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SFUSD Issues Requirement for Teacher, Staff Vaccination or Weekly Testing

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Teachers and staff at San Francisco public schools will be required to either be vaccinated or be tested at least weekly for COVID-19, according to an announcement issued by San Francisco Unified School District officials Tuesday. 

Cassondra Curiel, president of the United Educators of San Francisco, voiced support for the new requirement, saying:

“Because United Educators of San Francisco love our communities and care for our students, we took the lead on advocating for a vaccine requirement paired with testing in SFUSD. As we all return to school buildings in person, we are glad that we can move forward welcoming students and families with excitement and ensuring the safest conditions possible in the midst of this continuing pandemic.” 

The district makes clear that the mandate does not apply to vaccine-eligible students, though they do urge students and their families to do so if they can. 

The mandate goes into effect as of Sept. 7; staff have until Aug. 31 to provide proof of vaccination. Messages sent out over the past two weeks require staff to respond with their vaccination status. About half the employees have so far done so.

All SFUSD classes are scheduled to fully reopen Monday.

The beginning of the school year comes at a precarious time, as the Delta variant pushes case and hospitalization rates to levels unseen since winter. The latest surge is unique in the number of children impacted by and hospitalized for the virus. 

On a positive note, the health department reported Tuesday that the vast majority of the city’s children between ages of 12 and 17 have been vaccinated. About 78 percent of San Francisco’s total eligible population have been fully vaccinated; 85 percent have received one dose. 

However, children under 12 are still not eligible, leaving elementary school particularly vulnerable to virus transmission. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week that Covid-19 pediatric hospitalizations increased nearly 46 percent nationally over the prior week. 

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.