The Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District has recently voted to not impose a staff vaccine mandate at this time.
After careful consideration and consultation with the area’s local Medical Health Officer and partner and union groups the Board decided against instituting the mandate. With a community vaccination goal of 90% and informal data showing school district staff well over that number, a mandate would have little effect on reducing any community or school-based spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, the introduction of community-based vaccines for 5-11 year olds, and community and government-imposed restrictions on activities and access for non-vaccinated persons, continue to motivate those that are vaccine-hesitant to become vaccinated. Community vaccine rates continue to climb and it is hoped that with that, a decrease in community and school-based cases will follow.
“This was a tremendously hard decision to come to and the Board deliberated on it for quite some time,” said Candace Spilsbury, Chair of the Board of Education. “We all want the safest environment possible for our students and staff and this decision balances what we heard from our Medical Health Officer and all of our partner groups with that primary goal of safety in mind.”
The Board has left the option open to revisit this decision if there are changes in the COVID-19 pandemic or any further advice from health professionals.