In a press conference on Aug. 2, Denver mayor Michael B. Hancock, along with executive director of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment Bob McDonald and City Attorney Kristin Bronson, addressed media with new updates to their COVID-19 approach.

Mayor Hancock announced that all city employees and private sector employees in high-risk settings in the city and county of Denver will be required to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30.

The mandate affects employees in congregate centers like correctional facilities, nursing homes, and homeless shelters. It also affects teachers and certain categories of city volunteers and contractors who will come in contact with city employees and people in high-risk occupations.

 

While acknowledging the politicizing of the vaccine, he noted the science and data behind why they've chosen to move forward with this mandate. Hancock said that their goal over the next two months is to have open conversations with employees voicing concerns and hesitancy surrounding the vaccine. They aim to educate and inform employees about the data behind the vaccine.

In the last six months, according to Mayor Hancock's statement, 96% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Denver area were for people who were not fully vaccinated. 90% of those new cases were the delta variant.

While the mayor was sure to mention exemptions for valid religious and medical reasons, Mayor Hancock and McDonald were sure to drive home the point that their goal is compliance. Open conversations and education is the goal, but there will be consequences for people who refuse to comply.

In his statement, McDonald said that continuing to rely solely on masks, social distancing, and capacities will get the city nowhere. McDonald said that if that's all that was needed, we would not be here a year and a half later.

Mayor Hancock ended his opening statement by saying, "The silver bullet we need for full recovery is to ensure maximum vaccination".

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.