New York Mayor, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that teachers and other employees should have received at least one dose of COVID by September 27, two weeks after school starts. Eliminated the possibility of the negative test
According to him all teachers and other employees of New York City public schools will need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, authorities reported Monday, as the nation’s largest school system prepares for classes to begin next month.
The city had previously said that teachers, like other city employees, would need to be vaccinated or tested weekly for the virus. The new policy marks the first vaccination mandate for workers in the country’s most populous city.
About 148,000 school employees – and contractors who work in schools – will need to receive at least one dose by Sept. 27, according to an announcement by Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s health and education departments.
The city did not immediately say what the penalty will be for refusing, or if there will be waivers. The previous vaccination or testing requirement had provisions for the unpaid suspension of workers who did not comply.
At least 63% of school employees have already been vaccinated. This figure does not include those who have been vaccinated outside the city.
Classes begin on September 13 for the one million students in the city’s public schools.
It is unclear how unions representing teachers and other school employees will react, although early union signals reported by the New York Times are positive. The city’s Department of Education says it is discussing the matter with them. The announcement comes at a time when New York and other cities and states have been battling the highly contagious delta variant of the virus, increasing pressure for more people to get vaccinated.
Last week, New York City began requiring proof of vaccination to enter dining rooms in restaurants, gyms and many other public places, a pioneering policy in the country that other cities have copied since its announcement. Meanwhile, New York State announced last week that hospital and nursing home workers would need to get vaccinated.
Vaccination mandates for teachers are uncommon so far in the US, though Washington state, for example, says teachers must be inoculated or face dismissal. Vaccination or testing requirements are slightly more common.
A new AP poll found that about 6 in 10 Americans believe that students and teachers should be required to wear masks while at school, and that eligible teachers and students should also be required to get vaccinated.
But Democrats and Republicans differ widely on these issues, according to the poll.
Although about 68% of adult New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, COVID-19 cases have recently soared to more than 1,850 a day, a 19% increase in two weeks.
The unvaccinated population continues to face risks both of contracting the virus and of feeling its worst effects.
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