Different rules for unvaccinated in COVID school policy update

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NO LONGER 6 FEET: While schools have relaxed the rules a bit on distancing and other requirements, guidance may be different for individuals depending on vaccination status.

On Friday, the House Education Committee discussed new rules that schools must follow under the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions, which haven’t changed since October. Among other things, vaccinated and unvaccinated students may have different guidelines.

Ted Fisher, the director of Communications and Legislative Affairs for the Agency of Education, spoke about the updated version of the Strong and Healthy Start to Safety and Health Guidance for Vermont Schools. These changes will apply for the rest of this school year.

“We’re working to make changes to this document to streamline, reduce complexity, and … lift requirements,” Fisher told the committee members.

Among several changes, schools are no longer required to ask students a series of health-related questions at entrances as students enter the buildings each morning. Schools may, however, have parents fill out a form before or upon arrival at school. Questions continue to include if the student or family member has traveled out of state and if anyone shows any signs of being sick. Fisher suggested they may soon include questions on vaccination status.

“There have been some questions about what the requirements will be in terms of vaccinations in various sectors, I think right now the recommendation is that people do get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, but there is no requirement to do so,” Fisher said.

“I’ve heard mention of the term ‘vaccine passports’ when it comes to travel; I will just note that, from a human resources perspective, there’s no requirement that folks be vaccinated as a school staff. I don’t believe that will be a requirement in the future, but I can’t say what the future will hold.”

Fisher noted that there is currently no approved COVID-19 vaccine for children ages under age 16. He also indicated that families who choose to vaccinate their children, and the parents that do not, may be treated differently with regard to freedoms and access to public education.

“Staff and students and their families should complete an exposure and symptoms screening before departing for school, anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 unless vaccinated or they have COVID-19 symptoms then they should not come to school,” he said.

Staff who choose not to vaccinate may be subject to surveillance.

“We are continuing our surveillance testing for school staff, although as more and more education staff become vaccinated that surveillance system will be for staff who remain unvaccinated,” Fisher said.

Nationally, there is some pushback against using vaccination status as a right of access for public services. On April 8, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., presented the “No Vaccine Passports Act” to prevent the federal government from creating any such ID.

Other policy updates include students can now come within 3 feet of each other instead of 6 feet as before. Fisher said there will be relaxed capacity restrictions for communal spaces, and students are still expected to wear masks and keep their distance. COVID-19 regulations should no longer be dictating which sanitation products that schools must use.

Schools will no longer require the formation of cohorts and pods for younger students, and volunteers will be allowed into the school buildings again — but they are still closed to visitors.

Fisher said if schools want to have stricter health standards than what the state is requiring, they are allowed to do so.

Toward the end of the hearing, Rep. Sarah Austin, D-Colchester, asked how schools might use summer time to make up for the loss of learning in the past year. Fisher responded that such plans to catch students up this summer are currently coming together.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

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9 thoughts on “Different rules for unvaccinated in COVID school policy update

  1. There’s no need for any segregation of children, and there’s less and less need for any fear at all of Covid-19, except for concerns that we’d apply to any normal flu.

    I say this because we now have vaccines– even though it appears these might be causing more problems than they’re solving. https://doctors4covidethics.medium.com/re-issued-press-release-doctors-and-scientists-accuse-medical-regulator-of-downplaying-covid-19-5960665964c7

    We also have ivermectin, an effective and safe medication for all stages of Covid-19, including prevention. For now, the authorities are suppressing ivermectin.

    Then we have Budenoside, which a recent study published in The Lancet demonstrated effectiveness in treating Covid-19. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213260021001600 (This inhaled medication was touted by a Texas doctor back in June, 2020, but of course since it’s relatively safe and cheap, the authorities thought it best to ignore it.)

    If we threw everything we had at Covid-19, we could get back to normal in short order. But what with the program for resetting society advocated by the World Economic Forum (WEF), “getting back to normal” isn’t in the cards, as the WEF makes clear on its website. The WEF runs Davos, a meeting of billionaires, thought leaders, heads of state, academics, etc,. who ponder the meaning of “The Great Reset” within their own arenas of influence. We’re not invited, nor do we get to vote on any of their schemes.

    “You’ll own nothing, and be happy”: one of the programs promoted by the Great Reset. This will be necessary (supposedly) to ensure justice and to save the planet. Did we vote for this?

    It seems to be increasingly clear that “getting back to normal” isn’t what the elites running and participating in Davos want for us because that would spoil the Great Reset, which is dependent on a compliant population that assents to the proposition, as too many do, that the people are too stupid to make medical decisions on their own, and therefore needed a medical police state to ensure compliance (to encourage acceptance of a police state, it helps to keep fear alive.) The Great Reset, also, requires a police state: it requires rules and regulations which will be “necessary” to save the planet and ensure justice, and one of the bedrocks of this scheme will be the ability to monitor everyone and police non-compliance: we’re all in this together and it’s to stay safe, right?

    Did we vote for this?

    The Great Reset is real and it’s a collectivist vision that puts the state first and leaves the individual with the status of serving the greater good, which the state represents. It’s an insidious evil. Our greater good is that we’re free from any such overarching, Utopian, and tyrannical schemes, and that we already have the ability, and the right, to decide for ourselves what’s necessary. But this scheme is being imposed as we speak, and without our consent.

  2. It is against federal law to treat people differently due to any medical condition. More totalitarianism from the ignorant left.

  3. “Fisher noted that there is currently no approved COVID-19 vaccine for children ages under age 16.”

    Hey Fisher, get your facts straight. There is no approved vaccine for ANY age. Emergency use authorization isn’t “FDA approval.” Here’s your proof, straight from the vaccine insert: “The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is a vaccine and may prevent you from getting COVID-19. There is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19.”


  4. When asked if you’ve been vaccinated, practice being a politician and lie through your teeth. My Body, My Choice – right?

  5. Mike, can you ask the Governor/ Health Commissioner and his epidemiology team if they could compare the positivity rates of students in other states that do not require masks in school? This is just getting too absurd. My daughter is wearing mask while running track. We have gone along with the masks ( that clearly do nothing since we have more positive cases now than ever) for months now and I am really feeling that that mandate is abusive.

    • I ran some math on positivity rates pre- and post-mandate (Aug 1). Dividing positive tests into total tests, it averaged 1.51% before the governor’s statewide mask order. Since the mandate it has been very slightly lower, but not enough to be statistically meaningful. Last week the State reported positivity rates as high as 2.2%. Today’s update reported 1.8%. The data doesn’t justify the efficacy of masking, and many scientists have known this for a long time.

  6. This is all quickly turning out to be an “I told you so” moment. Great Reset is happening whether you are on board or not.

  7. And this is our future, especially here in liberal Vermont. The mis-information, hype, outright lies and lack of reasoned thought used by most in government has brought us to this point. The “miracle” vaccine that we were told is impossible just six months ago- will now divide us. The use of fear by the media and politicians has never been so successful. The United States- and Vermont will never “return to normal” but be forever governed by the fear of disease.
    Segregating children because of an unwarranted fear of a virus that doesn’t affect children is the epitome of this new Covid fear. It seems that Covid fear will become another religion, much like those that worship climate change. The next novel virus that comes along, will that too set off a panic? Probably. Masks, Health directives, States of Emergency will become normal and demanded by the panicked population. Vermont could brand itself as the quarantine state, the place to be for those living in fear. Masks? Required 24/7. Lockdowns? Sure. Vaccinations? Required. We will even segregate our school classrooms for you…Come on in! (But there’s a quarantine period, first).

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