Seattle school district reports 99% COVID vaccine compliance

Oct 18, 2021, 4:42 PM | Updated: 4:44 pm

school, vaccine...

(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Seattle’s school district says the “overwhelming majority” of its staff has shown proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to Seattle Public Schools, 99% of its 7,283 regular, full-time employees are in compliance with Gov. Inslee’s vaccine mandate. The percentage includes more than 99% of all teachers, 100% of all principals, and 99% of management staff.

What to know now that Oct. 18 deadline for vaccine mandate has arrived

The district says there are “a few employees” who are taking leave to complete the vaccination process and 206 employees who’ve been granted religious or medical exemption.

“The vaccination rates of our employees reflect the tremendous dedication of our teachers and staff to student and community health and well-being,” said SPS Interim Superintendent Brent Jones. “Seattle Public Schools’ employees, the Seattle Education Association, and Principals’ Association of Seattle Schools, have prioritized safety so our students can focus on learning.”

The district sent a memo to parents last week announcing that bus service would be suspended for 142 routes (of about 600) on Monday, in anticipation of a workforce shortage.

On Monday, the district told KIRO Radio that 6% of the drivers are being “separated” from their jobs because of the vaccine mandate, which includes third-party vendors. First Student has reportedly experienced bus driver shortages across the country this fall.

Seattle Public Schools says First Student is working to hire more bus drivers as quickly as possible.

Almost 82% of residents in King County have been fully vaccinated, as of Oct. 15, according to Public Health — Seattle & King County. 

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