed above are applicable to you.    

Thank you for your assistance in meeting this county mandate.  We expect to verify a high rate of vaccination among our employees, thereby increasing confidence in the safety of return to campus activities. 

Be well, 
Judy 
 

May 19, 2021
Message from district Chancellor Judy Miner to all employees

Dear Colleagues, 

Attached is the executive summary of the most recent health order from Santa Clara County in which I have highlighted directives regarding vaccinated and unvaccinated employees and students.  Human Resources is in the process of determining specific details of compliance and we will share those with you as soon as possible.

Please remember that masks are still required when on campus.

Thank you for your patience as we obtain more information, 
Judy  

May 5, 2021
Message from district Chancellor Judy Miner to all employees

Dear Colleagues, 

Attached is a summary of the Consultation Task Force discussion that took place on May 4, 2021.  I am extremely grateful to all the participants for their insights and suggestions that produced such thoughtful dialogue and look forward to future meetings. 
 
Particularly noteworthy is the preference of attendees for our district to require our employees and students to be vaccinated if they return to campus. (Exemptions would be allowed for medical and religious reasons.)  Implementation of such a requirement would be conditioned upon:
  • full approval of vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration;
  • adoption of a policy by the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees; and
  • establishment of administrative procedures by the Chancellor's Advisory Council.

More information will be available during the return-to-campus planning and lessons learned session on May 26 from 2:00-3:00 PM and you are welcome to send questions in advance to chancellor@fhda.edu.  There will be a recording in case you can't join us live.

As we await further developments and opportunities to meet, I hope we will do everything we can individually and collectively to encourage vaccinations and safe behaviors that will allow us to enjoy each other’s company without needing a Zoom link! 

Warmest regards,
Judy

April 27, 2021
Message from district Chancellor Judy Miner to all employees

Dear Colleagues, 

The recent announcement that UC and CSU are requiring all students and employees to be vaccinated once vaccines receive full approval, raises one more set of questions for us to answer as we implement our own phased return to campus.  Here is an update on several issues about which Chancellor’s Cabinet has received questions over the past few weeks. 

Return to Campus Task Force 

We are grateful to Pat James, Brenda Visas, and Jeff Schlesinger who signed on to help us complete required documentation of safety protocols and consult with colleagues on a myriad of compliance issues.  We originally envisioned the Task Force having to meet with an overwhelming number of groups requesting assistance with their return to campus plans, but that is not what happened. 

First, there was not an overwhelming number of requests.  Second, the colleges did such a good job anticipating what would be needed and consulting with key support services, that they didn’t need any additional review.  Thus, the work of the Task Force is done. 

Reconvening of the Consultation Task Force 

However, as employees and students have begun to return, we have certain districtwide decisions to make that would best be done by reconvening the Consultation Task Force (CTF) that was immeasurably helpful in our decision making around shelter-in-place last year.  The CTF comprises leaders of our bargaining units, Classified Senates, student bodies, and Academic Senates; colleges’ senior staffs and Chancellor’s Cabinet.   

Questions for consideration include but are not limited to: 

  • In the absence of a mandate from the Board of Governors or other authority, should we mandate vaccinations for students and employees, the latter subject to collective bargaining? 
  • What is the process for handling individuals who refuse to comply with safety protocols or are disruptive/uncooperative in some fashion? 
  • How do you respond to students or employees who receive a health alert on the health status reporting application? 

I will convene the CTF on May 4 from 2:30-4:00 PM and encourage you to contact your respective Senate or union representatives to convey your ideas and concerns.   

Thank you for your patience as we tackle so many important issues, particularly regarding vaccinations.  With or without an external mandate for vaccinations, I do hope that our district will lead the way in modeling behavior that is in the best interests of public health and safety. 

Be well, 
Judy

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