A press release from Tacoma Community College.
Tacoma Community College (TCC) recently announced to the college community that full Covid-19 vaccinations will be required for all students and employees returning to campus starting fall quarter, 2021. Everyone who plans to work or study on campus will be required to complete a self-attestation form or complete a medical, religious or personal/philosophical exemption form.
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. Students taking only online classes will not be required to attest to 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.
TCC 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 who require vaccinations for students and employees. In addition, Pierce County data shows that the widely available vaccines have proven effective in combatting the spread of Covid-19, but more people need to be vaccinated; only 47.2 percent of Pierce County residents have been vaccinated to date. The college has based its actions data and recommendations from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department throughout the pandemic.
“The college has been engaged in conversations about re-opening the college campuses, with multiple surveys, meetings and discussions on how we should move forward,” said TCC President Ivan L. Harrell, II, PhD. “With the recently revised proclamation, it became clear that requiring vaccinations for our college community would allow us to re-open safely and better serve our students and community.”
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.
Registration for fall quarter is currently in progress, and the college will not change any fall quarter classes currently listed as online to in-person classes. However, TCC may raise enrollment caps on in-person classes now that the college no longer needs to comply with distancing regulations. Limited business hours will begin in fall for student services.
TCC 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. Harrell acknowledges requirements can change quickly, and TCC is resilient and can quickly adjust to changes, for the health and safety of the community.
“Safely living in the Covid-19 world is our life,” he said. “This pandemic is something we will be living with for some time. There will be nuances, and there will be situations that will challenge us. Knowing this, being a fully vaccinated college is the best way forward to meet the needs of our students, employees and our community.”