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Hampton Roads student-athletes get vaccinated, opt for weekly testing as deadlines approach

School leaders in Chesapeake, Suffolk and Virginia Beach describe this as an additional safety measure, starting in November.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — About now is the time for student-athletes in three Hampton Roads school divisions to make a choice. The decision is between getting a COVID-19 vaccine or opting to test weekly for COVID-19.

To be fully vaccinated by November 8, some high school student-athletes in Virginia Beach decided on Wednesday that now is their shot.

"The school district offering it helped expedited the process," said 16-year-old Camryn Ruth. She was among those who received a Pfizer vaccine at Tallwood High School Wednesday night. 

Camryn stays active and plans to be in conditioning programs this winter.

"I think it's going to make things a lot easier so that I don't have to get COVID tested every week," she said. "I'm just happy to finally get it. It makes things a lot...safer."

Camryn also said the vaccine makes things easier because if she's in close contact with a COVID-positive case and shows no symptoms, she won't have to quarantine. 

Just like Virginia Beach, students in Chesapeake Public Schools taking part in winter sports face the choice of “get vaxxed or get tested." However, Chesapeake’s rule will also include middle school athletes.

The requirements start to roll out on November 8.

In Suffolk, the requirement rollout begins days later on November 12. Middle and high school athletes, along with students in extracurricular activities, need to get vaccinated or get a PCR test weekly.

Back in Virginia Beach, 10th grader Zach Ward realizes that weekly testing is an option but he had already wanted to get vaccinated.

The new sports rules just encouraged him even more.

"I wanted to protect the people on my team and the people I'm going against," said Zach. 

Requirements aside, some of the other students 13News Now spoke with said they wanted to get the Pfizer vaccine now simply because they were old enough or that Tallwood's clinic was at a good time and place to get it.

School division spokespersons for Chesapeake and Virginia Beach told us they won't have vaccination rates among student-athletes available to share until next month.

We're waiting to hear back from Suffolk. 

All three divisions do have upcoming COVID-19 vaccine clinics to help prepare student-athletes.

Chesapeake 

There are several taking place in October prior to the November vaccine deadline. Click here to view the full list. 

Suffolk

First Shot: Friday, October 8 -- Second Shot: Friday, October 29

Col. Fred Cherry Middle School

Forest Glen Middle School

John F. Kennedy Middle School

John Yeates Middle School

King's Fork Middle School

King's Fork High School

Lakeland High School

Nansemond River High School

College and Career Academy at Pruden (CCAP)

Virginia Beach

Week of October 4
First shot, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
First Colonial High School Thursday, Oct. 7

Week of October 11
Second shot, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Green Run High School Monday, Oct. 11
Tallwood High School Wednesday, Oct. 13
Bayside Middle School Thursday, Oct. 14    

Week of October 18
Second shot, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
First Colonial High School Monday, Oct. 18
Bayside High School Wednesday, Oct. 20
Kempsville Middle School Thursday, Oct. 21

Week of October  25
Second shot, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Tallwood High School Wednesday, Oct. 27
First Colonial High School Thursday, Oct. 28