Frequently Asked Questions

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Face Coverings  |  Potential Exposure  |  When Can I Return to Campus?  |  Classes  |  Travel  |  Reporting and Follow-up  |  Testing  |  Vaccines  |  General  |  Definitions


Face Coverings

Are masks/ face coverings required?
Yes, per MCCCD Safety Requirements, face coverings are required while inside all MCCCD buildings. Clear masks may be worn to facilitate communications for the deaf/hard of hearing or instructors. Face shields are not acceptable as face coverings. Face coverings are optional for outdoor use.

Who do I notify if employees or students are not wearing a face covering indoors? You have the right to tell individuals that are procedures require face coverings in our buildings.
If you are uncomfortable making that statement, reach out to your colleges / District Office COVID Liaison for assistance.

How do I store my reusable face covering?
The CDC recommends the following: face masks should be carefully folded so that the outer surface is held inward and against itself to reduce contact with the outer surface during storage. The folded mask can be stored between uses in a clean sealable paper bag or breathable container. Plastic bags trap the moisture inside which creates an ideal breeding conditions for germs, bacteria and viruses.

The CDC states that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear face coverings or social distance. Why is MCCCD requiring the use of face coverings?
The CDC has updated this guidance and now recommends face coverings in certain situations. Face coverings are required inside all MCCCD buildings for students, employees and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are optional for outdoors.

What are the COVID-19 protocols for face coverings for performing arts classes and performances?
Performing arts, like athletics, poses a challenge in weighing the benefits of using face coverings which may reduce exposure to COVID-19 against the negative health impact of those wearing face coverings while physically active. Risk Management is providing the following protocols, as it pertains to activities in the performing arts at our sites:

All visitors/ attendees must adhere to MCCCD’s face covering requirements

  • Seating/ occupancy levels for attendees will be limited to ensure at least 3-foot social distancing.
  • Face coverings will be made available to those that do not have one.
  • Signage of COVID-19 requirements will be posted in multiple areas as well as online.

For those working or volunteering:

  • Face Coverings will be worn at all times while inside buildings, theaters, etc.
  • 3 ft. Social distancing should be maintained where possible depending on functions.

Performers/ Artists:

  • Are requiring to wear face coverings backstage, common areas, multiple use dressing rooms, etc. An exception to the face covering requirement is while application or removal makeup and/or costumes in the dressing room areas.
  • Performers in the act of performing or rehearsing are not required to wear face coverings, but the face coverings should be readily available for as soon as the performance or rehearsal has ended.
    • There should be a staging area for face coverings to be held (left and retrieved) when the performers enter/exit the stage. Paper bags should be provided and marked with the performer’s names (Other persons should not be handling the coverings or paper bags).
  • Increased social distancing for musicians and singers should be implemented where possible.

**Face coverings may be removed while eating or drinking but social distancing should be increased to 6 ft, during these activities.

 

Potential Exposure

If I have had close contact with an individual who has close contact with someone with COVID-19, did I have a potential exposure and do I have to quarantine?
Typically, no. This is deemed a third-party exposure and so long as the “potentially exposed” individual is symptom-free the likelihood of a third-party exposure is minimal and even less if face covering and social distancing protocols were followed by all. A potential exposure occurs when you have had close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Should I notify my staff/students that they have had a potential exposure if an individual notifies me that they have had a potential exposure?
No. This is categorized as a third-party exposure and has minimal risk. See the response to Question #1 above.

I live with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19? Do I have to self-quarantine?

 

1. If you are asymptomatic and any of the following scenarios apply to your situation:

  • Completed the two-dose vaccine series for either Pfizer or Moderna within 6 months of your potential exposure or
  • You do not need to quarantine, but you must wear a mask around others for 10 days.**
  • Completed the primary series of the J&J vaccine within the last 2 months from your potential exposure or
  • You have had any of the booster shots or
  • You have recovered from COVID-19 within 3 months of your potential exposure.

Then, you do not need to quarantine, but you must wear a mask around others for 10 days.**

2. If you are asymptomatic and any of the following scenarios apply to your situation:

  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted or
  • Completed the primary series of the J&J vaccine over 2 months ago and are not boosted or
  • Are unvaccinated or
  • Have not recovered from COVID-19 within 3 months of your potential exposure.

Then, stay home for 7 days from the date of your last exposure. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.**

**If you develop COVID-19 like symptoms or test positive during your quarantine, regardless of your vaccine status, you must isolate and immediately complete the online form Report Symptoms or Confirmed Case.

