Hamilton school board approves mandatory vaccination policy for staff

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) has approved a new policy that will require mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 for all staff, trustees, service providers, and volunteers.

The motion was approved 9-1 by trustees at a board meeting this past Monday, requiring HWDSB employees to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination while adhering to legislated privacy standards.

“Keeping schools open has been deemed a priority for children’s learning, mental health and well-being,” reads the motion by Trustee Alex Johnstone.

“It is incumbent upon society to protect children under 12 who are ineligible to be vaccinated at this time and vulnerable populations who are at highest risk of developing complications from COVID-19.”

The HWDSB required all returning staff to submit a formal attestation identifying whether or not they were fully vaccinated. Those who were fully vaccinated were asked to provide proof, and those unvaccinated were asked to identify a reason including medical, human rights, or personal.

Of the 7,251 permanent and occasional staff currently working at the HWDSB, 6,614 reported their vaccination status as of September 10th. Of those who disclosed their status, 82.2 per cent are already fully vaccinated

Staff with approved, formal medical exemptions for getting vaccinated will be accommodated with a requirement to complete regular asymptomatic rapid testing and provide a negative test.

Read the full release on the HWDSB website.

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