School lunch workers will be among those required to be vaccinated in San Francisco’s school district. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

School lunch workers will be among those required to be vaccinated in San Francisco’s school district. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

SF to require vaccinations for all school staff

The San Francisco Unified School District will require vaccinations for all staff, school district officials announced Tuesday.

Although schools are set to begin in-person instruction next Monday, SFUSD officials said all of its some 10,000 employees will have to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 7.

For now, any staff member who hasn’t yet been vaccinated will be required to undergo a COVID-19 test at least weekly, district officials said.

So far, more than half of all SFUSD staff has reported being vaccinated, according to district officials.

As cases continue to climb throughout the city and the nation, district leaders said the move is necessary.

“As we move to a full return to in-person learning on August 16, we are doing so with all of the current health and safety requirements in place,” SFUSD Superintendent Vincent Matthews said in a statement. “Given that we are in the midst of rising cases and new variants in our community, a vaccine requirement is a necessary step to keeping our students, staff and families safe.”

Union officials with the United Educators of San Francisco, which represents the teachers, is in support of the decision.

“As we all return to school buildings in person, we are glad that we can move forward welcoming students and families with excitement and ensuring the safety conditions possible in the midst of this continuing pandemic,” UESF President Cassondra Curiel said.

The vaccine requirement will not apply to students. However, students, as well as staff, will continue to have access to COVID-19 testing throughout the school year, district officials said.

In addition to the vaccination requirement for staff, students and staff will also have to adhere to indoor mask mandates, regardless of vaccination status, in alignment with the citywide health order that went into effect last week.

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