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All Arlington Public Schools students competing in Virginia High School League (VHSL) athletic competition in the winter season must be vaccinated against COVID in order to take part, school officials said.

Kind of.

Superintendent Francisco Durán said Arlington would be imposing a vaccine mandate for student-athletes that will kick in on Nov. 8, the start of the winter season.

However, in remarks to School Board members, Durán was a little nebulous on how firm such a policy was.

Students who have a medical reason preventing vaccination, or a religious exemption (which is protected under federal law), will be allowed to compete, but will be required to be tested weekly for the virus, Durán said.

As for parents with concerns, “we will work with them,” he said. Durán said vaccination was the key way to prevent spread of COVID during athletic competitions, and the best way to get students back in class quickly if they are afflicted with the virus.