Central Okanagan School District pauses implementation of vaccine-or-test mandate

Vaccine mandate paused

School District 23 has put a temporary halt to implementation of its vaccine-or-test mandate for staff and trustees.

In January, the board voted to require staff to be double vaccinated, or take regular rapid testing before being able to enter a classroom.

The mandate was to have come into effect following spring break.

But, with the loosening of restrictions around the wearing of masks and vaccine passports, the Board of Education voted Tuesday to pause implementation of the mandate.

"As we approach spring break, and after considering the new provincial health orders regarding mask wearing and vaccine passports, the board decided to pause implementation of the vaccine mandate process it started in January," said board chair Moyra Baxter.

"Should the situation change, the board will reconsider its options.

"The board remains committed to encouraging everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated and supports all employees and students in their choice regarding the wearing of masks."

The wearing of masks in public indoor spaces is no longer mandatory, while the requirement to show proof of vaccination before entering certain businesses is being repealed in B.C. as of April 8.

It was revealed last week that UBC ended a similar vaccine-or-test program on March 1 at the urging of officials with Vancouver Coastal Health.

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