The Coast Community College District Board of Trustees unanimously adopted a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for students, faculty, staff, managers, and trustees on August 24, 2021, in a special meeting. Those with medical or religious exemptions will be required to participate in a to-be-developed testing program.
"Vaccination is the primary means to reduce risk of serious disease, hospitalization, and death from the COVID-19 disease as well as to combat the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant to friends, family, colleagues, and the community at large," declared the Coast District Board of Trustees in the resolution establishing the mandate.
With this Board action, Coast District Chancellor John Weispfenning has begun implementing the mandate and is developing the testing protocols. The mandate for faculty, staff, managers, and trustees is to be implemented as soon as possible. Chancellor Weispfenning is to disseminate COVID-19 vaccination and testing protocols for students no later than October 1, 2021.
"The Board continues to strongly encourage all faculty, staff, managers, students, visitors, and their families to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as quickly as possible, irrespective of the timing of any requirement," the resolution further declared.
As of August 23, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration has given full approval to the vaccine known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. This covers the vast majority of the Coast District's workforce and student population.
Trustees intend the mandate to help combat declining vaccination rates, recognizing the increasing likelihood of further dangerous mutations beyond the delta and lambda variants as COVID-19 spreads among large unvaccinated populations. The vaccine mandate and testing protocols are to be part of a multilayered approach to combat viral spread within the Coast District.
"The Coast District will maintain and adapt, for as long as is necessary to protect public health, multiple layers of protection inclusive of vaccination, mandatory face coverings on district property, appropriate distancing, enhanced air circulation, and enhanced sanitation practices," the resolution further declared.