The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) Chancellor Joe Garcia has issued a statement that all CCCS employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo regular testing to verify COVID-negative status effective at the start of the Spring 2022 semester. Northeastern Junior College (Northeastern) will comply with this directive and will immediately begin and start the processes necessary to be in compliance well before the start of the Spring semester.
The Colorado Community College System and Northeastern continue to take steps necessary to ensure the health and safety of employees and students. CCCS and Northeastern continue to follow evidence-based federal, state, and local health and safety guidance. Our plans will be continually reviewed and amended as deemed appropriate during this ever evolving time.
Evidence continues to show that the best defense against COVID-19 is masking, vaccination, and testing. Northeastern acknowledges that some employees and students have concerns and beliefs relating to the vaccines that result in their decisions to not be vaccinated and as such, Northeastern is not mandating or requiring the taking of COVID-19 vaccines and is allowing employees and students the choice or option of being vaccinated or engaging in weekly testing when randomly selected for testing. The option selected by employees or students will have an impact on how Northeastern manages and continues operations during the period of time that COVID-19 and its variants impact our region, our society and our nation.
The operating procedures outlined below are designed to ensure a safe campus, our ability to keep the college open, preserve enrollment and our employment base. Northeastern will take steps toward ensuring the health and safety of students and employees. Northeastern will focus on maintaining a standard of providing rich and rewarding educational experiences and active student life programming.
An employee will be considered a vaccinated employee upon proof of being fully vaccinated, meaning they have received the full dose related to the vaccine received and the appropriate amount of time (as specified by the vaccine provider) has passed since the required vaccine doses were administered.
Vaccinated employees must provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Proof of vaccination status may be provided via:
- A hard copy of the vaccination card. Vaccinated employees may bring their vaccination card to Human Resources.
- A digital copy of the vaccination card, as found in the myColorado app, may be forwarded to Human Resources.
- In cases where the documentation of the vaccination status is questioned due to the condition of the hard copy or digital version of the vaccination card, Human Resources will verify vaccination status through the stated provider of the vaccine.
Employees claiming to be vaccinated, but failing to produce proof of full/complete vaccination will be treated as an unvaccinated employee. Employees that choose to not identify their vaccine status will be treated as an unvaccinated employee.
Vaccinated employees will not be required to engage in weekly COVID-19 testing.
When a vaccinated employee is exposed or potentially exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 carrying individual, the employee may continue to work on campus, as long as they do not experience virus related symptoms.
All employees who work on a Northeastern Campus and have not provided evidence of vaccination as stated above, will be considered unvaccinated and are subject to be entered into the testing pool.
Unvaccinated employees may not claim an exemption from weekly COVID-19 virus testing.
Unvaccinated employees are strongly encouraged to wear facial coverings while in the presence of others and during the process of being tested.
When an unvaccinated employee is exposed or potentially exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 carrying individual, the employee will be required to quarantine/isolate as directed by the guidelines established by the Northeast Colorado Health Department.
Randomized Weekly Testing of Unvaccinated Employees
Development of the pool of unvaccinated employees subject to testing:
- Department Chairs/Directors will assist in developing the list of Adjunct Instructors and Hourly employees who are working on a Northeastern campus.
- Employees whose names have been randomly selected and who are on leave (Annual, Sick, or FML) or not on contract for the full week, will not be required to test that week.
- Unvaccinated employees that have had COVID-19 will not be a part of the pool for three months after having been recovered in accordance with CDC guidance. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/diagnostic-testing.html
- Employees who have had COVID-19 in the last three months will need to provide Human Resources with documentation from their healthcare provider.
Once the pool has been developed, each week Human Resources will randomly select names of 20% of employees using a randomizing app.
When randomly selected, unvaccinated employees are required to comply with COVID-19 testing and to submit the results of that testing within 10 days of being notified to test.
The names of employees who have been selected for testing on any given week and test negative will be re-entered into the pool in order to achieve maximum randomization.
