Bello says no decision yet on vaccine mandate for teachers and school staff

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Local school districts are preparing to welcome kids back to the classroom and News10NBC heard from two county executives on whether vaccine mandates for teachers, staff and district employees will be part of their fall plans.

Tuesday Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced teachers and school faculty members will now have to choose between the COVID-19 vaccine or weekly testing.

The order also applies to any third-party vendors that enter schools.

"We want to encourage the vaccine for everybody. But if for whatever reason you’re not, we can’t take the risk of the virus getting into these buildings," McMahon said. "This is too critical. And for our children under 12, they haven’t had an opportunity to get a vaccine shot yet."

When asked about a blanket vaccine mandate here in Monroe County for teachers and staff, County Executive Adam Bello said he has not yet come to a decision.

Bello did say the county and the Monroe County Department of Public Health have been working with individual districts on their reopening plans and making recommendations, and so far, he says he’s happy with what he’s seen.

"So the approach we’ve taken is to work with superintendents and their districts to understand their individual needs in each district to make sure the students and staff are as safe and protected as possible and I have confidence in the schools’ ability to do that," Bello said.