DENVER (CBS4) – Denver becomes the first county in Colorado to require vaccinations for its employees. The new mandate also requires teachers, first responders, private contractors and those who work with the most vulnerable to be vaccinated. The deadline is Sept. 30.

“We’re not going to mask our way out of this. We’re not going to test out way out of this,” Bob McDonald, Denver Public Health Executive Director said.

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The answer to fighting the war against COVID-19 is simply to get as many people vaccinated as possible. McDonald is worried about the recent spike, pointing out, that on June 20, Denver hit a low of 15.4 cases per 100,000, but the most recent data in August shows that number has jumped to 71.2.

“We’re seeing a spike when we generally would get a little bit of a seasonal break,” McDonald pointed out.

The death rate has also steadily climbed, though in the last few days plateaued.

“Coupled with that concern is that vaccinations have largely stalled,” McDonald explained.

Now leaders are worried about the spike continuing far into the fall and the Delta variant, a far more contagious strain. They see this time as a period to act before things get worse.

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“San Francisco is already out there, they’re moving to require their municipal employee and those contractors and those contractors to work with them,” Mayor Michael Hancock said.

This may now be the trend across the country, as Denver helps lead the way.

For information on where to get a vaccine visit: Denvergov.org/COVID19