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Santa Barbara Unified prepares to place unvaccinated workers on unpaid leave

School board prepares to place unvaccinated workers on unpaid leave

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara Unified School Board members received its 30th COVID update prior to the Nov. 1 start of the district's vaccination mandate.

On Tuesday, the district website shared the SB Unified Dashboard showing 91.9 percent, or 1,547, of regular employees, verified their COVID-19 vaccination status. That's up from 63 percent before the mandate.

Another 2.3 percent or 39 people are in the process of getting fully vaccinated.

The dashboard shows 5.3 percent or 90 people are requesting exemption deferrals.

The mandate does not include booster shots.

Chief of District Communications Camie Barnwell said, "We do have a handful of employees who have declined to become vaccinated and they will be placed unpaid leave beginning November first."

A dozen students and zero staff members tested positive for COVID this week.

Since Aug. 16, 2021, there have been 100 positive COVID tests among students and 25 among staff members.

Children 5-11 will soon have access to FDA approved vaccinations.

The school board learned that Pfizer-BioNTech appears to be more than 90 percent effective for children 5-11.

Members of a large group of vaccine opponents said they didn't believe the numbers released by the district.

They set up a speaker to listen to the meeting from the parking lot. Participants said they are opposed to masks and vaccines and they don't want children to be mandated to get vaccinated next month.

Many used their public comments to oppose mandates.

Speakers included a doctor who said he placed his child in a charter school and a high school physical education teacher who said he is willing to leave his position over the issue.

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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