PHOENIX - Officials with the Phoenix Union High School District say staff and students who want to take part in sports and select extracurricular activities will need be vaccinated, or undergo weekly tests for COVID-19.
"Coaches, staff, volunteers, and students can either show proof of vaccination by Monday, November 1, or commit to weekly testing to participate," read a portion of the statement. "Individuals who choose to get vaccinated at a later date will no longer have to test weekly once they present their completed vaccination card."
District officials say all winter sports will be subject to the requirement, but they also say a comprehensive list of impacted programs will be released later.
"Requiring participants to be vaccinated or test weekly will help avoid COVID-shortened seasons and reduce spread during in-person learning when students return from their practices and competitions," said District Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson, in the statement.
School District has offered incentives for students, staff members to get vaccinated
Prior to the announcement on Sept. 30, the district offered financial incentives for students and staff members to get vaccinated.
On Sept. 10, we reported that the district is offering $100 gift cards to students and a potential $200 payout to staff members who are fully vaccinated through Oct. 11.
Besides vaccination incentives, the district also reinstated its mask mandate in late July, following new CDC guidelines that state everyone in K-12 schools should wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. The mask requirement was reinstated despite a state law at the time that would have banned such mandates by Sept. 29. The law was declared unconstitutional by a Maricopa County judge on Sept. 27.
School District officials say the vaccine and tests are free of charge and are offered on all of their campuses.
Phoenix Union High School District COVID-19 Vaccination Information
Phoenix Union High School District COVID-19 Testing Information
https://www.pxu.org/Page/28571 (In English and Spanish)
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CDC Website for COVID-19
https://espanol.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html (In Spanish/En Español)
AZDHS Website for COVID-19
https://www.azdhs.gov/covid19/es/index.php (In Spanish/En Español)
AZDHS Website for COVID-19 Vaccination
https://www.azdhs.gov/covid19/es/vaccines/index.php (In Spanish/En Español)