19% of RPS staff have through two week grace period to finish vaccination documents

Richmond

A healthcare worker fills a syringe with Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a community vaccination event in a predominately Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, August 11, 2021. – All teachers in California will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or submit to weekly virus tests, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on August 11, as authorities grapple with exploding infection rates. The number of people testing positive for the disease has surged in recent weeks, with the highly infectious Delta variant blamed for the bulk of new cases. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Nearly two months after Richmond Public Schools (RPS) became the first school division in Central Virginia to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all employees, contractors, partners and volunteers, 81% of staff members have submitted documentation of vaccination or an approved exemption, according to a presentation to the RPS School Board at its Monday meeting.

At the time of the School Board’s 8-1 vote in favor of the vaccine mandate, an RPS spokesperson reported that 60% of the school division’s staff was fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Superintendent Jason Kamras then said on Sept. 13 that the school division was short 64 teachers, 15 of which were new vacancies due to educators who left because of RPS’ vaccine mandate.

In August, all employees, contractors, partners and volunteers at RPS were told that they would have until Oct. 1 to submit documentation of vaccination against COVID-19 or a medical or religious exemption, or face disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Superintendent Jason Kamras said staff have a two week grace period for all employees to finish up getting their information to the school board.

Kamras said many people have reached out already to let the board know that they’ve gotten their first vaccine dose and are just waiting until they are eligible for their second.

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