COVID.jpg

Alameda County — Tri-Valley schools are moving to comply with the state’s latest health mandate requiring all school staff to be fully vaccinated, or supply a weekly, negative COVID-19 test.

Announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office last week, schools must be in compliance with the new policy by Oct. 15.

Chip Dehnert, public information officer for the Dublin Unified School District (DUSD), said his district has already implemented the mandate.

“Staff members who are unvaccinated or do not provide written medical verification that they are fully vaccinated will be required to take a COVID-19 test provided or made available by the district at least once weekly,” Dehnert said.

He noted staff members must provide written medical verification of vaccination to be exempted from weekly testing, though tests will be made available to all staff who would like them.

Parents’ vaccination status has not been covered in Newsom's order. DUSD, which welcomed students back to school this week, is not currently allowing parents on campus. Students must be dropped off in designated zones. Volunteers have been limited, and parents who are volunteering will need to be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test.

The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, which heads back to school next week, plans to require its staff to be vaccinated or undergo COVID-19 testing. Volunteers in Livermore must also show proof of vaccination or a negative test.

“The order clarified the frequency of that regular testing to be once per week,” said Michelle Dawson, district spokesperson. “Our district is currently in the process of solidifying a testing provider to provide that frequency of testing.”

Students returned Aug. 4 for the Sunol Glen Unified School District, where Superintendent Molleen Barnes said 98% of her staff is already fully vaccinated.

“For the 2% that are unvaccinated, we will be complying with this new public health order by having them be tested weekly,” said Barnes. “We currently have not allowed parents or visitors on campus. We will most likely begin to allow a very limited amount of parent classroom volunteer helpers that must show proof of COVID-19 vaccine in order to be allowed on campus.”

In the Pleasanton Unified School District, which started school last week, officials are working on protocols associated with the new mandate and will share resources with its staff in the coming weeks.

California recently released new mandates requiring that state and health care workers also be vaccinated or show negative COVID-19 tests on a regular basis. Thus far, it is the only state requiring these measures. Masks are also universally required indoors in California schools.

Free testing resources are available to K-12 schools at testing.covid19.ca.gov/school-testing/.