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Hundreds of Tucson city employees could face suspension over vaccine mandate

More than 500 employees requested religious or medical exemptions
Tucson International Airport vaccine pop-up .jpg
Posted at 12:04 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 15:08:12-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — More than 300 employees of the City of Tucson could face discipline Wednesday for not complying with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The deadline for employees to report their vaccination status to the city was Tuesday, Aug. 24. According to a City of Tucson spokesperson, 546 employees had requested an exemption from the mandate and 354 employees had not reported their vaccination status nor requested an exemption as of about 6 p.m.

Data from the city shows 76% of city employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The Tucson Police Department, Tucson Fire Department and Tucson Water -- the city's three largest departments -- have the most employees still unvaccinated. Tucson Fire has the lowest vaccination rate of any department, at about 65%.

City of Tucson employee vaccination data (credit: City of Tucson)

RELATED: Many Tucson city employees remain unvaccinated despite mandate, councilman says

The mayor and city council voted to impose a five-day suspension on employees who did not get vaccinated or file an exemption request by the deadline. City of Tucson spokesperson Andy Squire says the 354 employees without an exemption or proof of vaccination aren't facing that penalty just yet. The city needs to verify the data before passing it onto department directors who will impose the suspension.

The mayor and council also left open the possibility for further disciplinary action for those who had not complied with the vaccination requirement, including termination.