The presidents of the Massachusetts community colleges announced Monday that students, faculty, and staff at the Commonwealth’s 15 community colleges must be fully vaccinated by January 2022. This includes Berkshire Community College.

The announcement comes amid a rise in the number of new cases of COVID-19 across the Commonwealth, the increased access and availability of vaccines, the Food & Drug Administration’s full and pending approval of available vaccines, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance that the COVID-19 vaccine has been proven to be extremely safe and highly effective at preventing infection, severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

The requirement is aimed at ensuring the safest learning and working environment possible for the more than 135,000 students served by the community colleges each year.

Students who seek to register for courses that do not include any in-person component, and who do not plan to come on campus for any reason for the spring 2022 semester, will not be required to provide documentation of vaccination. All employees will be required to be vaccinated.

Jeannie Maschino can be reached at 413-496-6256 or jmaschino@berkshireeagle.com.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.