Amherst Public Schools considering vaccine mandate

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Wearing a mask isn’t the only push to keep people safe, vaccine mandates are also becoming more common. Amherst is considering the additional step to protect teachers from COVID-19.

The decision will be up to a school committee vote as to if the district will mandate vaccines for faculty and staff. If mandated, religious and health exemptions would have to be agreed upon between the school and its seven unions.

The superintendent of Amherst-Pelham regional public schools Dr. Michael Morris stated that the rate of vaccination within the district is already so high, a mandate wouldn’t bring much change.

“We have a really high vaccination rate as is and some of that group would be eligible for religious or medical exemption, as compared to some other communities where the vaccination rate is lower, its actually not likely to affect that many people. Superintendent Morris also emphasized the continuation of other COVID-19 precautions, such as mask-wearing and air filtration systems.

If a vaccine mandate was put in place, it’s unclear when it would begin as staff would need to be given the time to become fully vaccinated.

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