The Toronto District School Board has announced it will be requiring trustees, its more than 40,000 employees, and anyone who comes into direct contact with students and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
In a statement released Tuesday evening, it said by Nov. 1 those individuals impacted will need to show proof of full vaccination unless they have an approved exemption under the human rights code.
“Requests for exemptions and reasonable accommodations related to a medical condition/disability or religious/creed under will be considered. However, due to the serious health threat COVID-19 presents to the public, this duty to accommodate will be balanced against the board’s obligations to protect the health and safety of employees and students,” the announcement said.
The move came nearly three weeks after trustees voted unanimously in favour of creating a mandatory vaccination policy.
For those who aren’t vaccinated or those who haven’t disclosed their vaccination status, they will be required to have proof of negative rapid antigen tests twice a week.
Also those who don’t have a medical- or disability-related exemption will need to attend an education session on COVID-19 vaccines.
“While we recognize that deciding to be vaccinated is a deeply personal one, we have strived to balance acknowledging that fact with doing our utmost to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff while allowing a period of time for staff who have not yet received a vaccine to do so,” TDSB director of education Colleen Russell-Rawlins said in the statement.
Officials said of the 94 per cent of employees who responded to requests for disclosure as required by the Ontario Ministry of Education, 83 per cent reported being vaccinated.
Since classes resumed in Toronto earlier in the month, public health staff reported there have been nearly two dozen investigations of COVID-19 cases.
Health and safety continue to be a priority at the TDSB, which is why we must work together to protect each other. The TDSB has developed a COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Procedure that affirms this commitment to providing & maintaining a safe work & learning environment for all. https://t.co/fRBlICn0KN
— Toronto District School Board (@tdsb) September 15, 2021
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