Faculty, staff, and students attending a California State University—the largest system of four-year higher education in the country— in the fall will be required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus to access campuses.
The decision was announced Tuesday and was prompted by the ongoing rise in the Delta variant throughout California. 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 Cal State University (CSU) Chancellor had stated previously that any COVID-19 vaccination requirement would come after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to any one of the existing vaccines. With the beginning of the semester approaching and the absence of the FDA’s approval, the CSU system’s plans have changed.
“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.”
Although resource limitations do not allow for a campus’ or even a program’s full offerings to be made available virtually, it is expected that most campuses will have a more expansive offering of virtual courses for students who plan to continue their studies but do not wish to come to campus during the fall.
Medical and religious exemptions will be allowed, with unvaccinated students having to undergo frequent coronavirus testing.
California State University Bakersfield will be providing COVID-19 testing for all CSUB students, staff, and faculty. Testing is strong recommended for students living in student housing, students attending face-to-face courses, and staff and faculty working on campus. Testing will take place twice per week in CSUB main campus, Stockdale Room, adjacent to Runner Café 9 Am to 6 Pm on the following dates:
- August 2 & August 5
- August 9 & August 12
- August 16 & August 17
- August 23 & August 26
- August 30 & September 2
Appointments can be booked here.
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.