West Contra Costa Unified considering vaccine mandate

Teacher checks a student's temperature (Jessica Christian / San Francisco Chronicle / Polaris)

West Contra Costa Unified, which serves around 30,000 students in Richmond and surrounding communities, is considering mandating that all eligible students get vaccinated for Covid-19.

Superintendent Kenneth “Chris” Hurst told Edsource he is contacting Culver City Unified, which may have been the first district to announce such a mandate last week, to “hear about the lessons they learned.” School board members and teachers expressed interest in a vaccine mandate at West Contra Costa Unified’s school board meeting Wednesday.

In its first week back at school, the district reported 18 Covid cases — 14 were students, and four were staff. Still, the district was able to avoid having to close any classes.

West Contra Costa Unified currently offers symptomatic and response testing for all staff and students, as well as cadence screening testing once a week.

Culver City Unified, which enrolls around 7,000 students and started school Aug. 19, is giving its families until Nov. 19 to provide proof of vaccination. Families who refuse to comply will have to enroll their students in independent study.

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