COVID-19: Windsor-area schools mandating vaccine for staff and teachers

Published: 9/10/2021 9:56:33 PM
Modified: 9/10/2021 9:56:44 PM

WINDSOR — The Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union is mandating that all of its employees, including teachers and staff in the four-town union, get COVID-19 vaccines this month.

“We are keenly aware that we have over 50% of our young children who are not eligible for the vaccine, so this is one added layer of protection against transmission,” Superintendent David Baker said in a “welcome back” post to parents and caregivers earlier this week, “There are no guarantees, but our school boards want to ensure maximum safety as we move ahead.”

The mandate applies to about 300 employees at the Pre-K-12 Windsor School, Weathersfield School, Hartland Elementary School, Albert Bridge Elementary School in West Windsor and the Supervisory Union offices, Baker said via email on Friday.

His post said “most of our staff are vaccinated.” Those who are not will have to show proof of the first vaccine by Sept. 17, and if it’s a two-shot regimen, be fully vaccinated by Oct. 29.

There is currently no mandate for student vaccines, but the supervisory union is keeping data on the percentage of eligible students who are vaccinated.

Lebanon Opera House, Hop Center update protocols

LEBANON — Two of the Upper Valley’s biggest arts organizations will require visitors to wear masks and be vaccinated — or show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test — to attend events at their facilities.

The Lebanon Opera House and the Hopkins Center for the Arts made their announcements on Thursday. All visitors to events at both organizations will be required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

At the Hop, attendees must show proof of identity and either a vaccination card or the results of a “recent” negative COVID-19 test. Visitors to the Lebanon Opera House must show proof of full vaccination — meaning 14 days past their second shot — or proof of a negative COVID-19 test in the three days prior to the event.

The new protocols come in light of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the Upper Valley which have been largely attributed to the new delta variant of the virus.

Croydon School Board lifts mask requirement

CROYDON — The Croydon School Board on Wednesday voted, 2-1, to roll back school protocols that had required students at the Croydon Village School to wear masks inside when social distancing wasn’t possible.

School Board Chairwoman Jody Underwood and board member Aaron McKeon voted to make the change, while Tom Moore was opposed. Underwood on Friday said the School Board “voted to make it optional so that the parents could be able to decide whether their children should wear masks in that situation.”

“People understand that children tend not to even get sick from COVID in any serious way, for the most part,” Underwood said. “The chances are very low.”

(Nationally, COVID-19 hospitalizations among children have increased in recent weeks because of the delta variant, to almost 0.5 per every 100,000 children in the country, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though the hospitalization rate for children remains well below that of adults.)

Despite the lifted requirement, school administrators are still encouraging students to wear their masks when they are not able to socially distance inside.

Underwood, who has been active with libertarian causes including the Free State Project, said the School Board will be sending a letter to Croydon parents explaining the change and also mentioning the school administration’s preference that students continue to wear masks. The K-4 school has 24 students.

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