DENVER (CBS4) – Reactions to Mayor Hancock’s announcement that Denver City workers are required to be vaccinated earlier this week were surprise, confusion and relief. The new health regulations apply to all employees in the city as well as to people who work in hospitals, prisons, schools and other group facilities.
The deadline for full vaccination is September 30th.
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Citing the emerging Delta variant, Hancock announced the policy on Monday and surprised some.
“Yesterday was a big surprise for us,” said Rob Gould, president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA).
Gould said the organization had been asking members to get vaccinated for months but stopped asking for a mandate. He said he and other members still had many questions about how things will work under the new health order.
“Mandates tend to close discussions, they don’t tend to open them,” Gould said. “I think the challenges we are facing are what does that mean? If a person does not want to get vaccinated, does that mean they will lose their job? Do we have other options for them? “
Neither the Denver Public Schools nor the Department of Public Safety, which includes the Denver Police Department, Denver Fire, Denver 911, Denver Sheriff, and more, were surprised by the announcement and confirmed their involvement in discussions.
Spokespersons from both departments tell CBS4 that enforcement details are still in progress. So far, the city’s two major employers have not been required to track staff vaccination rates.
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“We know vaccinations are key, but how do we go about it?” Asked Gould.
According to Gould, DCTA will meet with the DPS and other city departments to find these answers and to alleviate concerns from staff who are still reluctant to receive admission.
“What can we do to make sure we have these conversations about what is important and how you can do it,” said Gould.
He says the staff ultimately have the same goal of keeping the kids in the classroom.
“Vaccinations, masks, we have to do it so we can keep the classroom safe.”
CBS4 has also asked several departments if they have seen any layoffs since the announcement.
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The Ministry of Public Security said no. DPS was about 43, but said it coincides with this time of year and neither cited the new health order.