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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento City Unified School District officials pointed Wednesday to the latest surge of COVID-19 cases as the reason for delaying its COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate.

Jordan Frushon, a Sacramento County parent, is getting his 13-year-old son his booster shot.

“Sometimes he doesn’t always make the right decision,” Frushon explained to FOX40. “He may run up to a kid that he knows who had been exposed and it’s important he gets the vaccination just in case.”

In the region, too few students are getting the added level of protection the COVID-19 vaccine provides.

Sacramento Public Health reports only 61% of those in the 12 to 19 age group have been fully or partially vaccinated.

“We know not everyone is ready or comfortable with vaccinations,” said Victoria Flores, SCUSD’s director of student support and health service.

SCUSD wants to adopt the vaccine-or-testing requirement for all children over the age of 12.

The goal was to have all students report their status by a Jan. 31 deadline.

“We had a lot of really targeted and intentional activities planned for when we came back from winter break, however we are all dealing with this huge omicron variant COVID wave,” Flores explained.

The new deadline to reach that goal is Feb. 28.

If the district had enforced the original deadline, more than 8,500 students or 44% of all students would have been forced out of the classroom and into independent study.

“That number is dropping every day, every hour pretty significantly,” Flores explained. “We have been doing a lot of outreaching, mailer to home as well in multiple languages, and a lot of schools sites are also reaching out to those families.”

For Frushon, the decision was simple.

“I feel it’s very important for all of the kids to be vaccinated if they are going to school,” Frushon said.

More than 10,000 students, around 52% in the 12 and over age group, have been fully or partially vaccinated. Around 4% have received an exemption.