At Least 92% of Denver City Workers Vaccinated After Tenure | Colorado News
By COLLEEN SLEVIN, Associated Press
DENVER (AP) – At least 92% of Denver city workers were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Friday, a day after the city’s vaccination mandate took effect in a bid to slow the spread of the virus during the fall and winter, according to a review of city compliance data.
The employee vaccination rate is above Denver’s latest overall vaccination rate of 76% and the statewide rate of 70%.
Employees had to either prove they were vaccinated or obtain a waiver of the mandate by the end of Thursday, or face dismissal.
According to city data, 98.6% of its current 10,869 full-time employees complied with the mandate, either by getting vaccinated or by being granted an exemption.
So far, 652 workers have been exempted, or about 6% of the workforce, while 14 other exemption requests were still pending.
Based on these figures, 10,051 workers complied by providing proof of vaccination and 152 did not present proof of vaccination or obtained exemption. Those who do not comply will be informed that they face disciplinary action and dismissed if they refuse to be vaccinated.
The mandate applies to all City employees, from police and firefighters to office workers. It also demands that people who work in schools and private establishments considered to be at high risk of the spread of COVID-19, including hospitals and nursing homes, be vaccinated. The mandate will be enforced at these facilities both through active monitoring of compliance and responding to reports of violations, the city’s health department said.
In the city’s schools, which are not under the control of the municipal government, 87% of staff verified that they were fully immunized and 3% received exemptions, Superintendent Alex Marrero said in a statement on Friday. . The 10% who did not comply will continue to work in the school system with more stringent masking requirements and weekly testing, also required for those who are exempt, as officials work to bring them into compliance, a- he declared.
The mayor’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the vaccination rate among municipal employees, and the Department of Public Health and Environment referred questions on the matter to the city’s social services office. city, which compiled the compliance data.
In a press release extolling the general adherence to the mandate, Department of Health Executive Director Bob McDonald said the city was grateful to those who took “the important and life-saving step” to get vaccinated.
“We issued this public health decree because we know that vaccinations are our way out of the pandemic,” he said.
In the statement, Mayor Michael Hancock said he was grateful to all employees who complied with the order.
The warrant came into effect amid fears it could exacerbate the shortage of police and sheriff’s deputies. Nationally, law enforcement officials have been among the most hesitant to be vaccinated. The Sheriff’s Department was behind the city-wide 95% compliance rate, but the police department’s compliance rate was 98%.
A group of seven police officers, some of whom had been granted exemptions, tried unsuccessfully to prevent the warrant from coming into force in court this week.
As part of a plan released by the city attorney’s office, city agencies will issue disciplinary letters to city employees who failed to comply with the warrant. Workers who do not benefit from exemptions and refuse to be vaccinated under any circumstances will be fired. Others will be suspended for 10 days without pay and fired if they are not vaccinated.
Those who have been granted immunization exemptions must wear masks, be tested every five days, and socially distance themselves from others.
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