This summer, the University of California and UC President Michael Drake stated that in-person instruction classes would be able to resume if all UCs reached a vaccination goal of 90% for students coming to campus. As of Sept. 28, 95% of students have been fully vaccinated along with 85.1% of staff. Combined, students and staff have reached 93.4%. While COVID still remains a concern for those on campus, this news, along with properly following COVID procedures, should help put some students and staff at ease. 

Being fully vaccinated means that it has been two weeks since you last received your second shot, or dose, of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. If you received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccination, then you are fully vaccinated two weeks after having received that shot. 

Students were expected to upload proof of their vaccination status two weeks before instruction began. Those who did not upload their vaccination records were not permitted to move onto campus or enroll in on-campus classes. 

The 95% vaccination status of students, however, does not reflect those who are purely attending or teaching classes remotely. A few members of the student body and staff who are attending on-campus classes or are living on campus were granted exemptions based on medical, disability or religious reasons. These members of the community are tested weekly as a result. 

Along with most people on campus being vaccinated, students and staff are also expected to wear masks while indoors. As an extra barrier, UCR has implemented several COVID safety procedures to keep students safe. One of these safety procedures is the inclusion of a mandatory online COVID training course to help refresh and test students’ knowledge on the virus. The course can be found through the UCR’s iLearn platform and takes about 20 minutes to complete. The UCR Daily Wellness Survey should be completed before coming to campus or class as well. 

In comparison to UCR’s 95% vaccination rate, according to the state COVID dashboard, as of Oct. 6, 71.1% of California residents had been fully vaccinated, with 8% being partially. This data shows that UCR has surpassed even state records. Riverside County has administered the fifth most vaccines in California behind Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange and Santa Clara Counties.  

As a whole, COVID cases in California are also trending downward. The state saw a peak in cases during the summer months, especially in August. During the peak, cases were averaging 33.4 cases per one hundred thousand people. As of the week of Oct. 4, there have only been 10.4 cases per one hundred thousand. 

With UCR surpassing its COVID vaccination goal and as cases in the area continue to decrease, campus life may soon return to normalcy. Life after the pandemic ends will never be the same, but it is possible for restrictions to decrease as the threat of the virus becomes less of a worry.