SFUSD requiring staff vaccinations starting September 7

Any employee who is not yet vaccinated will be mandated to test for COVID-19 at least weekly.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Unified School District announced Tuesday it will require vaccinations for staff. Meantime, some parents are concerned there aren't enough distance learning options for students in that district.

Starting September 7, all San Francisco Unified School District employees will be required to be fully vaccinated.

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Any employee who is not yet vaccinated will be mandated to test for COVID-19 at least weekly. The United Educators of San Francisco supports the decision.

"We see the Delta variant surging, and because educators love our communities and care for our students, we wanted and started advocating for a vaccine requirement," said Cassondra Curiel, UESF President.

SFUSD says it has approximately 10,000 employees. The district says it has sent messages out for the past two weeks requiring staff to report whether or not they are vaccinated.

So far the district says it's received confirmation from more than half its employees. Employees have until August 31 to submit vaccination verification.

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Despite confirmed cases of COVID-19 at some Bay Area schools, school officials say there are no plans to shut down.

The vaccination requirement does not apply to students. In light of the Delta variant, some SFUSD parents are re-thinking sending their children back to school.

"We are basically hoping to be offered an online option for our kids in the fall semester," said SFUSD parent Chris Li.

Li is one of many SFUSD parents who want to keep their kids home. Parents gathered this afternoon outside SFUSD to share their concerns.

SFUDS tells ABC7 News that while it had originally planned to cap the online learning program to 450 students, it has now decided to admit all 677 families who submitted applications by the July 30th deadline.

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Parents like Li want the district to admit any additional families who did not apply in time.

"We would like it to be open to every kid who wants to stay at home," said Li.

Brandon Greene is the Director of the Racial and Economic Justice program at the ACLU of Northern California. He says the pandemic has disproportionately impacted some communities more than others.

"There may have been parents who might have felt a little more comfortable a couple of weeks ago, who now don't feel comfortable, there might be parents and families who would be comfortable sending their kids back on day one, but by day 7 or day 10 might not, and so there needs to be some built in flexibility," said Greene.

School districts and families are navigating the return to in-person learning during a pandemic that hasn't let up.

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