As a result of these changes to the COVID-19 isolation and quarantine periods, those who have recently received an email from Risk Management with the 10 and 14-day isolation/quarantine time frames may reduce them to 5 and 7 days, respectively. If you have any questions, please contact Risk Management at dl-dssc-risk-management@domail.maricopa.edu.

Have I had a “potential exposure” just by passing someone in the hall, office, etc. if there is not 6 ft. of separation?
No. A potential exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. “Passing by” another person occurs for only a few seconds and does not meet or exceed the timeframe criteria of having an exposure.

I have recently recovered from having COVID-19, and my daughter just tested positive. Does that mean I have to self-quarantine again?
No. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again.

I work in Healthcare and am potentially exposed to COVID + patients almost daily; does this mean that I have to quarantine each time?
Not necessarily. Once you submit the Potential Exposure form, you will receive an auto-response email that will provide you with instructions pertaining to whether you need to quarantine.

 

When Can I Return to Campus?

I had a potential exposure and self-quarantined. Do I need to get tested and have a negative result before I can return?
No, if you remained asymptomatic and have not had any additional exposure to someone with COVID-19 then you may return after the 5-7 day quarantine. No testing or a Dr’s. release is required to return to work/class.

I live with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19? I have self-quarantined for 5 days, can I return to work/class?

1. If you are asymptomatic and any of the following scenarios apply to your situation:

  • Completed the two-dose vaccine series for either Pfizer or Moderna within 6 months of your potential exposure or
  • You do not need to quarantine, but you must wear a mask around others for 10 days.**
  • Completed the primary series of the J&J vaccine within the last 2 months from your potential exposure or
  • You have had any of the booster shots or
  • You have recovered from COVID-19 within 3 months of your potential exposure.

Then, you do not need to quarantine, but you must wear a mask around others for 10 days.**

2. If you are asymptomatic and any of the following scenarios apply to your situation:

  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted or
  • Completed the primary series of the J&J vaccine over 2 months ago and are not boosted or
  • Are unvaccinated or
  • Have not recovered from COVID-19 within 3 months of your potential exposure.

Then, stay home for 7 days from the date of your last exposure. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.**

**If you develop COVID-19 like symptoms or test positive during your quarantine, regardless of your vaccine status, you must isolate and immediately complete the online form Report Symptoms or Confirmed Case.

My instructor/supervisor told me that I needed approval from Risk Management prior to returning to campus. What do I need to do?
Neither employees or students need approval from Risk Management to end their self-isolation. As long as you meet the following criteria you may return.

  • A minimum of ten days has passed since the onset of symptoms or the date of your COVID-19 test (if positive), whichever was earlier and
  • Your symptoms have improved or completely resolved and
  • At least 24 hours have passed with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medication).

 

Classes

Is it correct that students do not need to wear face coverings on campus?
No, this is not accurate. Face coverings are required inside all MCCCD buildings. Face coverings are optional for outdoors.

Do students need to fill out the online reporting forms if they have had a potential exposure or if they have COVID-19 or COVID-like symptoms?
Yes, per MCCCD Safety Requirements all students and employees must report. If they are unable to submit the online form themselves then whomever the student contacted can fill out the form on the student’s behalf. Only answer the questions that you know the answers to and enter the affected individual’s information; not the person’s information who is filling out the form on behalf of another.

If a student informs their instructor of a potential exposure, does the class have to be canceled for 2 weeks and do the other students/faculty have to self-quarantine?
No, the only time that a class may have to be canceled or moved to remote learning is if the student has a confirmed case and they had close contact with everyone in the class. Only those that had close contact with the confirmed case may need to self-quarantine. Those that had a close contact should submit the online Potential Exposure report form and the email that they receive will help them determine if they need to quarantine.

If a student has symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, does the class have to be canceled for 2 weeks?
In-person classes may need to be canceled depending on the extent of potential exposure, but alternative forms of classes such as remote learning may be substituted for in-person classes.

If a student informs their instructor that they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are sick with COVID-19 like symptoms, does the class have to be canceled for 2 weeks, and do the other students have to self-quarantine for two weeks?
If the student attended classes within 48 hours of a positive test, then the class may need to be canceled, at least initially until the incident is evaluated to determine the extent of exposure. Those that were potentially exposed should be told to quarantine and be instructed to complete and submit the Potential Exposure online form and the Campus COVID-19 Liaison team should be notified.

