Office of the President finalizing COVID-19 vaccine policy

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Cynthia Larive Chancellor; Lori Kletzer Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

The University of California Office of the President has notified campus leaders that it is finalizing a policy to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all faculty, staff, academic appointees, and students accessing facilities at any UC campus this fall. The requirement aims to protect the health of all members of the UC community as well as the general public as we transition from remote work and instruction back to UC campuses.

The exact policy language and the systemwide implementation plan are still being crafted, but the Office of the President is sharing the decision to give students and employees as much time as possible to comply with the mandate. The finalized policy and an updated Q&A are expected by July 15.

As outlined by the President’s Office, faculty, staff, students and others are expected to comply with the mandate two weeks before returning to campus or another UC location for the fall term. The same timeframe will apply for essential workers already on campus.

Our campus is preparing a process to record vaccination status with the expectation it will be ready by July 15, when students and employees will be required to begin uploading proof of vaccination.

The policy will allow for narrow medical exemptions consistent with federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention guidance. Requests for disability or religious accommodations will be handled through existing campus policies and procedures. Those with approved exemptions or accommodations may return to campus with the requirement that they remain masked in all public settings and comply with the campus testing protocol. Employees who choose not to be vaccinated and have no approved exemption, potentially put the health of others at risk and may face disciplinary actions.

According to the CDC, vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are a safe and effective way to prevent the virus that to date has killed nearly 600,000 Americans and more than 3.3 million people worldwide.

Our campus earlier this spring launched Arm in Arm, a vaccination-advocacy campaign aimed at communicating to our community the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine for a safe reopening of California and UC Santa Cruz.