As California, and the nation, sees COVID-19 cases rise due to the Omicron variant Stanislaus State has no plans to shut down its campuses but instead will mandate all faculty, staff and students to receive a vaccine booster before the start of the spring 2022 semester, the university announced.
Faculty, staff and students will be required to upload proof of receiving a vaccine booster shot or request a medical or religious exemption into the PeopleSoft Self-Service module by Feb. 28, 2022.
“This updated requirement reflects our commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and the communities we serve, as well as maintaining higher education access and attainment for our students,” said President Ellen Junn in an email to the campus. “Requiring the booster for our campus community will help reduce the likelihood of transmission of the COVID-19 virus in our community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and help prevent the spread of new variants.”
According to the CDC, individuals are considered fully vaccinated for six months after their final dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or for two months after receiving the only dose of a single-dose vaccine and without a booster. However, if a person completed their two-dose vaccine more than six months before Feb. 28, 2022, or their single-dose vaccine more than two months before Feb. 28, 2022, they will no longer be considered fully vaccinated.
“Vaccination, including a booster when eligible, remains our most effective strategy against infection and severe disease,” said CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro. “This is particularly important in light of the rapid rise of cases of COVID-19 throughout the state and nation as the Omicron variant spreads. Implementing the booster requirement now will help mitigate the potential spread of the variant on campuses as they repopulate in January after the winter break.”
While other universities have halted in-person learning for the spring semester, Stanislaus State plans on welcoming students on campus after winter break.
“Our campus’ collective efforts — to get vaccinated, adhere to weekly testing, wear face coverings inside all campus buildings, complete daily self-screenings and maintain 3 feet of physical distance — have allowed us to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus on campus,” said Senior Associate Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs Rosalee Rush.
The university has a higher vaccination rate than the surrounding counties and the administration is confident they will be able to continue mitigating the spread of the virus moving forward.
“Thanks to the high vaccination rate among our campus community, with more than 77.8 percent fully vaccinated, which is higher than the vaccination rates in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties where our Turlock and Stockton campuses are located, we have been able to continue in-person learning and welcome many to campus,” said Rush.