ARC employee confirms he worked on campus after testing positive for COVID-19

Nix returned to campus after isolating for several days


At a protest held at American River College on Jan. 26, Ryan Nix, ARC health services assistant, said he had tested positive for COVID-19 in the beginning of January. Nix, pictured here at a protest held at the Los Rios Community College District’s office on Sept. 30, 2021, is unvaccinated but says he was still allowed to work on campus three days a week. (Photo by Lorraine Barron)

At a protest against the Los Rios Community College District’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Ryan Nix, a health service assistant for ARC, revealed that although he’d recently tested positive for COVID-19 he was still working on campus and had not provided a negative test result. Nix also shared that he is unvaccinated. 

Nix coordinated a protest at the American River College campus on Jan. 26 and has led a movement against the vaccine mandate.

Nix tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of January at Kaiser Permanente health care facility, which isn’t an approved testing option by the LRCCD.

In an email, Scott Crow, ARC’s public information officer, explained the steps that an employee or student must follow in order to be in compliance with the LRCCD’s COVID-19 protocols. Crow also shared that employees must test at Biocept.

“If a person tests positive they must not have any symptoms or must be resolving and must present a PCR test on day five or later showing a negative result,” Crow said in the email.

According to Nix, after testing positive, he continued to work on campus three days a week after isolating, but without presenting a negative test to be on campus. Nix added that he hasn’t been vaccinated. 

“Jabbed people do not [have] this restriction when compelled to test, as they can use any provider,” Nix said in an email. “Moreover, this policy is in contrast to many other school districts (i.e. the Twin River Unified School District) and organizations, which allow for testing through your own provider.”

According to Crow, ARC does not accept results from at-home tests or rapid tests. 

Crow says that due to privacy considerations the college can’t comment on anyone’s vaccination status, but people who don’t follow protocols face discipline.  

“We can’t share an individual employee’s vaccination status. However, as part of the Los Rios vaccine requirement, employees who come to campus without being cleared through testing protocols face disciplinary action,” Crow said. “Since employees must test through the district’s testing provider, Biocept, we have a record of every employee’s test status.”

When asked by the Current, Crow responded in an email stating that ARC declined to verify if Nix had been on campus without providing documentation of the COVID-19 situation. 

Nix said he feels strongly about the district’s vaccine mandate and would like to see the mandate removed.

The LRCCD is taking [the] public’s tax money, and then discriminating against them. To impede a person’s pursuit of happiness by denying them access to education, on the grounds that they are not taking the government and corporate-recommended injections, is unconstitutional in more ways than one,” Nix said in an email to the Current. “And to do so while also reaching into that person’s wallet is absolutely reprehensible.”

Nix says that he has since retested at Biocept, first on Jan. 27 and again on Feb. 5 but did not share his results with the Current.