As California residents prepare to return to school amid the rapid spread of the COVID-19 delta variant, the state announced new guidelines Wednesday for school staff on mandatory testing and vaccinations.
Under the health order — the first of its kind in the nation — from the California Department of Public Health, or CDPH, all school staff will be required to show proof of vaccination or be tested at least once a week. Taking effect Aug. 12, the order will require schools to be in full compliance by Oct. 15.
“To give parents confidence that their children are safe as schools return to full, in-person learning, we are urging all school staff to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are how we will end this pandemic,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a press release. “As a father, I look forward to the start of the school year and seeing all California kids back in the classroom.”
In line with state guidelines, the Berkeley Unified School District will be discussing vaccination and testing policy for staff at Wednesday’s district board meeting.
In addition, the school board will examine the possibility of requiring mandatory student COVID-19 testing during the fall semester, according to the board meeting agenda. The board will hear a presentation on the legal and logistic issues of implementing testing requirements for students, the agenda added.
“There’s no substitute for in-person instruction, and California will continue to lead the nation in keeping students and staff safe while ensuring fully open classrooms,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH director and state public health officer.