DOE outlines new vaccine mandate, testing rules for Hawaii’s educators

Hawaii classrooms welcome back students (Generic Image)
Hawaii classrooms welcome back students (Generic Image)(HNN)
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 1:16 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 13, 2021 at 1:38 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Department of Education on Friday provided more guidance for educators on the state’s new vaccine mandate for public workers that goes into effect on Monday.

School officials said all educators will be required to show proof of vaccination starting Monday, but those who are not vaccinated will be subject to weekly testing at his or her expense and during non-work hours.

The first deadline for test results is Monday, Aug. 23.

“COVID-19 vaccines are the leading public health prevention strategy to stop the pandemic. As Hawaii’s largest state agency, the Department of Education plays a critical role in advancing the state’s vaccination rate in the fight against COVID,” interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi said, in a statement.

“Encouraging vaccinations and implementing this weekly testing requirement in addition to our core essential strategies will help protect our ability to provide safe, in-person learning for our students.”

Educators can access the DOE’s electronic human resource system starting Sunday to provide documentation on their vaccination status and/or weekly COVID test results.

All employees were notified by memorandum.

The new rules are in compliance with Gov. David Ige’s new vaccine mandate for all state and county workers.

Despite the mandate, many educators were still uncertain about how it would work for them. The Hawaii State Teachers Association also said it still had many outstanding questions with the vaccination and testing rules.

This story will be updated.

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