Should business owners require COVID vaccines for employees to return to work?

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DENVER — Now that more vaccines are available, many owners in the business community are hesitant to require vaccines for their employees to return to the office.

According to a survey by Deloitte, nearly 55% of service industry executives said they will not require a vaccine for their employees to return to work. More than 50% of executives in the financial and energy industry agreed. Only 9% of all executives said they would require a vaccine.

For Mike and Estephania Dries, who bought Colorado Catering Company just before the pandemic hit, just surviving the economic hardship was unexpected. But now, business is picking up.

“It’s nice to see a turnaround,” Mike said.”Last year was rough. But in the last two months, we really have kind of seen a silver lining.”

As the world opens up, they both agreed that vaccines will be key.

“People are feeling comfortable going back out,” Mike said. “It (used to be) two, three events in a month. And it was it was rough. Now we’re getting back into having four or five in a week, six and a week.”

However, he said they’re not requiring their employees to be vaccinated.

“I think the best thing to do is to empathize the amount of people, especially in the service industry, how many people are going to be in front of you? How many people are going to touch things that you touch?” he said.

He said the company is still wearing masks and gloves, and using hand sanitizer often.

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce said while many business owners are not mandating vaccines, the demand for them is still high.

“The No. 1 thing we’re hearing from companies and their employees is ‘Help me find a way to get my vaccine,'” said Kelly Brough, president of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. “Employers have really been careful and respectful about that separation between personal health and and the workplace.”

She said she is seeing a lot of employers helping their employees find appointments instead.