COVID-19 Safety & Prevention Resources, Information, and Campus Guidelines

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NEW! COVID-19 POSITIVE TEST REPORTING FORM

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 it is required to stay home and test. You can still have COVID-19 and be infectious if you are testing negative at your initial onset of symptoms because it can take 2-4 days after symptoms begin for a test to result as positive. This is due to the viral load for COVID-19 infections usually taking up to 4 days to peak. Please stay home with symptoms and test again in 2-4 days after the initial onset of symptoms if your first test was negative.

  • Please report all positive COVID-19 cases to Manager, COVID-19 Response and Compliance and/or Student Health Services by using the new COVID-19 POSITIVE TEST REPORTING FORM at the top of this webpage.

  • Under-reporting of COVID-19 cases jeopardizes the health and safety of our community.

    • Cabrillo College is required by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of California to report all COVID-19 campus exposures to all potential close contacts. A close contact is anyone who shares the same air space for a cumulative time of 15 minutes or more, regardless of distance, with an infectious person who later tested positive for COVID-19.

      • It is vital that all positive COVID-19 cases and campus exposures get reported in a timely manner.

        • To keep our campus safe, contact tracing must be conducted promptly and notifications must be sent as soon as possible. Timely campus exposure notifications also significantly help reduce the likelihood of an outbreak on campus.

        • All aspects of case investigations and contact tracing are confidential and/or anonymous.

      • Students are encouraged to reference course syllabi and email professors to inform them that they will be unable to participate in in-person academic activities while isolating due to a recent positive COVID-19 test. Academic accommodations are made for students in these circumstances.


  • As of Fall Semester 2024, Cabrillo College is aligning isolation recommendations/requirements for those who test positive for COVID-19 based on the California Department of Health COVID-19 isolation recommendations.

  • As of January 9, 2024, the California Department of Health no longer recommends testing for all close contacts and instead recommends testing only for:

    • All people with new COVID-19 symptoms.

    • Close contacts who are at higher risk of severe disease or who have contact with people who are at higher risk of severe disease.

    • In workplace outbreaks it is still required to test all close contacts.

  • As of January 9, 2024, the California Department of Heath has updated their masking guidelines for those who have tested positive. Please see Masks on Campus further down this page.

  • Effective December 8, 2023: The Inspire Diagnostics testing site in Parking Lot R on the Aptos campus will be closed and their last day testing on campus will be Thursday December 7, 2023.

Q: WHAT MUST I DO IF I HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?

  • Report: Please report your positive case to Manager, COVID-19 Response & Compliance and/or Student Health Services by using the COVID-19 POSITIVE TEST REPORTING FORM at the top of this webpage.

  • Stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms: (effective fall semester 2024) If you have symptoms, it is required to stay home until you have not had a fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND other COVID-19 symptoms are mild and improving.

    • If you do not have symptoms:

    • You are not required to stay home if you do not have symptoms, however-

      • It is required to wear a mask on campus when you are around other people indoors for the 10 days after you become sick or test positive (without symptoms). You may remove your mask sooner than 10 days if you have two consecutive negative tests at least one day apart. Day Zero is symptom onset date or positive test date (whichever came first).

    • Seek treatment: If you have symptoms, particularly if you are at higher risk for severe COVID-19, speak with a healthcare provider as soon as you test positive. You may be eligible for antiviral medicines or other treatments for COVID-19. COVID-19 antiviral medicines work best if taken as soon as possible, and within 5-7 days from when symptoms start.

      • Call 1-833-422-4255 if you are unable to contact a healthcare provider, or use the treatment options to fine one.

Q: IS A NEGATIVE TEST REQUIRED TO RETURN TO CAMPUS?

  • Individuals may return to campus without a negative test if they have completed their isolation period.

Q: WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

The best way to accurately determine whether you have COVID-19 is to get tested. Please note that, unlike many other respiratory infections (such as the flu), the viral load for COVID-19 infections usually peaks on the fourth day of symptoms. This can affect early test results and/or when symptoms and/or when symptoms are most severe.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Possible symptoms include:

  • 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

This list does not include all possible symptoms. Symptoms may change with new COVID-19 variants and can vary depending on vaccination status. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Older adults and people who have underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

More information on Symptoms of COVID-19 from the CDC

Q: WHAT MUST I DO IF I HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should mask and test right away. It is required to stay home while waiting for test results. You can still have COVID-19 and be infectious if you are testing negative at your initial onset of symptoms because it can take 2-4 days after symptoms begin for a test to result as positive. This is due to the viral load for COVID-19 infections usually taking up to 4 days to peak. Please stay home with symptoms and test again in 2-4 days after the initial onset of symptoms if your first test was negative.

