We are probably getting closer to the time when vaccine mandates for students would be a real thing while many states still argue the mask mandates in schools. It is proven that Covid-19 vaccines keep everyone safe from hospitalization or death, but many parents still think that is way to soon a vaccine mandate for students to be implemented.
Since the start of the school year, students are by far more exposed to the Delta variant and the latest data confirm what everyone was afraid of, relatively high number of infested students and teachers, something that was not the case with the previous variants of the virus.
But one California school district went step further and decided to implement vaccine mandate for students and school staff and the case is monitored closely by everyone since this has been the first ever case a school district to implement full vaccine mandate.
Just a few miles from Los Angeles, Culver City might become the real-life example that many other cities and school districts might follow in near future as it has high vaccination rate and is the first to implement vaccine mandate for students in schools within the district.
Culver City Unified totals roughly 7,100 students in grades K through 12. That’s about 1/90th the enrollment of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The city has much above average vaccination rate compared to state and country’s average and that also applies to the 12-17 age group.
Just before the start of the student year, Culver City has gone with a straight vaccine mandate for all of its 12- to 17-year-old students on campus. Those unvaccinated are not allowed on campus, indoors nor outdoors.
According to the data, more than 85% of the people aged 12-17 have been fully vaccinated as of early September. The decision for the vaccine mandate was strongly supported by the teacher’s unions, city officials and parents. In addition, the school district mandated everyone to wear masks both outdoors and indoors, except for the high school, and everyone was tested once a week regardless of their vaccination status.
“As we have all learned, we may need to change quickly to adapt to new information,” Superintendent Quoc Tran wrote in a letter to district families, “and we appreciate your understanding as we monitor and respond quickly to the latest health guidance.”
Now comes the waiting, and the documentation. Over the past 14 days, which basically covered the first two weeks of school, only two staff members and three students were found with active, confirmed cases of the virus. While it’s likely that the community’s high vaccination rates meant fewer kids started the school year with infection or exposure, those are still strikingly low totals.
Maybe this wasn’t the most popular decision enforcing everyone to get vaccinated and wear masks in schools, but it’s surely another confirmation that both the vaccines and face masks are working in keeping everyone safe.