This is the most current list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) from the Hartnell Community College District (HCCD) for use by all District employees and students. The FAQ applies to all and is current as of December 14, 2022. To suggest an additional question, please email

HCCD is under the jurisdiction of the Monterey County Health Department (MCHD) regarding Health Orders and safety requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective March 21, 2022, Hartnell lifted its requirement that everyone wear a mask indoors at all campus locations. That change was in alignment with orders by the Monterey County Health Department, following the direction of the California Department of Public Health. However, also in line with county and state guidelines, Hartnell continues to strongly recommend masks be worn by all persons in indoor public settings (classrooms, Student Center, library, etc.). Surgical masks or higher-level respirators (e.g. N95s, KN95s) with good fit are highly recommended.

Hartnell does not require COVID-19 testing for enrollment or employment purposes; however, Hartnell's COVID-19 protocols mirror the November 2022 guidance from CDPH which requires testing in certain situations

A provider called CovidClinic offers free PCR and rapid/antigen testing for COVID-19 to Hartnell employees, students and the public Monday-Friday on Hartnell’s Main Campus. 

The testing clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located in the walkway between the Student Center (building C) and Merrill Hall (building N), near the Welcome Kiosk. 
(Note: The testing clinic is closed for the holidays on 12/23/22, 12/26/22, 12/30/22, and 01/02/22.)

Individuals can be tested regardless of whether they are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms.  There is no charge, and no appointment is needed. However, individuals can pre-register and learn more about CovidClinic on this Hartnell-specific webpage

Virus Geeks continues to operate its public COVID-19 testing site in Parking Lot 4 on the Main Campus every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Testing is free only with insurance. The public may register in advance at No appointment is necessary, Hartnell encourages students and employees to use the CovidClinic locations.

Follow these links for more information about other Monterey County testing sites and Test to Treat program locations.

Immediately report exposure, symptoms or a positive test result to the District's dedicated email. Students should also send an email to instructors. Employees should notify their supervisor or manager.

Below is an "at-a-glance" summary of the quarantine, isolation and testing guidelines to follow under specific circumstances, which also will be communicated to you in reply to your COVID notification email:

If you tested positive for COVID-19:

Stay home and Isolate immediately - except to seek medical care and possible COVID-19 treatment (pills, shots, or IV).  Plan to re-test 5 days after* you tested positive.

If you are experiencing symptoms
Stay home and get tested immediately.
If you were exposed to COVID-19 but do not have symptoms:

You may come to campus but must wear a mask indoors around others for ten (10) calendar days after exposure; test 3-5 days from exposure.

Also, adhere to the isolation/quarantine and follow-up testing steps below:

  • If you tested positive or have symptoms of COVID-19:
    Stay away from others, even at home and even if you have been vaccinated and they have previously been infected.

    Isolate for at least 5 full days
    after your symptoms started, or after your first positive test date if you don’t have symptoms.

    Sometimes people with COVID-19 have a negative antigen test in the first few days of symptoms. PCR testing may detect the virus earlier than an antigen test.  For low-risk people, repeat an antigen test (at-home tests are acceptable) in 24-48 hours. Individuals may consider repeating testing every 24-48 hours for several days until receiving a positive test or until symptoms improve.
  • End isolation after 5 days if you test negative (use an antigen test) on Day 5 or later – so long as you do not have a fever and symptoms are getting better.

    If you still test positive on or after day 5 or later, or if you don’t test, isolate for up to 10 full days, and until you do not have a fever.

    Wear a well-fitting mask around others, especially when indoors, for 10 full days, even if you stop isolating earlier.

  • If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and you do NOT have symptoms:

    Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days and get tested 3-5 days after your exposure - even if you are vaccinated.  If you test positive, follow the above quarantine/isolation steps

    If you had COVID-19 in the last 30 days, only test if you have new symptoms and use an antigen (rapid) test.

    Unless you develop symptoms within the 10 days after you were exposed, you do not need to quarantine.

    *Note:  Day 1 is the day after symptoms start, or the day after your first positive test if you don’t have symptoms.  Return to campus the day after you receive a negative test result (day 6 or later).  An N95 mask may be acquired from the HCCD Welcome Kiosk located at the roundabout entrance of Main Campus, off Central Avenue. 

No. On December 13, 2022, the Hartnell Community College District Governing Board voted to end its COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all employees and students. 

While students and employees are strongly encouraged to receive a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, that has not yet been required for them to be considered fully vaccinated.

Also, failure to obtain a booster when eligible will prevent a student or employee from coming to campus following close contact with someone who has COVID-19, even if they have not tested positive. 

All Hartnell employees have been asked to return to on-campus work ahead of the Spring 2022 semester. Accommodations will be considered based on individual circumstances.

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. 

Public health officials at the federal, state and local levels agree the vaccines work extremely well, including against COVID-19 variants, to prevent infection or death. Once fully vaccinated, the vaccines also can significantly reduce severe illness and hospitalization for those who might get a post-vaccination infection, also known as a "breakthrough" infection.

The medical science has been clear that getting vaccinated is the best protection against infection and death caused by COVID-19. Masking is also an important tool to help stop the community spread of this pandemic, but the vaccines prevent infections and the ability of the virus to mutate.

You are considered to be fully vaccinated two (2) weeks after getting your J&J vaccine (single dose) or after a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. It is possible to get infected while the vaccine is taking effect, so it is important that you continue to protect yourself against COVID-19 for the full two weeks.

Once you are fully vaccinated, there is still a risk you could get infected.  This is considered a "post-vaccination infection," more commonly called by the news media a breakthrough infection. The good news is that vaccinated people who do get infected often don't get as sick as unvaccinated people. Their symptoms, if any, don't last as long, and they usually don't require hospitalization.

Up-to-date information about walk-in and by-appointment vaccination is available here. Hartnell has held vaccination clinics on its campuses and will announce when future clinics are scheduled.

Information about all testing sites in Monterey County is available here
Test to treat program information and locations is available here 

For information about the two testing sites are on the Hartnell Main Campus, see above FAQ: "Does Hartnell require COVID-19 testing, and does it offer free on-campus COVID-19 testing for students and employees?"

You can tell your students, until further notice:

  • Mask wearing indoors is recommended but not required at all Hartnell facilities. To be effective, masks or facial coverings must cover the nose and mouth.
  • Students are asked to complete the Titan HST self-screening questionnaire each day before coming onto campus. If they fail the screening, they should contact an instructor.
  • Social distancing of 6 feet is strongly encouraged, though not required.

You can remind your students:

  • Get vaccinated as soon as possible.
  • If you are sick for any reason, stay home.
  • If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, exposure or positive test results you should home quarantine, follow the guidelines in the third FAQ listed above, and send an email to
  • Go online to the MCHD website for detailed information about COVID-19.

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.

Hartnell has obtained robust supplies of PPE such as masks, gloves, face shields and gowns. While students and employees may wear a suitable face covering of their choosing, these items can be requested by calling Facilities at (831) 755-6814 or emailing to