The vast majority of Chicago's more than 30,000 city employees have reported their COVID-19 vaccination status, city officials announced Monday, but thousands still haven't provided a response, even though the reporting deadline has passed.
A total 79% of employees have confirmed their vaccination status, and of those, 84% have been fully vaccinated, according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office. Some departments are well below that percentage, prompting officials to continue to plead compliance with the city's vaccine mandate.
Employees had until Friday's deadline to report their vaccination status and abide by the requirement, although those who still haven't received the COVID-19 vaccine will have the option of undergoing twice-weekly testing, on their own expense, through the end of the year.
At 64.42%, the Chicago Police Department has the lowest response rate of all city departments, meaning approximately 4,500 of its 12,770 employees haven't complied with the mandate as of Monday.
Of the more than 8,200 CPD employees who responded, 1,333 said they haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The city and Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police have been embroiled in a standoff over the vaccine mandate with both sides filing lawsuits, and on Friday, a judge ordered the union chief to stop making public comments encouraging his members to defy the city’s COVID vaccine policies.
On Sunday, CPD issued a warning to officers about the consequences of disobeying the mandate, saying those who do not follow the guidelines could face "separation" from the department.
According to the mayor's office, employees who fail to adhere to the policy and report testing information will be placed in a non-disciplinary, no-pay status until they become compliant. In line with the policy, disciplinary action may also be taken against employees who fail to report their status.
In a statement, Lightfoot applauded those who've complied, saying they've demonstrated their "civic duty thus far by keeping our workplaces and city safe."
The Mayor's Office and the Office of the Inspector General are among the 13 departments that have reported a 100% response rate.
All but two departments, CPD and the Chicago Fire Department, had compliance of at least 80%.
The Chicago Fire Department reported the second lowest compliance rate at 72%.
Lightfoot again Monday urged city workers to complete the reporting process and said the city's giving them every opportunity to do so.
"Hopefully the ones that are out there that haven't yet, will get the message," she stated. "Cause we're coming, we're talking to you. Save yourself a lot of headache, a lot of heartache sign up."