As the deadline approaches for educators to get a COVID vaccine or face the risk of not being able to teach in front of students, Lake County School District #7 (LCSD#7) Supt. Michael Carter said he is working to keep the staff of the district intact and provide a place for students and staff to feel safe at the same time.

Many school districts across Oregon were caught off guard when Oregon Gov. Kate Brown made an announcement that all educators and healthcare workers in Oregon receive a COVID vaccine by Monday, Oct. 18 or else risk losing their jobs. After the announcement it is not known how many people either left their positions or have filled out the religious and medical exemption paperwork.

Brown said what will happen to educators who don’t get vaccinated will be up to local employers. Oregon Department of Education Dir. Colt Gill also noted that individual employers will be responsible for decided how to treat employees who refuse to receive the vaccine or provide exception paperwork.

Carter said his priority is to work with the staff to make sure that they feel comfortable in their work environment. He said for those who are not vaccinated there will be daily screenings and COVID tests if people are exposed.

“The safety of the kids is my number one priority and my goal is to maintain all of our staff intact,” said Carter.

When the announcement about the Governor’s COVID vaccine mandate was made, about 40% of the staff had received a COVID vaccine shot. It is unknown if those numbers have gone up since the announcement, though the COVID vaccine rate throughout Lake County did increase for the first couple of weeks before tapering off the last couple of days.

For more information call 541-947-3347.

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