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Sweetwater Union High School District students, staff return with COVID-19 safety measures in place

Posted at 12:32 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 23:27:39-05

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) – It has been several weeks since students and staff were seen on school campuses in the Sweetwater Union High School District.

On Tuesday, they returned to in-person learning. The return comes amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, specifically the omicron variant across the country and in our county. The district took a number of steps to ensure that everyone stayed safe when they returned.

From distributing COVID-19 self-testing kits to students to allowing them to voluntarily test themselves days before schools re-opened, parents were happy to see the added safety precautions.

Aside from reminding students about wearing masks, washing hands, and practicing social distancing, district officials said Sweetwater will also continue weekly testing clinics that rotate among their schools.

"We have been doing that since the beginning of school at various school sites for students, their families and staff," Nadege Johnson with SUHSD said.

The district is just a few weeks away from implementing its vaccine mandate, which was approved by the board in December. This requires employees to submit proof of vaccination or file for an exemption by Feb. 1. Late Tuesday, the district clarified in a statement posted on their website, they will not implement the student athlete vaccine mandate at this time.

"While we strongly encourage our student-athletes and those participating in VAPA and other extracurricular activities to vaccinate, the Board will not be requiring
student vaccinations until at least the commencement of Off Season Sports in May 2022 and for in-person instruction commencing in the 2022-2023 school year."

District Officials said if families are hesitant about returning to in-person learning, there is an online program that students can sign up for.