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Chancellor’s Announcement: Vaccination Policy Update August 5, 2021

5 August 2021

Dear Peralta Community,

As a follow-up to my message July 30, 2021, this is to elaborate on the District’s decision to advance mandatory vaccination policies for District employees, contractors, and students.

As I previously described, the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 (Delta Variant) requires that the District take all necessary and appropriate steps to ensure the health and safety of the Peralta Community as we return to campus. A vaccination requirement is needed at this time given the unique, serious, and evolving conditions of the variant; and, is necessary to maintain a safe campus community.

Under these unprecedented circumstances, a mandatory vaccination policy serves an important public health purpose by providing maximum protection for District students and staff.

Adhering to guidelines recently provided by the State labor board, implementation of the vaccination policy and procedure will follow State bargaining laws requiring negotiations with employee representatives over the effects of the procedure before it is implemented. The District has reached out to each of the employee labor organizations to begin negotiations as soon as possible. The draft vaccination procedure has also been updated to extend its coverage to independent contractors and volunteers.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Covered Employees Statement of Policy:
As a condition of employment all existing and new Peralta Community College District (PCCD) faculty, classified employees, administrators, hourly employees (short-term temporary employees), contract employees, independent contractors, and student employees (henceforth referred to as “covered individuals”) must provide proof of “full” COVID-19 vaccination (as defined by the U.S. Center for Disease Control) or submit a request for exception on medical, disability, religious grounds, or a deferral based on pregnancy. In addition, all non-COVID-19 vaccinated covered individuals will be required to properly wear face masks that always cover both mouths and noses while on PCCD controlled property and must be tested weekly for COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement – Addendum for Students
Statement of Policy:
As a condition of, and, for permission to access all properties controlled by the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) all students must provide proof of “full” COVID-19 vaccination (as defined by the U.S. Center for Disease Control) or submit a request for exception on medical, disability, religious grounds, or a deferral based on pregnancy. In addition, all non-COVID-19 vaccinated students will be required to properly wear Face Masks that always cover mouths and noses while on PCCD controlled property and must be tested weekly for COVID-19.

As in my initial message, I am including pertinent information in order to provide a backdrop for this decision.

Historical Perspective
Since the California economy reopened on June 15th the cases of COVID in Alameda County have increased dramatically. On July 9, an announcement was sent on behalf of the Alameda County Public Health Department to warn about the spread of COVID, including the highly contagious Delta variant.

On July 26th, Governor Newsom announced that all state workers and workers in health care and high-risk congregate settings will be required to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week. The new policy for state workers – which includes employees of the Peralta Community College District – will take effect August 2nd. Alameda County residents who are not yet vaccinated can sign up for the vaccine here.

The campuses were officially closed through July 31 with exceptions for in-person labs, athletics conditioning, and other work activities deemed essential. With the end of the summer session, we intend to extend the general campus closure policy to August 22, 2021. Between July 31 to August 22, along with the above exemptions, employees performing tasks that are deemed essential in support of the expanded in-person course offerings scheduled for the fall semester and/or maintenance and security personnel will be allowed on campus

On August 23, we plan to change the language from “closed with exceptions” to “open with limits” while we safely and deliberately plan for a full return to campuses in January 2022.

“Open with limits” will look very much like “closed with exceptions” with employees and students required to check in before attending class, athletic training, or essential on- campus work. In other words, the campuses will be open but limited to critical staff necessary to provide support services, maintenance and safety personnel, faculty and students that have in-person labs and classes, as well as coaches and athletes participating in athletic activities.

Next Steps
Throughout the Fall semester we will continue to refine our return to campus plans and the systems needed for safe operation like debris removal, HVAC for air flow, drinking water, plumbing, etc.

Additionally, during the semester, we would like to offer limited in- person student services, but the start of this service is still to be determined while working with key stakeholders. As I stated previously, as our return to campus plans are solidified, they will be negotiated with each of the collective bargaining units and then communicated to the District community.

Again, I want to thank all of you for the amazing work you do to help our students succeed.

Please visit https://safe.peralta.edu/ for the latest information about the COVID-19 pandemic and to stay informed of the efforts the Peralta Community College District led by the Department of General Services and IVC Atheria Smith are implementing to ensure a safe and secure return.
Please note: this policy as well as the associated “draft” administrative procedures can be found there.

Be safe, and stay well,

Interim Chancellor

A PDF of this announcement is available here.

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