Cleveland Metropolitan School District requiring weekly testing for unvaccinated employees

Posted at 5:55 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 17:55:27-04

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metropolitan School District said Friday it is instituting a new testing policy to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

According to CMSD CEO/Superintendent Eric Gordon, the district "will be implementing mandatory weekly COVID testing for any employee who does not provide proof of vaccination."

To do this, the district will send a survey this week to the 3,000 employees who have not submitted proof of vaccination. The survey will have questions to determine the following:

  • The employee is already vaccinated
  • The employee is willing to get the first dose of the vaccine on or before Oct. 15
  • The employee does not plan to provide proof of vaccination and therefore will be required to participate in the mandatory weekly testing protocol

Anyone who does not provide proof of vaccination will be required to submit to weekly testing at the worksite.

According to Gordon, the district has identified 1,211 positive cases since the pandemic began. "Of those, 454 (37.5%) are cases of employees testing positive representing 6.8% of our total staff members and 757 (62.5%) are cases of students testing positive representing 2.1% of our student population," he said.

In addition to the testing, the district is taking the following precautions:

  • Every school is expected to have a school safety team co-chaired by the principal, custodian, and teacher’s union chair
  • Mask requirement for all students and adults in any district school, office, or facility regardless of vaccination status
  • Temperature check upon entry to every district school
  • Care clinics staffed with a full time health professional at each school
  • Providing sanitation gel, sanitation wipes, and other PPE in every classroom and office
  • Maintaining 3 feet social distancing wherever possible
  • Displaying random digital pop-up reminders on all staff computers daily
  • Fogging each classroom, office with sanitation mist daily and misting each bus at the conclusion of each run
  • Running fresh-air ventilation flushes of buildings daily and adding additional fresh-air flushes when a confirmed case has been identified in a building
  • Running portable air sanitizing units in classrooms and offices of any building that does not have a modernized HVAC system
  • Using high grade air filters in HVAC buildings
  • Providing access to and information about vaccination clinics for students, parents/caregivers, and employees
  • Providing random, voluntary weekly COVID testing opportunities for students and staff in all schools
  • Operating a publicly available COVID Hotline and providing a COVID data dashboard on the district’s website

"As much as I know we would like to, we can’t simply avoid COVID-19. Instead, together, we must continue to take every possible measure to keep safe and healthy until this pandemic finally ends. I will be sharing more details about this additional safety measure in the days ahead," Gordon said.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Download the News 5 app for free to easily access local coronavirus coverage, and to receive timely and limited news alerts on major COVID-19 developments. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Vaccinating Ohio - Find the latest news on the COVID-19 vaccines, Ohio's phased vaccination process, a map of vaccination clinics around the state, and links to sign up for a vaccination appointment through Ohio's online portal.

See data visualizations showing the impact of coronavirus in Ohio, including county-by-county maps, charts showing the spread of the disease, and more.

Rebound Northeast Ohio News 5's initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We're providing resources on:

Getting Back to Work - Learn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.

Making Ends Meet - Find help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.

Managing the Stress - Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.

Doing What's Right - Keep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.

We're Open! Northeast Ohio is place created by News 5 to open us up to new ways of thinking, new ways of gathering and new ways of supporting each other.

View a map of COVID-19 testing locations here.

Visit Ohio's Coronavirus website for the latest updates from the Ohio Department of Health.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.