Dear Colleagues,

From the beginning of this pandemic and throughout its evolution, the Colorado Community College System has had the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff as our top priority. At the same time, our statutory mission is to provide open and equitable access for all who seek to improve their lives through education and training. Individual livelihoods and Colorado’s economy depend on our ability to do those things well, and we are making plans for the start of the Spring 2022 semester with those objectives in mind.

Based on information available as of October 2021, all of our colleges will continue with face-to-face teaching and learning in the Spring semester. In order to continue to provide face-to-face teaching safely, the colleges and system office will implement COVID-19 testing protocols for faculty, staff, and students. Employees and students who work on campus, attend in-person classes, access support services, or participate in other activities at our colleges or system office will have the choice to provide results from regular COVID-19 testing or, alternatively, provide evidence that they are fully vaccinated. We expect to have reporting tools for regular testing results and/or vaccination verification systems and procedures fully operational well before the start of Spring classes. Several of our rural residential colleges with intercollegiate athletic programs instituted rigorous testing protocols this Fall and have kept their colleges’ transmission levels relatively low. Students who choose not to undergo regular testing or submit proof of vaccination have the option of taking a wide range of remote courses that do not require their presence on our campuses. The administration at each of our colleges will provide more details specific to their communities regarding the implementation of testing or vaccination verification as well as other COVID protocols effective for the Spring semester.

In recognition that each of our 13 colleges is in a different community with different vaccination and positivity rates, and each is under the direction and control of a different local health authority, the presidents of our 13 colleges are authorized to implement additional and in some situations differing COVID-19 mitigation protocols in order to best reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and its variants in their respective communities. Additional protocols may include face coverings, physical distancing, and other mitigation strategies. COVID protocols are subject to change as we continue to respond to COVID-19 and its variants and as may be required by differing circumstances in the many communities we serve.

Everyone in the CC CS community, whether vaccinated or not, is expected to stay at home and get tested if they have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (such as fever or chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea), or upon discovering that there is a reasonable chance they have been recently exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Thank you to our faculty, staff, and students for your efforts and resiliency as we continue to work our way through this pandemic. We will continue to do the best we can under difficult circumstances to protect our students, employees, and communities.

Joe Garcia
Colorado Community College System