Stanislaus State is preparing for the return of students to campus this fall for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began with a myriad of safety protocols, including mandatory vaccinations.
Turlock’s university told students earlier this week that face coverings would be required for everyone on campus while they are indoors, regardless of vaccination status, and the news was followed by an even bigger announcement from the statewide California State University system.
The CSU on Tuesday stated that it will require faculty, staff and students who are accessing campus facilities at any university location to be immunized against COVID-19. The system said that because of “evolving circumstances” due to the new Delta variant, the pending requirement was announced without waiting for further action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“The current surge in COVID cases due to the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant is an alarming new factor that we must consider as we look to maintain the health and well-being of students, employees and visitors to our campuses this fall," said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “Receiving a COVID vaccine continues to be the best way to mitigate the spread of the virus. We urge all members of the CSU community to get vaccinated as soon as possible, and announcing this requirement now allows members of the CSU community to receive multiple doses of a vaccine as we head into the beginning of the fall term."
Stanislaus State students are required to self-certify their immunization via the university’s online student portal, where they’ll enter the information from their vaccine card and may be asked to submit documentation. While students are able to seek medical and religious exemptions, those who do so will be required to test for COVID weekly. The deadline to self-certify at least one’s first vaccine dose or request an exemption is Aug. 13.
Additionally, students may opt to change their schedules to online only courses by 10 p.m. Aug. 22. Classes begin Aug. 23. This timeline allows for all returning Warriors to be fully vaccinated (meaning at least two weeks have passed after the final dose in their respective vaccine regimen) by the Sept. 30 deadline imposed by the Chancellor’s Office, the university said in an email to students.
“I hope you are having a great summer and looking forward to a fall semester of activities and gatherings many of us have missed so much in the past year. I sense both excitement and energy as we prepare for the fall semester and a full campus once again,” Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn said in a notice to the campus community alerting them of the new protocols. “Thank you to everyone who has worked to keep our community healthy. Let’s continue to encourage healthy behavior and good judgment.”
According to the notice, Stanislaus State is currently working to provide a pop-up vaccination site on campus, though vaccinations are also available at nearby CVS and Rite Aid stores.
For represented employees, the university's requirement will take effect immediately upon implementation of the policy; however, represented employees will not be subject to disciplinary action while the CSU is in the meet and confer process with its labor unions.
The CSU will share a final policy in the coming days. To schedule a vaccine appointment near you, visit myturn.ca.gov.