THE RECORDER

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All employees and students returning to Porterville College will have to eventually require proof they're vaccinated. PC is also offering cash incentives to students to be vaccinated.

All employees and students with access to PC campus facilities will have to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination by November 1. The 2021-2022 school year at PC begins on Monday.

The Kern Community College District Board passed a resolution on August 12 requiring all students and employees be vaccinated at all of the district's campuses.The resolution can be found at https://www. kccd.edu/download/192820.

All students returning to campus for in-person classes will need to provide proof of full vaccination status in order to continue attending in person classes within the Kern Community College District. The policy doesn't apply to students who are only enrolled in online classes and don't attend to return to campus.

KCCD Trustee John Corkins, who represents the PC area on the board, voiced his support for the resolution at the board's August 12 meeting. “I think we have a responsibility to our community, to our students, especially, faculty and staff to do everything we can to keep them as safe as possible,” he said.

The resolution was passed unanimously.

Students are asked to provide proof of vaccination via the KCCD app, which will also be used to provide daily health checks and contact tracing for students, faculty, and staff on campus. More can be learned about the app in PC's how to document.

All students who provide proof of vaccination through the KCCD app by November 1 will receive $200. PC stated it was providing the cash incentive “in order to provide extra help and support for students that might be on the fence about taking this important step.”

Students who choose not to be vaccinated can still continue at PC through its online or hybrid course options.

“This fall our offerings are 60 percent in person. That means we will still have plenty of options for our students to take classes online and through hybrid modalities if they are not yet ready to attend in person,” said Roger Perez, PCs Director of Communication and Community Relations.

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib added, “As we prepare for a safe and healthy return to campus, it’s crucial for students to know that getting vaccinated, combined with mask use, is the most important thing they can do to ensure the health and safety of those around them. Vaccination has been proven to prevent severe illness, hospitalizations, and even death.”

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status is required to wear masks while indoors at all PC facilities.

While the California Community College system stopped short of requiring vaccines, community college districts across the state are adopting vaccine mandates and also providing cash incentives to students. Other incentives being offered at the community college level include textbook.

And the California Community College Chancellor's Office released an advisory strongly urging community college districts to adopt vaccination mandates, citing the surge due to the Delta variant. California Community College officials state they don't have the legal authority to require vaccinations. They added the authority to issue vaccine mandates rests with community college districts.

Vaccinations are also being required at University of California and California State University campuses. Among the community college districts mandating vaccines are San Diego, Grossmont-Cuyamaca, Foothill-De Anza, Long Beach City College, Pasadena City College and Mira Costa College.

There are community colleges, such as PC, that are also requiring everyone to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.

And while there are community colleges in the state that have stopped short of a vaccine mandate, they are also still providing incentives for students to be vaccinated.

More information about the vaccination requirement can be found at https://www.kccd.edu/chancellors-office/coronavirus-update

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