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Ottawa-Carleton District School Board outlines COVID-19 vaccination policy for staff

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board ran out of time to approve a COVID-19 vaccination policy for staff on Tuesday night. Craig Lord / Global News

Ottawa’s largest school board stopped short of mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all staff at a special meeting Tuesday night, running out of time to ratify the decision.

Trustees with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board voted in favour of a motion on Tuesday that would require all staff to be “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19.

With plans to develop the policy coming so close to the start of the OCDSB school year on Sept. 9, the board of trustees included wording in the motion that would see staff required to get their first dose of the vaccine no later than Sept. 30 and a second shot “as soon as medically allowed and available.”

Read more: Ottawa-Carleton board releases back-to-school plan

The board will work with Ottawa Public Health in developing the exact protocols, it said.

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Any such policy would take into consideration human rights and medical exemptions.

Though the motion passed initial approvals, the meeting hit a hard stop at 11 p.m. before the board of trustees could give the final sign-off. Extending the meeting past that deadline would have required unanimous consent, but trustee Donna Blackburn voted against continuing the meeting.

The OCDSB board will reassemble Wednesday at 6 p.m. for final approvals on the policy.

Other motions that were passed Tuesday included extending the mask mandate for students in kindergarten, who before then had only been encouraged to wear face coverings while in the classroom, in line with the provincial policy.

COVID-19 vaccinations were also made mandatory for any volunteers working with schools in the board.

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