The Fort McMurray Public School Division and Catholic School District are continuing to advocate for teachers and school staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The province has been focusing eligibility on people’s age and health, while also giving priority to health care workers on the front lines.
Jennifer Turner, Superintendent of the FMPSD, tells Mix News they haven’t be given any timeline on when teachers and school staff can get their first shot.
She says she believes teachers are essential workers and should be able to get the vaccine now.
“If I had the opportunity and the influence I would be giving them the vaccine, if they so choose, but that’s not something currently within my control but I certainly advocate on behalf of my educators.”
As of Wednesday, there were 10 schools in Fort McMurray on the province’s watch list.
This includes Holy Trinity and the Fort McMurray Islamic School who each have at least 10 individuals with ties to the schools testing positive for the virus.
The variants of concern have also started to pop up among many of these cases.
In the FMPSD, 40 per cent of cases have been identified as the U.K. variant. In the FMCSD, Sister Mary Phillips, St. Anne, Father Mercredi, and Holy Trinity have experienced at least one variant of concern.
George McGuigan, Superintendent of the FMCSD, noted he believes the rise in these cases is a big reason they need to be eligible.
“You see how are younger populations are contracting the variants as they may be asymptomatic and bringing it into the schools.”
At this time, the province has not announced when or if teachers and staff will be given priority.
They are still planning to allow the majority of the general public, 18 years and older, to get their first shot by the end of June.