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Almost 1,000 COVID-19 unvaccinated TDSB staff still working at schools while waiting for exemptions

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Temporary exemptions for some unvaccinated TDSB staff' COVID-19: Temporary exemptions for some unvaccinated TDSB staff
Even with a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, the Toronto District School Board has some staff members choosing to not get the shot. With the deadline having passed, the board is now placing staff on administrative leave, but there are exemptions being made on a temporary basis. Katherine Ward explains. – Nov 22, 2021

There are almost 1,000 unvaccinated Toronto District School Board (TDSB) staff currently working in schools while awaiting COVID-19 exemptions either for medical or religious reasons.

The board has been posting its workers’ vaccination status’ for the past little while and confirmed to Global News there are 920 staff members working in schools while waiting for their exemptions.

In total, there are 1,093 TDSB staff members working both in and out of schools who are waiting on exemptions.

Read more: About 290 unvaccinated Toronto District School Board staff given temporary exemptions

“We continue to review medical and creed-based exemption requests, however they’re complex and in many cases have required us to gather more information from the employee,” TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said Wednesday.

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“Final decisions on many of these requests will be shared in the upcoming weeks.”

Teachers who are waiting on exemptions must undergo rapid antigen testing three times a week per the Ministry of Education.

Read more: Toronto District School Board extends COVID-19 vaccination policy deadline for staff

In late November, the TDSB said it had granted 290 workers temporary exemptions most of which were school-based staff including special needs assistants and designated early childhood educators. The rest of the approximately 620 unvaccinated workers have been placed on administrative leave.

The TDSB were one of the few boards who implemented their own policy. Workers who said they were unvaccinated had until Nov. 19 to get the vaccines or be placed on unpaid leave. For those who received one dose by Nov. 19, they were given one more month to receive the second dose.

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