April 19, 2024

The California Department of Public Health announced Sept. 20 that, beginning immediately, anyone participating in an indoor gathering of 1,000 or more people must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. This new rule will last until at least Nov. 1 and was re-evaluated on Oct. 15

California Baptist University will now be requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event for all events and sports games occurring in the Events Center.

Rochelle Haddad, senior communication sciences and disorders major, said that it is essential for people to take COVID-19 precautions seriously on an individual level. She discussed how the government also needs to vigorously monitor COVID-19 to ensure the safety of everyone.

“On a personal level, people need to wear their masks and stay vigilant about sanitization, gathering in large groups, etc.,” Haddad said. “On a governmental level, we need to closely monitor COVID cases and be very careful for the time being about rolling back restrictions as it will help in the long run.”

Cami Alvarado, junior sociology major, said she believes providing adequate access to testing facilities will be an issue for California residents. She also shared what we can do so these mandates are no longer needed.

“I think the mandate could be effective if COVID testing was more accessible to people as far as an institution like a school or a concert,” Alvarado said. “If they were to provide COVID testing I think that would be great, but I don’t know if that’s reality. I think people protecting themselves and keeping themselves, their family and the people close to them aware of what is going on with COVID would help in not needing these mandates anymore.”

Amanda Pitchford-Madrid, lead faculty of community and public health at CBU’s College of Nursing, said these updated mandates will be beneficial.

“I’m thinking that the mandates will make people more aware,” Pitchford-Madrid said. “It will put people into safer spaces where we can have those courageous conversations with our faculty and with our peers.” 

Pitchford-Madrid believes conversations about the mandates can strengthen faith.

“If anything, it’s an opportunity for us to see what God can be with our environment and our campus and how he can build relationships and help people to direct their fears elsewhere, and lean into God and his truth, and who he is. It’s always uncomfortable when we’re changing, but I think that it’s changing Lancers for the better.”

Pitchford-Madrid said that due to a lack of infection control, she believes these mandates are necessary.

“We need adherence to infection control,” Pitchford-Madrid said. “That is the most essential thing we can do that we are not doing. That’s the single easiest essential thing that we can do to mitigate this outbreak and pandemic that we’re in. We totally can do it but we’re just not doing it. It’s like we have our heads in the sand, where we feel like if we can’t see anything happening around us, we’re okay.”

Visit riversideca.gov for COVID-19 testing and  vaccination locations. 

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