By Jesse Sarles

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced a public health order on Monday morning that mandates city employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September. It applies to all city employees as well as private sector workers in high-risk settings.

(credit: CBS)

Hancock described the order as far reaching and said the action is a “rational and science-based approach” that’s necessary given the dangers posed by the delta variant. He encouraged everyone who hasn’t yet to get the safe, free and widely available vaccine as soon as possible.

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The public health order applies to more than 10,000 employees who work for the City and County of Denver. It also applies to workers in nursing homes, shelters for the homeless, hospitals and correctional facilities.

Vaccination will be required for teachers and staff in schools, as well as some city volunteers and contractors.

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“This order is not intended to punish or denigrate any employee who has been reluctant to take the vaccine. I know that many of us have family members and friends, neighbors and colleagues who have concerns about the vaccine despite assurances from top medical professionals across the country and around the world that it the safest and most effective way to protect against this deadly virus,” Hancock said. “We intend to use the next two months to engage our employees and affected workers, answer their concerns and provide them with objective and science-based evidence supporting more widespread use of the vaccine.”

(credit: CBS)

Hancock said the order does not apply to employees with religious and medical reasons that support “narrow” exemptions from vaccination.

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The mayor called vaccination “the silver bullet” for full recovery from COVID.

Jesse Sarles