October 8, 2021

Mayor Lightfoot Provides Update on City Employee Vaccine Policy

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today provided an update regarding the implementation of the employee COVID-19 vaccine policy. In August the City of Chicago announced that all city employees must be fully vaccinated by October 15, 2021, ensuring city staff and their workplaces are safe from the spread of COVID-19.  

"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," said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "It is crucial to the health and safety of every resident that we continue our equitable, targeted efforts to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19 across our city and especially within our City departments and agencies. That is why we are providing a testing option for employees until December 31 while we continue to do everything at our disposal to educate employees with true scientific data and research as well as continue our conversations with our unions and labor partners."  

“The overwhelming majority of hospitalizations and deaths we see from COVID-19 are among the unvaccinated. This vaccine is safe and it works,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect not only yourself but those around you from COVID-19. I applaud this responsible, common-sense requirement to keep the City’s employees and those they work with safe.” 

Employees who fail to report their vaccination status by October 15, 2021, will be placed in a non-disciplinary, no pay status.  If employees are fully vaccinated by October 15, 2021, they will receive one personal day to use before June 30, 2022. Represented sworn employees of the Chicago Police Department will not receive the additional Personal Day.  

Employees who are not fully vaccinated by October 15, 2021, including employees who have received an approved medical or religious exemption, must undergo regular COVID-19 testing on a twice weekly basis, with tests separated by 3-4 days. Employees are responsible for obtaining those tests on their own time and at their own expense and reporting those results to the City. This testing option will only be available through December 31, 2021. Thereafter, employees must be fully vaccinated unless they have received an approved medical or religious exemption.  

While the Chicago Police Department is required to report vaccination status or be a part of the regular bi-weekly testing., the City of Chicago continues to bargain in good faith with the Fraternal Order of Police and the Policemen's Benevolent & Protective Association to reach a fair and workable policy that will keep our first responders safe. 

Close to 75 percent of Chicagoans who are currently eligible for the vaccine (about 1.7 million people) have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at pharmacies, health care offices, and through special events across the City at no cost to the public. No insurance or government ID are required to receive a vaccination. To learn more, visit Chicago.gov/COVIDvax or call 312-746-4835.