The deadline arrived Monday for D.C. teachers, school staffers, school bus drivers and child care workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Vaccinations for those employees are the most effective tool to slow the spread of the virus and protect children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said at an event Monday.
“It’s important that they’re vaccinated so that our children are protected and we can keep schools open,” Bowser said.
D.C. student-athletes who are at least 12 years old were also required to be vaccinated by Monday, unless they became eligible after the mayor’s September announcement, in which case they’re required to be vaccinated by Dec. 13.
The D.C. government is still going through vaccine-exemption requests, Bowser said, but she hopes that doesn’t hold people up from getting vaccinated.
“There is a process, we’ll go through the process, but it makes sense for them to go ahead and get their first shot,” Bowser said.
A D.C. Public Schools spokesman told WTOP that as of Monday, 79% of staff report being fully vaccinated, including 85% of teachers.
“We are continuing to work with our remaining staff to ensure appropriate actions are taken,” the spokesman said in a statement. “Staff who are not fully vaccinated or have not received an exemption and work regularly in schools are subject to progressive discipline after November 1.”
Fairfax County, Virginia, schools employees faced the same Monday deadline.
Fairfax County Public Schools said starting Monday, staff who are not fully vaccinated or have not completed the Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form are required to be tested weekly at an FCPS testing site.
Employees required to schedule appointments will receive instructions through email this week.
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