ENTERPRISE — Nearly all faculty and staff at schools in Wallowa County have complied with Gov. Kate Brown’s mandate that they receive the coronavirus vaccine or obtain medical or religious exemptions to the requirement, school administrators said.

Brown issued the executive order requiring the anti-virus measure Aug. 13. Under it, all teachers, educators, support staff and volunteers in K-12 schools were to be required to be fully vaccinated by Monday, Oct. 18, or six weeks after full Food and Drug Administration approval of a vaccine, whichever was later, according to Oregon.gov.

The order also provides for exceptions to vaccination based on medical conditions or religious convictions.

Tom Crane, the new interim superintendent at Enterprise schools, said the 55 faculty and staff there all have complied with the mandate.

When interviewed last week, Crane said the district was still waiting on one person to provide documentation of either vaccination or a permissible exception. On Monday, Crane said that person had come into compliance.

“So we’re all good to go,” he said.

Lance Homan, superintendent of Joseph Charter School, said the K-12 school with about 280 students has about 35 faculty and staff. He said Monday that he did not expect anyone to have to resign because of noncompliance with the governor’s mandate.

“At this time, we do not,” Homan said Monday. “We’re going to open up tomorrow as normal.”

Tammy Jones, superintendent at the Wallowa School District, said the schools have just over 200 students as of early October, an increase from the prior year. The schools have about 48 faculty and staff.

She said the schools’ faculty are fully in compliance with the vaccine mandate.

“We are 100% go. We can continue with in-person learning. Everyone on faculty has either received the vaccine or submitted exemptions,” she said. “We will be able to be up and running teaching our kids.”

Staff had through Monday to submit vaccine cards or exemptions. Jones said three people who are not teachers did not turn in vaccination cards or exemptions by early Tuesday, but this will not affect classrooms and in-person learning.

Although the Wallowa schools had to close a couple times in the prior school year because of virus outbreaks, Jones said this year they have seen noted improvement.

“We had a couple groups have to quarantine early in this school year,” she said.

Those groups have included classes or teams. She said that, for example, if sports team members were in a class that was exposed, that could’ve disqualified the athlete from participating in a game, and thus caused cancellation of a game if enough athletes were out.

“But recent times where a student has tested positive for the virus have resulted in students not requiring quarantine,” Jones said. “Students are staying home when they are ill this school year and students are cooperating with face masks and physical distancing requirements.”

With this, fewer students are directed by local health officials to quarantine, Jones said.

None of the administrators had a breakdown of the percentage who were vaccinated versus exempted.

Jones said she wasn’t allowed to disclose those numbers.

Crane was concerned about his employees’ privacy.

“I want to be really careful because there are a lot of feelings about this issue and I don’t want people to think we’re labeling or identifying them,” he said. “We’re trying to be as respectful as possible and still try to follow the laws. I’m very sensitive to people’s rights to privacy.”

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