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School districts report losing few employees as weekly COVID-19 testing mandate begins

Oct. 15 marked the deadline for a state mandate, requiring that K-12 school staff prove they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or take weekly tests.

While most local school districts reported their employees were largely in compliance, except for a handful of employees who were put on unpaid leave — some districts spent additional time working with their employees.

As a result, school officials throughout Kern County are reporting a majority of employees are in compliance; however, a few are still on unpaid leave due to noncompliance with the state mandate.

The Kern High School District has two employees on unpaid leave, according to spokeswoman Erin Briscoe-Clarke.

The Bakersfield City School District’s employees are all in compliance, according to spokeswoman Tabatha Mills.

Panama-Buena Vista Union School District has two employees on unpaid leave, according to Jennifer Irvin, assistant superintendent of educational services for Panama-Buena Vista Union School District.

At last Tuesday’s board meeting, PBVUSD Superintendent Katie Russell told the board that its human resources department has been working one-on-one with employees who have stated religious or medical exemptions to the state requirement.

You can reach Emma Gallegos at 661-395-7394.