BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Following a spring announcement that all school-based staff must be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing for COVID-19, Baltimore City Public Schools on Wednesday expanded its protocols to include student-athletes, and said a similar measure is coming for all other employees in the fall.

As of Wednesday, 85% of teachers and 92% of our principals are vaccinated, the school system said.

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Under the new guidelines, all winter sport student-athletes have to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1, before the season begins. The vaccination requirement also applies to spring sports.

Student-athletes who aren’t vaccinated have to quarantine for 10 days if they are a close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, possibly leading to a large number of teammates sitting out and forfeiting games, the school system said.

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Those who are vaccinated, however, do not have to quarantine if they are symptom-free.

“This precaution will enable student-athletes to participate in games and practices during that time,” the school system said. “Student-athlete vaccinations keep our students safe while allowing them to play with minimized disruption.”

Participants in fall sports, which are already underway, will not face the same regulations, but City Schools said it “strongly encourages” those student-athletes to get the shot.

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City Schools said it is in contact with local unions about a vaccine requirement for the remainder of employees.

CBS Baltimore Staff