By Jaxon McGinn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Sunny South News
The Holy Spirit Catholic School Division is making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all staff, visitors, contractors, volunteers, and members of its community agencies who come into the school buildings.
Throughout the pandemic, the Holy Spirit Catholic School Division has been collectively steadfast in its commitment to keeping its students and staff safe it is physically, mentally, spiritually, and academically. Through the HSCSD has continued to assess and implement a measure that is believed to have a positive impact on the health and safety throughout the schools.
“Everything we can do to maintain student safety and staff safety and we know that having students in school is the optimal way to operate and so if we can put measure in place that will allow that to happen safely then it’ll be the right thing to do,” said Deputy Superintendent Michelle Mackinnon.
To maintain an in-person learning environment, it has been determined that all individuals in direct contact with the schools must be fully vaccinated unless they are requiring accommodation under protected grounds under the Alberta Human Rights Act or participate in a regular, rapid testing program that ensures they are not COVID-19 positive.
“We are given folks until the 25 of October, but people don’t have to be vaccinated. It’s your choice whether you get vaccinated or not,” added Mackinnon.
In a release, the division said, “Immunization, as a communicated by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, is the most effective means to prevent the spread of COVID-19, mitigate outbreaks, and protect ourselves and children who cannot yet be vaccinated”.
Currently, children under 12 are still not eligible for vaccination, and there is no provincial legislation that requires K-12 students to have a specific vaccination.
For further information about the Holy Spirt Catholic School Division, you can visit their website at holyspirit.ab.ca.