At least 98.2% of Denver’s more than 10,000 employees have complied with Mayor Michael Hancock’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate before Thursday’s deadline.
Jacqueline Davis, a spokeswoman for the city’s attorney’s office, said earlier this week that for those who haven’t, the city may send a disciplinary letter on Friday for those who haven’t — though workers who refuse vaccination under any circumstances will be fired. .
It is not clear how many of those disciplinary letters came out on Friday. Davis said the city’s main human resources department and individual human resources offices of city agencies, including the Department of Public Safety and the Denver Public Library, are handling these.
The public health order not only covered every employee in the city — from the Denver Zoo to the Denver Police Department — but also those working in private and public schools, nursing homes, homeless shelters, and hospitals.
The city did not provide data on how many people outside its employment umbrella met the requirement. But as of 5 p.m. Thursday, according to the city’s dashboard, 10,670 full-time city workers had been vaccinated or approved for either medical or religious exemptions.
This is a more than 34% increase in compliance over the past four weeks and despite legal challenges from a pair of police and construction associations.
Hancock spokesman Mike Strott said the city intends to accept vaccine records and exemption documents by midnight Thursday. Exemption totals were expected to be updated on Friday, but as of September 24, 627 city employees were exempt and 52 had been denied.
In addition to those who refuse vaccination and will be fired, those who have not yet complied but still face a 10-day suspension without pay. Davis said if he didn’t start the vaccination process after those 10 days, he would also be fired.
Those who are in the process of being vaccinated but have not been fully vaccinated (obtained by public health guidelines two weeks after the last dose was administered) will not face any discipline.
On Wednesday, a Denver District Court judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by seven police officers to block the mandate. The judge said the authorities had not exhausted administrative measures within the department before taking legal action.
Figures for Thursday afternoon show that 97.4% (or 1,748) of Denver Police Department employees are in compliance with the mandate.
The Denver Sheriff’s Department has the lowest compliance rate among city departments with more than 100 employees at 93.9%. Two non-vaccinated sheriff’s deputies died of COVID-19 earlier this year.