Edmonton Catholic Schools is implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for its staff.
One day after Edmonton Public Schools announced a similar move, the Catholic division said all employees will have to be fully vaccinated against the disease by Oct. 25, unless they require an accommodation under the Alberta Human Rights Act.
Staff members who are not fully vaccinated by Oct. 25 will have to undergo regular rapid testing, the school division said Tuesday.
All other individuals who are in direct contact with students and/or employees, including independent contractors and volunteers, will also have to be fully vaccinated in order to enter a school division property.
“This is an important step in our commitment to keep students and staff as safe as possible during the ongoing pandemic,” Chief Superintendent Robert Martin said in a news release.
“By requiring staff to be vaccinated, we reduce the impact COVID-19 cases have on our classrooms, schools, and communities.”
The school board also said this policy will help better protect students under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccination. The division will not require parents or students to be vaccinated.
The board chair said details on timelines and implementation specifics are still being worked out, and will be shared directly with employees.
“We will continue to assess, and if appropriate, implement reasonable measures that we believe will have a positive impact on health and safety in our schools and sites,” board chair Sandra Palazzo said.
On Monday, Edmonton Public Schools announced its employees have until mid-October to confidentially disclose their vaccination status to the division.
Those who are not fully vaccinated and have not received an exemption from the division will have to provide a negative COVID-19 test every 72 hours. Between late October and Dec. 17, the division will pay for this testing through a third-party provider. After Dec. 17, employees will have to pay for their own tests.