Campbell River School District will not mandate COVID-19 vaccination for staff
After careful consideration and discussion at a special in-camera meeting on November 8, the Campbell River School District Board of Education will not mandate COVID-19 vaccination for staff.
"Throughout the pandemic, our board has been committed to following the guidance and expertise of our health professionals and our decision today is based on the most current information provided by these experts," says John Kerr, Campbell River School District board chair.
Information provided by the North Island Medical Health Officer showed that communities served by the school district have high vaccination rates that continue to rise daily, with over 88% of those eligible already having received one dose and 83% being fully vaccinated.
And while a vaccine mandate for K-12 staff is one of many interventions available, health officials advised it would have a limited impact on transmission rates because of the already high community vaccination rate, adherence to public health measures, and the fact that schools are not a primary source of COVID-19 cases within the community.
The board also considered how a vaccine mandate could impact the delivery of education and education programs and reviewed the K-12 Sector Guidelines for Vaccination Policies developed by the Ministry of Education, BC Public School Employers' Association and the provincial advisory group.
"We have a responsibility to keep schools open while providing a safe learning environment. Public health has assured us that our schools continue to be low-risk settings and we do not need 100% vaccination rates for safe operation; as evidenced by the fact that since March 2020, the district has had COVID exposure notices but no known cases of in-school transmission.
While we are not mandating staff vaccination at this time, our board continues to encourage all who are eligible to get vaccinated and supports Island Health's vaccination efforts."