Tri-Cities area teachers comply with vaccine mandate; over 98% meet requirements

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — The federal and state vaccine mandates impact thousands of people nationwide. Amongst those required to comply are teachers and support staff, leaving many worried about the state of the educational system. School districts across the Tri-Cities shared that more than 98% of their staff have met mandate requirements across the board.

The mandate affects anyone in a school-related position. This includes teachers, school bus drivers, volunteers, and support staff roles.

“We’re just very happy that we got to keep as many of our staff as possible,” says Ty Beaver, Director of Communications for Richland School District (RSD). “Our goal was not to lose any of our staff. We wanted all of them to stay a part of our district family.”

RELATED: Federal judge rejects bid to block Oregon vaccine mandate

Richland Schools had over 99% of employees meet the mandate requirements.

“But we are complying with the mandate, and we’re happy that everybody worked with us to get to this point,” Beaver said.

The vaccine mandate requires that staff submit proof of vaccination by Monday, October 18th. If they do not meet that requirement, they are required to submit a religious or medical exemption that has been previously approved.

RELATED: Over 95% of Kadlec employees complied with vaccine mandate, officials say

Pasco School District (PSD) had similar success with the mandate. They say that 99% of all employees met the mandate requirements with 84% being fully vaccinated and 15% acquiring a religious or medical exemption. Two PSD staff were dismissed on Monday after failing to comply with the mandate requirements.

KAPP-KVEW previously reported that Kennewick School District (KSD) had 98% of staff meet vaccination requirements. From that, 83% are fully vaccinated, with 15% submitting a religious or medical exemption.

All three school districts require those who are not fully vaccinated to take extra precautions. This may include face coverings or increased social distancing requirements. Each individual works with their school district to find a solution that meets the needs of their exemption status.

RELATED: ‘COVID-19 is a killer:’ 94-95% of workers complied with mandate, says WSP