Less Than a Third of Chehalis, Centralia School Staffers Confirmed Vaccinated So Far

Classrooms: COVID-19 Cases Reported in Both Districts


With a little more than a month left until all state and public school employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, less than 30% of employees at Chehalis and Centralia school districts have been confirmed to have received their shots.

Leaders at local school districts are currently in the process of gauging how much of their workforce has been vaccinated in the leadup to the deadline, so the latest estimates are far from final. Religious and medical exemptions are available for many workers.

Centralia Superintendent Lisa Grant said this week that about 30% of the district’s 500 employees have verified that they’ve received the vaccine. About three religious or medical exemptions had been turned in, she said.

"I think it's all over the board. I think there is a mix and range of emotions with this," Grant told The Chronicle after a school board meeting this week.

“It's tough. For some people, it's a tough and emotional decision. So, (it’s about) how do we help them and support them in that process.”

Grant said the district has set an Oct. 8 deadline for employees to submit their verifications of vaccination or an exemption.

"I will say that people are being respectful of the process," said Tabitha Whiting, Centralia School District’s executive director of human resources.

Transmission of COVID-19 remains the highest it has ever been in Lewis County, according to data from the state Department of Health and Lewis County Public Health and Social Services. The week of Aug. 29-Sept. 4 saw 39 residents hospitalized and 382 new cases.

About 39.5% of all Lewis County residents have been fully vaccinated.

Grant said the worsening situation locally has impacted the return to school, with six students and staff missing out on their first day of classes because they had to quarantine.

“Our numbers just seem to keep going up in our county,” Grant said.

Centralia had its first day on Sept. 2. Since then, the district has confirmed seven positive cases.

At the Chehalis School District, about 22% of the district’s staff of 430 have reported being vaccinated, according to information provided by Communications Coordinator Andy Lynch. Roughly 27 medical and religious exemptions have been filed at the district so far.

Lynch said 78% of returned inquiries so far from staff have been that they’re getting the vaccine. The district is looking to wrap up its efforts by Oct. 1.

In a statement, Superintendent Christine Moloney said the district was continuing to take a proactive approach to keeping areas cleaned and implementing best practices to prevent disease spread, including wearing a mask and social distancing.

“Parents, we also need your help to keep our schools open, so please make sure you check how your child is feeling before they come to school each day. If they are not feeling well, keep them home. We appreciate each and every one of you and look forward to a wonderful year,” Moloney said in a statement.

Chehalis School District, which began returning students on Tuesday, has had 10 positive COVID-19 cases reported across all schools, Lynch said, including the Turning Point program and Visions special education job skills program.


14 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Frosted Flake

30%. Shouldn't there be disciplinary action? Frankly, is there anyone who doesn't know what a deadly disease is? Do we need and more to the point can we use people that dumb? And dare we let them anywhere near the children? I'm not talking about theirs.

Friday, September 10

Every single adult and teenager in our family is vaccinated. So are all of our relatives and extended family. Not a single one of us had a bad reaction or serious harm come from the vaccines. Between all of us, we've gotten the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson shots. It doesn't matter which one you get, they all work!

The unvaccinated are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized with Covid

The unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die from Covid.

Please protect yourselves, your families, your kids, and all of us.

You might end up saving your own life.

We've already lost over 650,000 Americans to this disease. Time to put a stop to the nonsense and death.

To all teachers and school staff - please get the vaccine so our kids can stay in school and learn. We love you, and want everyone to stay safe.

Thank you

Saturday, September 11
LC payer

Well, if they won't get vaxxed, then boot the teachers. I don't want someone who doesn't believe in factual scientific info to be teaching the kids in our schools. This is getting stupid and the anti vaxxers are looking pretty unintelligent to me.

Saturday, September 11

tRuST tHe sCiEnCe people. The CDC itself claims the VACCINATED get and transmit the virus. You know who doesn't? People who already had it. Most teachers these day are marxist filth anyways teaching boys can be girls and sodomy is good and to hate God and America.

Sunday, September 12

@Good You seem nice.

Sunday, September 12

Pathetic - obviously our educators are uneducated and above all IGNORANT.

Sunday, September 12

Pathetic - obviously our educators are uneducated and above all IGNORANT.

Sunday, September 12

Yes good, because the science says that although the vaccinated can still get and transmit, you are much less likely to have a serious reaction or death. So if everyone was vaccinated, much less people would be getting seriously ill and/or dying. That's how this works bud, and how vaccines have ALWAYS worked.

People who have already had covid but remain unvaccinated, well, I'll stop talking and provide some information and let that speak. I'm tired.

Here, this is from a reputable medical news website. READ for christ's sake.


Monday, September 13
Science is REAL

Chehalis boasts about its incredible STEM program.

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.

22% is a VERY low number in regards to vaccination rates. 22% is not indicative of a school system with a strong STEM program; a program that is science based. 22% indicates a rejection of science and an acceptance of conspiracy driven, politically charged thinking that throws out logic, empirical evidence and plain old common sense. If I were one of the generous donors that pledged my reserves to an effort that supports the promotion and propagation of Science; to elevate our youth to a higher level of thinking for the greater good - I would be rethinking any continued funding in the Chehalis School District. It seems the district staff reject the very notion of Science as a whole.

Maybe start up a new program more in line with literature.... say a "LORD OF THE FLIES PROGRAM"? Ah yes - a program the 78% can get behind.

5 days ago

Do any of you morons have kids in the schools ? Or do you just like to sit here and run your mouths ? And if you don't like LC or think we need to change pack your SHIT and get out !!!!

5 days ago

@Hardass...it is YOU who needs to leave LC. You sound like you belong in Idaho. Pack it and move. The rest of us who live in LC trust the science, respect our students and expect educators to follow the rules Inslee has established. It is all based on science.

5 days ago

KKJ If people like me pack it and move as you say and leave LC to you who will be here to prod the sheep like you ? you are only here because Good LC people like me aloe you to be and the things we provide to the community let you and the scum like you to leach off the tets like the children you are !!! You and your buddy Inslee can take your "rules" and mix them with shit and have a nice sandwich.

5 days ago

@HardAss it is people like me who support this fine county and we have to tolerate your ignorant and foolish ways and beliefs. Come on, I don't fully support Inslee either, but he is doing the best possible with actual scientific info on hand. This county needs support from people like me who support the tax base!

4 days ago

I hope many of you actually read the article. It says as of this week 30% have verified. Many of the teachers are vaccinated but have just been informed that they can now turn in their verification of vaccination. Which many are in the process of doing now. It's always nice to know the whole story before publishing an article. I don't think there is anyone out there that agrees with the mandate, but if we would have taken the steps prior to slow the spread we wouldn't have to have such mandates, We can thank many of you for where we are now. I'm just glad that many of you chose your short term Freedoms over the lives of those around you. I am so sad that some of you are losing your loved ones from this so called Fake Virus. It breaks my heart how everything that happens these days has to be called political. Folks, Not everything is about politics. I just want to say start thinking for yourselves and put politics aside. Have a great life, and care for those around you why you have them.

4 days ago