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Schools Close Because of Side Effects from Second COVID Vaccine and Shortage of Substitute Teachers

Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
Indian Springs Elementary is one of the buildings in the Olentangy Local School District that closed Monday because not enough substitutes were available to cover for teachers who were out after being vaccinated.

Nearly all Ohio schools are returning to in-person or hybrid learning after pledging to do so to get vaccines for employees. Now at least one Central Ohio district has closed several of its buildings Monday because there were not enough substitute teachers to fill in for teachers experiencing symptoms from recent COVID vaccines. 

The Olentangy Local School districthad to close two of its high schools, one middle school, and six elementary buildings because of a substitute teacher shortage. Many of the school district’s staff who received their second COVID vaccine over the weekend are suffering with side effects. A spokeswoman for Olentangy says the district had substitutes ready to come in but didn't have enough to cover the shortage.

Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro says this is part of a statewide problem.

“We’ve had a shortage of substitute teachers in Ohio since before COVID, and I think the pandemic has made that situation more acute," DiMauro said.

Earlier this year, the Columbus City Schoolsraised substitute teacher pay after it faced a shortage. 
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles
Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.