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Chicago Cops Who Haven’t Gotten Vaccinated Won’t Be Disciplined Immediately, Lightfoot Says

City workers who haven't gotten vaccinated against COVID-19 will eventually be put in no-pay status, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. About 2,566 Police Department employees have not complied with it.

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 — Police officers and other city workers had until Sunday to get their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine — and those who don’t comply will be disciplined, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday.

When that discipline happens will vary, as Lightfoot said the city won’t take mass disciplinary action.

“We’re not doing mass firings today,” Lightfoot said. “My goal always is to educate people into compliance, and my hope is that the vast majority of officers … will come into compliance and we’ll move on.”

Instead, the Police Department will identify officers who have not reported getting vaccinated, Lightfoot said. The officers will be given an opportunity to verify if the city’s information is correct; if they’re not vaccinated, they’ll also be given an opportunity to get the shots and comply, Lightfoot said.

Officers who refuse will then be ordered to comply, Lightfoot said. Those who still don’t comply will be put into no-pay status.

The enforcement of the vaccine mandate prompted some aldermen to call for a special meeting of City Council over the issue. The meeting will be held Wednesday.

The vast majority of city workers have complied with the order — but the most resistance has come from the Police Department. Of 12,392 Police Department employees, 2,566 have not gotten vaccinated or have not reported their status, according to city data. That’s 20.7 percent of the agency’s workforce.

In comparison, about 95 percent of all other city workers — 17,008 out of 17,916 workers — have reported getting vaccinated, according to city data.

Many of the officers who haven’t complied with the order so far are vaccinated but haven’t reported that status to the city, and some have filed for an exemption, Lightfoot said.

“We will enforce the rules, and my expectation is that the vast majority of police officers … will come into compliance,” Lightfoot said.

The city’s original deadline for workers to get vaccinated was Dec. 31. That was pushed back amid a legal battle with the Fraternal Order of Police, the city’s largest police union.


• In Illinois, about 8.1 million people — or 64.08 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 8,353 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 21,238,781 vaccine doses of the 23,961,345 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.8 million Chicagoans — or 69.6 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 77 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

Everyone 5 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:

• Since Friday, 32 Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19.

• At least 33,107 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 4,238 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 2,324 cases since Friday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 3,048,042.

• Since Friday, 220,708 tests were reported statewide. In all, 55,952,702 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 1.3 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 1.3 percent Friday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 1.4 percent. It was at 1.5 percent Friday.

• As of Sunday night, 90 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 43 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, four deaths were reported since Friday. There have been at least 7,303 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of more than two people dying per day, down 26 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has had 531 confirmed cases reported since Friday. It’s had a total of 561,671 confirmed cases. An average of 135 confirmed cases are being reported per day, down 30 percent from a week ago.

• Testing in Chicago is down 16 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at .7 percent, down from .8 percent a week ago.

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