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East Baton Rouge School District requiring proof of vaccines and tests from staff

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BATON ROUGE - Teachers and staff in the East Baton Rouge School system will have to take weekly COVID tests regardless of whether they're vaccinated.

Everyone in schools will also have to share their vaccination record with the school system.

"It's not a vaccination mandate. The district decided to ask that employees share that information with the district. It's not going to be shared with anyone else, so there's no violation or HIPPA, or anything like that. It's just going to be information that the district can use going forward to determine what mechanisms they still need to put in place to ensure the safety of everyone," said Angela Reams-Brown, president of the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers.

Each school site will determine a weekday when to test staff weekly, expecting it to take less than a minute for each.

Employees will have until Sep. 15 to submit documentation. The district is still putting plans in place for those who may refuse.

"I can't foresee any teacher who would do anything that would harm one of the students they interact with on a daily basis. So I don't even want to think about a penalty, because I have confidence in the EBR teachers that they're going to do the right thing and the right thing for all," Reams-Brown said.

"Those who refuse to make the adjustments might just die with COVID and cause others to die," Governor John Bel Edwards said during a news conference Friday.

They don't know how long this requirement will last, but it will be up to school officials to follow CDC guidelines and get ahead of the virus. They do not anticipate this to last all school year.

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