Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Encourages Eligible Students, Teachers To Get Vaccinated

With 10 days to go before Tulsa Public Schools students head back to the classroom, Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist is encouraging both teachers and students who are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Monday, August 9th 2021, 6:31 pm

By: Jonathan Cooper, News On 6


Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist is making a plea ahead of the new school year.

"All Tulsans, including our team members, including our students who are 12 and older should get vaccinated," said Gist.

Gist says the delta variant of COVID-19 has them concerned as students head back to the classroom on August 19th.

"What we know is the contagiousness of the delta variant is such, that it's a matter of seconds," said Gist.

So, to try and keep everyone safe, Gist, along with the Tulsa Health Department, a local doctor, and preacher all talked about the importance of vaccines on Monday. The district says while many TPS staff members have received the shot, the majority of 12 to 17-year-old’s in Tulsa County have not, with just 15 percent of kids in that age group vaccinated so far.

Gist says 17,000 other kids in the district are also not old enough yet to be eligible.

"We have a responsibility to protect them," said Gist.

On top of vaccines, the district is also talking masks. Gist says it's their expectation that all students and staff will wear a mask when the new year starts. Although, that could be easier said than done, since right now they cannot mandate it.

Senate Bill 658 prevents local school districts from forcing students to wear masks unless the Governor issues a state of emergency.

"I am completely confident actually that what we will see is a tremendous amount of consistency with wearing masks," said Gist.



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