Interim President Monte Perez announced the suspension of the vaccine mandate at Fullerton College as of Jan. 1, 2023 at the Sept. 29 Faculty Senate meeting. The resolution for a Districtwide end to the mandate was approved at the NOCCCD board meeting on Sept. 27.
The vaccination mandate had been in effect since Aug. 24, 2021, when the Board of Trustees directed the district to ensure that all employees and students over the age of five who enter the facilities or come on campus were fully vaccinated. Regular, on-site testing was an alternative given for those with religious or medical exemptions as defined by law. These regulations will stay in effect through the end of the calendar year.
Voluntary onsite testing will still be available in 2023, but it will no longer be mandatory for those who are not vaccinated.
Trustee Evangelina Morales prepared the agenda item to suspend the mandate in favor of a strong recommendation for vaccine and booster shots, citing a press release from the Center for Disease Control:
“Today, CDC is streamlining its COVID-19 guidance to help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if exposed to COVID-19, and what actions to take if they are sick or test positive for the virus. COVID-19 continues to circulate globally, however, with so many tools available to us for reducing COVID-19 severity, there is significantly less risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death compared to earlier in the pandemic.”
Currently, the COVID-19 Data Tracker designates the Orange County community level as “medium risk.” As of Sept. 29, 2022, the case rate per 100,000 people is 62.98, new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population is 6.7, and the percentage of staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 is 2.7%.
At the Sept. 29, meeting, a NOCE LEAP adjunct faculty member expressed support for the mandate’s end to allow more of her students to attend classes.
More details to come.