Del. Tech Tightens COVID-19 Vax Requirements; Policy Draws Criticism


Delaware Technical Community College is revamping its COVID-19 vaccination policy for its new semesters that start later this year – a policy that is drawing criticism and plenty of questions.

All Delaware Tech students, including those who learn remotely, will be required to prove they are fully vaccinated – with eligible boosters – effective March 30th for the summer or fall semester.

High school students who attend college programs and children five and older who attend child development centers and summer camps will also be subject to the requirement. Delaware Tech will also require campus visitors to prove COVID-19 vaccination effective May 1st.

There will be a process to file for an exemption.

“Due to the record-high COVID-19 incidence and hospitalization rates currently being experienced in Delaware, it has become necessary to require all students who participate in College programs and all visitors to College buildings or facilities to be up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations as a means of ensuring continued College operations and alleviating the crisis our statewide healthcare system is facing,” Delaware Tech President Mark Brainard said in a letter to the school community.

To read Delaware Tech’s vaccination policy, please CLICK HERE

Delaware State Senate Minority Leader Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View and Minority Whip Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown, in a statement questioned the policy and stated concerns about its impact on DTCC’s role in workforce development and producing workers who are qualified to fill current job openings:

The Senate GOP statement follows:

“DTCC is home to many certification programs. From nursing to HVAC, Delawareans of all backgrounds opt to take these courses to better their resumes and pursue high-paying careers without going deep into debt. Such a policy should not be implemented at all, but especially not during a time when high-skilled jobs are available and qualified labor is not.”

“We acknowledge the need to protect students, staff and visitors, and we have vocalized our support for voluntary preventative measures. However, there are a number of lingering questions left unanswered by the announcement. For example, will this revision apply to young children in the school’s childcare program when the vaccines are approved for their age groups? Will the college assist parents in finding alternative childcare services since everyone 5 years and older must be vaccinated? Is the college going to fire educators who are not vaccinated, thus potentially creating a staff shortage?”

We call on Dr. Brainard, president of the college, to consider these and other questions that will come from members of the community and the students DTCC serves. Failure to adequately address these concerns must result in the General Assembly taking action to ensure that this inclusive institution remains an educational option for learners of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs.”