All adults who regularly work in schools and child care facilities in Washington, D.C., will be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by Nov. 1, Mayor Muriel Bowser said.
The new requirement applies to everyone working in D.C. public, charter, private and parochial schools. This also includes child care facilities regulated by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.
There will not be a test out option for adults, Bowser said.
Adults covered by the requirement include: teachers, student teachers, teaching aides, substitute teachers, school bus drivers and guidance counselors, among others.
A new vaccination requirement was also announced for student athletes who are 12 years old and older. After Nov. 1, all student athletes in this age group must be vaccinated to participate in school sports, Bowser said.
Students athletes who turn 12 before Nov. 1 need to be vaccinated by Dec. 13.
D.C. Public Schools, public charter schools and private schools must establish systems for ensuring compliance, Bowser said.
COVID-19 case numbers in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are as high now as they were last winter — when vaccines weren’t freely available and coronavirus spread reached a startling peak.
Now, the D.C. area appears to be at an inflection point.
Case numbers are high because the highly transmissible delta variant has taken hold, especially among unvaccinated people. Delta accounts for more than 97% of cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.