The California State University system — which enrolls more than half a million undergraduate and graduate students — will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all faculty, staff and students returning to any of its 23 campuses this fall, school officials said Tuesday.
CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro cited the rapid spread of the very contagious delta variant as a key driver behind the decision, calling the recent uptick in cases "an alarming new factor."
"Receiving a COVID vaccine continues to be the best way to mitigate the spread of the virus," Castro said in a statement. "We urge all members of the CSU community to get vaccinated as soon as possible, and announcing this requirement now allows members of the CSU community to receive multiple doses of a vaccine as we head into the beginning of the fall term."
Vaccination deadlines will vary by campus, but all vaccination status certifications must be completed by Sept. 30, according to the announcement. Officials noted that vaccinations are available at multiple CSU campuses, and encouraged unvaccinated students and staff to contact their schools to determine options and availability.
Students and staff can also seek medical and religious exemptions, and virtual courses will be available for those who forgo vaccinations, officials said.