TDSB trustees vote unanimously to develop mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto District School Board trustees vote unanimously in favour of mandatory COVID vaccination plan. Marianne Dimain reports.

The Toronto District School Board says its trustees voted unanimously to develop a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine plan at a board meeting Wednesday evening.

According to a statement on the board’s website, it voted to have TDSB staff come up with a procedure that would require all staff, trustees and visitors to disclose and provide proof of vaccination status and be fully vaccinated.

Under the new policy, staff will be required to submit formal proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Those who have not been vaccinated will be required to attend mandatory education on the benefits of vaccination.

It also said a schedule for dates will need to be developed for unvaccinated people to disclose their status and if they have received first or second shots.

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The board said it will comply with human rights obligations and accommodate employees who are legally entitled to it.

The finalized procedure and policy is to be in place before school resumes on Sept. 9, if possible, it said.

When it comes to testing, the TDSB said the plan will need to contemplate where testing would be required.

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“The data is clear — being fully vaccinated significantly reduces the risks of the most serious outcomes of COVID-19,” TDSB chair Alexander Brown said.

“This is an important step to ensure we are making our schools and workplaces as safe as possible for staff and students — particularly younger students who are not eligible to receive the vaccine.”

TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said the focus is health and safety for all staff, students and families.

“I think they’re really looking at our younger students who are not eligible for vaccines right now and making sure that we’re providing, as safe as possible, a workplace in school right now as we head into the school year,” Bird told Global News.

The trustees also voted to have the Chair write a letter to various officials to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of compulsory vaccinations for all eligible students. The letter will go to Toronto’s and Ontario’s medical officers of health, as well as the Ministry of Education.

In an online survey earlier this month, 86 per cent of students opted to return to in-person learning.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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