97% of San Francisco city staff vaccinated as deadline looms

October 29, 2021 GMT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — More than 97% of San Francisco municipal employees are vaccinated against the coronavirus, Mayor London Breed announced Friday as a deadline looms for workers to prove they’ve gotten the shot and return to the office after a year-and-a-half of being allowed to work from home.

Only about 1,000 of the city’s nearly 35,000-person workforce haven’t gotten the shots or reported their vaccination status before the Nov. 1 deadline, Breed said in a statement. They include a total of 195 police officers, transit operators, firefighters and sheriff deputies — essential workers who work in high-risk settings — and they could eventually be terminated.

Other municipal workers who won’t comply will be placed on paid administrative leave pending a due process hearing.

“This mandate is all about protecting the health of the public and of our workforce, and it is working,” Breed said in the statement. “We will continue to work with our labor partners to get the last remaining people vaccinated, but we are confident a fully vaccinated workforce is in the best interest of the public, our workers, and the recovery of our City.”

City workers are required to return to the office for at least two days a week starting Monday. Breed said she hopes their return, along with the city’s high vaccination rate and relaxed mask mandate will encourage the private sector to bring their employees back too.