Tuesday, July 27, 2021

CSU to Require COVID-19 Vax for Fall

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2021 at 11:29 AM

click to enlarge Humboldt State's Founders Hall. - FILE
  • FILE
  • Humboldt State's Founders Hall.
The Calfiornia State University system, which includes Humboldt State, will require faculty, staff and students who are accessing campuses to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Back in February, HSU announced the campus and others in the system would implement the requirement once the FDA granted full approval to one or more of the three current options, but today's release states the requirement is being announced now because of  "evolving circumstances" as Humboldt County, the state and the nation experience a rapid spike in cases and hospitalizations.

“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,” CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro states in the release. “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.”

Yesterday, Humboldt County Public Health reported 74 new COVID-19 cases and three new hospitalizations since Friday.

Those cases come on the heels of 169 confirmed last week and 84 confirmed the week before. According to a state database, 16 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including four under intensive care.

While dates will vary by site, vaccine certifications will be required at CSU campuses by Sept. 30, at the latest, the HSU news release states.

"The CSU’s COVID-19 vaccination policy will allow students and employees to seek medical and religious exemptions," the release states. "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."

HSU officials are expected to release more information in the coming days.

Read the full release below:

The California State University announced today that it will require faculty, staff and students who are accessing campus facilities at any university location to be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Because of evolving circumstances, the university is announcing the pending requirement now without waiting for any further action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dates by which faculty, staff and students must certify vaccination will vary by campus due to differences in academic calendars, but all certifications must be completed no later than September 30.

“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.”

Several CSU campuses are serving as host facilities for vaccine distribution. CSU employees or students who wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccine should contact their campus for availability. For students who plan to continue their studies but do not wish to come to campus during the fall, it is expected that most campuses will have a more expansive offering of virtual courses as compared to before the pandemic, though resource limitations do not allow for a campus’s or even a program’s full offerings to be made available virtually.

The CSU’s COVID-19 vaccination policy will allow students and employees to seek medical and religious exemptions. 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 university will share a final policy in the coming days.
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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