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COC not requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for students and staff to return to campus in the fall

Canyons Hall at the College of the Canyons Valencia Campus on Apr. 14, 2021. Rita Torosyan/Canyons News

With plans to reopen in the fall, College of the Canyons public information officer Eric Harnish announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will not be required for students, faculty, and staff attendance for the fall semester. 

COC hopes to reopen its campus and offer more in-person instruction along with online options also available for students. Until further notice, masks and social-distancing guidelines will be enforced while on campus. However, vaccination will not be a requirement. 

 While it is strongly recommended for students and staff to get vaccinated, Harnish said in a statement that “the college is not requiring vaccinations for the fall semester.” 

The college also recently announced that both online and in-person classes will be taught during summer semester. 

A statement was released on Thursday by California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley regarding the status of vaccine requirements. 

“With the California Colleges, decisions to require vaccinations of students, staff, and faculty — as well as what level of in-person instruction will be offered — are made by community college districts,” said Oakley in the statement. 

In an anonymous survey, COC students were asked whether or not they felt comfortable returning to campus in fall knowing that vaccinations would not be required. Approximately 47% of the group stated that they were comfortable, while the remaining 53% noted that they would be more comfortable knowing everyone on campus was vaccinated. 

“Online classes are not favored by many students. At this point, a lot of people just want to get a sense of normalcy back, even if it means the vaccine won’t be required,” said COC student Daniel Lopez. 

The University of California and California State University systems intend on requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for all persons returning to campus in the fall. 

“The fall schedule is still being developed and we will have more in-person classes available than we do now,” said Harnish. “We look forward to welcoming as many students as possible back to campus.” 

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