Monday is the deadline for Oregon school staff to either get vaccinated or get a religious or medical exemption.
Those exemptions, it appears, will help many Central Oregon schools get by without mass staff departures.
At Monday night’s Crook County School Board meeting, the numbers didn’t lie.
“We’ve got about 68% of our staff who had submitted vaccination cards, and we have about 20% of our staff who have submitted religious exceptions that have been approved, and I think we’re up to six total medical exceptions,” the district’s Director of Human Resources Sean Corrigan said.
As of Monday, only eight Crook County school staff members resigned or retired early due to the vaccine mandate.
There are 30 staff members who still haven’t indicated what they’re going to do, and 21 of them are coaches who won’t be working on campus until their sports seasons begin.
“If they have not met the requirement by the time their season starts, then we have a situation where…we’re not going to be able to hire you back this year,” Corrigan said.
Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson said on Tuesday that unvaccinated staff won’t need regular testing, but other safety measures are still in place.
“We’re requiring a medical-grade mask, which would include a surgical mask or an N-95 if a person is not vaccinated, and of course we’re adhering to the social distancing,” she said.
The district has two full-time nurses dedicated to contact tracing, who documented just four staff members testing positive between Sept. 21 and Oct. 4.
“We’re doing everything we can to control it, and hoping that it’s peaked and we’ll back off,” Johnson said. “We’re using every safety measure we can come up with to keep the spread down.”
The Redmond School District said Tuesday that around 20 of its 940 staff members haven’t yet provided proof of vaccination or a religious or medical exemption.
They also have a small number of athletic coaches who have not yet complied, which may produce the need for small operational adjustments.
If any staff members don’t comply by Oct. 18, they’ll be placed on paid administrative leave effective on Oct. 19.
The district doesn’t anticipate any staffing issues due to any loss of licensed teachers.
Bend-La Pine Schools tells us about 96% of its staff has submitted vaccine documentation; 91.2% are vaccinated and 8.8% have submitted a religious or medical exemption.