PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia School District employees must be fully vaccinated by the end of the month or submit to testing twice a week.
All 20,000 district employees are asked to submit their vaccination status before Sept. 30th, officials said.
District officials said employees who do not get vaccinated or those who are not fully vaccinated must be tested twice a week beginning Oct. 4.
Employees can file for religious or medical exemptions.
Any unvaccinated employee or those who are only partially vaccinated will lose access to the district's Direct Quarantine Leave (DQL) beginning Oct. 1 if they test positive for COVID-19 or need to isolate after coming into contact with someone who had the virus, officials said.
The DQL allows for regular pay while if an employee needs to quarantine. Unvaccinated employees would have to use any available sick days or personal days to quarantine.
The 10-day leave will however be available to any fully vaccinated employees who test positive for COVID-19.
Philadelphia school board members voted unanimously last month to implement a vaccine mandate for all district employees as the highly contagious delta variant continued to spread.
School district leaders negotiated a deal with the teachers' unions to come up with how the vaccine mandate would be rolled out.
Leaders of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers said in August that more than 50% of district employees had already been vaccinated through a program between the district and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Thousands more were vaccinated outside of the program.
Philadelphia educators became eligible for the vaccine in April after the union expressed concern that teachers should have access to the vaccine as the district brought students back into the classroom through hybrid programs.
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