COVID-19 vaccine mandate implemented for Fort McMurray Catholic Schools staff

All staff and teachers at Fort McMurray Catholic Schools will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease.

The school district announced the vaccine mandate Friday that will include independent contractors, volunteers, and employees.

Staff members will need to declare their vaccination status by Oct. 29 and be fully vaccinated no later than Dec. 20, unless they have an approved medical exemption or elect to participate in a regular rapid COVID-19 testing program.

“Fort McMurray Catholic Schools is committed to doing whatever we can in order to keep staff and students as safe as possible,” said Superintendent George McGuigan, in a statement.

“Mandating vaccinations is another step in the layering measures we have in place in our schools,” McGuigan added.

CTV News Edmonton reached out to Fort McMurray Public Schools for comment and to see if they plan to introduce a vaccine mandate of their own.

Edmonton public and Catholic school boards have already announced vaccine mandates, as well as Calgary Catholic and the Calgary Board of Education.

The Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) has indicated it supports vaccine mandates and has been advocating for the province to implement the measure province-wide.

“The best way to support student safety at a time when so many students cannot be vaccinated is to ensure that the adults around them are vaccinated," said Jason Schilling, ATA president, in a previous statement in September.

With files from CTV News Calgary’s Melissa Gilligan