ELLENSBURG - Central Washington University is joining other universities across the country in requiring students, faculty and staff to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination prior to participating in in-person and on-campus activities in the fall.

“We’re taking this step because of the increasingly easy access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations,” stated CWU President James L. Gaudino. “The only way we can protect the health and safety of our university students, faculty, and staff is by mandating that everyone is vaccinated, which will help control the further spread of the virus.”

In a letter to the campus community, Gaudino said the decision was made based on advice of local, state and national health officials.

“We have made obtaining a vaccination an urgent priority because we believe a fully vaccinated community is the best way to protect our individual and collective health and safety,” Gaudino added. “It is only through widespread vaccinations that Central can begin to loosen or remove restrictions that have impacted social and mental well-being, and increase access to a more complete in-person campus living and learning experience for more students.”

The university is working with faculty and staff unions to implement the vaccine requirement.

Washington State University and the University of Washington are also requiring COVID-19 vaccinations.