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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for the SBCC Community

Effective January 1, 2023 the COVID-19 vaccination requirement has been removed for students enrolling in Spring 2023 classes and for all employees (except where required by federal and state law, public health agencies, or appropriate governing organizations for specific programs and activities).

Santa Barbara County is currently in the "Low" COVID-19 Community Level) (CDC COVID-19 Community Levels).

What does this mean for employees and students coming to SBCC campuses?

  • Masks are strongly recommended indoors but NOT required.

Spring 2023 Updates:

Please, note:  SBCC COVID protocols are subject to change with the evolving developments of COVID-19 infections in the SB County.

COVID-19 Masking Guidelines
  • Low Tier - Strongly Recommended
  • Medium Tier - Required
  • High Tier - Required

COVID-19 Directrices de uso de Mascarillas
  • Nivel Bajo - Encarecidamente recomendado
  • Nivel Medio - Requerido
  • Nivel Alto - Requerido
Face mask image

Santa Barbara County COVID Dashboard

per CDC Data
Last updated: January 27, 2023

Case rate per 100,000 population (one week interval)
New COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population (one week interval)
Percent staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19
Current COVID-19 Community Level

CDC COVID Data Tracker - Santa Barbara County

3 Key Steps for a Safer Campus


COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and dying.


Testing requirements remain in place where required by third-party licensing bodies or government agencies.


At present indoor masking is strongly recommended, but not required.
Wearing an approved mask indoors is required during "medium" or "high" tiers of community transmission.

Coming to Campus

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COVID Response Team

Questions? Find someone who can help

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Testing Info

Need to get tested?  Click for dates, times, and locations at all three campuses

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Visiting Campus

Coming on-campus?  Here's what you need to know

Contact our COVID Response Team!

COVID Response Team

Frequently Asked Questions

  • At present, masks are strongly recommended but not required indoors due to "Low" level of COVID-19 community transmission in Santa Barbara County.

    Please note that SBCC masking guidelines are subject to change depending on the tier of the COVID-19 community transmission in Santa Barbara County:

    • Low Tier – Masks Strongly Recommended
    • Medium Tier – Masks Required
    • High Tier – Masks Required

    Note: When masking is required, masks have to align with county public health guidance. Cost-free masks are available for a pick up at different locations throughout campus.

  • Effective January 1, 2023, the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for working, studying or participating in in-person activities at the District’s Main, Wake, and Schott campuses no longer applies. Students registering for the Spring Semester 2023 do not need to be vaccinated to sign up for in-person classes.

    Board Resolution 10

    • Test within 3-5 days after last exposure.
    • Per CDPH masking guidance, close contacts should wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings and outdoors near others.
    • If symptoms develop, test, and stay home. Do not come to campus.
    • If the result is positive, inform the COVID response team and your instructor or supervisor and follow isolation instructions for persons testing positive for COVID-19 – see question below.
    • Stay home for at least 5 days after start of the symptoms (Day 0) or if asymptomatic, for 5 days after the date of your first positive test (Day 0). Use this CDPH calculator to calculate the concrete dates.
    • Inform the SBCC COVID response team and your instructor or supervisor.
    • If symptoms are not present or are resolving, test on day 5. If the result is negative, you can end isolation and return to campus wearing a well-fitting mask around others until 10 days have passed from the “Day 0” of your infection.
    • If unable to test, choosing not to test, or testing positive on Day 5 (or later), continue isolation until 10 days from the “Day 0” have passed and if you are fever-free for 24 hours or more without the use of fever-reducing medication. 
    Note: If fever is present, isolation should be continued until 24 hours have passed since the fever resolved.
    • Stay at home isolating from others and test.
    • If negative, rest to recover or visit your physician for diagnosis and treatment.
    • If positive, follow the instructions above for persons testing positive for COVID-19.
  • See the CDC “Symptoms of COVID-19” website for up-to-date information on what to watch out for.
    • SBCC offers cost-free PCR testing for SBCC students and employees through at Earl Warren Showgrounds through our partnership with Aptitude Labs.
    • Additionally, SBCC students and employees can pick up a cost-free Antigen Test kit available at specific distribution sites on Main, Schott and Wake campus.
    • See our testing info page for full details!
    • At-home antigen tests are less accurate than the PCR tests therefore they may not detect the SARS-CoV-19 virus if you are testing too soon after you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. Especially if you don’t have any symptoms, at-home antigen testing may result in false negatives early in the infection. As a rule of thumb, when testing antigen negative on day 3 to 5 after exposure if asymptomatic or at the on-set of symptoms, if symptoms develop, FDA recommends repeating the test within 24 to 48 hours to confirm the negative result.
    Note: Positive results are accurate showing an active COVID-19 infection.
    • PCR testing is very sensitive. It is best used for early detection of COVID-19 in persons without symptoms.
    • Antigen tests are good at detecting an active infection therefore they are best used to confirm COVID-19 when experiencing COVID-like symptoms and/or for testing on day 5 after the infection was established (either via a previous positive test or through symptoms onset) for an early isolation release.
    • More details from Yale Medicine Experts.
    • Our PCR testing is offered through an integrated “Cleared4/Aptitude Labs” system that supports the cost-free service arranged for the SBCC employees and students. Test results are automatically uploaded to your Cleared4 account within less than 24 hours.
    • Our case support and contact tracing service is also connected to the Cleared4 platform. Note: That an updated mobile phone number in Cleared4 and your collaboration with our contact tracers is needed to keep you and our community healthy and on-campus.
  • If you have:

    • Contacted the COVID response team and/or your instructor or supervisor at the offset of symptoms and/or infection
    • Tested positive with Aptitude Labs using the cost-free PCR testing
    • Uploaded a positive test result from a provider other than Aptitude or a positive Antigen test result at the time of testing to your Cleared4, our contact tracers can help with formal attestation of your excused absence.

    Note: Unfortunately, if you have neither contacted the COVID response team, nor provided the positive test result in a timely manner, we are unable to attest to your excused absence.


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Business Services Projects

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Human Resources

Planning a visit or preparing to return to campus?  Visit HR's Return to Campus page to learn more

Public Health Resources

SB County Health

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department


CA Dept. Public Health

California Department of Public Health



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Santa Barbara County Data

CDC COVID Data Tracker

Additional Info