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Recovery Plan & FAQ

Revised October 27, 2021

Otero College has continued to update and revise the COVID-19 Recovery Plan providing an outlined protocol for both students (including concurrent enrollment students coming on campus) and employees. As new guidance and mandates are received, the plan will be adjusted accordingly. Below you will find a link to the full recovery plan as well as a breakdown of different FAQ's based off of the recovery plan.

1. Read, understand, and comply with public health orders!  Public health orders can be found here: https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-in-colorado/public-health-executiveorders-resource 

2. Stay home if you are sick and, if needed, call your medical provider. 

3. Wear a mask face covering if able. 

4. If you are in a high-risk group, take extra precautions. 

5. Cover your cough and/or sneeze. 

6. Keep your fingers and hands away from your face. 

7. Wash your hands a lot. 

8. Clean items in your home/workspace. 

9. Stay informed by trusted and reliable sources. Be careful about believing what you read on social media sites.

10. Trusted sources/websites:

  1. OCHD: https://www.oterogov.com
  2. Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov
  3. CO State Health Department: https://www.colorado.gov/cdphe 

The disease most likely spreads the same way as similar respiratory illnesses.  

1. Person-to-person contact:

  1. To become sick, you one must be exposed to the virus. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines exposure as being within 6 feet (2 meters) of someone with a confirmed infection for 15 minutes.
  2. Exposure can occur through respiratory droplets such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how flu and other respiratory viruses spread.

2. There has been documented evidence of asymptomatic spread. 
3. Infected surfaces or objects: 

4. It may be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes. 

5. For these reasons, people at increased risk of infection are:

  1. People who have been to areas where widespread community transmission is occurring.
  2. People who had direct close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Otero College requires students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, or receive an exemption, to access in-person learning and support services, live in the residence halls, participate on college athletic teams, or to participate in designated health sciences programs. The COVID-19 vaccination is not required as a condition of enrollment at Otero for students who are solely enrolled in online courses.

The COVID-19 immunization record or exemption must be received before the first day of the initial term of enrollment at Otero. The COVID-19 immunization record must reflect any second dose necessary for full immunization. Any of the following may be used as proof of vaccination:

  1. COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card (issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or World Health Organization Yellow Card) which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided, and dates of last doses administered.
  2. A photo of a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or immunization record obtained from the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS) as a separate document.
  3. A photo of a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or immunization record obtained from CIIS, either directly or through the MyColorado application or another health application, stored on a phone or electronic device; or
  4. Documentation of COVID-19 vaccination from a health care provider.

COVID-19 immunization records can be submitted by email to otero-admissions@otero.edu  or in-person at the Student Services office at 1802 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050.

Exemption Requests

Students have the right to request an exemption from this vaccination for a medical or non-medical (religious or personal belief) reason. This procedure adopts the terms and definitions used by the State of Colorado for other vaccinations.  To request an exemption, students should submit the Medical Exemption Form or Non-Medical Exemption Form to otero-admissions@otero.edu or in-person at the Student Services office at 1802 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050. 

Medical Exemption Details

Students shall complete and submit the Medical Exemption Form signed by a medical doctor, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, advanced practice nurse, or a delegated physician’s assistant.

Non-Medical (Religious or Personal Belief Exemption) Details

Students shall complete and submit the Non-Medical Exemption Form with appropriate signatures. 

Please allow 7-10 business days for an exemption request to be processed.

If granted an exemption, students:

  • May be required to participate in weekly serial COVID-19 testing as directed by Otero College,
  • May be required to wear a mask,
  • Must monitor College email daily for important health notifications,
  • Must isolate for a period of time as required by local health department regulations if test positive for COVID-19; and
  • Must follow local health department quarantine procedures if determined to be in close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.

*These requirements are subject to change based upon available and emerging epidemiological evidence and the overall burden of disease related to COVID-19 transmission on our campus and in our region.

Where the exemption from vaccination necessitates an accommodation for a disability or medical condition or an accommodation based on a religious or personal belief or practice, Otero College will engage in an interactive process with the student to determine which reasonable accommodations may be available. More information about Otero College accommodations process is available on https://libguides.ojc.edu/Home/DisabilityServices.

Students with a recorded immunization exemption may be kept out of Otero College residence halls and prohibited from participation on student athletic teams or in designated health sciences programs during a disease outbreak; the length of time will vary depending on the type of the disease, the circumstances of the outbreak, and alternative options that may be available.

