The University of California Office of the President (UCOP) is proposing a policy that requires all students and faculty to be fully vaccinated before returning on-campus next fall, according to an announcement from April 22.
This requirement will apply to anybody that will be utilizing the university’s facilities and programs, with the purpose of protecting the community by reducing the instances of COVID-19 on university grounds. However, exceptions can be made if a person has a reasonable cause that is outlined in the proposed policy. The implementation of this policy will be postponed until Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval is received and until there is widespread accessibility to a vaccine.
As UCI proceeds with the plans of a phased transition back to in-person occupancy in the fall, and in accordance with UCOP’s announcement, students are encouraged to get vaccinated and upload vaccination records to the UCI Student Health Center (SHC) Patient Portal.
Student Affairs Vice Chancellor Willie Banks Jr. and Student Health Center Medical Director Dr. Albert Chang announced further information regarding UCI’s updates on the COVID-19 vaccine and testing on April 21.
“While vaccines are not mandatory at this time, the campus anticipates that our ability to open the campus for fall 2021 will be contingent on the number of vaccinated students,” they said in the announcement.
Since April 26, students who have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks and have updated their SHC Patient Portal with their vaccination records are exempt from the current mandatory Asymptomatic Testing Program. Until exemptions are confirmed via SMS messaging and the ZotPass, students should continue with testing.
While these changes apply to most students, Banks and Chang noted that testing guidelines for student-athletes may differ. Updates for these students can be found on the UCI Intercollegiate Athletics website.
The message also provided step-by-step instructions for navigating the site and uploading information. To get more information on the vaccine, students can contact Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services.
As more students get vaccinated, Banks and Chang also announced the closure of the Vista del Campo testing site, which has now been effective since April 26. Any appointments can be rescheduled to another available location.
“Thank you for your cooperation with all of the campus requirements and recommendations that have kept the UCI community safe. We need to keep up the good work and encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Banks and Chang stated.
Clara Chao is a Campus News intern for the spring 2021 quarter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.