College of the Desert Adopts COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Spring 2022; Free, on-campus testing and vaccinations are now available

The College of the Desert Board of Trustees, on Sept. 17, announced plans to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination from employees and students who plan to attend face-to-face instruction or on-campus activities in the Spring 2022 term.

Until now, College of the Desert required everyone in classrooms and other indoor spaces to wear face masks for the upcoming fall semester, regardless of vaccination status.

No vaccine mandate had been issued. Many other universities have issues vaccine mandates, including the University of California and California State University systems, and the Riverside Community College District.

“The highly contagious Delta variant caused coronavirus cases to surge across the U.S., and most new infections and hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated,” Board Chair Aurora Wilson said in a prepared statement. “Throughout the pandemic, we have prioritized the safety and well-being of our employees and students. As we increase the number of people accessing our facilities, the Board believes it is important to embrace a comprehensive strategy that includes proactive measures to reduce the possibility of the transmission of COVID-19 on our campuses.”

Students and employees over the age of 12 can choose among three COVID-19 vaccines with full or emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They will have until January 31, 2022, the beginning of the Spring semester, to submit proof of vaccination.

The College’s leadership is developing a secured system to track vaccination status and testing results. Details on how to submit proof of vaccination are forthcoming.

To aid students or employees who are currently unvaccinated, the College has partnered with Borrego Health to provide weekly vaccination clinics and PCR testing during the Fall semester. Vaccinations and testing are free and are available regardless of immigration status or insurance coverage. A list of upcoming clinics is available on the College’s website by clicking here.

The College may grant an accommodation to individuals who have a religious objection or a qualifying disability or medical condition. Students with questions regarding an exemption are encouraged to contact the College’s Disabled Students Services Program, which handles all student accommodation requests. Employees seeking an accommodation should contact Human Resources.

Those with an accommodation will be required to undergo regular COVID-19 testing before accessing district campuses or facilities.

Registration for the Spring semester begins November 29.

Image Sources

  • COVID-19 vaccination record card: Shutterstock