April 7, 2021

For immediate release

Waterloo Region, ON — As the result of ongoing collaboration between Region of Waterloo Public Health, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, and the Waterloo Region District School Board, staff providing direct personal support to students with special education needs will now be eligible to receive their initial COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccination plan prioritizes vaccines for those at greatest risk of severe illness and those who care for them. Planning for how to prioritize this staff group has been ongoing.

These staff members play a critical role in our schools, supporting our students with the most complex needs to ensure they are able to participate as fully as possible in learning each and every day. Prioritizing their access to vaccination is an important step in helping to limit the spread of COVID-19, as these dedicated individuals work in close contact with highly vulnerable students, where physical distancing and mask wearing is not always possible, as well as providing personal care for prolonged periods of time.

‘We greatly appreciate the collaboration with Public Health in prioritizing the staff who work closely and provide care for our most vulnerable students, and we recognize the tremendous commitment of all of our staff to our students.’’ said John Bryant, Director of Education for the WRDSB.

“We are grateful for our partnership with Region of Waterloo Public Health to help us prioritize vaccination for our most vulnerable staff. We value the work and service of all our staff and this first step energizes us that things are moving in a hopeful direction.” added Loretta Notten, Director of Education for the WCDSB.

Eligible staff are being contacted directly with registration instructions. Ongoing conversations are taking place with Region of Waterloo Public Health to plan for the prioritization of vaccination for all educational staff as per the provincial framework.

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