Local school districts are speaking out after Portland Public Schools announced a vaccine requirement for all employees Wednesday.
Bend-La Pine schools released a statement in response, saying they will not require vaccines for teachers and staff in the fall.
“Bend-La Pine Schools recognizes that the best approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a layered defense of protective measures, with the COVID-19 vaccination being the best defense in protecting individuals from contracting COVID-19 and preventing the spread of the virus to others,” the statement read.
Crook County School District Director of Communications Jason Carr says they support individual school districts making that decision for their communities and families.
“Our position is that we encourage staff and families to consider getting the vaccine,” he said. “We are not going to require that any of our staff or students be vaccinated in order to be in our schools.”
Don’t look for vaccination requirements to be on the agenda for Crook County.
“I don’t see that ever being a topic of discussion where we would require it here at a local level,” Carr said. “I think that if it does happen, it would be something mandated at the state level.”
Culver and 509J school districts won’t require vaccinations for staff either.
These local school districts will not require weekly COVID testing at this point either.
When asked about vaccine requirements for school staff members in the state, the Oregon Health Authority said, “No decision has been made on a vaccine requirement for school staff or employees. But all options remain on the table.”
“There are individual school districts that have announced vaccine mandates. No decision on regular testing. There are requirements in place for testing of symptomatic students as well as testing for individual cohorts.”
Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced Wednesday all teachers and school staff would be required to get the vaccine.
That includes public, private and charter schools across the state.
Governor Brown scheduled a press conference Thursday with the Oregon Department of Education.