SCOE Responds to New State Vaccination Requirement for School Staff
On Wednesday, Aug. 11, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California will require California schools to verify that workers are fully vaccinated or be tested for COVID-19 at least once a week. This order applies to all public and private schools serving students in transitional kindergarten through grade 12.Dr. Steve Herrington, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools, responded by committing to working closely with the Sonoma County Health Officer to support schools around Sonoma County in understanding and implementing this new guidance, which is intended to add an additional layer of protection for students and staff as classes reopen.
“During the pandemic, educators in Sonoma County have committed to following the direction of state and local health professionals who best understand the virus and how to combat it,” said Dr. Herrington. “Having received this new state direction, we will work closely with our county health partners to help districts understand and put into practice this new requirement designed to add an additional layer of safety and reassurance for our school community.”
According to the State, the new policy will take effect August 12, 2021, and schools must be in full compliance by October 15, 2021. The particulars of how the policy will be implemented and enforced are still being worked out. Each school district and charter school will develop their own policies and procedures for how best to implement these new requirements.
Since vaccines were first made available last winter, SCOE has worked closely with the Sonoma County Department of Health Services and local vaccine providers to host and organize vaccination clinics for school staff and students. Clinics are ongoing and community members are encouraged to take advantage of these free opportunities to be vaccinated at a trusted school site near them. Information about upcoming school-based clinics can be found at scoe.org/vaccines.