Regina Catholic School Division to require proof of vaccination for all staff and visitors to schools

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School bus drivers must also show proof of vaccination or regular negative COVID tests. (CBC - image credit)
School bus drivers must also show proof of vaccination or regular negative COVID tests. (CBC - image credit)

Regina's Catholic School Division (RCSD) is mandating proof of vaccination or regular negative COVID-19 tests for all staff, visitors and contractors at its schools and facilities.

The policy will apply to teachers and bus drivers, but not students.

"This is new territory for us," Twylla West, an RCSD spokesperson, said on Tuesday.

She said the RCSD is working with health officials to try and determine how the proof of vaccine and testing will be implemented and where the staff and funding will come from to pay for it.

"This is tricky," West said. "It's not just safety, it's health, and it's certainly not like anything we've seen and dealt with before."

The RCSD expects to implement the policy in the coming weeks, but didn't give a specific date.

As of Monday, there were 4,635 known cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.

Although the number of school-aged children testing positive for COVID-19 in Regina schools was not immediately available, West said it is concerning.

The RCSD, announced the policy in a press release on Oct. 4 and did not state how frequently unvaccinated staff or visitors must provide negative COVID-19 test results.

The RCSD joins the Regina Public Schools and Saskatoon Public Schools in mandating proof of vaccination or negative test results for staff, contractors and visitors.

The Prairie Valley School Division, which includes schools in Lumsden, 33 km northwest of Regina, and Balgonie, 33 km northeast of the capital, also announced Oct. 4 that it will require proof of vaccination, or negative tests from staff.

Unvaccinated staff must provide weekly negative COVID tests, according to a Prairie Valley School Division news release.

"It is up to the individual to choose the path they wish to take in order to remain an employee in good standing," Prairie Valley School Division Director of Education Luc Lerminiaux said in a news release.

Prairie Valley will recognize Saskatchewan Health Authority cards issued at time of vaccination, copies of vaccination records, digital SK Vax records or letters of verification from doctors or pharmacists as proof of vaccination.

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