The Delta board of education is considering additional COVID-19 health and safety measures, including a vaccine mandate for school district staff.
At an in-camera meeting Tuesday (Oct. 12), the board directed the school district 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,” according to a press release Wednesday morning.
“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,” chair Val Windsor said in a press 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.”
The release notes that the provincial government has recently put together an advisory committee to develop a framework and guidance for school boards to use if they choose to make vaccination mandatory. The 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 from across B.C. will be meeting with the ministry to discuss the implications of a vaccine mandate and to hear more about the provincial direction and health advice.
Delta School District staff will present a report on the matter at a future school board meeting.
“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,” Windsor said.