Long Beach City College could be city’s first educational institution to require COVID-19 vaccine

The Long Beach Community College Board of Trustees is expected to vote tomorrow on a resolution that could require campus employees, staff and students to start providing proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19 or be excluded from campus activities.

If the board adopts the resolution employees would be required to submit proof of vaccination by Jan. 1, regardless of their current work assignment, and students would be required to provide proof by Feb. 7, the first day of the spring semester.

Those who can’t get a medical exemption or other accommodations will be barred from campus, according to the resolution. It would also require booster doses in the event those are approved for widespread use.

It’s unclear if employees will face termination for non-compliance with the vaccine mandate. A college spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions about the mandate.

LBCC would be the first educational institution to do away with COVID-19 testing as an alternative in favor of a full mandate. The college announced its current vaccine requirement alongside officials from Cal State Long Beach at a July 28 press conference.

Cal State Long Beach currently allows unvaccinated students who have received an exemption to attend campus with proof of a negative test.

While Gov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier this month that he was signing a statewide order that would mandate COVID-19 vaccines for eligible K-12 students, that order won’t go into effect for LBUSD students until the Federal Drug Administration approves a vaccine for children younger than 12.

The state broke up its mandate rollout into two groups–students 12 and older being required to be vaccinated once the FDA fully approves a vaccine for children between 12 and 15 years old and the other block being children between ages five and 11.

The mandates for K-12 students would go into effect the semester after each age group gains full approval.

Long Beach city officials said late last month that they would also do away with the testing option for unvaccinated city employees and would require them to be vaccinated, though the city has not said when the mandate will go into effect. The city is currently negotiating with individual employee unions over the mandate and potential disciplinary actions for those who refuse it.

A representative from the Long Beach City College Faculty Association could not be immediately reached for comment.

Students and faculty who are not vaccinated and are not exempt from receiving one will be considered absent from class without an excuse, according to the resolution.

[Editors note: The story has been updated with information from Cal State Long Beach that only unvaccinated students with an exemption can access campus with proof of a negative test.]

Long Beach eliminates testing substitute, will require COVID-19 vaccines for all city employees

LBCC to require vaccines or regular COVID testing; LBUSD still discussing possible mandate

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post.
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