Portland schools to require all employees to be vaccinated

August 18, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s largest school district will require all employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the Portland Public Schools announced Wednesday workers must submit proof of vaccination by the end of the month. Classes start Sept. 1.

The district negotiated the requirement with its labor unions, officials said in a statement. It applies to workers both in schools and in the district’s central office.

Some staff qualify for an exemption from the mandate. But those employees must be tested regularly until they are vaccinated.

Elizabeth Thiel, president of the union that represents the district’s teachers, said that although the majority of educators are vaccinated, “This mandate is an important step toward ensuring that everyone in our school communities is vaccinated, if they are able to be.”

District officials say they’re now working on vaccination requirements for contractors and volunteers.

The Portland School District has about 49,000 students.