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COVID-19 testing requirement to be implemented at Modesto Junior College

The board members for the Yosemite Community College District approved the resolution Wednesday night.
Credit: MyriamB - stock.adobe.com
Testing for presence of coronavirus. Tube containing a swab testing for COVID-19.

MODESTO, Calif. — The Yosemite Community College District (YCCD) put the wheels in motion for testing requirement at Modesto Junior College.

On Tuesday night, board trustees approved a resolution that will implement a testing requirement in order for students to access the campus at MJC and Columbia College.

A previous draft resolution posited options for a vaccine mandate and/or testing requirement. However, the final draft resolution presented before the Board called for a testing requirement.

“I think is a really, really difficult decision. I think we as trustees have an obligation to make our campus safe,” said Milton Richards, a board trustee.

“I think what you all have done in this resolution is to try to make a very difficult situation better,” he added.

Last week, YCCD spokesperson Jeanette Fontana shared the results of a student survey regard a possible vaccine mandate and/or testing requirement for COVID-19. The results were as follows:

  • 51% of students responding to the survey reported that they would like to have a vaccine requirement for Spring 2021
  • 63% of students responding to the survey reported that they preferred a testing requirement
  • 41% of students responding to the survey reported that they may go elsewhere if a vaccine requirement were instituted by YCCD

"It is very difficult and I think that this is the best compromise we're going to come up with right now. We can reevaluate it, and we are empowering people to be responsive to what's going on in the moment and I think that's really the most important thing we can do," said Leslie Beggs, another board trustee.

However the resolution didn't have unanimous support. Trustee Darin Gharat disagreed with part of the resolution that required testing for people who were already vaccinated against the virus.

"To me, that is de-incentivizing people to get vaccinated, and when you talk about a policy that does that, I think the one before us tonight does that," he said.

The YCCD Board approved the motion 5 to 2. Any measures taken for the testing requirement will need Board review and confirmation. According to the resolution, it will sunset on Aug. 20, 2022 but the Board will revisit the requirement in March.


Board Regular Meeting, October 20, 2021

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