Bakersfield · COVID-19 · Education · Visalia/Tulare

Bakersfield, Porterville College roll out vaccine mandate and incentives

The Kern Community College District, which includes Bakersfield and Porterville colleges, is stepping firmly into a vaccine mandate for students, faculty, and staff members who are engaging in on-campus activities.

The mandate, approved last week by trustees of the college district, requires employees and students to be fully-vaccinated by Nov. 1, with a goal of individuals reaching first dosage by Sept. 7.

Students returning to campus for classes will need proof of vaccination to continue in-person instruction after Nov. 1.

Students that are taking classes entirely online or are not planning to return to campus are not subject to the mandate.

“I thin we have a responsibility to our community, to our students, especially, faculty and staff to do everything we can to keep them as safe as possible,” Trustee John Corkins said during debate over the mandate.

Porterville College announced Tuesday it would offer a $200 incentive for all students who submit proof of their vaccination status via the KCCD app prior to Nov. 1.

Yet, regardless of vaccination status, the junior college district continues to require the wearing of masks for students, staff, and faculty in its facilities.

Les Hubbard is a contributing reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun.