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85% Of Chicago Workers Have Reported Their Vaccination Status — But Cops Still Lag Behind

Just 70.6 percent of Police Department workers having reported their COVID-19 vaccination status, meaning 3,735 police employees have not complied with the mandate.

An officer walks out of Chicago Police Department headquarters with yellow papers in hand on Oct. 18, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Eighty-five percent of all city of Chicago employees have reported their vaccination status — but the Police Department still lags significantly behind other departments.

The city has required all workers to report if they’re vaccinated against COVID-19, but the Fraternal Order of Police, the largest union for officers, has encouraged officers to defy the mandate. That’s led to a battle between the city and union.

Just 70.6 percent of Police Department workers have reported their status, meaning 3,735 police employees have not complied with the mandate so far, according to data released by the city Monday.

Workers who don’t comply are put in a “no pay status,” though it was not immediately clear Monday how many officers have been put in that status. Last week, officials said the majority of officers who hadn’t met the reporting deadline were complying and reporting their status once contacted by supervisors. They said just 21 Police Department workers had been put in “no pay status.”

But the mandate has set up a faceoff between city officials and the Fraternal Order of Police. They have filed dueling lawsuits and traded insults during news conferences. A judge ordered the union’s leader to stop encouraging officers to defy the mandate.

“This is about officer safety,” Supt. David Brown said of the mandate last week. “This virus is no different than the gunfire we take as cops. And I will do everything I can, and I will say anything I need to, to convince officers to do everything they can to save their lives, the lives of their families, the lives of other officers and the lives of the people who we are sworn to protect in this community.

“… We would go against our oath to take this virus into their homes.”

Last week, John Catanzara, president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, urged officers who didn’t comply to “hold the line.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city has contingency plans and she does not anticipate “any disruption in our ability to keep our neighborhoods safe” if non-compliant officers are taken off the job.

The Fire Department remains the second-least compliant department, as about 86.2 of its workers have reported their status. Of those, about 78.9 were fully vaccinated.

Police Department workers also lag slightly in getting vaccinated, city data shows. About 83 percent of all city workers said they were fully vaccinated; at the Police Department, about 81 percent of respondents said they were fully vaccinated.

Four Chicago police officers have died from COVID-19, and thousands have had the virus. Dean Angelo, a former president of the police union, died this month from COVID-19.

All city workers who are not fully vaccinated must agree to twice-weekly testing through Dec. 31, at which point they are required to be fully vaccinated or they can face discipline. Workers can also apply for exemptions.

The requirement is meant to protect workers and members of the public with whom they interact.

Vaccinations:

• In Illinois, about 7.2 million people — or 56.65 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 33,711 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 15,311,086 vaccine doses of the 18,342,935 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.59 million Chicagoans — or 59.3 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 64.5 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

Everyone 12 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Fifty-eight Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Friday.

• At least 25,648 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,829 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 5,140 cases since Friday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,686,048.

• Since Friday, 313,813 tests were reported statewide. In all, 34,806,411 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 1.9 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 2 percent Friday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 2.1 percent. It was at 2.2 percent Friday.

• As of Sunday night, 348 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 141 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, five deaths were reported since Friday. There have been at least 5,869 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of three deaths per day, down 25 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has 885 had confirmed cases reported since Friday. It’s had a total of 325,746 confirmed cases. An average of 298 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 2 percent decrease from the week prior.

• Testing in Chicago is up 8 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 1.8 percent, down from 2 percent the week prior.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers.

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