October 18, 2021

City of Chicago Provides Update on Employee Vaccine Policy

79% of City Employees Have Confirmed Vaccination Status, and 84% of Those are Fully Vaccinated

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced the number of City employees who have confirmed their vaccination status, as well as those who are fully vaccinated, following the implementation of the citywide vaccination policy. The policy, announced in August, required all City employees to be fully vaccinated or report their vaccination status by October 15, 2021. The Department of Human Resources (DHR) reports that 79% of all City employees have confirmed their vaccination status, and 84% of the City employees who reported their vaccination status are fully vaccinated, demonstrating their commitment to keeping Chicago and its residents safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, DHR has also received over 4,000 requests for medical or religious exemptions. 

"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," said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "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." 

“Getting the vaccine is the most important thing city workers can do to protect themselves against COVID-19 and to protect the people they serve,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “While we have made tremendous progress in Chicago in getting people vaccinated and keeping COVID case rates down, our work isn’t done.”  

“I am thankful to all the employees who have complied with the City’s vaccination policy,” said DHR Commissioner Christopher Owen. “DHR’s mission with the implementation of this policy is to ensure the safety of all City workers. We are committed to remaining transparent and efficient as we work across all departments through monitoring and reporting on the portal.”   

Employees who have been fully vaccinated by October 15, 2021, will receive one additional Personal Day that must be used by June 30, 2022.  Represented, sworn members of the Chicago Police Department will also be eligible to receive this Personal Day. 

Complete Citywide vaccination data can be found here. .  

Employees who were not fully vaccinated by October 15, 2021, including employees who have received an approved medical or religious exemption or who are waiting for an exemption decision, must undergo COVID-19 testing (PCR, Rapid Antigen, Home Antigen, or Home Mail-In test) 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, if any, and for reporting those test results to the City. This testing option will only be available through December 31, 2021. Thereafter, employees will be required to be fully vaccinated unless they have received an approved medical or religious exemption. 

Employees who fail to report testing information as required by the City of Chicago Vaccination Policy will be placed in a non-disciplinary, no-pay status until they have come into compliance with the policy. Disciplinary action may also be taken against employees who fail to report their status as required by the Policy.   

We will continue our efforts to educate all Chicagoans about the importance of being vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is available at pharmacies, health care facilities, and through special events across the city free of charge. No insurance or government ID are required to receive a vaccination. To learn more, visit chicago.gov/COVIDvax or call 312-746-4835.   

The City of the Chicago will be engaged in an ongoing process of cleaning the data and will provide weekly updates on City employee vaccine portal submissions and status at www.chicago.gov/cocvaxstats.