Prince William’s schools to consider new coronavirus rule for staff

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On Wednesday, the Prince William County School Board will discuss whether its unvaccinated employees should be required to get tested weekly for the coronavirus.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Virginia – Another school district in northern Virginia is considering requiring its employees to get tested for the coronavirus weekly if they have not been vaccinated.

The Prince William County School Board will discuss and review this proposal on Wednesday. The neighboring Fairfax County Public School District passed a similar measure in August.

The proposal, which is titled “Safe Learning and Safe Workplace Resolution,” states that the school board has a duty to protect the health and safety of students in their care.

“Including tens of thousands of elementary and middle school students who are not yet eligible for vaccination and who are particularly vulnerable to the virus,” the resolution said.

The resolution, written by Prince William County School Board Chairman At-Large Babur Lateef, also says about 80% of PWCS employees have already been vaccinated against the virus.

According to the Prince William County Schools website, 160 people in virtual learning and in person tested positive for COVID in PWCS in September.

Daniel Ramirez, a seventh grade student at PWCS, said he supports the proposal because some people at his school are not following all necessary COVID precautions.

“Some people barely wear their masks,” he said.

Ramirez’s father, Danny Garcia, added that he also liked the proposal as not all children are eligible to be vaccinated.

“What would be really bad is for an adult to be the one to introduce the virus into the school,” he said.

However, a relative of PWCS who did not want to be identified, told WUSA9 that she was uncomfortable with the idea because no one should be pressured to get the vaccine.

Maggie Hansford, president of the Prince William Education Association, also issued the following statement on the resolution of the tests:

“I am grateful to be in a profession with one of the highest immunization rates, and I am proud of our educators and staff for taking the necessary steps to protect themselves, their families and their students. I look forward to the division and school board working to provide staff with access to immunization reminders, in their efforts to continue to keep everyone safe and healthy as we continue to move forward. forward with in-person learning. I am focused on realizing collective bargaining rights for employees so that we have a seat at the table for decisions like these that impact our students and staff. I look forward to working with division leaders and school board members in the future when making decisions that affect our employees. I appreciate the flexibility of the division offering weekly tests to those who are not vaccinated, as some staff cannot or choose not to be vaccinated for various reasons. I support all safety precautions that keep our students and staff healthy through in-person learning. “

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