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COVID-19: Guelph school boards update staff vaccination data

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The Toronto District School Board is giving its staff until Nov. 1 to get fully vaccinated. As Caryn Lieberman reports, some families are concerned not enough is being done in the lead-up to that deadline to ensure their children are safe – Oct 18, 2021

The public and Catholic school boards for Guelph and Wellington County have both updated their COVID-19 vaccination rates among staff and trustees.

The Upper Grand District School Board says the vaccine mandate applies to almost 4,900 employees and trustees, and as of Thursday, nearly 90 per cent of these individuals attested to being fully vaccinated.

Read more: Trudeau unveils Canada’s international proof-of-vaccination for COVID-19

The Wellington Catholic District School Board, meanwhile, says of the roughly 1,200 individuals under the policy, 94.5 per cent have attested to being fully vaccinated.

The public board is reporting that 12 individuals have provided a documented medical reason for not being fully vaccinated, while the Catholic board says one individual so far has a medical exemption.

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Meanwhile, 237 individuals with Upper Grand and seven with Wellington Catholic have not submitted their attestation form and will have to undergo regular rapid testing.

The vaccination policy also includes those who work within the boards but are not employed by them, such as bus drivers, volunteers and contractors.

For the public board, this works out to 1,520 people, with 1,300 individuals having been fully vaccinated and three medical waivers.

The Catholic board reports 77 per cent of these other workers and volunteers are fully vaccinated and three have a documented medical reason for not getting jabbed.

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The Ontario government announced in August that all school boards must collect and post that information on their website by Sept. 15.

Read more: Ontario details rapid COVID-19 testing protocol for school boards as schools report cases

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Ontario’s deputy education minister stated that unvaccinated staff members must take twice-weekly rapid COVID-19 tests.

Testing is to be done at home and no more than 48 hours before coming to work.

The memo sent to school boards said there should be at least three days between tests, and lists Monday and Thursday, Friday and Tuesday, or Sunday and Wednesday as examples of a regular schedule for testing. They will have to submit their tests manually or through an app.

—with files from The Canadian Press and Global News’ Kevin Nielsen

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