Long Beach school district requiring employees to show proof of COVID vaccine or undergo weekly testing

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This undated file photo shows a teacher speaking with students in the classroom at a catholic high school in Long Beach on March 24, 2021. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

This undated file photo shows a teacher speaking with students in the classroom at a catholic high school in Long Beach on March 24, 2021. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Long Beach Unified School District will be requiring all employees to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or undergo weekly coronavirus testing, officials announced Tuesday.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said this makes the district the largest school system in California to implement a mandatory vaccination requirement for teachers and staff.

The school district has more than 12,000 teachers and staff members, making it the largest employer in Long Beach, according to city officials.

“This is absolutely the right decision and will not only protect the health of children as they return to classrooms in the coming weeks, but will also help stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout our community,” the mayor said in a statement.

The new requirement for educators comes two weeks after the City of Long Beach announced it will have its employees prove they’re vaccinated or provide weekly negative coronavirus test results.

Since then, more businesses and schools started requiring vaccine proof.

“These policies have resulted in more than a 40% increase in vaccinations in our city during that time. Thanks to the incredible efforts of our Health Department and medical professionals 74% of adults in Long Beach have been vaccinated,” Garcia said in a statement.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is not requiring proof of vaccination, but is requiring all students and employees who are returning for in-person instruction to participate in weekly coronavirus testing — regardless of vaccination status.

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