The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

City College responds to student concerns regarding COVID tests

August Lawrence
From left, student worker and ASG President Allegra Kabukapua Kalombo prepares a wristband while her coworker signs a student in by scanning their phone on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at City College’s Luria Library in Santa Barbara, Calif. Anyone intending on entering a building on campus must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a negative test or an approved exemption for the week of Feb. 22.

Since returning to campus as of Feb. 22, City College students have had to adjust to the new requirements for attending classes in person.

Having a negative COVID test is required only for the week of Feb. 22, and will become optional for vaccinated students beginning Mar. 1.  The move comes following Santa Barbara County’s decision to rescind its universal masking requirement on Feb.16

“We are currently working under the guidance of Santa Barbara Public Health Department to adjust our testing requirements which indicate that weekly testing is required for unvaccinated individuals,” COVID Compliance Officer Rini Montano said. “Testing will continue to be available for anyone who wants to test more regularly and for symptomatic individuals.”

According to Montano, masking will continue to be required while indoors on campus. Masking is currently recommended for all schools throughout Santa Barbara County. 

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Students expressed concern about how the COVID testing requirement could impact their courses since those who do not have a COVID test result uploaded in time cannot receive a wristband to be able to enter their classes for the first week of campus return. 

“Throughout the pandemic, we have encouraged our instructional faculty to be as flexible and understanding as they can be with unanticipated absences from classes due to COVID-related issues,” Interim Superintendent President Kindred Murrillo said.

“We know the ongoing COVID safety protocols have caused some of our students to unintentionally have to miss a class and this was part of our reason for now deciding to scale back on our testing requirement beginning Mar 1.”

Murrillo noted that surveillance testing is not currently recommended for schools by County Public Health or the CDC, and advises students to contact their instructor directly.

“Communication is key here and I believe many students will find our faculty want to work with them to help them succeed in their classes,” she said. 

Free testing will continue to be available at the Main Campus, as well as the Schott and Wake locations for students and staff throughout the spring semester. Testing is also available at the Earl Warren Showgrounds

Additionally, City College will also continue to partner with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department to offer on-campus vaccination clinics, which are also free of charge.

Updated hours for both testing and vaccination booths will be updated through the weekly newsletter sent out to staff and students and on the City College COVID information website.

“COVID-19 has been such a dynamic situation which required us all to be flexible in our response but also diligent in providing protocols that adapted to the needs of our community,” Montano said. “We understand the frustration all of these changes may have created and are working diligently to develop protocols that will keep students in class and our campus open.”

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