Now that teachers are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, school districts are taking full advantage to keep their employees healthy.
Edmond Public Schools started their vaccinations this week, and Randy Decker with Edmond Public Schools said things are going great
"We started on Monday with about 400 vaccinations that was over here at the administration center. We have additional vaccinations on Thursday and Friday over here as well, about 400 each day. But today was the big one, because students aren’t here on Wednesday, we chose to put most of our teachers on this day so that they don’t miss instruction," he said.
They anticipate between 850 to 900 Edmond's teachers will be vaccinated on Wednesday, and the process went smoothly.
While the vaccination is not mandated, about 75% of the Edmond teachers are signed up for the vaccine this week and about 10% of the teachers have already been vaccinated.
What about those that choose not to take the vaccine? What if they at some point contract the virus?
"All of our benefitted employees so our full time and even part time teachers, they get leave. And so, they have sick leave, they have personal leave, and they have bereavement. And so, of them the sick and personal leave is what would be available for them to use if they have to miss school because of the virus," Decker said.
But what about the COVID Leave Act?
"The federal COVID leave that was available up until December 31, the federal government did not renew that for employers so that is not available. So, what was available before December 31, it is no" said Decker.
COVID is now in the category with every other illness, meaning if you get the virus, you must use leave or not get paid for the time you are off work. The mandated quarantine time is still in place.
Some employers have chosen to continue to operate under the COVID Leave Act, but it is important to note, they don’t have to.