Shaker Heights school district considers COVID-19 vaccine mandate for staff

Shaker Heights High School

(FOX 8 photo)

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – The Shaker Heights Board of Education is considering a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its teachers and other staff.

The board took comments at a special meeting Thursday, upon first reading of the proposed policy.

Comments came from both sides on the issue, including staff members.

The Shaker Heights City School District has reported 9 staff coronavirus cases since the start of the year and 60 student cases, according to information submitted to the Ohio Department of Health.

According to information from the board meeting, the policy would require staff members to submit proof of vaccination to Human Resources.

If the board approves the policy in its next meeting on October 12, the proof of vaccination deadline for the first shot would be less than a month from now on November 5.

The second dose would be required by November 26.

For people who are unvaccinated, the district would require them to get the Pfizer vaccine, since that is the only vaccine that has FDA approval.

The district will hold two upcoming vaccination clinics for unvaccinated staff.

Until they are fully vaccinated, the district would require staff to submit negative COVID-19 tests.

Medical and religious exemptions will be considered. Those who are approved would be required to submit weekly COVID-19 tests.

The district has asked the state for rapid COVID-19 tests it can offer to people who need it on site.

The district reported that more than 80% of staff is fully vaccinated.

In a discussion during the meeting, the board said its legal department had already approved the proposed policy.

The policy doesn’t currently apply to substitute teachers.

Cincinnati Public Schools became the first district in the state to require vaccines.

The Shaker district reports it talked with school leaders there.

The next board meeting is October 12, at which time the school board will take a vote on the policy.

The policy passed unanimously on first reading.

Click here to watch video of the meeting

Ohio lawmakers are debating legislation that would block businesses from requiring vaccines for employees or for businesses who want to see proof of vaccination from their customers.

Those that already have a policy in place would be grandfathered in if the law were to pass.

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