COVID-19 vaccinations will not be required for staff at the Cowichan Valley School District. (File photo)

COVID-19 vaccinations will not be required for staff at the Cowichan Valley School District. (File photo)

No vaccine mandate for Cowichan School District staff

Board of Education leaves itself an option to reconsider

Teachers and other staff working for the Cowichan Valley School District will not face a vaccine mandate.

According to a press release issued by the district on Dec. 16, the board of education recently voted against a staff mandate “at this time” meaning the board has left itself the option to reconsider should the pandemic situation change or they receive further advice from health professionals.

“This was a tremendously hard decision to come to and the board deliberated on it for quite some time,” said board chair Candace Spilsbury. “We all want the safest environment possible for our students and staff and this decision balances what we heard from our Medical Health Officer and all of our partner groups with that primary goal of safety in mind.”

The release noted there’s a community vaccine goal of 90 per cent and school district staff are “well over that number” so “a mandate would have little effect on reducing any community or school-based spread of COVID-19.”

The release cited the introduction of vaccines for children aged five through 11 and recent government-imposed restrictions on activities and access for the non-vaccinated as reasons the board felt it didn’t require a vaccine mandate.

“Community vaccine rates continue to climb and it is hoped that with that, a decrease in community and school-based cases will follow,” said the release.

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