By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
As of Nov. 1, staff affiliated with extracurricular school sports within the district’s two largest school boards must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
St. Clair Catholic District School Board education director Scott Johnson told a weekly media conference last week the board moved forward with the change as an additional measures to keep schools open.
According to John Howitt, director of education of the Lambton-Kent District School Board, a similar policy is in place at the public board.
The change only affects extra-curricular sports, not regular physed classes held during the school day.
Prior to the change, unvaccinated educators and staff were required to submit two negative COVID-19 tests per week.
Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced last week that all public-funded schools will be provided with take-home PCR self-collection kits.
All schools are set to receive the tests in mid-November in the hopes of preventing schools from closing if COVID-19 cases are confirmed.
Students who have symptoms of the virus, or who have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, will be able to pick up the kit at school.
They will take a sample and then drop it a local location for testing.
Asymptomatic unvaccinated students will also have access to testing. Public health will administer rapid-antigen tests for a 10-day screening period where multiple cases have been identified.