Students who have been fully vaccinated may participate in all activities and will be asked only to monitor and report any symptoms.

Revisions to Requirements

Otero College reserves the right to change any provisions of these requirements at any time and change shall become effectively immediately.

Weekly testing is available on Otero’s campus and in the greater community.

Testing

Free COVID-19 testing is offered on campus every Wednesday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the McDivitt Gym. To schedule an appointment, individuals can:

Pre-Register (This option is encouraged to REDUCE wait time)

    1. Visit AffinityeCareColorado.com
    2. Complete the registration form
    3. Upon completing the form, you will receive an email with the Booking ID number.

Register On-Site (This option will INCREASE your wait time)

  1. Provide your name, date of birth, and address to the site attendant; additional information including phone number, email, etc. will be required
  2. The site attendant will help you complete the registration form on-site.

Other testing sites include:

Crowley County Nursing Center Ordway – Crowley County

401 Idaho Avenue

Ordway, CO 81063

Fridays 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Rocky Ford Public Safety Building

300 South Main Street

Rocky Ford, CO 81067

Fridays 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

In addition to the weekly testing clinics, Otero College is permitted to administer the Cue COVID-19 Test, a molecular test that detects the RNA of SARS-CoV-2 which is the virus that causes COVID-19. For more information on the Cue Test, students should contact the Dean of Students of 719.384.6859; employees should contact the Human Resources Director at 719.384.6824.

This Quarantine and Isolation Protocol was developed with support from the Otero County Health Department with the goal of prioritizing in-person learning.

Quarantine Protocol

If an unvaccinated student or employee is identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case and is not experiencing symptoms, this individual may select from one of the following quarantine options upon submitting the student or employee COVID-19 Reporter and speaking with the Dean of Students or the Director of Human Resources:

  1. The individual may opt-in to an in-person quarantine in which they participate in mandatory testing for

two consecutive weeks. If an individual develops symptoms while they are in the in-person quarantine, they must follow the “Return to Learn” guidance and inform Otero officials of symptoms using either the student or employee COVID-19 Reporter tool.

  1. The individual can opt-in to a modified quarantine in which they quarantine for 5 days, test on Day 5, and return on Day 8 if the test is negative.
  2. The individual can quarantine for 10 days.

The following guidance applies to individuals who opt-in to the in-person quarantine:

  • Serial testing must occur a minimum of once per week for a minimum of two weeks with a negative result and no symptoms
  • Testing is based on the last day of contact with a positive individual; testing may be longer than two weeks due to continued or new exposure to a positive individual
  • Those who are participate in the in-person quarantine are strongly encouraged to check for symptoms daily and before high-risk activities (i.e., sports)
  • Serial testing must be proctored. At-home, self-proctored tests will not apply as part of the weekly screening. Students must submit results to the Dean of Students at Otero-C19student@otero.edu

and employees must submit their results to the Director of Human Resources at Otero-C19employee@otero.edu

  • If individuals develop symptoms while they are in the in-person quarantine, they must follow CDPHE’s “Return to Learn” guidance.

Vaccinated students and employees who are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case are not required to quarantine. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test.

Isolation Protocol 

Ensuring people diagnosed with COVID-19 stay home and follow isolation requirements is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Under state law, isolation of positive cases is required and must be enforced by local public health and school districts. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should be in isolation and stay away from others until:

  • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours (without using medicine that reduces fever

AND

  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)

AND

  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and have not had symptoms must isolate for 10 days from the date of their positive test.  Individuals who had no symptoms when they tested positive but develop symptoms after their test should continue to isolate for 10 days after their symptoms started and are improving as described above.

The Dean of Students works closely with Otero students who test positive for COVID-19 and informs instructors when students are permitted to work remotely. The Director of Human Resources works closely with employees who test positive for COVID-19 and informs supervisors when employees can work remotely.

Revisions to Requirements:

Otero College reserves the right to change any provisions of these requirements at any time based on available and emerging epidemiological evidence and the overall burden of disease related to COVID-19 transmission on our campus and in our community.  Necessary changes would be effective immediately

If you begin to feel ill, click HERE to seslf-report your symptoms. Otero staff will contact you directly, and assist you with seeking proper medical attention.

With the experience the College has had over the past year of converting all classes to hybrid instruction, the College is well prepared to once again make a smooth transition to this learning format should it become necessary.

Otero College COVID-19 Recovery Plan - Fall 2021

 

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