  • Please note that, unlike many other respiratory infections (such as the flu), the viral load for COVID-19 infections usually peaks on the fourth day of symptoms. This can affect early test results and/or when symptoms and/or when symptoms are most severe. Knowing one is infected early during self-isolation enables (a) earlier access to treatment options, if indicated (especially for those who may be at risk for severe illness), and (b) notification of exposed persons (close contacts) who may also benefit by knowing if they are infected. If symptoms continue, test again in 2-4 days while remaining off campus.

  • If not tested, continue isolating for 5 days after the day of symptom onset (Day 0) and not return to campus until Day 6 and symptom-free or nearly symptom-free.

Q: WHAT MUST I DO IF I HAVE BEEN IN CLOSE CONTACT TO SOMEONE WITH COVID-19?

If you were exposed to COVID-19 in one of your classes, you'll get an email from the College with specific instructions about what to do. If you have questions about receiving this notice, please contact Manager, COVID-19 Response & Compliance, Krista Kaschalk at krkascha@cabrillo.edu or 831-477-3274; 831-234-5804.

  • Close Contact Definition: If you shared the same indoor airspace with someone (e.g., home, office, classroom, building area, clinic waiting room, airplane, etc.) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) during an infected person's (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) infectious period- you are considered a Close-Contact.

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should mask and test right away. It is required to stay home while waiting for test results. You can still have COVID-19 and be infectious if you are testing negative at your initial onset of symptoms because it can take 2-4 days after symptoms begin for a test to result as positive. This is due to the viral load for COVID-19 infections usually taking up to 4 days to peak. Please stay home with symptoms and test again in 2-4 days after the initial onset of symptoms if your first test was negative.

  • If you do not have symptoms, and are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection and would benefit from treatment, you should test within 5 days.

  • If you do not have symptoms and have contact with people who are at higher risk for severe infection, you should mask indoors when around them for 10 days. Consider testing within 5 days after the last exposure date (Day 0) and before contact with higher-risk people.

  • If you do not have symptoms it is no longer required to test.

  • Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms twice daily for 14 days after exposure.

  • If you develop symptoms, you should seek testing ASAP and will be required to self-isolate.

  • If someone in your household has tested positive, there are specific recommendations for this situation. Please the FAQ what must I do if someone in my household has tested positive for COVID-19 below.

Q: WHAT MUST I DO IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?

Household exposures are considered a HIGH RISK EXPOSURE. If a household member has tested positive for COVID-19, it is highly recommended to stay home for a minimum of 5 days while avoiding further contact as much as is doable for your given situation. The first day of minimizing exposure is Day Zero.

  • Get tested on Day 5 of minimizing exposure (or sooner if you are experiencing symptoms). Please note that, unlike many other respiratory infections (such as the flu), the viral load for COVID-19 infections usually peaks on the fourth day of symptoms. This can affect early test results and/or when symptoms and/or when symptoms are most severe.

  • A negative test result on Day 5 allows for you to return back to campus on Day 6 as long as you are symptom-free.

Effective January 9, 2024, COVID-19 isolation recommendations move away form five days of isolation and instead focus on clinical symptoms to determine when to end isolation.

The COVID-19 Prevention regulations' required exclusion periods for individuals with COVID-19 are the same as CDPH's recommended isolation periods for COVID-19 cases. The State Public Health Officer Order and Isolation Guidance now recommends the following isolation periods:

  • For cases with symptoms, with or without fever, from the day of symptom onset until at least 24 hours have passed. Excluded employees may return when 24 hours have passed with no fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and symptoms are mild and improving, OR

  • For cases with no symptoms, there is no infectious period and no recommended isolation. If symptoms develop, the criteria above will apply.

  • Masking is still required when returning to campus for up to 10 days after the onset of symptoms or testing positive (whichever came first).

Effective January 9, 2024, CDPH (California Department of Health) has adopted the following definition of "infectious period," which now applies to the COVID-19 Prevention regulations:

  • For COVID-19 cases with symptoms, it is a minimum of 24 hours from the day of symptom onset. COVID-19 cases may return if 24 hours have passed with no fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and their symptoms are mild and improving, OR

  • For COVID-19 cases with no symptoms, there is no infectious period for the purpose of isolation or exclusion. If symptoms develop, the criteria above will apply.

  • The definition of "infectious period" will change if CDPH updates its definition in a regulation or order.

  • Cabrillo College is a mask-friendly environment. Wearing a high-quality mask along with immunization, self-testing, and physical distancing helps protect yourself and others by reducing the chance of spreading COVID-19. Please respect the choices of others.

  • Face coverings are still required indoors on campus under certain circumstances such as:

    • For those who have returned from international travel within the last 7 days

    • At Student Health Services under certain circumstances

  • Updated masking recommendations from the California Department of Public Health for those who test positive, effective January 9, 2024:

    • If you become sick or test positive (without symptoms): Mask when you are around other people indoors for the 10 days after you become sick or test positive (if no symptoms). You may remove your mask sooner than 10 days if you have two sequential negative tests at least one day apart. Day Zero is symptom onset date or positive test date (whichever came first).

