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Health and Safety for All

The well-being and safety of students, employees and visitors on campus remains a priority at Hartnell.  We continue to monitor the requirements to preventing, mitigating, and reporting COVID-19 infection, as established by the California Department of Public Health, CalOSHA COVID-19, and the Monterey County Health Department (MCHD).

Report COVID-19 Incidents

complete the online COVID-19 Incident Report below, and follow the Protocols outlined in the FAQs below if you experience COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test result, or close contact exposure.

Any information provided in a COVID-19 Incident Report is confidential.  The information is needed to allow the District to respond and to ensure that necessary precautions are taken for the safety of others, and that safety regulations are met. 

Questions or concerns related to COVID-19 on campus can also be submitted using the on-line form, or may be emailed directly to  

HCCD COVID-19 Protocols - FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should remain off campus, wear a mask, test right away, and follow the protocols outlined in our Protocol FAQs (below).  

Our FAQs are intended to summarize the most current COVID-19 prevention protocols, as of January 9, 2024, while also providing information about accessing testing, treatment, vaccination, and more.

If you have a question not answered in the FAQ's, please send your inquiry to

Common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus; keep in mind, not everyone infected will experience the same symptoms. 

Important:  Wear a mask and seek medical attention if you are at higher-risk of severe illness or you are experiencing emergency warning signs, such as trouble breathing, chest pain, confusion, or bluish skin. 

If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms:  Stay home, wear a mask indoors around others on campus to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, test right away, and submit a COVID-19 Incident Report. 

If your test is negative: 

Wear a mask on campus and test again 1 day later.

If your second test result is negative and you are still experiencing symptoms, continue wearing a mask and consider testing a 3rd time at least a day later.

It is recommended you consult with a doctor about taking PCR test* and/or testing for other viral infections or illness, based on your continued symptoms and any risk of serious disease.

*Sometimes people with COVID-19 have a negative rapid/antigen test even if symptoms are present; PCR testing may detect the virus earlier than an antigen test. 

If your test is positive: 

Continue to wear a mask (see Q3); isolate and monitor your temperature (see Q4 and Q5); and, get treatment (see Q9).

To prevent the spread of infectious diseases, wear a mask indoors around others on campus if you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms (such as cough, runny nose, or sore throat) or any other COVID-19 symptoms. 

Wear a mask if you had close contact exposure and develop symptoms.

Wear a mask if you test positive:

With symptoms: Wear a mask during the minimum 24 hours of isolation and when around others indoors for 10 full days* after the day your symptoms began.

Without symptoms: Wear a mask when indoors around others for 10 full days after the day your positive test was taken

Whether you have symptoms or not: You may discontinue wearing a mask on campus sooner than the full 10 days* if you receive two sequential negative antigen test results at least one day apart (no test the day in between).  Confirmation of your temperature results must be sent to

Wear a mask if you will be around someone at higher-risk of severe illness:

Wear a high-quality mask, such as N-95, KN95 (respirator) if you will be in contact with someone who is higher risk of becoming severely ill.

Wear a high-quality mask at indoor public settings with poor ventilation, or when you are traveling on public transportation.      

*Day 1 is the day after symptoms start, or the day after your first positive test if you don’t have symptoms

Hartnell supports an individual's decision to wear a face covering/mask on campus even when not required. 

Face masks are highly encouraged in shared indoor spaces on campus during the Fall and Winter cold and flue season (typically during the months of October - March).

Anyone wearing masks should optimize mask fit and filtration, ideally through use of a high-quality respirators (N95, KN95, KF94), with good fit.  See When and Why to Wear a Mask for more information. 

Both surgical masks and N95 masks are available for free from the Campus Security Station on each of our campus locations.  

Also see Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q6. and Q9.

If you test positive and have symptoms:

Stay home, except to seek medical care and possible COVID-19 treatment (pills, shots, or IV), and isolate until a minimum of 24 hours have passed.

You may return to campus after 24 hours have passed only if you did not have any fever (100.4° or more) during the full 24 hours, without using fever-reducing medications (such as Advil or Tylenol), and your symptoms are mild and improving.  

If you had a fever (100.4° or more) during the last 24 hours, do not return to campus.  You may only return to campus after you have been free of fever for a full 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and your symptoms are mild and improving.  

When you return to campus, you must adhere to the 10-day masking requirement.

Confirmation of your temperature should be sent to

 If you tested positive but do NOT have symptoms:

If you test positive and do NOT have any symptoms, you do NOT have to isolate.

You must adhere to the 10-day masking requirement.  

If you do develop symptoms, the above 24-hour isolation period and masking protocols will apply to you. 

Note:  Your potential infectious period begins the 2 days before your symptoms began or you took your positive test without symptoms, through the remaining 10 calendar days.  Avoid contact with people at higher risk of becoming severely ill during this time.

*Day 1 is counted the day after symptoms started, or the day after your positive test was taken without experiencing symptoms.

Also see Q3, Q5, Q9, and Q10.

Isolate if you test positive for COVID-19 with symptoms, for a minimum of 24 hours.

Continue isolating until you have not had any fever during the last 24 hours, without using any fever-reducing medication (such as Advil or Tylenol), and your symptoms are mild and improving.   

