PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – After Gov. J.B Pritzker announced a vaccine mandate for all school staff by Sept. 5, local districts were left scrambling to meet the requirement.
With such little time to prepare, the deadline was pushed back to Sept. 19.
“It was a quick turn around and we were ready because of the work we did during COVID,” said District 150 Superintendent Dr. Sharon Kherat.
Under the original mandate, all school staff was required to have at least one dose or weekly testing sites had to be available for those who chose not to get vaccinated beginning Sep. 5.
“Once a mandate came down, we quickly sent out a notification to our staff and asked them to submit their vaccination verification… eventually 1,400 did,” said Dr. Kherat.
Since then, Governor J.B Pritzker extended the date until Sep. 19 but Kherat said they were still able to vaccinate 75 staff members.
“Finally, we have really about 60 percent of our population at at least one dose,” said Kherat.
Now, she said the next step is keeping up with weekly tests and as of Tuesday, she said 39% choose not to get vaccinated. That number includes part-time staff who are not required to be vaccinated.
“Starting Sep. 20, which will be Monday, school districts will be implementing the testing protocol,” she said.
Kherat said those who chose this option can get tested on Mondays and Wednesdays.