SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Unified School District has released updated information regarding its vaccine mandate rules for those with approved medical and religious exemptions
In a Tuesday night message, administrators said those with exemptions will have to undergo twice-weekly COVID-19 testing, wear an N-95 mask, and practice physical distancing whenever possible.
The district says the decision was made based on several factors, including a recent vaccine mandate from OSHA and the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for people ages 5-11.
An improving case rate in the community and an employee vaccination rate at 96% were also considered.
Santa Barbara Unified’s vaccine mandate went into effect Nov. 1 and affects all district employees.
According to Santa Barbara Unified, 70 employees have applied for religious exemptions and seven have applied for medical exemptions.
Eight employees have been placed on administrative leave so far for not submitting proof of vaccination or an exemption request. Substitute teachers are currently filling those open positions.