San Francisco Unified School District employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or take weekly coronavirus tests, according to district officials.
The district, which has about 10,000 employees, said all staff must be fully vaccinated by Sept. 7 and that any employee who is not yet vaccinated will be mandated to test for COVID at least weekly. District schools are set to begin in-person instruction next Monday.
“As we move to a full return to in-person learning on August 16, we are doing so with all of the current health and safety requirements in place,” Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said in a statement. “Given that we are in the midst of rising cases and new variants in our community, a vaccine requirement is a necessary step to keeping our students, staff and families safe.”
A district release reports the president of the United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) is in full support of the district’s vaccine requirement.
UESF President Cassondra Curiel provided the following statement:
“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 reports half of its employees have confirmed their vaccination status after requiring staff to report whether or not they have been vaccinated. SFUSD is giving employees until Aug. 31 to submit vaccination verification.
The vaccine requirement will not apply to students. However, students, as well as staff, will continue to have access to COVID-19 testing throughout the school year, district officials said.
In addition to the vaccination requirement for staff, students and staff will also have to adhere to indoor mask mandates, regardless of vaccination status, in alignment with the citywide health order that went into effect last week.
Bay City News contributed to this report.