With the health and safety of students and staff in mind, Peninsula College recently announced to the campus community that full COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all students and employees returning to all campuses beginning Fall Quarter 2021, with waivers for specific exemptions.
To be considered fully vaccinated, students and employees will need to self-attest that they received the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks before the start of fall quarter. Employees must verify their vaccination or exemption with the college by Sept. 7, and students by Sept. 20. Students enrolled exclusively in online or virtual classes are not required to verify their vaccination status.
The college is currently working on a mechanism to collect vaccination data from all students and employees by the start of fall quarter. For those claiming an exemption, they will need to agree to wear a face covering and practice social distancing inside Peninsula College buildings. No documents will be required to verify vaccination status.
PC made the decision to require vaccinations after Governor Jay Inslee issued a series of proclamations, starting June 30 and through July, lifting restrictions on colleges that require vaccinations for students and employees. The college has based its actions on recommendations from the Clallam County Health Department throughout the pandemic.
“After numerous meetings, conversations, and gathering campus feedback, we made the decision to move to a vaccinated campus this fall,” PC President Dr. Luke Robins said. “We are moving forward with the health and safety of our students and staff foremost in our minds.”
Proclamation 20-12.3, released by Governor Jay Inslee’s office, states that colleges that require vaccines will be allowed to dispense with social distancing requirements, as well as masking requirements for fully vaccinated individuals. Peninsula College will require everyone to mask up indoors until herd immunity is achieved, as determined by the Clallam and Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry.
Registration for the fall quarter is underway, and the college will not change any fall quarter classes currently listed as online to in-person classes. However, PC may raise enrollment caps on in-person classes now that the college no longer needs to comply with distancing regulations.
Currently, PC plans a full re-opening for winter quarter in 2022, with all services and programs to resume normal business hours. On-campus instruction will fully return with an intentional increase of hybrid and online courses.
Dr. Robins acknowledges requirements can change quickly and noted that PC is resilient and will rapidly adjust to changes, for the health and safety of the community.
“Rules and regulations have changed continuously over the last year and a half and will continue to do so,” he said. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility as we move forward.”
The college will continue to offer online and virtual classes, and services wherever possible. More information will be added to the College’s COVID-19 webpage as it becomes available.