College of the Desert will require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations from all non-exempt student and staff starting its Spring 2022 term, the college announced Friday.

Starting Jan. 31, all non-exempt employees and students planning to attend face-to-face instruction or on-campus activities will be required to show proof of vaccination. The college has not announced how they plan to track vaccination status or how students and staff will submit proof of vaccination.

“The highly contagious Delta variant caused coronavirus cases to surge across the U.S., and most new infections and hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated,” said Board Chair Aurora Wilson. “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.”

To aid students and employees that are unvaccinated, the college has teamed up with Borrego Health to provide weekly vaccination clinics and testing during the Fall semester. The college stated that these vaccination clinics and tests are free and available to all students and staff.

The college also stated that it will provide accommodations to individuals who cannot be vaccinated due to religious objection or qualifying medical conditions. Those with accommodations will be required to undergo regular COVID-19 testing before accessing campus facilities.

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