Los Angeles and Chicago back vaccination mandate for teachers

As schools prepare to reopen five days a week amid an alarming rise in the coronavirus, Los Angeles and Chicago, the nation’s second and...


As schools prepare to reopen five days a week amid an alarming rise in the coronavirus, Los Angeles and Chicago, the nation’s second and third largest districts, announced some of the strongest teachers’ vaccination mandates on Friday. nowadays.

Educators and school staff in both cities will need to be fully immunized by October 15. School begins in Los Angeles on August 16 and in Chicago on August 30.

In Los Angeles, district workers will also need to undergo regular viral testing, regardless of their immunization status. In Chicago, staff will be tested weekly until the vaccine deadline. The two systems said there would be an exemption process for people with disabling medical conditions or sincere religious beliefs.

California and Illinois also require everyone to use masks inside schools when they reopen.

The new vaccine mandates will pressure other major school systems, especially those in liberal states, to institute similar policies. New York City, the nation’s largest district, is planning offer teachers the choice between vaccination or weekly screening for the virus.

Leaders of the two national teachers’ unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, said they supported vaccination mandates, but details would have to be negotiated locally.

Nearly 90 percent of educators nationwide are vaccinated, according to a investigation of Education Week. Yet a small but noisy group of basic educators oppose vaccine demands.

After 18 months of classroom closures and hybrid schedules, families and schools predicted a return to normal this fall. Research from the previous school year had shown that schools could operate relatively safely with mitigation strategies such as masking, distancing, hand washing and ventilation.

There are some reassuring evidence UK that during the delta surge in June, schools remained among the safest places for children. But it’s not clear whether the Delta variant presents more danger in American schools, given the patchwork of mitigation strategies.

Before Chicago’s vaccination mandate was announced, Kenzo Shibata, a social studies teacher at the district high school, had considered asking for leave. A colleague he worked closely with had been “firm” in her refusal to be vaccinated, he said – a major source of anxiety for Mr. Shibata, whose wife is undergoing cancer treatment and has compromised immunity. Their son is too young to be vaccinated.

On Friday, Mr. Shibata said he was hopeful about the district’s tenure, though he remained concerned that other teachers are asking for exemptions.

“I think it will significantly reduce the risk,” he said. “I still don’t feel that five days a week in person is a good idea, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Los Angeles and Chicago back vaccination mandate for teachers
Los Angeles and Chicago back vaccination mandate for teachers
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