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Park District Workers Must Be Fully Vaccinated By Dec. 15 Or They’ll Be Tested, Agency Announces

Park District workers who meet the vaccine requirement will be given one additional personal day.

People visit the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park on June 9, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — All Park District employees must be vaccinated by Dec. 15 or they’ll have to be regularly tested for COVID-19, the agency announced Tuesday.

It’s the latest agency to require workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The city and Chicago Public Schools have issued similar mandates.

Park District workers must be fully vaccinated by the Dec. 15 deadline, or they must have an approved medical or religious exemption, according to a news release. Those who aren’t fully vaccinated will have to undergo regular COVID-19 testing.

Park District workers who meet the requirement will be given one additional personal day that must be used by June 30.

The Park District is technically a separate entity from the city, so officials at the agency had to create their own vaccine mandate. The city’s vaccine mandate gives its workers until Dec. 31 to be fully vaccinated.

But the city’s vaccine mandate has not been met without controversy.

Officials gave city workers until Friday to report if they were fully vaccinated; if not, they had to agree to be tested for COVID-19 twice per week. Seventy-nine percent of city workers confirmed their vaccination status; of those, 84 percent said they were vaccinated.

City workers who aren’t fully vaccinated by the Dec. 31 deadline risk being disciplined and fired, but the Park District has not said that will apply to its workers.

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