Ottawa Catholic School Board calls for province-wide mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for all school staff

Health-care worker Thi Nguyen administers Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine to a patient at a COVID-19 clinic in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Ottawa Catholic School Board trustees have directed staff to develop a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for teachers and staff.

Meantime, the board will also ask the Ontario government to create a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy province-wide for all education workers.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board held a meeting Tuesday evening to discuss vaccinations for staff.

Trustees unanimously passed a motion asking Director of Education Tom D'Amico to write a letter to Education Minister Stephen Lecce, requesting the Ministry of Education create a province-wide mandate for vaccination for all education workers.

Trustees also passed a motion saying that "given the current lack of a formal provincial policy from the Ministry of Education around mandatory vaccinations for staff," senior administration should develop a mandatory vaccination policy for all board staff.  The policy will be presented to trustees on Sept. 14.

The Ministry of Education's COVID-19 vaccination policy states all teachers and staff must attest that they're fully vaccinated, they are not fully vaccinated and have a medical exemption or are choosing not to be vaccinated for personal reasons. Unvaccinated employees will be required to take part in regular COVID-19 testing.

Teachers must attest to their vaccination status by the first day of classes on Sept. 7.