 

Travel

I have an employee that will be traveling domestically in a few weeks. Will they have to self-quarantine after their return to AZ?
It depends on whether they are fully vaccinated. The requirements for international travel can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.

If an employee or student is traveling internationally, do they have to self-quarantine upon return?
It depends on whether they are fully vaccinated. The requirements for international travel can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel-during-covid19

 

Reporting and Follow-up

Do students have to submit the online report if they have had a potential exposure or tested positive for COVID-19?
Yes. Students and employees must submit the online reports even if they have been vaccinated. This enables MCCCD to ensure the safety and health of others in the MCCCD family.

I have an employee (or student) who informed me that they have COVID-19. Can I fill out the online reporting form for them?
Yes. If they are unable to fill out the form themselves, because they are too ill or do not have access then you may fill out the form, but it is better if the affected individual fills out the form themselves. If filling out the form on behalf of another, please enter their information, not your information. It is important that Risk Management receives their full name, ID number, telephone number, and contact email. When filling out the form for the employee or student, only answer the questions that you know the answers to and leave the others blank. Risk Management will follow up to get the additional information. Please add your name and contact information in the comment box.

When does an employee/ student get notified after they have submitted the online reporting questionnaire?
Immediately. Not only do the online forms ask more detailed questions, they also contain instructions for the submitter. IT was able to add an automated response form letter, one for each report, that is sent to the entered email address, immediately upon clicking on the submit button. Make sure to check your spam or junk mail if you do not receive the email in your inbox.

 

Testing

I had tested positive for COVID-19 and have been self-quarantined for two weeks and I am not showing any COVID-19 symptoms. My Supervisor told me that I need proof that I am no longer COVID-19 positive before I can return to work. Can you advise?
If you tested positive for COVID-19, then you should self-isolate not self-quarantine. Isolating means that people infected with the virus have no contact with people who are not infected and isolate in a separate part of the home, use different bathrooms, if possible, eat separately, etc. This goes well beyond 6 ft. social/ physical distancing. As for “proof” of not having the Coronavirus, MCCCD does not require testing for negative results nor a Doctor’s release/note that you are clear of the virus.

I was informed that I had a potential exposure to someone with COVID-19. Should I get tested?
Testing is not required. If you decide to test, it is recommended that you wait at least five days from the date of your last potential exposure. Testing too early can cause a false-negative test result. Even if you do test negative, you will still be asked to complete the 5-7 day quarantine, due to the incubation period of the virus. Receiving a negative test result will not reduce the 5-7 day quarantine period.

I have symptoms of COVID-19, should I get tested?
You may decide to test, but it is recommended to wait at least five days from the onset of symptoms due to the high percentage of false-negative results. The PCR test only shows if you have enough of the virus to be detected by the sample at the time of the test. Even with symptoms, the test can provide a false negative if taken too early. Even if you receive a negative test result, please do not return to Campus/DO until you are well.

I took an Over the Counter (OTC) COVID-19 test and it was negative. Can I return?
The reliability of the over-the-counter “Home” Covid-19 tests are not known and there are specific instructions as to when to use them. With the unknown accuracy of these tests, MCCCD does not recognize these tests as valid in determining positive or negative COVID-19 cases. You may return once you meet all three of the CDC’s criteria:

  • 5-7 days have passed since the onset of symptoms
  • Symptoms have improved or completely resolved
  • You are without fever for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, Nyquil, Theraflu, etc.)

I tested positive for COVID-19 and have been isolating, should I test again to make sure I have recovered?
NO, a positive result may occur for weeks or months after recovering and you are no longer contagious. Follow the symptoms-based strategy outlined here:

  • 5-7 days have passed since the onset of symptoms
  • Symptoms have improved or completely resolved
  • You are without fever for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, Nyquil, Theraflu, etc.)

 

Vaccines

Can I still contract COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine?
Yes, there have been over 10,000 reported cases of fully vaccinated people later testing positive for COVID-19 through April 2021. The CDC stopped tracking breakthrough cases, except those that result in hospitalization, so the true number of breakthrough cases are unknown. Vaccinated people could potentially still become infected and spread the virus to others.

Can I spread the virus after being vaccinated?
See answer listed in #1 of this section.

I have COVID-19, can I still be vaccinated?
No. People with COVID-19 should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation.

If I receive the vaccine, do I still need to wear a mask?
It depends on the environment; MCCCD protocols require the use of face coverings while in MCCCD buildings. Outdoor use of face coverings is optional.

