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CCSD: Employee COVID vaccination mandate ‘has not been necessary’

Updated July 22, 2022 - 3:10 pm

With a new school year approaching, the Clark County School District says it doesn’t have an employee COVID-19 vaccination mandate and its development “has not been necessary.”

In September, the school board voted 5-1 to approve a vaccination requirement, allowing for religious and medical exemptions and calling for negotiations with employee unions. Hundreds of people attended the meeting, and the board heard five hours of public comments.

Memorandums of agreement with five employee unions were supposed to come back to the board for possible approval, but no timeline was set.

The district said in a Thursday night statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that it does not have an employee COVID-19 vaccination mandate, but “we continue to monitor COVID-19 levels in the community.”

“Last school year, the Board of School Trustees directed staff to develop a vaccine mandate. As the District continues monitoring COVID-19 levels and working with the bargaining units, the development of a mandate has not been necessary,” the district said. “We continue to encourage community members to use proven mitigation strategies to protect themselves.”

Three unions told the Review-Journal earlier this week that they didn’t have updates on COVID-19 vaccination ahead of a new school year beginning Aug. 8.

The Clark County Education Association teachers union is in talks with the district about “a number of issues,” chief of staff Alexandria Shelton said via email, noting that the union doesn’t have a comment at this time.

Jeff Horn, executive director of the Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professional-Technical Employees, said the union hasn’t been informed of any new developments with the mandate.

The union’s stance is the same, Horn said, which is to ensure exemptions and to take into account employees’ prior COVID-19 infections.

Alexander Marks, spokesman for the Education Support Employees Association, said he doesn’t have any new information about the mandate and no negotiations have taken place to his knowledge.

The district’s reopening plan says it will require 5 to 10 percent of employees who aren’t up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations to undergo weekly randomized testing during periods of high COVID-19 community transmission.

COVID-19 cases have plateaued and hospitalizations dropped for a second week in Clark County and Nevada. But as of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website shows a high level of community transmission in Clark County.

Last school year, unvaccinated employees were required to test weekly. District employees are asked to upload a completed vaccination record card into an online system in order to prove their vaccination status.

Meanwhile, public college and university employees throughout the state are no longer subject to a COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

In late June, the Nevada Board of Regents voted 8-3 to repeal the mandate, which allowed for medical and religious exemptions.

The requirement, which affected more than 20,000 employees, was in effect for less than a year. In total, 209 employees who didn’t comply or have an approved exemption were fired.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.