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Virginia school system considers teacher vaccination mandate

Posted at 12:15 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 12:41:42-04

HOPEWELL, Va. -- Hopewell school leaders are considering making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for teachers and school staff. Hopewell's school year started in July and was the first Central Virginia school system to have students return to school.

With the rise and spread of the Delta variant, Hopewell Schools has seen dozens of COVID cases and hundreds of students put into quarantine over the initial weeks of school.

While masking rules have been in place since the start, school leaders said they were now exploring a possible vaccination requirement for staff.

"It's mirroring in many ways what the state has done," Hopewell Schools assistant superintendent Dr. Jay McClain said. "It has two components. Staff either [must] be vaccinated or do COVID testing on a regular basis so that we can assure our families a greater sense of safety at school."

Earlier this week, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced all K-12 students and staff around the state must wear masks in school. To help deal with the recent uptick in COVID cases, Hopewell Schools added virtual learning options scheduled to begin August 23.

Dr. McClain said Hopewell would hold a special meeting once the new policy was written.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.