Delta school board trustees are considering additional COVID-19 health and safety measures including a vaccine mandate for school district staff.
At an in-camera meeting on Tuesday, trustees directed school district staff to begin work immediately on a safety policy and/or procedure, to provide, amongst other safety measures, the viability of mandatory vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2, for all staff.
“When it comes to a serious illness with the potential for loss of life such as COVID-19, the board of trustees believes we should implement as many health and safety precautions as possible,” said board chair Val Windsor in a news release. “We have a duty to keep our schools safe for our students and staff. As most COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are now among unvaccinated adults, we believe that everyone who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine should get vaccinated.
“We recognize that introducing a vaccine mandate is a highly sensitive and complex issue. As a result, we are committed to doing our due diligence and approaching this issue in a careful and thoughtful manner.”
In recent weeks, the B.C. Government has put together an advisory committee to develop a framework and guidance for boards of education to use if they choose to implement mandatory vaccines. The government advisory committee includes representatives from the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA), the Ministry of Education and B.C. School Trustees Association. Later this week, all board chairs across the province will be meeting with the Ministry of Education to discuss implications and to hear more about the provincial direction and health advice.
The school district will present a report on this matter at a future meeting of the board.
“In the meantime, we extend our thanks to Delta School District staff who have already done their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting the vaccine, and strongly encourage those who haven’t been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible,” added Windsor.