CMC cuts COVID-19 vaccine requirement

COVID-19 vaccines are no longer required at CMC. (Courtesy: Lisa Ferdinando)

In an email on Monday, April 17 addressed to the CMC community from the COVID Compliance Committee, announced that COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations will no longer be required for incoming students, faculty and staff.

“I am a little disappointed in [the decision],” Vijay Jain CM ’24 said. “Vaccines are such a simple way to promote the health of everyone in our community and, because students can appeal for exemptions on religious or other grounds, I do not see them as an overstep of individual rights.”

The committee’s announcement also stated the approaching termination of its partnership with Hamilton Health Box (HHB) on May 12. HHB provided on-site medical professionals to help with medical services and COVID-19 consulting at CMC. 

Other testing options remain open, such as a COVID-19 test kit vending machine in Emmett Breezeway and a limited amount of at-home antigen test kits at CMC’s clinic. Student Health Services has not yet decided whether to continue providing testing for COVID-19, according to CMC’s email.

Those who test positive are required to follow CDC and Los Angeles County Public Health guidelines on isolation and masking, but CMC has halted mandatory isolation sites.

This change in policy comes after  California’s termination of its COVID-19 state of emergency Feb. 28, two weeks after the California Department of Health replaced mandatory masking guidelines in high-risk settings such as healthcare facilities with masking recommendations.

“Professors have been instructed to be less accommodating to students zooming in or otherwise participating in class while sick,” Jain said to TSL via email. “So going forward, students will be at a higher risk of contracting one of these diseases and will receive less support once they do.”

Scripps College has not yet made an announcement regarding its COVID-19 policy but maintains that an update will be provided soon, with decisions made along the guidelines of SHS and the LA County Department of Public Health, according to an email addressed to TSL from Rachel Warecki, assistant director of news & strategic communications at Scripps College

Assistant Vice President of Pitzer College Wendy Shattuck confirmed that Pitzer College will be upholding its current vaccination requirements for both students and faculty, in an email to TSL

Jain emphasized the importance of continued COVID-19 precautions.

“I understand the desire to put the pandemic behind us, but we should not forget the lessons we learned about taking care of our community.”

Pomona College and Harvey Mudd College did not respond for immediate comment.

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