MMSD unanimously approves COVID-19 vaccine mandate for staff

MADISON, Wis. — Nearly a month after the district’s school board passed a resolution calling for mandatory staff vaccinations, the Madison Metropolitan School District has approved a plan requiring all staff, contractors and volunteers to get the COVID-19 vaccine by November.

The district’s Board of Education on Monday voted unanimously in favor of a vaccination plan first put forth by the district’s Operations Work Group last week.

RELATED: MMSD School board passes resolution calling for mandatory staff vaccinations

Under the plan, staff will have until Nov. 1 to show proof of full vaccination.

Any staff who receive a medical or religious accommodation will be required to get COVID tested twice a week. Contractors and volunteers who partner with the district will also be required to show proof of their vaccine to work in schools.

MMSD spokesperson Tim LeMonds said in August that the district at that point hadn’t considered vaccines as part of the district’s safety plan because they weren’t part of CDC guidance.

In the following weeks, Dr. Jenkins, the district’s teachers union, and several state lawmakers all announced their support for a mandate.

“As superintendent, yes, I am recommending that we move forward with a mandate for vaccination,” Dr. Jenkins said during a media briefing last month.

In an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the district has enacted an indoor mask requirement for all district buildings. Just before the start of the school year, the district announced an outdoor masking requirement for all elementary and middle schools.

RELATED: Madison schools report hundreds of new COVID quarantines in last week

According to the latest MMSD COVID dashboard update, Madison schools have now reported a total of 162 positive cases and 745 quarantines since the district reset the count on their data on August 18th.