At least 96% of Aurora Public School staff have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus after the district required them to receive COVID-19 shots this summer, Superintendent Rico Mun said on Wednesday. .
Aurora Public Schools mandated vaccines after federal regulators fully approved Pfizer’s two-dose COVID-19 shot in August, making it one of the only school districts in Colorado to have such a requirement .
“It’s become clear as we go through this COVID crisis that we have to do everything we can to protect that person’s learning environment,” Munn said during a news conference with Gov. Jared Police.
He did not know how many total employees were fully immunized, adding that the number is expected to rise as some staff members have been at least partially vaccinated. Some employees have medical or religious exemptions.
The deadline for employees to comply with the mandate is Thursday, Munn said.
The district has about 38,000 students and about 6,000 employees.
Denver public school employees are also required to be vaccinated against the virus, but under a city order. DPS superintendent Alex Marrero said last week that 87 percent of the district’s staff were fully vaccinated and another 3% were exempt.
During the news conference, Polis urged Coloradans to get vaccinated, and for those who are already, to get booster shots. He said that out of 922 people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 on Wednesday, 710 have not been vaccinated. He said Colorado had not hospitalized so many people with confirmed cases of the virus since January.
Police said no Coloradans are hospitalized because of side effects from the vaccines.
Colorado is approaching intensive care bed capacity. Overall, 1,018 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and only 149 ICU beds were open on Wednesday.
“We are concerned about the increase in the spread,” Polis said. “Everyone must be very careful.”
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