Denver Mayor Mandates Vaccines For All City and County Employees by Sept. 30
In a press conference on Aug. 2, Denver mayor Michael B. Hancock, along with executive director of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment Bob McDonald and City Attorney Kristin Bronson, addressed media with new updates to their COVID-19 approach.
Mayor Hancock announced that all city employees and private sector employees in high risk settings in the city and county of Denver will be required to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30.
The mandate affects employees in congregate centers like correctional facilities, nursing homes, and homeless shelters. It also affects teachers and certain categories of city volunteers and contractors who will come in contact with city employees and people in high risk occupations.
While acknowledging the politicizing of the vaccine, he noted the science and data behind why they've chosen to move forward with this mandate. Hancock said that their goal over the next two months is to have open conversations with employees voicing concerns and hesitancy surrounding the vaccine. They aim to educate and inform employees about the data behind the vaccine.
In the last six months, according to Mayor Hancock's statement, 96% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Denver area were people who were not fully vaccinated. 90% of those new cases were the delta variant.
While the mayor was sure to mention exemptions for valid religious and medical reasons, Mayor Hancock and McDonald were sure to drive home the point that their goal is compliance. Open conversations and educating is the goal, but there will be consequences for people who refuse to comply.
In his statement, McDonald said that continuing to rely solely on masks, social distancing, and capacities will get the city nowhere. McDonald said that if that's all that was needed, we would not be here a year and a half later.
Mayor Hancock ended his opening statement saying, "The silver bullet we need for full recovery is to ensure maximum vaccination".