WHITTIER –The Río Hondo College Board of Trustees unanimously approved mandatory vaccinations for all students and College employees in order to halt the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.

During a meeting on Aug. 18, Río Hondo College administrators gave a presentation on COVID-19 facts, history, variants, trends and health compliances as well as information on improvements completed and planned by the College’s COVID-19 task force. The mandatory vaccinations coincide with the start of the fall 2021 semester, which starts Aug. 21.

At the meeting, the College’s task force strongly recommended the campus-wide vaccination mandate while Acting Chancellor of California Community Colleges Daisy Gonzales urged all California community college boards to mandate vaccines.

“Río Hondo College takes the safety and welfare of our community very seriously and vaccinations against COVID-19 will go a long way in making sure everyone on our campus is safe,” Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss said. “We are committed to providing a secure learning environment to our students and we believe this mandatory vaccination, coupled with our safety updates, will ensure safety against the virus.”

The College’s COVID-19 task force has also overseen safety updates that include plexiglass shields for classrooms and workstations, sanitation items in every classroom, physical distancing and updating air conditioning filters to protect against airborne viruses.

“We at Río Hondo College know that it is our responsibility to make sure that we provide every possible protection to our students and the community,” Board of Trustees President Rosaelva Lomeli said. “The Board of Trustees believes this vaccination mandate will be a measurable safeguard against COVID-19 that will save many lives.”

The College will host a free walk-up vaccine clinic on campus in lot C from noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 1. The clinic, in partnership with the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and Curative (a COVID-19 vaccine provider), will be available to anyone over the age of 12. More information can be found at https://www.riohondo.edu/vaccine/.