Educators may be required to vaccinate

Published 6:39 pm Friday, September 24, 2021

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Earlier this month, President Joe Biden unveiled a six-part plan to address surging COVID-19 rates, creating mandates for businesses that employ more than 100 workers to require vaccination or weekly testing.

Now some school divisions across the commonwealth are expecting to be included under this mandate soon.

“I am pretty sure we will fall into this category,” LCPS Superintendent Charles Berkley, Jr. said. “I’m just waiting to get more information and guidance to move forward.”

The plan, which falls under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, includes a separate provision that requires vaccines for workers in Head Start programs and at schools operated by the federal government, which could affect about 300,000 workers nationwide.

The expanded vaccine mandate does not apply to students.

According to Education Week, the plan would include K-12 educators in the 26 states with state-level OSHA-approved workplace safety plans.

Virginia operates an OSHA-approved State Plan covering most private-sector workers and all state and local government workers.

Though LCPS may fall under the OSHA-approved State Plan according to the latest 2020 census, no businesses in the county employs 100 or more employees.

LCPS ranks as the second-largest employer in Lunenburg, with Virginia Marble Manufacturing listed as the largest.