Dear OUSD Community,
It has been a beautiful and very moving start to the school year, and we are thrilled to see our students, families, and staff back on our campuses. The safety and well-being of everyone in our community is the highest priority for all of us. We write today to announce a critical additional step we are taking to keep our students, staff, and community safe.
In light of the current high transmission rates in Alameda County, we are implementing the requirement that all OUSD staff, contractors, and volunteers get vaccinated or get tested weekly. It is encouraging that of the 3,700+ members of our staff who have already reported their vaccination status to us, 92% reported that they are already vaccinated. The staff members who are not yet vaccinated, or have yet to report their vaccination status, have until Friday, August 27, to upload proof of their vaccination. (Staff who previously self-certificated that they were vaccinated will need to upload proof by the same date.)
Starting Tuesday, September 7 (the day after Labor Day), all OUSD staff (including remote workers), contractors, and volunteers will be required to be fully vaccinated, or alternatively, get a COVID test at least once a week. Anyone who is fully vaccinated will not need to test weekly, once their vaccination status has been verified. OUSD provides multiple testing options, including at-home test kits as well as 10 testing locations that offer both rapid antigen and PCR tests. There are also many community-based testing locations available.
In addition to requiring that all OUSD staff, contractors, and volunteers get vaccinated or get tested weekly, OUSD will be implementing a number of other changes to the District’s health and safety practices and protocols effective Monday, August 16: requiring everyone to wear masks outdoors on our campuses (currently, masks are required only indoors and recommended outdoors); launching a revised COVID case dashboard; and increasing the hours of operation for the testing locations.
Vaccinations are the most effective way to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community from COVID-19. We are proud to join a growing group of school districts, private employers, and public institutions across the country that are requiring their employees to get vaccinated in the name of public health and safety. In addition to vaccines, OUSD has implemented a layered approach to COVID safety in our schools through improved ventilation on all campuses, a robust contact tracing and case monitoring system, ensuring that symptomatic students and staff stay home, and of course, requiring universal masking for all staff and students, regardless of vaccination status.
We are grateful for how our community has come together to care for and support each other since the onset of this pandemic. And we will continue to work together to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our students, families, staff, and partners.
Chief Talent Officer
Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell
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