Most school staff in county vaccinated by deadline

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Oct. 20—Most school staff in Clatsop County got vaccinated against the coronavirus by the state deadline.

Gov. Kate Brown ordered teachers and other school staff to be vaccinated by Monday in an attempt to keep schools open during the pandemic.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, school district superintendents said the losses of staff due to the state mandate were minimal.

Astoria Superintendent Craig Hoppes said 94% of his staff got vaccinated. The school district lost three employees. The remaining unvaccinated employees received medical or religious exemptions.

"It had no impact on the day-to-day working of kids coming to school and being educated," Hoppes said. "We were able to plan appropriately for that."

Superintendent Tom Rogozinski, of Warrenton, and Superintendent Susan Penrod, of Seaside, said 93% of their staffs got vaccinated, while losing one employee each. The remaining unvaccinated employees received medical or religious exemptions, they said.

Knappa Superintendent Bill Fritz said 95% of his staff got vaccinated. One employee was placed on leave, he said, but the school district did not terminate anybody.

Jewell Superintendent Steve Phillips said staff in his district reached a vaccination rate just shy of 90%, but they lost just one employee.

"It's no fun, but it didn't really affect kids," Phillips said.

The Oregon Health Authority, meanwhile, reported 12 new virus cases for the county on Wednesday, 13 new virus cases on Tuesday and 12 new virus cases over the weekend. Since the pandemic began, the county had recorded 2,432 virus cases and 27 deaths as of Wednesday.

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