  • Get your free Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Self-Tests and Masks from Manager, COVID-19 Response and Compliance at krkascha@cabrillo.edu or Student Health Services.

  • Free Rapid Antigen test kits are available to students and employees at Student Health Services.

  • If you are an employee and you have been recently exposed on campus you may also obtain free Rapid Antigen test kits from the COVID-19 Response and Compliance team at krkascha@cabrillo.edu or 831-234-5804 in Human Resources.

  • You can still use an expired Rapid Antigen test as long as the Control (C) Line activates and the test has been stored at room temperature.

  • Inspire Medical Group Important Updates:

    • Inspire will no longer be providing testing services on the Aptos campus after December 7, 2023. Their last day providing testing services on campus will be December 7, 2023.

    • As of November 11, 2023, the Public Health Emergency status has expired.

      • For Employees with SISC Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield HMO Insurance Coverage:

        • As part of the end of the Federal Public Health Emergency, the following changes are effective November 12, 2023:

          • COVID-19 Testing and Vaccinations will no longer be covered out-of-network.

          • SISC Blue Shield PPO plan out-of-network coverage previously ended in May 2023

          • For questions about your benefits, please contact Margie Casillas, HR Benefits Analyst, at macasill@cabrillo.edu.

    • Other Places to Find COVID-19 Testing

      • https://covid19.ca.gov/get-tested/

      • COVIDTests.gov is offering At-Home COVID-19 Tests. Limit of 1 order per residential address. Each order contains 4 individual tests shipped in 1 package. You can also call 1-800-232-0233

      • The U.S. government will continue to make COVID-⁠19 tests available to uninsured individuals and underserved communities through existing outreach programs. Please contact a HRSA health center, Test to Treat site, or ICATT location near you to learn how to access low- or no-cost COVID-⁠19 tests provided by the federal government.

  • To align with COVID-19 Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education, and because it presents an inequitable barrier to entry for students, Cabrillo College has removed the vaccination mandate for students, faculty, and staff (effective spring semester 2023). Cabrillo College continues to strongly encourage vaccination against COVID-19 for all students, faculty, and staff. Information on current vaccine recommendations can be found at the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccines page

  • Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations are Now Available (9/12/23)

  • Inspire Diagnostics no longer provides vaccination services in Santa Cruz County as of August 2023.

  • The Bridge Access Program provides free COVID-19 boosters to Uninsured Individuals

    • A limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine will be made available through the Bridge Access Program for uninsured and underinsured adults (19 years and older). Insured patients, including patients covered by Medicare and Medi-Cal - are NOT eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines provided through this program. This temporary program will sunset at the end of 2024. Please contact Student Health Services for more information.

The CDC has easy-to-follow guidelines for which vaccines and boosters are recommended for each age group, as well as for people who are immunocompromised and an interactive tool to determine if you’re up to date on COVID vaccines.

  • COVID-19 vaccines help your body develop protection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Although vaccinated people sometimes get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines significantly lowers the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19. It is recommended that everyone who is eligible get a booster and stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines.

  • The COVID-19 Vaccine: Myths and Facts

  • More COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Information: English/Spanish

Medications to treat COVID-19 are free, widely available, and effective for stopping COVID-19 illness from getting serious. Everyone 12 years and older who has symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19 should ask a doctor about treatment. See COVID19.CA.GOV for more information, including:

Find a Doctor Near You- Telehealth Appointments- Book Online (Sesame Care)

During the Spring 2023 Semester, Inspire Diagnostics and Cabrillo College partnered to conduct over 18 vaccine clinics on campus in both Watsonville & Aptos that resulted in over 300, no-cost, COVID-19 and 120 Flu Vaccines being distributed across the community, along with no-cost COVID-19 testing, mask distribution, and COVID-19 health and safety learning opportunities.

Thank you Inspire Diagnostics!

What is your "why" for getting the COVID-19 vaccine? What would you tell others to encourage them to get vaccinated or boosted?

What do you do to stay safe and protect others from COVID-19?

Uninsured? Have Medi-Cal, but no regular doctor? Medi-Nurse can help. California has launched an advice line than can connect you with a nurse, day or night, to talk about COVID-19 symptoms and help connect you with local resources in your area.

Call the Medi-Nurse Line: (877) 409-9052

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Health Equity means the attainment of the highest level of health for all people, where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their optimal health regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, preferred language, or other factors that affect access to care and health outcomes (CMS.gov).

The Cabrillo College COVID-19 Response & Compliance team is working to advance health equity by designing and implementing outreach initiatives to support health for all the people served by our COVID-19 prevention programs and to eliminate disparities in health care quality and access.

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