When you discontinue isolation, you must adhere to the 10-day* masking guidelines.
*Day 1 is the day after symptoms start, or the day after your first positive test if you don’t have symptoms

You do not have to isolate if you:

Test negative when experiencing symptoms.
Test positive and do not have symptoms.
Have had recent close contact exposure and do not have symptoms.

Also see Q2, Q3, Q4, and Q6.

Close contact exposure is:

Sharing the same indoor airspace as someone with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, in indoor spaces less than 400,000 cubic feet; and,

Being within 6 feet proximity of someone with COVID-19 for a cumulative 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, in indoor spaces greater than 400,000 cubic feet. 

If you were exposed and develop symptoms:

Wear a high-quality mask and test right away to determine if you are infected.  If your test is negative, test again 1 day later. 

If the second test is also negative and you are still concerned about COVID-19, consider testing a 3rd time at least a day later, and consult with your healthcare provider.

If you have contact with someone who is at higher risk of severe infection, test before contact with them and wear a mask around them indoors for 10 days.

If you were exposed and do not have symptoms:

Be diligent in self-monitoring for symptoms. 

If you had COVID-19 within the last 30 days, test if you experience new symptoms. 

Test before you have contact with someone who is at higher risk of illness, and wear a mask when you are around them during the 10 days following your exposure.

If you were exposed, do not have symptoms and are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection:

Wear a high-quality mask or respirator (e.g., N95) any time you are around others inside your home or in public.

Test within 5 days after your exposure date, especially if you could benefit from treatment.

Note:  Employees who experience close contact exposure at work receive free COVID-19 testing from the District. 

COVID-19 sick leave was discontinued as of December 31, 2022.

See the Department of Industrial Relation's Comparison Chart of Leave Rights for workers in California for possible paid leave entitlement's for which you might eligible.

In addition, regularly employed District employees may seek HCCD Workers' Compensation Leave Benefits and/or use leaves as explained in their respective HCCD Collective Bargaining Agreement or Working Conditions


The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older stay up to date with the COVID-19 vaccine. Find a vaccine clinic near you at, or call (833) 422-4255. 

People who are at the highest risk of severe consequences of COVID-19 should prioritize getting vaccinated. Those who are high-risk include:​  Older adults, people who are pregnant and recently pregnant, people who are immunocompromised,  people with certain medical conditions such as a chronic disease or cancer, and people with disabilities.  

CDPH guidance for protecting your health with updated COVID-19 Vaccine can be found here.

Up-to-date information about walk-in and by-appointment vaccination is available here

People vaccinated in California can access the digital version of their vaccination card through the State of California's Digital Vaccine Record (DVR) portal

Free at-home COVID-19 tests are available to every home in the U.S. by order at

When available from CDPH, and while supplies last, free COVID-19 test kits are accessible to uninsured students and individuals who do not have health insurance coverage or have limited access to healthcare resources.  The free test kits can be accessed from the Campus Security station at each of our campus locations; from our Main Campus Welcome Center; and, from the Office of Basic Needs.

Most insurance plans cover the cost of limited amounts of COVID-19 home tests.  Individuals with private health insurance coverage, Medi-Cal, or Medicare can receive free at- home tests covered by health insurance coverage - up to a maximum of 8 tests (4 test kits) per month, per person, and subject to carrier limitations. 

Employees covered by MCSIG's Express Scripts prescription plan can receive 4 free tests (2 test kits) per month, through Express Scripts.  Test kits can be ordered on-line or by visiting a participating pharmacy (see more here).

Locate rapid/antigen and PCR/lab testing sites in Monterey County here

If you have tested positive and have symptoms for COVID-19, treatment is available through your medical provider, visiting the California All COVID-19 Treatment, the CDPH Treatment webpage, or by calling 1-833-422-4255. 

Students continue to utilize Crisis Counseling and Emotional Wellness Services on campus by appointment, and limited walk-in basis Monday - Friday, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Information about these student services and scheduling an appointment can be accessed here.

Students may also speak confidentially with a TimelyCare professional 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through the TimelyCare webpage.

Employees can access the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided through the MetLife LifeWorks program.  Employee assistance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 


All Hartnell buildings are ventilated with outside air that is returned to the outside. There is no recycling of inside air. Air filters in all buildings meet or exceed OSHA standards. Room air cleaners have also been placed as needed.


Additional Links to Coronavirus Information

 Related and Archived Information

As of March 21, 2022, Hartnell no longer requires all individuals on campus to wear a face covering/mask at indoor campus locations. This change was made to align with the CDPH and Monterey County Health Department's modified masking orders and recommendations.

See our FAQs above for more about current masking requirements, effective January 9, 2024. 

Students and employees who are not vaccinated are no longer required to submit confirmation of on-going screening negative test results, as of December 14, 2022. 

See our FAQs for more about current testing requirements, effective January 9, 2024, and access to testing.

Hartnell Community College District does not require proof of vaccination from individuals who wish to work or attend classes at any of its five campus locations

The requirement that students and employees provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination was lifted as of December 14, 2022, in anticipation of the termination of California's COVID-19 State of Emergency.  

As of the Spring 2023 semester, students can sign up for in-person, hybrid and online classes regardless of vaccination status.

See our FAQs for more about getting vaccinated.

Hartnell Communications (archive)  
Hartnell Pandemic Response Plan 

(page last updated 02/09/24)