Testing will occur each week with the exception of the weeks of Thanksgiving, Spring Break, and during college closures (Christmas break).
Employees who fail to complete the requested randomized weekly testing will be subject to the actions listed below. An employee will be considered to be non-compliant if they have not provided proof of testing within 10 days of being notified to test.
Employees are responsible for the timely submission of their testing results.
Human Resources will complete the COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Protocol Notification of Non-Compliance Form for those employees who do not provide test results for the week they were selected.
College response for failure to comply
- In the first instance of non-compliance the supervisor and appropriate Vice President will be notified. The employee will be required to meet with their supervisor or appropriate Vice President to discuss the non-compliance issue, consequences of continued non-compliance, and strategies to ensure compliance with future requests for randomized testing, and complete the attached COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Protocol Non-compliance form. The employee is not subject to dismissal for the first instance of non-compliance.
- In the second instance of non-compliance the supervisor or appropriate Vice President will be notified. The employee will be required to meet with their appropriate Vice President or President to discuss the non-compliance issue, consequences of continued non-compliance, and strategies to ensure compliance with future requests for randomized testing, and complete the attached COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Protocol Non-compliance form. The employee is not subject to dismissal for the second instance of non-compliance.
- In the third instance of non-compliance the supervisor, appropriate Vice President, and President of the College will be notified. The employee will be required to meet with the President to discuss the non-compliance issue, consequences of continued non-compliance, and strategies to ensure compliance with future requests for randomized testing, and complete the attached COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Protocol Non-compliance form. The employee may be subject to dismissal for the third instance of non-compliance.
Faculty who disagree with the college president’s decision on the third instance of non-compliance may submit an appeal in accordance with SP3-20a.
All communications related to COVID-19 vaccination requirements and randomized weekly testing will be conducted via Northeastern email.
The Director of Human Resources will report the number of employees vaccinated to Cabinet on a weekly basis, the names of the employees will not be shared.
The Director of Human Resources will report the number of employees on the unvaccinated list used for random selection, the names of the employees will not be shared.
Supervisors will not be notified when permanent employees are selected for randomized testing.
Supervisors may be notified when temporary employees are selected for randomized testing for the purpose of assisting with communications.
Although steps will be taken to preserve each employee’s information, the college cannot guarantee an unvaccinated employee’s privacy related to testing due to the actions necessary under this protocol. Efforts will be taken to minimize the exposure of the names of unvaccinated employees who test positive.
If and when an employee tests positive for COVID, actions will be taken to identify those that may have been exposed to the infected employee. In some instances, it may be necessary to notify the employee’s supervisor to assist in managing the contact tracing and accommodating work assignments impacted by the employee’s virus carrying status.
Timing of Implementation
Northeastern will begin the testing requirement of unvaccinated employees Monday, November 15, 2021 in order to learn the extent of the testing needed and the level of work necessary to complete testing and document results prior to the start of the Spring 2022 semester. Vaccinated employees must show proof of vaccination to the HR Office by Monday, November 8, 2021.
NCHD @ 777 North 4th Street, Sterling
- Fridays 10:00am-2:00pm
- Free, drive through PCR test
- Pre-registration required https://my.primary.health/l/cdphe
NCHD @ NJC
- Tuesday, 12:30-3:30pm
- Location on campus: WH101
- Free PCR test
- Pre-registration required https://my.primary.health/l/cdphe
Human Resources: Employees may request free testing kits from https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-testing-at-home and schedule an appointment with Jeri Estrada (x6730) to be tested. These tests should not be administered at home or without the presence of a Northeastern approved tester.
There are other testing sites (pharmacies, healthcare facilities, etc.) throughout Northeast Colorado that employees may use to be tested. Northeastern does not keep a list of other testing sites.
Employees are responsible for providing test results within ten days of notification that testing is required.
Any employee that is symptomatic or has been exposed may request a test from Human Resources. Testing supplies are limited and may not be available, employees are strongly encouraged to order tests from the site listed above and bring a test kit with you.