REGION —The vaccination rates for school staff in Maine are now available, following a major data release from the Department of Human Health and Services.

Across the state of Maine, an average of 75.59% percent of school staff, both public and private, were vaccinated as of Aug. 31.

In RSU 73, the average rate across the district is 83.9%. However, in RSU 9, rates vary greatly, where the district reaches a high of 81% and a low of 55.2% for an average of 71.3% vaccinated staff across the district.

In RSU 73, which serves students from Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls, vaccination rates are as follows:

Spruce Mountain Elementary School: 79.6%

Spruce Mountain Primary School: 82.5%

Spruce Mountain Middle School: 89.4%

Spruce Mountain High School: 87%

Central Operations Staff: 91.3%

In RSU 9, which serves students in Franklin County, vaccination rates are as follows:

Academy Hill School: 81%

Cape Cod Hill School: 55.2%

Cascade Brook School: 71.7%

G.D. Cushing School: 81.3%

W.G. Mallett School: 67.3%

Mt. Blue Middle School: 66.7%

Mt. Blue High School: 75.8%

Central Operations Staff: 67.4%

Foster Career and Technical Education Center: Suppressed or did not submit.

In response to the rates, RSU 9 Superintendent Chris Elkington said that “we believe that our overall numbers are higher in several of our buildings” because about 20% of staff did not respond to the survey and staff also had the option on the survey to put “no answer.”

According to the DHHS, “individual staff who did not respond to their respective school’s request for vaccination status are reported as unvaccinated.”

“It is worth noting that I have also been told that some staff feel that it is no one’s business if they are or are not vaccinated,” Elkington explained in an email.

Elkington also said the district is setting plans following the announcement that staff at Maine public sector employers with at least 100 employees, such as public schools, must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing.

“We will be developing our implementation plan after (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) shares its standards and rules in the coming weeks,” Elkington wrote.

He did not comment when asked about potential concerns over lower vaccination rates in the district’s elementary schools where students cannot yet be vaccinated, such as Cape Cod Hill Elementary’s 55.2% staff vaccination rate.

When asked how the district is working to increase its staff vaccination rates, Elkington said “just as we recommend that every student eligible get the vaccine we also recommend that staff do as well.”

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