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Vaccinated Anchorage teachers get more leave to quarantine

August 30, 2021 GMT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Fully vaccinated employees in Alaska’s largest school district will receive up to 10 extra days of paid time off if they test positive for COVID-19, but can’t work from home while quarantining, according to a recent memo.

However, Anchorage School District employees who are not fully vaccinated are not eligible for the leave, district spokesperson Lisa Miller said in an email to the Anchorage Daily News.

Matthew Teaford, the district’s chief human resources officer, wrote in the Aug. 23 memo to officials including principals that employees will have to show proof of vaccination before the leave can be approved.

The district is not requiring employees to be vaccinated, but Superintendent Deena Bishop has encouraged employees to do so.

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The district has mandated that masks must be worn by all people inside district buildings, over the opposition of new Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson. The district is also regularly cleaning and sanitizing classrooms, buses and other facilities.

Corey Aist, president of the Anchorage Education Association, a union representing the district’s teachers, said it was important for all district employees to have fair access to the new leave policy.

”It is in everyone’s best interest, including the district, that no employee uses up all their sick leave and puts them in jeopardy of going into unpaid status,” Aist told the Anchorage Daily News.