Oregon Governor Kate Brown Thursday morning announced that the state will require public and private K-12 school district employees, substitutes, and volunteers to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021, or six weeks after the vaccine is fully authorized by the FDA, whichever is later.
Weekly COVID testing in lieu of vaccination will not be an option, according to the announcement. As with other state employees and healthcare workers, religious and medical/disability-related exceptions will apply.
This announcement does not change the way in which the Bethel School District is preparing for school this fall. We are committed to implementing necessary protocols to reliably hold school in-person, every school day, for as many students as possible.
We will continue to utilize well-established protocols such as frequent handwashing, physical distancing, wearing masks, and frequent cleaning of high-touch areas in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our staff and students safe and healthy.
With these protocols in mind, we are confident that we can help to create learning spaces where all students can thrive, establish strong relationships with each other, and excel academically. The Bethel district is committed to doing everything we can to keep our students and staff safe, healthy and able to attend school.
We recognize that this announcement will prompt many questions. We don’t yet know the specifics of the recently announced rule, however, we are committed to sharing more details as they become available. In the coming days, Bethel district staff will work to process what we have just learned with our leadership team, union leadership, the local health authority and others.
For those who still need to be vaccinated, there are many no-cost vaccination clinics in our area, including a weekly opportunity at Cascade Middle School. Please visit https://bit.ly/3D15ulI for more information.