Looking at new COVID-19 vaccination requirements in California schools

Requirements changing for school workers

After about two and a half years, COVID-19 continues to be present throughout the United States. As the status of COVID-19 cases change, the requirements for vaccinations change, especially in schools. On Aug. 11, 2021, the State Public Health Officer of the State of California, Tomás J. Aragón, ordered that all faculty be required to show proof of vaccination in all California Schools.

Aragon addressed these issues in a statement for the California Department of Public Health.

“This Order appli[es] to the following facilities: public and private schools serving students in transitional kindergarten through grade 12,” Aragón wrote. “It [did] not apply to child care or to higher education. All schools identified in this Order must verify vaccine status of all workers.”

However, on Sept. 13, 2022, this order was rescinded, effective Sept. 17, 2022.

“On August 11th and August 24th the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in updated guidance, also indicated that screening testing is no longer recommended in general community settings.

COVID-19 vaccination and boosters continue to remain the most important strategy to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19,” Aragón wrote.  “Consequently, while COVID-19 remains with us, I am rescinding the August 11, 2021 State Public Health Officer Order effective September 17, 2020.”  

Now that this requirement has been revoked, staff and faculty in California schools are not required to show proof of their vaccination status, and will be allowed to work whether or not they have been vaccinated for COVID-19. However, the goals of the CDC and CDPH still remain. 

“As indicated in the CA SMARTER PLAN, the next phase of mitigation in schools will focus on long-term prevention and preserve safe in-person schooling, which is critical to the mental and physical health and development of our children,” Aragón wrote.