If I received my vaccine, do I need to quarantine if I had a potential exposure?
Not necessarily. If you have only received only one dose of the vaccine, you will still be required to self-quarantine. If you have received both doses of the vaccine, you will not be required to self-quarantine only if both of the following apply:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

After I receive my vaccine, do I need to fill out the online reporting form if I had a potential exposure?
Yes. The questionnaire will ask a series of questions that should be answered thoroughly and truthfully. Once you submit the report, you will receive an auto-response email that will provide information regarding whether you need to quarantine. If you do not receive the email response in your email inbox, please check your spam/ junk folder.

Do I still need to fill out the online reporting form if I have vaccine symptoms after receiving my first or second dose of the vaccine?
Yes. By submitting the “Symptoms or Confirmed Case” form Risk Management will be able to determine, based on the responses provided, whether or not an individual needs to isolate.

Do I need to isolate if I have received the vaccine and experienced side effects?
It depends on multiple factors including what symptoms you are experiencing, the length of time between the vaccine and the onset of symptoms, and the actual symptoms that presented. This is why individuals must continue to submit the online reporting form so that Risk Management can evaluate each of these factors to determine the appropriate course of action.

Have there been side effects from either of the vaccines?
Yes, side effects have been reported. The most common side effects are pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot, fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. Other reported adverse effects can be found by running a report on the VAERS website.

I had COVID-19 and received the monoclonal antibody therapy, can I be vaccinated?
If you have received any form of passive antibody therapy, vaccination should be deferred for at least 90 days, as a precautionary measure until additional information becomes available, to avoid potential interference of the antibody therapy with vaccine-induced immune responses.

I have an autoimmune condition; can I receive the vaccine?
Speak with your physician for more information.

I heard the vaccine can cause Bell’s palsy, is that true?
Per the CDC, “Cases of Bell’s palsy were reported following vaccination in participants in both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines clinical trials. The VAERS database shows over 2000 people have reported Bell’s Palsy after receiving the vaccine.

Is MCCCD going to require COVID-19 vaccinations/ proof of vaccination?
No, at this time there is no active discussion on requiring employees or students to have the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

General

Is temperature taking mandatory when I arrive at work/class?
No, students and employees must monitor their health daily prior to arriving at work via the Daily Self-Assessment Checklist. They do not have to physically fill out the form, nor do they have to submit it or the answers to anyone. If they answer yes to any question, they should not go to work/class and should contact their Supervisor/Instructor for further instructions.

Can I require employees/students to report or provide their temperature before entering the office or workplace?
MCCCD procedures do not require that an employee or student report their temperature. They are asked to conduct the Daily Self-Assessment Checklist and follow the instructions based upon their responses.

I heard that an employee (student) tested positive for COVID-19 can you tell me who the employee is or where that person was on-site? I am concerned that the employee may not remember everyone that they had contact with.
Risk Management informs those that had a potential exposure to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 based upon the responses (when they were on-site, where and who they had close contact with) that they provided on their form submittal. Under ADA and in the case of students- FERPA, laws, the individual with COVID-19 has the right to privacy and confidential information cannot be disclosed. This is why properly wearing face coverings and social distancing are key elements in reducing the spread of the virus.

 

Definitions

What is “close contact”?
Per the CDC, Close contact is defined as any one of the following:

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils e. They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

What is a potential exposure?
A potential exposure is defined as having close contact (see above) with a person with a confirmed case COVID-19.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
Quarantine is used to instruct individuals that have been “potentially exposed” to someone with COVID-19 to stay away from other people outside of their family "bubble." Isolation physically separates people who are infected with the virus away from people who are not infected; this includes household members.

What is “Third-Party Exposure”?
Third-party exposure is defined as having close contact with someone that has had a “potential exposure” to someone with COVID-19.

What is the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting?
Cleaning and sanitizing are the same action:

  • Cleaning a surface simply removes visible debris, dirt, and dust
  • Sanitizing a surface makes that surface sanitary or free of visible dirt contaminants that could affect your health; sanitizing is meant to reduce, not kill, the occurrence and growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi
  • Disinfecting a surface will “kill” the microscopic organisms as claimed on the label of a particular product

In order to remain consistent in our messaging, everyone should use “clean & disinfect” when referring to the measures taken by the custodial staff to remove and kill COVID-19.

What does fully vaccinated mean?
In general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated.