Edmonton Public Schools to require staff be fully vaccinated for COVID-19

The Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB) is requiring all of its staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

EPSB staff have until mid-October to confidentially disclose their vaccination status to the division, a news release stated.

Individual requests for exemption from the vaccine requirement will be considered based on the Alberta Human Rights Act.  

Employees who choose not to get vaccinated will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result every 72 hours. Staff who are exempt from getting the vaccine will not need to be tested. 

The EPSB will pay for COVID-19 testing for staff from late October to Dec. 17. After that employees will be required to pay for their own tests.

“We have a responsibility to provide learning and working environments that are as safe as possible,” EPSB superintendent Darrel Robertson said in the release. 

“We’ve heard from health officials and our Chief Medical Officer of Health that being fully immunized against COVID-19 is one of the most effective ways we can protect ourselves and others. We’re confident this is a step in the right direction to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

All tenants, volunteers, contractors, and other on-site partners will also be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Students are not included in the EPSB's mandatory vaccine policy.

EDMONTON CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

In a written response to CTV News Edmonton, a spokesperson for the Edmonton Catholic School Division (ECSD) said they're continuing to review procedures and protocols to safeguard in-person learning and protect staff and students from COVID-19. 

"We are currently in discussions with our employee groups about mandatory vaccinations," the spokesperson wrote. "In the interim, we continue to encourage all ECSD employees to get vaccinated as soon as possible."