Dear college community,
On March 14, our Board of Trustees voted to pause the college’s COVID vaccine requirement, and we plan to start implementing this for Summer 23 registration.
Any student who registers for summer 2023 and fall 2023 will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination. For employees, any employee hired on or after March 15, 2023, will not be required to show proof of vaccination. Our teams are updating our websites, systems, and all messaging to reflect these changes.
Last semester, students and employees were surveyed to understand where the campus community stands on the Covid-19 vaccine requirement. Over the past month, Ryan Shook, Coordinator of Student Health Services, and I have presented the Covid-19 vaccine mandate survey results to our shared governance groups.
The surveys gave us a general idea of the community’s perspective on the Covid-19 vaccine mandate. We also considered external information to help inform our decision. Most of our neighboring colleges have lifted or suspended the requirement. Gavilan College is one of a few colleges in the area still requiring proof of COVID vaccination or an exemption. Furthermore, removing the COVID vaccine requirement would remove some barriers to the registration process and could increase enrollment.
On February 28, Governor Newsom ended the COVID-19 State of Emergency. As the State of Emergency is being phased out, the SMARTER Plan guides California’s strategy to protect people from COVID-19. At the federal level, the Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 will expire on May 11, 2023.
We will begin working with GCFA and CSEA to address the following questions related to working conditions. To ensure we address these questions and concerns adequately, answers to these questions will be provided after consultation with our unions.
- Will masks be required again if the mandate is lifted?
- Can we require students to wear masks in our classrooms or offices?
- At what point will the vaccine requirement be reinstated? In other words, what is the threshold at which we would return to the mandate?
- What steps will we take to promote vaccinations, and will vaccines be available on campus?
- Will Gavilan still offer COVID testing?
Dr. Pedro Avila