D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that adults who regularly visit schools and child care centers facilities in the city and students 12 and older participating in some school activities must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Nov. 1.
Bowser’s order applies to all employees, contractors, interns and volunteers of the District’s public, private, parochial and charter schools in addition to child care facilities managed by the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education. A wide range of positions such as educators, administrators, athletic personnel, library professionals, technologists, social workers, school bus drivers, special needs aides and maintenance employees.
“We know that vaccinations are the most effective tool to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect children who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine,” the mayor said at a news conference Monday. “This new mandate requirement, without a test-out option, will add another critical layer to the robust measures we have implemented to reopen our schools and keep our child care centers safe. We also know that sports are a high-risk activity. Requiring athletes to get vaccinated will ensure they not only stay safe, but also stay in the classroom and are able to participate in school-based extracurricular athletics.”
D.C. Council member Christina Henderson (I-At Large) applauded the mayor’s order.
“The mayor’s action today to require vaccinations for all teachers—public, charter and private—as well as child care workers in the District of Columbia will save lives,” Henderson said on her council Facebook page Monday. “This is a crucial step in the right direction to protect our students and school communities. Prior to the start of the school year, when the FDA fully approved the Pfizer vaccine for individuals 12 years and older, I, along with seven of my colleagues asked for this mandate. I am pleased with this action today.”