Chicago vaccine mandate: 79% of city employees have confirmed vaccination status through online portal

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday announced that 79% of city employees have confirmed their vaccination status through the city’s online portal. Of those who confirmed their status, 84% were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In addition, the Department of Human Resources says they received over 4,000 requests for medical or religious exemptions regarding the COVID vaccine.

The city policy, which was announced in August, required all city employees to submit their vaccination status by Oct. 15 or risk disciplinary measures.

"By getting vaccinated, we can preserve the safety of City employees and the health of our communities while moving Chicago closer to a safe return to normalcy," Mayor Lightfoot said in a statement. "Chicago needs to be proud of our City employees, who are committed to keeping our residents safe and will continue to do a phenomenal job at submitting their vaccination card or vaccine status to our City portal. I am thankful to everyone who has demonstrated their civic duty thus far by keeping our workplaces and city safe and our union partners for working through many difficult conversations to make this milestone possible."

At the Chicago Police Department, 64% of employees reported their vaccination status. Regarding the Chicago Fire Department, 72% reported their vaccination status.

City employees who were not fully vaccinated by Oct. 15 must undergo COVID-19 testing twice a week, Mayor Lightfoot has said.

The tests must be separated by three to four days, and it is the responsibility of the employee for obtaining those tests on their own time and at their own expense. The tests must then be reported to the city.

The testing option will only be available through Dec. 31 of this year.

After that deadline, employees must be fully vaccinated, unless they have received an approved medical or religious exemption, the city said.

"The end of this pandemic is within our reach if we continue to get vaccinated and encourage those who haven't yet received their shots about the safety and efficacy of this lifesaving vaccine," Mayor Lightfoot said.

Employees who were fully vaccinated by Oct. 15 will receive one personal day to use before June 30, 2022.