The Cal State University announced Tuesday that it will require faculty, staff and students to be vaccinated in order to access campus facilities starting this fall.
An announcement posted to the CSU website Tuesday morning said that the date for which vaccinations must be certified may vary due to individual campus class schedules, but the latest date to certify vaccine status is Sept. 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.”
The first day of the fall semester at Cal State Long Beach is Aug. 17 with classes starting Aug. 23.
The statement said that most CSU campuses are expected to have broader online offerings in the fall for those who do not want to return to campus for the next semester, but noted that resource limitations do not allow for a campus or even a program’s full offerings to be made available virtually.
Students and employees will be allowed to seek medical and religious exemptions but it’s unclear when the deadline to certify vaccine status for the Long Beach campus will be.
“We are still developing campus-based procedures and await a final policy document from Chancellor’s Office,” the university said in a statement. “Until members of the campus community complete a vaccine certification, they will likely be required to participate in a COVID-19 testing program and wear a face covering while on campus.”
The CSU is expected to release a final policy in the coming days, according to the statement posted on its website.
The CSU’s announcement comes as much of the state continues to see increasing infection rates due to the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19.
Earlier this month Los Angeles County became the first county in the state to require the use of masks indoors for both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons after the mask mandate and most of the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted on June 15.
State officials announced Monday that state employees would be required to be vaccinated or be subject to weekly tests. Long Beach has yet to require vaccines for city workers but announced Monday that health workers would be required to be vaccinated.
While nearly 69% of eligible residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of July 25, cases have continued to climb in Long Beach.
Long Beach currently has a case rate of 21.6 cases per 100,000 people and a test positivity rate of 8.2%, according to the most recently updated data provided by the city.
Both of those metrics would have put the city in the most restrictive “purple” tier of the state’s reopening plan that was abandoned in June due to widespread infection rates.
Editors note: The original story has been updated to include a statement from Cal State Long Beach.
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