The California State University (CSU) announced Tuesday morning that all students and employees accessing campus facilities are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 going into the fall term.
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last vaccine dose.
Cal Poly requires residential students to be vaccinated by Sept. 14. All other people accessing campus are required to be vaccinated by Sept. 20, when fall classes begin.
The CSU previously said in April that a vaccine requirement would be contingent on full approval of at least one vaccine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But with a recent surge in cases, the university will require the vaccine even if it remains under emergency-use only.
“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,” CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro said in a press release.
Students who have already submitted proof of their vaccination status to Cal Poly do not need to take further action at this time. Those who are vaccinated but have not submitted proof should do so by Aug. 23 to allow time for Cal Poly to process paperwork before fall quarter, according to a campus-wide email from President Jeffrey Armstrong.
Students and employees can seek medical and religious vaccine exemptions, but they may still be required to comply with mask-wearing and COVID-19 testing. Cal Poly asks that people file exemption requests no later than Aug. 23.
Cal Poly is not requiring fully vaccinated students to wear masks in most settings. However, Cal Poly faculty, staff and student employees should continue to wear masks indoors.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the CSU’s policy says any student or employee who does not provide certification of their vaccination “may be denied access to Campus/Programs.” However, a finalized policy with more information is not yet available.
Students will receive an email from Student Affairs next week with more information, and employees can expect an email from their Human Resources department in the coming days.
“Given the short timeframe for those who are not yet vaccinated, I thought it was important to tell you what we know now, even though the information is not complete,” Armstrong said in the email.
The majority of fall quarter classes will be held in-person. The CSU said most campuses will offer a greater amount of virtual courses compared to before the pandemic for students who do not wish to come to campus in the fall, though offerings are still limited.
Cal Poly is offering on-campus vaccinations through the Rite Aid clinic in the University Union. San Luis Obispo County Public Health also provides vaccinations through multiple sites. To schedule a free first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, residents can visit myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 to make an appointment.