Ravally: About 10 Percent Of Staff Believed To Not Be Vaccinated Against Covid-19

Schools Superintendent John Ravally said that about 1,100 staff members had returned surveys about their vaccination status.

School district officials estimate that about 150 of its staff members have not been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Those teachers and staff members have until October 18 to get vaccinated, under an executive order issued by Governor Phil Murphy. If they do not get the vaccine, they will be subject to Covid-19 tests once or twice a week.

Schools Superintendent John Ravally said at the September 23 Board of Education meeting that about 1,100 of the roughly 1,250 staff members who were sent surveys over the summer on their vaccination status returned them.

Those who did not return the surveys, Ravally said, are assumed to have not been vaccinated.

He said the combined total, along with those who said they had not been vaccinated, is estimated to be between 100 and 150 staff members.

Ravally said the district joined a state program through which Covid-19 tests would be administered in the district and paid for by a state grant.

“The New Jersey Department of Health worked with the Department of Education after the executive order came out, and they selected vendors that they’re paying for,” he said.

Ravally said the vendors are being matched to school districts, based on the district’s size.

“We haven’t been given a match yet, but we expect to be given a match,” he said.

The district does have a Plan B if no match is found, Ravally said.

“We have a contact with a local testing company in town, Central Jersey Urgent Care, that we used last year,” he said. Their cost is $150 per test.”

Ravally said if the district has to pay for the testing, the money would come out of a federal grant it received earlier this year that was earmarked for programs designed to make up for academic losses students suffered during teh Covid-19 shutdown.

The “best case scenario,” he said, “is that the tests are paid for by the state.”

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