Prime Minister Brian Polyester says Manitoba teachers and other school staff can be vaccinated in the United States.
An agreement to allow was announced last week Manitoba truck drivers He said those who usually cross the border into North Dakota to be vaccinated in the United States will be extended to teachers and other school staff.
“The way it works the person will go to the border, [cross]Get a vaccine, come back immediately. They are not going to shop at Grand Forks, ”Polyester told a news conference Thursday.
Polyester suggested that there may be a cross-border vaccination site for teachers as an international peace park across the Canada-US border near Boisevine in southwestern Manitoba. That said some details still need to be developed.
Opening a vaccination center on weekends is an opportunity, so teachers can make the trip without taking time, he said.
When asked why teachers and academic workers have a responsibility to cross the border in their own time, Polyester said most teachers do not see this as a burden but an opportunity.
Isolation rules have been removed for teachers looking for vaccines
This way the isolation requirements for teachers and education system staff who want to get vaccinated will be eliminated, Polyester said. Currently, anyone entering Manitoba must be tested and self-isolated for two weeks upon arrival.
Federal rules require isolation for 14 days after most Canadians cross the border, with a few exceptions, but the federal government allows teachers to be exempt from the vaccine, he said.
The Manitoba government has been criticized in recent weeks for failing to add teachers to the priority list of workers eligible for vaccination.
Ahead of the announcement, the Manitoba Teachers Association echoed those calls again Thursday morning, calling on all Winnipeg schools to go the distance. Learning starting next week.
Winnipeg High School teacher Lauren Hope said she welcomes the opportunity for educators to get vaccinated, but is concerned that it is too late to stop what is already happening in schools.
“We know the numbers reflect what happened weeks ago, so if our numbers are higher now, if we ride these third waves at a much higher level and R value than we did in October and November, the vaccines are no longer ‘enough,” he said.
Hope said getting teachers and other staff against COVID-19 was an important part of reducing the spread of the disease in schools. But vaccines take time to develop immunity, so switching schools to distance learning is now very important, he said.